Peter Kellow

31 rue Joseph Flamens
82100 Castelsarrasin
France

Candidate for RIBA Council

RIBA Council Elections 2018
European Seat


If you have any comments I would be pleased to hear them. I wish to represent members concerns as well as possible.
Email peterkellow@peterkellowarchitecture.com


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A Message from Peter Kellow RIBA
Candidate for the Internationally Elected RIBA Council Seat 2018


Dear Fellow RIBA Member

Below is my official election statement.

This is followed by other concerns that, I believe, must be addressed if the RIBA is to assume the more important role that practically all candidates call for

I set out here the fundamental details of how this role can be achieved

Through my newsletters to members I will inform you and seek your opinion - always of course within the contraints set out for RIBA Trustees/Council members

You will not necessarily agree with all the points I make but this is about a direction of travel. I will use the newsletters I refer to gain feedback from members and reflect this in my actions and statements

For the international seat I am standing for, there are three candidates and so I have a real chance of winning

I need your vote.

The link to voting is in an email you have received from OnlineVoting@electoralreform.co.uk

Please note that Electoral Reform have advised me that in some emails they sent out the link does not give access to voting for the international seat. If this is your case, ask at OnlineVoting@electoralreform.co.uk for a new link

Yours sincerely

Peter Kellow

PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO OTHER RIBA MEMBERS

 


  1. Nominated by: Alex Oliver, Anthony Delarue, Michael Edwards, Gillian Edwards, Luke Moloney, David Rosemont, Allen Cunningham
  2. Practice Address: 31 rue Joseph Flamens, 82100 Castelsarrasin, France
  3. Position: Principle
  4. Qualifications: RIBA, BA BArch

Election Statement:

This is the fourth time I have stood for RIBA Council. Each time I ask the same question: The profession should be run for whose benefit? RIBA Members or RIBA employees?

I will use my position on Council to ask questions and scrutinise the openness, efficiency and diligence of our management and all our employees.

I will send a regular newsletter reporting my findings available to RIBA members only. Only members of the profession can understand the needs and role of the profession. A career executive, as we have now, cannot be expected to.

You probably do not know that this very statement that you are reading can be censured by the Chief Executive who has the role of returning officer. So a vital private communication between member and member is subject to staff censure.

Ultimately in the longer term, the only way to correct the situation is for the office of President to be a full time, well salaried position for its two year period taking over the role of the Chief Executive. He or she could take a full sabbatical for the two years. In this way we can return to the glory days of the RIBA when it was a real force.

In the meantime, I will ask questions and inform the members by means of my regular newsletter Lastly, but importantly 66 Portland Place should be made to feel again like a real professional institute and a club for its members. Everything now says “up for sale” corporate management in charge here.

There should be a large comfortable private bar for members only and their guests. Some rooms and halls should be available to members for next to nothing to stimulate activity. The RIBA Library, a priceless national treasure should be open at all times..

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Other issues I wish to address

The position of the architectural profession has been eroded over many years. This is not in the interests of the profession, its clients or the public at large that it serves. To address this, I am standing on the following platform.

[1].Abolish ARB

Abolish the quango, ARB, bringing the UK in line with most European countries which have only one statuary professional body. The Farrell Review (2014), commissioned by the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, re-commends this. The duplication of Codes of Conduct is nonsensical. RIBA to take over ARBs functions except the disciplinary one to be taken over by a new Ombudsman. See [13 below.

I will campaign for the abolition of ARB and repeal of the Architects Act of 1997 and of the Architects Registration Act of 1931 and 1938 which established its predecessor ARCUK. These acts were in contradiction of the Charter of 1837

There was no reason for the creation of a quango, such as ARB formerly ARCUK, when a professional chartered architects' body, RIBA, was already in existence.

When the Warne Report was published in 1993, its principal recommendation was abolition of ARCUK. This recommendation was ignored and instead it was transformed into ARB.

The Farrell Review, commissioned by the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, out in March 2014, recommends the abolition of ARB with its functions taken over by the RIBA

Abolishing ARB would bring the UK in line with most European countries which have only one statuary professional body.

