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'My absence from RIBA Council was exceptional'

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David Taylor's article last week drew attention to my absence from the May RIBA Council meeting. The institute depends on the work of its members. Without the time given freely by all both nationally and in the regions, there could be no institute as we know it. That contribution is entirely voluntary.

Long may the tradition continue.

Raising the profile of the profession both nationally and internationally is one of the key policies of the institute. In this instance my client changed the date of the interview on three weeks notice and was completely impervious to any suggestion of an alternative date.

As Taylor is reluctantly forced to admit in his article, it is council that is the sovereign body of the institute, not the president.

While I am most unhappy to be missing the May council meeting, it is an exceptional circumstance and I have personally written to every council member setting out the reasons for it. As fellow professionals I know they will understand the situation.

I am staying out in Australia for an additional two days during which I will be giving a lecture to RAIA members in Sydney (which I am told is sold out) and discussing with senior members of the profession, including the president-elect, issues of mutual interest, including reciprocity and bilateral trade.

Marco Goldschmied, president, Royal Institute of British Architecture

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