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Time to forget the past and look to the future

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It seems from your coverage of the RIBA presidential election that Alex Reid's detractors still seem to be determined to settle yesterday's scores. Sadly, because while the profession is squabbling, the rest of the industry, government and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment are getting pretty fed up with waiting for us to engage in the new agenda as a coherent, forwardlooking, responsive body, with whom they can do business. It is so easy to whinge that many appear not to notice that never before have we had:

the prime minister championing good design as an obligation for all buildings, including the smaller, everyday ones;

the Treasury proclaiming good design as an essential ingredient of best value over the life of a building;

the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions determined to get better buildings through integrating design and construction - and that does not necessarily mean design and build unless we stand aside and let them decide;

CABE demanding an expectation of design quality from every client, be they public or private, with a ministerial design champion in every public government department;

the Construction Industry Council developing a design quality indicator to raise clients' intentions and bringing all construction professionals together at a regional level to work with the regional development authorities.

These are things that many of you have been calling for for years. Of course, there is much to be done on procurement and the critical implementation of the urban and rural white papers, but for goodness sake look to the future when you vote. . . and please do vote. I shall be voting for Alex Reid for his knowledge of the institute, his intelligence and his vision and that is why I encouraged him to stand.

Robin Nicholson, Edward Cullinan Architects, London N1

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