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BUILT ENVIRONMENT CHIEF RESIGNS AHEAD OF WHITEHALL FINDINGS

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Stuart Lipton has announced his intention to step down as chairman of the Commission for Architecture and the Built...
Stuart Lipton has announced his intention to step down as chairman of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

Sir Stuart said:

'It has always been my intention to step down once the appointment of CABE's new chief executive, Richard Simmons was announced, and I feel it is appropriate to announce my intention on the eve of publication of the findings of the independent audit of CABE's activities to enable the organization to respond freely to the report's recommendations.

'I am glad to have been of service in chairing CABE through its first five years and have received tremendous support from my colleagues and from government. I know that I am handing on a mature and high achieving organisation that will go from strength to strength, and DCMS and CABE are considering the best date for my departure, in order to ensure a smooth hand-over to the new chief executive.

'I would like to pay tribute to all those who I have worked with in the organisation both staff, commissioners, the wider CABE family, and our sponsor departments in government, DCMS and ODPM. I would also like to thank the heritage minister, Lord McIntosh, and all those who have contributed to the independent audit. I am sure the report's findings will give useful guidance for the future.

'CABE is one of the most imaginative creations of the present government. I was honored to be appointed by ministers to lead the organization during its formative years. I have no doubt that with continued support CABE will fulfill its mission of making this country a world leader in the design of public and private buildings and places. And I believe that it has been hugely successful in its original goal of injecting architecture into the bloodstream of the nation and helping transform people's quality of life.'

Sir Stuart has been chairman of CABE since 1999, having been reappointed by the secretary of state in the summer of 2002. Under his leadership, CABE has become a highly regarded and influential organisation. Newly released results of a comprehensive stakeholder review, undertaken by the Office for Public Management Ltd between October 2003 and March 2004 show:

* 94% of national, regional and local partners expressed satisfaction with CABE's performance (100% of local partners, 91% of regional partners, and 87% of national partners).

* 86% of clients who had submitted a scheme to CABE's design review committee said they found the process useful and three quarters (77%) had altered their design in light of comments made by CABE.

* 75% of clients who had worked with a CABE Enabler believe that this assistance will mean they have a higher quality building or project at the end of the process.

This provides a very strong endorsement of CABE's performance and Sir Stuart's leadership over the last five years.

Paying tribute to the achievements of Sir Stuart, deputy chairman Paul Finch said:

'CABE's commissioners would like to put on record our enormous admiration for the work that Sir Stuart has contributed. His leadership, drive and enthusiasm have been an example to all, and set the tone for the successful organisation that he has been so instrumental in creating.

'Of course we accept and understand Sir Stuart's decision to step down as chairman, especially after five years of exceptionally hard work, but we do so with regret.

'We look forward to fine-tuning CABE in the light of the auditor's report, and will do so in the spirit of constructive engagement which has been the hallmark of Sir Stuart's chairmanship.'

Notes

Sir Stuart Lipton Hon FRIBA is chairman of CABE and Stanhope plc. His developments include Stockley Park in West London, the Broadgate Complex in the City of London, Chiswick Park and the PFI project for the refurbishment of the Treasury in Whitehall. He is a trustee of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and a governor of London School of Economics. Sir Stuart was previously a board member of the Royal National Theatre and a trustee of the Architecture Foundation. From 1988 to 1999 he was a member of the Royal Fine Art Commission.

The purpose of CABE is to demonstrate the ability of great architecture and urban design to transform people's quality of life.

CABE's key achievements under Stuart Lipton's leadership include:

* establishing on behalf of the Prime Minister, the Better Public Buildings campaign (and award scheme) which has seen a marked uplift in the quality of new schools, courts and other public buildings

* initiating the Building for Life campaign, through which CABE has encouraged and influenced volume house builders to improve the quality of their product

* launching CABE Space, to champion the importance of parks and other green and public spaces.

* In 2003/04 alone, 370 building and urban design schemes were reviewed by CABE's Design Review programme, a 25% increase on the previous year; 5,300 training days were delivered to local councillors, highway engineers and property developers; and£2m was awarded to 17 architecture centres across England.

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