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'Old boy network alive and well'in the RIBA

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Further to your article 'RRP back on in Wales' (AJ 16/23.8.01) I find myself writing to you in utter dismay.

Once more we see that 'cronyism' and the 'old boy network' are alive and well in the RIBA. When was the last time a RIBA president intervened on the commercial decision of an organisation (whether that decision was right or wrong), to have a sacked architect reinstated to a financially out-of-control project? Irrespective of who is to blame for the overspend or poor financial forecasting, surely this is a matter between the Welsh Assembly and Richard Rogers and not a matter that will adversely affect architecture in general, warranting Mr Hyett's attention.

I am assuming, therefore, that the only reason Mr Hyett has intervened is because of RRP's 'Star Architect' status, or is this a new service being offered by the RIBA? Could we, as small practitioners, call on the RIBA president to intervene on our behalf should we face a similar problem? I think not!

If the RIBA wants to portray a vision of an elitist organisation only concerned with its membership in the Greater London area, this is a very good way of going about it. And the RIBA wonders why membership levels are falling!

Mark Deverill, Kendall, Cumbria

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