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The average small practice really is small

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I read with some dismay your article on the small practice conference and the statement that the 'small practices' candidate was not present.I was returning from a holiday, booked last January before I decided to stand for the presidency. I had hoped to attend the afternoon session but my flight was delayed.

I did write to explain and offered my apologies, which I trust were given to the conference. However, I would again offer my apologies to fellow small practitioners who were not at the conference.Some members in the West Country were unable to attend due to the atrocious weather.

It was with interest that I read the recent article on small practices 'Size is not important' (Paul Hyett's column, AJ 16.11.00) and note that one 'small' practitioner has a £2.5 million new-build housing project.

This certainly does not equate with the average small practice earnings survey, in which 26 per cent of architects take home less than £20,000 per annum and 5 per cent less than £10,000 per annum.I wonder what the fees are on £2.5 million?

I shall be embarking on a tour of the regions in the new year, when I particularly wish to hear the views and concerns of the members.However, I would be pleased to hear from any members unable to attend.

Finally, I have already received overwhelming support from members nationwide and I would like to quote part of a letter I received from a chairman of a branch which, I believe, sums up the view of a substantial number of RIBA members: 'It is clear that the RIBA is a London-focused organisation. The fact that they periodically send someone out west with what seems like a case of beads and mirrors to placate the natives does little to address the perception of lack of interest in the regions, and particularly the small firms within those regions.'

Brian Godfrey

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