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ARB will not be putting up retention fee

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The ARB Reform Group has succeeded in forcing the board not to increase the annual retention fee.

The group had threatened to storm out on yesterday's board meeting if the organisation did not drop plans to increase the fee and agree to keep the charge at its current level of £76.50.

As reported in the AJ in July (20.07.06), a walkout by the five 'reformers' would have meant the meeting was inquorate and would have left the organisation's decision-making process in tatters.

Following its success, the group has vowed to press on with long-term plans to reduce the fee with the aim of trimming the charge down by at least £10.

One of the key reformers, George Oldham, said the ARB could easily afford to make further reductions without any impact.

He believes the £1 million reserve fund which the ARB has amassed over the last few years is unnecessarily large and could be returned to the profession.

Speaking before the meeting, Oldham said: '[These funds] are there in case of a rainy day, and should not be allowed to grow beyond a worst-case scenario for the rainiest of rainy days.'

'My wish for next year, because there is enough in reserves, is that we can make some cuts.'

At the same meeting the resignation of Jon Levett, the ARB's head of education for the last five years, was announced.

by Richard Waite

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