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Crusader Luder to 'ride again' at RIBA Council

Former RIBA president Owen Luder has announced that he will stand in the forthcoming national council election following recent changes to the institution that he feels could ‘threaten the whole profession’

In his campaign statement the 81-year-old outlined that the role of elected officers and the RIBA council had been dumbed down to a ‘degree that is unacceptable’.

‘The RIBA is a member lead institution. Employed staff has a duty to advise and warn but the elected officers must make the final decisions,’ he said.

Luder said he was drawn into election by the crisis at RIBA London (LRC) where chair, Azar Djamali, was forced to resign last month (AJ 06.05.10) ahead of an unprecedented vote of no confidence in her leadership.

He said: ‘The London Region problems could have very serious repercussion not only for that Region but also the RIBA nationally.’

He added: ‘The LRC situation has shown very clearly that the principle that the RIBA as a member lead Institute has been seriously eroded.’

Another issue for Luder was the growing commercialisation of the Institute which has resulted in members being denied access to their own building.

He said: ‘Members who own the RIBA building are increasingly being denied its use as they are considered not to be of high priority unless they pay the commercial rate charged to outsiders.’

The ex-honorary treasurer was concerned that if this were to continue members will ‘vote with their feet’ and ‘decide the subscription is not value for money’.

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