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RIBA revolt could spark mass Council resignations

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RIBA presidential challenger Marco Goldschmied has launched an assault on the proposed reorganisation of the institute which, he says, contravenes its charter and could lead to the Charities Commission seizing its assets.

'I am all for the RIBA being lean, ' he said. 'I'm not in favour of it being mean, ' claiming that the proposals ignored the institute's purpose to promote the art and science of architecture, in favour of the interests of individual members.

Goldschmied was planning to raise his objections at yesterday's (Wednesday's) Council meeting, which was to discuss the proposed reorganisation. A rocky ride for the proposal was expected, with honorary secretary Clare Frankl having predicted that it could be defeated.

Up to 20 dissenting RIBA Council members were to meet in London on Tuesday evening to discuss their objections to the proposed reorganisation of the RIBA, with the possible threat of mass resignations from council if their ideas did not prevail.

Of greatest concern were proposals for cuts in costs across the organisation, described by one critic as 'whimsical' and 'not based on any historical fact'. These figures are said to have been introduced into the council paper at the last minute with little consultation by director general Alex Reid.

Roger Shrimplin, proposer of a motion to protect the practice and education board (AJ 15.10.98) told the AJ: 'The meeting is a very informal affair. It is about whether the whole thing will work.'

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