ARB undermines the independence of the profession preventing it from fulfilling its role of providing a professional service to clients and the public at large. The duplication of Codes of Conduct is incomprehensible to both public and architects.

Architects have no democratic say in ARB and the fees it charges (as for instance its arbitrary and unwarranted decision to make the deadline for payment 31 December as opposed to March of the following year as before).

The dangerous ambitions of this quango were revealed a few years ago when it sought to take control of architectural education from the RIBA

The RIBA as the single democratic professional body in the UK will take over all the functions of ARB - except disciplinary proceedings [see below].

CHARTER

In the original RIBA Act of Charter (1837) the spirit was that the RIBA (originally without the word "Royal") would be the sole architects' regulatory body. It states:

" Thomas Philip Earl De Grey … and divers others … have associated together for the purpose of forming an Institution for the general advancement of Civil Architecture, … [and] members of the said society, … shall … be the Members of and form one Body Politic and Corporate for the purposes aforesaid, by the name of 'The Institute of British Architects', by which name they shall have perpetual succession ... with full power and authority to alter, vary, break and renew the same at their discretion." [my emphasis]

The 1837 Charter was effectively but not explicitly revoked by the Architects Registration Act of 1931which created a separate registration body, ARCUK

It was formally revoked by the Supplemental Charter 1971 and Byelaws.

[2] Protection Of Architects' Function

With no protection of function, what purpose does the Charter serve?

Protection of architects' function for buildings over 170 m2 (as in France). Protection of function will enable architects to earn salaries commensurate with their training and responsibilities. With no protection of function, what purpose does the Charter serve?

3] RIBA President A Fully Salaried, Full Time, Position

Restructure RIBA. Make the office of RIBA President a fully salaried, full time, position for its two year period. This change will attract the best candidates.

Thus the President will be able to take a full sabbatical from his or her normal position.

[4] RIBA President To Run The Institute

Restructure the administrative staff at HQ to allow the full time President to run the Institute for the benefit of RIBA members, their professional values and the public.

Restructure the permanent administrative staff at HQ to allow the President to run the Institute in conjunction with the RIBA Board for the benefit of RIBA members, and the professional values and the public.

The new hierarchy at RIBA HQ will put the President at the top, performing the role Chief Executive.

The 1971 Act specifies that "The Council shall appoint an officer who shall be the principal executive officer of the Royal Institute Permanent staff... ":

It is unacceptable that non-architect, non-member, non-professional employees of our institute decide how members' fees are spent and allocated.

This 1971 stipulation will be challenged as unreasonable, interfering, illegal and detrimental to a professional body performing its function and serving the public interest.

We must change the culture of HQ permanent staff to remind them of their primary role in serving the members, the profession and its role in serving the public.

[5] Review Expenditure And Staffing At RIBA HQ

Review expenditure and staffing at RIBA HQ with a view to rationalisation and efficiency.

Thoroughly investigate all aspects of RIBA expenditure and staffing and rationalise the use of resources to the benefit of all RIBA members and their professional aims. You have a right to know what is done with your money. As a Councillor I will make sure you do know.

[6] Expand contact with overseas RIBA groups

Election Statement. Expand contact with overseas RIBA groups such as RIBA USA and with architects’ overseas professional bodies particularly in Europe.

Engage with overseas members and understand and act on their special concerns

Encourage contact with similar institutions abroad particularly in the European Union and harmonise professional principles

Take over ARBs role of coordination with EU architectural institutions and regulations

Foster professional and educational links with like bodies overseas (which a non-architect lead quango like ARB cannot do and has no incentive to do).

[7] Architecture Education Fit For Purpose

Election Statement. Ensure architecture education is fit for purpose. To this end survey the content of all RIBA courses.

