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Vaizey ‘amazed’ ARB still standing

Culture minister Ed Vaizey has admitted he was ‘amazed’ the government had failed to abolish ARB, two years after promising he would scrap the register

Speaking as shadow minister for culture in 2009, Vaizey told a meeting of the AJ100 breakfast club that he would save CABE from a Tory ‘bonfire of the quangos’ but kill off the Architects’ Registration Board (ARB).

Asked why this policy failed to materialise, the minister said: ‘I’m amazed ARB is still standing, but it wasn’t my department.’ In October last year the government announced it would retain ARB while at the same time the Department for Culture, Media and Sport pulled its funding for CABE.

Responding to questions about education secretary Michael Gove’s comments towards architects, Vaizey defended the profession’s role in designing schools. He said: ‘The work of our great architects should be a matter of great public pride.’

Alluding to the successes of Hampshire Architects Department’s schools, he added: ‘I will continue to remind Michael [Gove] great education does not come at the expense of great architecture.’

Vaizey spoke last night (13 September) at the launch of the annual Open House London weekend where he told the audience in London’s BT Tower that he volunteered ‘many years ago’ for the organisation and gave tours of private houses and the Foreign Office.

He said Hopkins’ Velodrome was his favourite to win this year’s Stirling Prize.

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