From: Peter Kellow RIBA
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Dear fellow Overseas RIBA Member
This is my second emailed newsletter to overseas RIBA members informing you of my intention to stand as an overseas RIBA Council member. I had a good response to the first email and I would like to thank all those who have supported me so far and for the interest they have shown in my proposals.
However I would like to have a few more signatures to make sure of my candidature.
My first email to you was rather detailed. If you did not have time to read it, it is available here
My primary aim is to secure an architectural profession and an RIBA to serve its architect members. As it stands the elected President shares control of the profession with the RIBA Chief Executive, Mr Harry Rich, and ARB headed by Chief executive, Ms Karen Holmes, and ARB Board Chair, Ms Beatrice Fraenkel. Of these only the RIBA President is an architect. The others have had at best only tangential connections with the profession during their careers.
I am not making a comment on how well the non-architects mentioned perform in the positions they hold. I am suggesting the structure of the profession is wrong.
The President is an unpaid position whilst, Mr Rich and Ms Holmes are full time employees and so in the day-to-day exercising of control the President is in a weak position. I believe this bad structure of the profession results in the interests of architect members of the RIBA being poorly served.
And from this it follows that the public are not being served as well as they could be by the profession.
The reason why I wish to stand for a seat on the RIBA Council is so that those who share my concerns will have a voice on the Council. I also intend to regularly report in Newsletters, like this one, on the activities and decisions being made in Council and at HQ on the running of the profession.
I wish to see the position of President as being full time and fully salaried. This will enable the President to properly address the concerns of members and take a hands-on role in the running of RIBA HQ.
I also wish to see (in line with the recently published important report The Farrell Review) ARB abolished and all its functions except discipline take in the RIBA. In any case ARB is badly structured to perform the disciplinary role as seven of its fifteen board members are architects and so there is an obvious conflict of interests.
The complaints procedure against architects and the consequent judgment and disciplinary measures should be taken over by an ombudsman who shall not be an architect and shall not employ any architects in his office.
I have many other concerns such as education and the access to the magnificent RIBA library as I set out in my previous email.
Expenditure at HQ is a major concern and as an RIBA Councillor I will keep an eye on this and report my findings in the Newsletters.
The Newsletters will contain a blog section where anyone will be able to comment.
Do you feel you know what goes on at HQ and what happens in RIBA Council? I certainly do not. And several responses I have received to the first email newsletter have made me aware of happenings I did not know about and could not have easily found out about elsewhere.
Openness is essential in a chartered profession.
One of my key roles as a Councillor will be to report and notify.
RIBA membership is not cheap as you know. And I have never met an RIBA member who did not ask themselves from time to time why they keep paying hundreds of pounds year by year. After just a few years it represents thousands. Can you say you know where the money went?
We know it was spent as the administrative staff are always pleading poverty. This is why, for example, they say the library cannot be kept open except for very limited hours and why members pay the standard public rate for hiring HQ facilities - facilities that the members themselves own!
You have a right to know what is done with your money. As a Councillor I will make sure you do know.
To make any progress I must have your support at the election later this year.
But what I need right now is for more overseas members to give me their signatures in support of my candidature.
If you will do this, simply reply yes to this email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email the form to you. You then provide your name, RIBA number, address and signature. That is all there is to it.
Time is closing down for submission of my candidature and so I would be grateful for your reply without delay.
It is time we had a better more responsive and open professional institution that fully represents the members and actively seeks to advance their interests and those of the clients and public they serve
Supporting my candidature is a first step towards this.
RIBA BA BArch
50 rue de la Marquette