Carry out a thorough ongoing surveys and scrutiny of RIBA registered schools of architecture

Establish teaching guidelines to make sure architects are being trained to serve the architectural practices, professional values, clients and the public at large

This is a particular concern of mine and in the last few years I ran the ‘wikisurvey’ of the content being taught at RIBA registered architectural schools. Its purpose is to track

  1. How well architectural courses are serving their students

  2. How well architectural courses are serving the firms that will be employing them

This results of this survey will be of benefit to the whole profession and the public at large.

[8] Promote Design Competitions

Promote design competitions to support the emergence of new practices.

Promote vigorously the use of open design competitions (not closed practice selection competitions), especially as a means for young new practices to develop.

The current game of musical chairs of established architects as alternatively judges and competitors to be ended

[9] Abolish Design Panels.

Abolish all design panels. These are contrary to the spirit of planning legislation and of democracy. Included in this is the quango, CABE, as being a harmful interference with professional advice that pits RIBA member against RIBA member.

Campaign to abolish the use of design panels by planning officers.

These are used as a means of asserting undue pressure on layman committees and are contrary to the spirit of planning legislation and of democracy.

Abolish the quango, CABE, as being a redundant, unwarranted and harmful interference with professional advice that pits RIBA member against RIBA member.

No panel member at the quango, CABE, can be deemed to have special insight that qualifies them to judge RIBA members’ work, make recommendations or to meddle in the democratic planning processes laid down by law.

[10] Use 66 Portland Place for the benefit of members

Use 66 Portland Place for the benefit of members. Focus the use of the building on representing the profession and its contribution to the culture and the public and away from the current sterile “up for rent” ambience.

Give preferential or free rates to RIBA members wishing to use meeting rooms at 66 Portland Place (at present they pay standard rate except for official RIBA events organised by the permanent staff)

Focus the use of the building on representing the profession and its contribution to the culture and the public and away from the current sterile “up for rent” ambience.

Use the superb exhibitions spaces to promote members' work as well as exhibitions from outside bodies whose aims are not contrary to those of the RIBA

[11] Keep the Library open

Election Statement. Keep the Library open at all times and available to researchers. The current management imposes very limited hours, pleading poverty of funds. This must seem petty-minded and philistine to outsiders. And it suggests an enormously inefficient use of resources overall.

Keep the British Architectural Library (usually referred to as the RIBA Library), open at all times, so that the building is open, for the benefit of members and researchers.

The library was established in 1837 upon the founding of the institute with donations from members on the assumption that it would be available to all. Now, with over four million items, it is one of the three largest architectural libraries in the world and the largest in Europe.

The current management imposes very limited hours, pleading poverty of funds in a note hung on the entrance door. This is a disgrace and an embarrassment to a prestigious professional institute.

Furthermore, it suggests an enormously inefficient use of resources overall. It only requires a minimum of one member of staff to be present at the library during opening times.

That this world important heritage is kept locked and out of view for much of the time is petty-minded and philistine. This surely cannot correspond to the wishes of the members

[12] COMMUNICATIONS WITH MEMBERS

The RIBA Journal is not a commercial magazine but is delivered to a captured clientele. The President should have more editorial control over the Journal to ensure that it addresses fully his or her concerns for developing the profession.

Change the remit of the RIBA emailed newsletters to allow publicity to any event run by RIBA members

(Currently the newsletters have a rule that they publish only events run by the RIBA itself or the permanent staff – so priority is currently given to permanent, non-architect, staff over RIBA members whose events, in my experience, are automatically refused publicity.


[13] OMBUDSMAN

To allow complaints against members’ conduct, replace that function of ARB by establishing an independent Ombudsman employing non RIBA members funded by the government with a contribution from the RIBA

The Ombudsman to be briefed to examine complaints against all types of RIBA members and practices not mainly small practices as ARB currently does. See

As described above, protection of function will reduce complaints and better ensure professional standards are maintained

[14] PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY

Campaign for project insurance (as in France) - not practice insurance as now

This will avoid the "long tail" of responsibility the current practice insurance produces

It will assess insurance project by project and so architects using tried and tested forms of construction will not be forced to subsidise claims on the more risky innovative forms as they are now

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peterkellow@peterkellowarchitecture.com