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New chairs for RIBA Wessex, RIBA South West and RIBA Gloucestershire

02 September 2019

RIBA Wessex and RIBA South West have new regional chairs, with Tom Bell becoming RIBA Wessex chair and Rachael Gaunt becoming RIBA South West chair from 1 September 2019.

Tom, from Gloucester-based Roberts Limbrick, has been the RIBA Wessex chair elect for the past year and RIBA Gloucestershire chair since 2016; and will now serve as RIBA Wessex chair for a two-year term to August 2021.

Tom said, "It is a privilege to represent RIBA Wessex. Members across the region are the 'grass roots' and backbone of the RIBA and we need to be better at celebrating them, utilising their expertise to support legislative change, increase our industry-wide voice of influence and better engage with policymakers. The strength of the RIBA is defined by the strength of our members, and with a robust financial platform, we can achieve more in the regions."

A three-way regional council election was recently held for the RIBA South West chair which resulted in a drawn result between Rachael, a director at St Ives-based PBWC Architects and Jane Hamlyn from Wadebridge-based Atelier 3 Architects. RIBA South West Regional Council unanimously endorsed a proposal that Rachael becomes chair for the first year of the term. Jane becomes chair elect and takes on the role of chair on 1 September 2020.

Rachael said, "I look forward to working with members and officers in the year ahead on behalf of the South West region. I will ensure that the needs of the members that I represent penetrate the inner core of the RIBA for the benefit of profession and the places we create as architects, collaborators, leaders and enablers."

Jane said, "I am delighted to be joining the RIBA South West committee as chair elect. Ensuring branches are properly supported will be a priority as often the local initiatives provide so many important opportunities to collaborate with the public, communities and other professionals as well as each other. I’m looking forward to supporting our new chair and playing an active role in the region."

Both regional councils, the regional team, and all our supporters would like to thank our outgoing chairs Rebecca Ridge (Wessex), and Oswald Chung (South West) for all their dedication, enthusiasm, ideas, drive and team building through their terms. Rebecca and Oswald remain on the two regional councils serving a year as Immediate Past Chair.

RIBA Gloucestershire has a new chair, with Shivam Garg of Roberts Limbrick taking the helm of this active branch from 1 September for a two-year term. Shivam has served as the RIBA Gloucestershire chair elect for the past year.

Shivam said: "I intend to promote sustainable architecture, innovative practice and awareness towards mental health and wellbeing for all architecture students and professionals within Gloucestershire. I wish to thank our members for the trust placed in me, and I assure you all that I shall diligently represent our concerns at every platform available to me."

View the contact details and names of the RIBA Wessex and RIBA South West regional council members and branch chairs.

Rachael Gaunt (left) and Tom Bell (right)

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