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Trustees accept RIBA chiefs’ apology over Trust axing process

Trustees of the abolished RIBA Trust have welcomed an apology from institute chiefs over the way the body was wound up

Following the closure of the RIBA’s cultural wing as part of a package of streamlining measures voted through late last year, trustees of the abolished body have been campaigning for the continuation of their independent board.

Following accusations that institute bosses had failed to properly consult the trust board prior to its closure, trustees met with RIBA chief executive Harry Rich and president Ruth Reed late last week to discuss the abolition process.

Trustee Roger Zogolovitch described the meeting as positive and said that the president and chief executive both acknowledged the importance of an independent board.

With regards to RIBA’s communication of the closure to the trustees, he said: ‘They apologised, which was very helpful, very brave and very welcome.’

Trust chair Stephen Phillips added that he was ‘optimistic’ and said it was a ‘good meeting [with] all pulling in the same direction.’

The RIBA had planned to transfer the trust board to a committee within the organisation however discussion over keeping the board independent appears to remain open. A vote on the appointment of the trustees to the new committee was expected to take place at the RIBA’s next council meeting this spring.

Zogolovitch has launched a separate campaign to reinstate the trust’s independent board, the post of honorary librarian and the trust’s director, Charles Knevitt.

He must collect 268 signatures in order to call a ‘Special General Meeting’ where his counter-abolitionist motion will be put to a members’ referendum.

He said he has received signatures ‘by every post’ and, with former RIBA-president Owen Luder, is set to meet institute chiefs tomorrow (3 February) to discuss the campaign.

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