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ARB claims it has government backing, despite controversial policies

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The ARB is claiming that a government minister has expressed support for the board, which has angered the RIBA and many architects with its recent controversial policies.

ARB chair Humphrey Lloyd has reported details of a recent meeting with Angela Smith, the minister at the Department for Communities and Local Government with responsibility for the board.

Lloyd said Smith had expressed support for the ARB, despite the controversy surrounding a number of its recent policies.

These include a new Continuous Professional Development regime and strict rules relating to Professional Indemnity Insurance.

But Lloyd said he was convinced the government is happy with these strategies, which he has spearheaded.

Lloyd said: 'Shortly after the last board meeting, a group from the board - vice chair Sarah Lupton, our new registrar Alison Carr, the deputy registrar Karen Holmes and myself - had a meeting with Angela Smith, the minister at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

'We took the opportunity to bring her up to date on our discussions with the

Royal Institute of British Architects on its proposals to alter the Architects' Act.

'Like her predecessors, the Minister expressed her support for and confidence in the ARB and its work.

'She made it clear that there would have to be a strong case, in the interests of consumers, before any change in the existing legislation could be considered,' he added.

by Ed Dorrell

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