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Tory think tank calls for ARB abolition


An influential Tory think tank has launched a stinging attack on the Architects Registration Board, urging minister Nick Boles to abolish the body

The Conservative Home website, run by former Conservative Party deputy chairman Michael Ashcroft, described the ARB as ‘useless’ and ‘meddling’.

It called for Tories to apply for two vacancies at the board to prevent ‘surrending power to the Left’.

The missive added: ‘Please do apply. You might have some positive influence. An even more positive outcome, however, would be for the government to abolish this useless, meddling bureaucracy. Over to you, Nick Boles.’

The ARB was established by Parliament in 1997 to regulate the architects’ profession in the UK. 

Its duties include prescribing the qualifications needed to become an architect; ensuring only those registered describe themselves as architects; and investigating complaints about architects.

The Conservative Home website said: ‘The ARB chase after people who call themselves architects – typically these are people who are architects in the sense of that being they do [sic] for a living but not in the bureaucratic sense as defined by the ARB.’

Before the Tories joined the coalition, now architecture minister Ed Vaizey pledged to abolish the organisation (see AJ 30.09.12). However when questioned earlier this year if he intended to make good on his promise, he said: ‘It’s something I need to look at again. It falls under the Department for Communities and Local Government and is not a decision I can make alone.’



Readers' comments (4)

  • Yay! Thatcher all over again! When I see the absolute rubbish peddled to homeowners by 'architectural designers' I thank God that we have a framework for decent work. But no! the conservative government in a race to the bottom yet again!

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  • Now what was the point of writing the new NPPF and putting an emphasis on good design only to abolish the body that ensures Architects have the skill set to provide it? It really is totally nonsensical.

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  • What is the problem the political classes are not qualified or trained for the job, and yet think how well they do! perhaps we should all pay tax overseas like M.A. we could gain respect from the illiterate but moneyed classes.

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  • Industry Professional

    Unfortunately just because you have a qualification that allows you to call yourself an 'architect' does not mean that you are a 'good designer', there are far too many poorly designed and detailed buildings submitted for planning every day that are designed by people that are architects, it is not just the plan drawers and architectural designers that the public need protection from...

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