Letter from Cabe boss to staff suggests option of a merger has been dismissed although future is still unclear

The possibility of a merger between design watchdog Cabe and English Heritage has been ruled out although other options, including scrapping the quango, are still being considered by the government.

Building has seen a letter (see below) sent by Richard Simmons, Cabe chief executive, to staff this morning which states there will be no merger with the heritage organisation.

In the letter he apologises for the fact that “the uncertainty of our future continues”.


Today’s letter from Richard Simmons


As you know we were expecting the final conclusion of the Public Bodies Review so far as it affects CABE today. You may have heard Francis Maude on the Today programme this morning explaining that today’s announcement by the Cabinet Office is principally, in fact, about those bodies whose reform requires their inclusion in the Public Bodies Bill, which is due to be laid before Parliament shortly. He said that the review has not yet been concluded for a number of bodies which do not require legislation to reform them.

Today’s announcements about CABE therefore fall into two parts:

Firstly, DCMS will confirm that it does not intend to merge CABE into English Heritage. That would have been something which needed legislation, so one uncertainty has been removed.

Secondly, the Cabinet Office has confirm Ned that the other options for CABE’s “reform” are still under consideration. As our legislation already allows for us to be changed without an act of Parliament, we fall into the category of arms length bodies referred to by Mr Maude as still under review.

DCMS and CLG have not yet been able to tell me what the timetable is for the conclusion of the review in CABE’s case. I will obviously let you know when they do.

I am sorry that the uncertainty about our future continues. I was expecting to be able to give you the result but, to be fair, we do know that the workload for the civil service and ministers conducting the review has been immense, so it is logical that priority should be given to matters which need to go into the Bill. Meanwhile, we can only carry on keeping calm and carrying on. We must remain patient, excellent and confident.