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letters The Act is all that really matters in ARB debacle

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As the debate continues around arb, I would like to express an 'outside' view.

My wife is an architect and I am a lawyer. As a subscriber I am bound by the rules set by the 'regulator', the Law Society, which exercises its powers with far more impact than anything seen from the arb.

I am astonished by events in the architectural world. Dare one suggest that the 1997 Architects Act is not complicated and clearly sets out what Parliament wants from the regulator - nothing less will do. So where is the problem?

An outsider looking in may be forgiven for thinking that the problem lies with the board members of the arb. Having discussed the points on which potential 'architecture' members are seeking to stand, I am amazed that the arb allows anyone who publishes an intention to go against the principles expressed in its originating Act to stand for election to its governing body. This is illegal, dear architects: if one seeks to sit on public bodies, one first of all has to subscribe to the core functions of that body, not to seek to reduce its remit and finance. Parliament makes law and changes should, in my opinion, be suggested by riba and not brought into being 'through the back door' by board members who clearly do not understand what the Act requires of them. It is interesting that Professor Jacob (aj 27.1.00) seeks to defend Chair Barbara Kelly in his letter published recently - interesting when the job he applied for is vacant and he is interested in it. Caroline Hutton expresses the view of many in her letter: any difficulties between arcuk, arb and riba are irrelevant - what is relevant is the 1997 Act. It's that simple.

Robert Miles, York

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