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'Missing papers' foil RIBA councillor's ARB election bid

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A RIBA councillor who hoped to stand for election to the ARB board is out of the running after his nomination papers went astray. A frustrated George Oldham has blamed mismanagement by the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) - the election's organisers - for the mix-up.

Oldham requested application papers in November last year and successfully canvassed enough nominations for a candidature. He claims that he sent the forms back with 'plenty of time' to reach the ERS's offices by the deadline. But the ERS has no record of receiving the nomination and will not recognise him as a candidate, claiming his papers must 'be lost in the post'.

The ERS claimed it had no record of Oldham's original request for application forms, although he has a copy of the receipt and evidence of having had them in his possession. 'There is not a lot I can do, ' he said. 'If they claim my nominations were lost in the post I can't prove they are wrong. It is frustrating as I was keen to make real changes.As far as I am aware, I was the only candidate who wanted to pursue protection of function and scrap protection of title.'

ARB chief executive Robin Vaughan said that since there was no record of the delivery of the nomination papers, there was nothing he could do. 'Perhaps George should have sent them by registered post or delivered them himself, as other candidates have done, ' he said.

Candidates who have made it into the elections include Ian Salisbury, standing on a 'pare down ARB' ticket, Roger Shrimplin, former chair of the RIBA's planning committee, and Edward Cullinan Architects director Nita Sharma, a member of campaigning group Architects for Change.

Also nominated are Stuart Hendry, Yasmin Shariff, Jon Robert Grounsell, Aaron Evans, Susan Ware, Donald Earl Wahlberg, Stephen Gage, Don Gray, Christopher Stead, Colin Brock, John Spencely, Frank Woods, Nigel Badcock, Francis Gallagher, Elspeth Clements, Nicholas Tweddell and Malcolm Nickolls.

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