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Maybe it's time to bring Finch back to the ARB

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I am sure that you will join the rest of our profession in hearty congratulations to 'arb Boss' Barbara Kelly - what a super job this woman is doing in destroying the regulatory body!

Her actions, and the actions of the vice-chair, have left the regulator unable to function - well done to them both.

We are now aware of the complete mess surrounding the appointment of a replacement registrar (aj 13.1.00). How did a statutory body ever get into the position that an unsuitable candidate was in line to be offered the post of registrar? Why was news of the appointment allowed into the press when the appointment was not agreed? Can the current chair remain in post, she is just not up to the job?

Ms Kelly has 'lost' the most recent registrar, her own appointment, for reasons which were never explained to the profession. Having met the departed Mr [Andrew] Finch, I concluded that his agenda was regulation. It seems to me and many of my colleagues that Ms Kelly & Co are interested in themselves and in playing politics, neither of which helps the profession at large. There is also a long list of 'still unresolved matters' which, since the departure of the most recent registar, the arb is failing to address - the matter of validation of schools of architecture being just an example. The riba must be sick and tired of this and many other areas in which it has dealings with arb.

A weak and ineffective regulator is of no use to anyone, does nothing for the profession and provides no consumer protection, which should be the arb's primary role. It is about time that 'someone' in government took the matter of regulation of architects seriously and appointed and supported a chair, registrar and board who took the matter seriously too. Dare one suggest that Mr Finch should be approached to canvass his view on returning to the the board from retirement? This would at least bring some credibility back to our regulator and our profession and would put someone in the post who, with appropriate support, could sort out the mess which currently exists at the arb.

Caroline Hutton, London SW1

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