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Not so funny

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This would be farcical if it were not so serious. The attitude of the ARB is the same as Owen Luder's description of a piece of architecture by Lord Rogers: 'Sod you.' It increases its compulsory fee surcharge on the profession without consultation. It carries out meaningless 'surveys' in order to busy itself with matters that are none of its concern. In short, a bunch of has-beens are nipping at the ankles of those properly responsible with a series of time-wasting exercises which drag the whole idea of regulation into the mire. What new chairman Judge Humphrey Lloyd makes of it, goodness knows. He must regard it as ironic that an organisation set up to protect the public has no means of compensating victims of architectural incompetence. There might also be some pause for thought that some of the worst aspects of public architecture in Britain today - mean-minded PFI schemes producing shoddy buildings - are quite outside the control of the board. If he wants any background on this, he should ask O Luder Esq, a board member of Jarvis. This is the company which, when it is not busy blaming 'sabotage' for railway failures, spends time delivering educational buildings in bulk. I see Jarvis is now bidding to provide education services as well as building schools. God help us all.

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