Belsize Architects have also been talking about the financial aid available from the government to the builders and consultants we work with. Many of them will fall in the self-employed category who may be less aware of what the government is making available and for whom obtaining finance will be more complicated and take time to come. We are as much concerned about their survival as we are about our own. Other practices may want to consider whether they should approach those whose continued service they will rely on in the future to check that they are equipped with the advice they need. In our experience these counterparties who are integral to our own future have appreciated having such conversations.
Being legally allowed to hold virtual meetings is one thing. Getting them held is another. Architects may need to nudge councils to remind them of this change in the legislation as some had previously taken the decision to suspend meetings.
This is certainly an issue for very many firms. The RIBA should certainly take this up. As this affects many different sectors, as the article notes, they can also associate themselves with the other sectors involved. The CBI is raising this kind of issue daily with HMT and BEIS at minister level so a cross-sector initiative will be more powerful and persuasive.
As well as being concerned about the immediate needs of architects, as Alan Vallance rightly explains, we also need to consider the rest of the construction industry without whom our designs will not see the light of day. It remains to be seen, for instance, how many of those who work on our sites will meet the prior tax return requirement on which the scheme for the self-employed understandably depends.
Thank you for reminding us of our strengths.
Carry on the good work!