Voting is under way for the next batch of RIBA councillors who will take up their posts in July. Eleven candidates are standing for the six national seats and the closing date for voting is 14 May. Eight regional seats are also being contested. On average only 25 per cent of the membership take part in elections. But RIBA president Paul Hyett appealed to members to vote: 'The elections provide an opportunity to choose the sort of people you want to create the kind of institution you want for the 21st century.' Meanwhile, president-elect George Ferguson has put his support behind five candidates.
John Assael of Assael Architecture has pledged to lobby for legal agreements to prevent dumbing down; to abolish planning standards that inhibit urban renaissance; pressure schools to do more for their year out students; and to stop the RIBA/ARB feud.
Clare Wright, director of Wright and Wright Architects, says she will work on two main issues - PFI and education. 'I think the direction taken in schools of architecture is a key component in ensuring that the architect's role remains robust in a changing industry.'
Richard Saxon, chair of BDP, is already co-opted as chair of the practice committee. He wants to 'steer the profession back towards the leadership role in the industry that it alone can play but from which it has largely retreated'.
Valerie Owen, managing director of London First, who is standing for re-election, promises to push for a more flexible approach to professional indemnity insurance and contribute to the fundraising for the Architecture for All project.
John Pringle, director of Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects, is currently co-opted as honorary treasurer. 'If elected, I would continue my involvement in implementing the institute's restructuring, to make the RIBA faster on its feet and more effective.'
The other candidates are Peter Phillips, Sam Webb, Warren Whyte, Scot Alan Masker, Iain Meek and John Melvin.