ARB chair defends ‘mass strike-off’ of 2,000 architects
ARB chair Beatrice Fraenkel has defended the ‘mass strike off’ of more than 2,000 architects from the register for failing to pay their retention fee on time
In a letter to the AJ, Fraenkel said it was ‘not unreasonable’ to expect architects to pay their £105 annual subscription on time when notified three months in advance.
She said: ‘The notices were sent out on 14 October with five email reminders and plenty of information on our website and ebulletins. It was clear that payment must be made by December 31st.’
She continued: ‘Three months to find and make payment does not seem unreasonable.’
A total of 2,043 architects – almost six per cent of the UK’s 34,000-strong profession – failed to cough up the fee in time, forcing them to pay a £65 charge if they wanted to re-join the register.
This amount to around 57 per cent more architects being kicked off than last year (1,300 architects) for late payment in part because the £105 payment deadline was brought forward by a month to 31 December.
The ARB chair also said it was important the public was assured the majority of architects pay bills on time.
It’s only a tiny percentage who have failed to pay on time
She said: ‘The sum involved is £2.10 a week - which is tax deductible. Not surprisingly then it is only a tiny percentage, 6 per cent, who have failed to pay their bills on time.
‘A proportion of those who haven’t paid will have refrained from paying because they do not wish to renew their registration.’
Fraenkel’s letter was sent two days after RIBA president Stephen Hodder said the register had been ‘harsh’ in removing architects for non-payment.
Read Fraenkel’s letter in next week’s AJ