Architectural watchdog to slash jobs amid concern over Tory ‘bonfire of quangos’

Cabe is to lose one of its six directors in a pre-election restructure, amid speculation over the future of the body.

Building understands that an internal process, to be carried out over the next month, will result in a number of staff being selected for redundancy, including one of its six directors.

Cabe refused to confirm that a director was on the way out, but admitted a restructure was planned. Matt Bell, director of campaigns and education, played down the decision. He said: “A lot of organisations are going through a tightening of belts at the moment and Cabe is no different.”

The news follows speculation about the future of the body, which is considered to be at risk of being part of a “bonfire of the quangos” after the next election.

However, there had been more optimism at the body in recent weeks after Grant Shapps, the shadow housing minister, said the bonfire would be more of a “barbecue”. In September, Ed Vaizey, the shadow culture minister, said that he was “a huge fan” of Cabe, while warning that the quango needed to maintain a distinctive remit from others.

Bell denied that the move had been forced on Cabe by the government or that it had received any indication of a budget cut.

The total number of jobs lost at the 130-strong body is unlikely to reach double figures. However, those close to the organisation are privately concerned that important areas of its remit will be quietly dropped, with sources saying they are particularly worried about education.

It is felt that Cabe Space, the arm that focuses on public space, is likely to be protected. It is also thought design reviews, while being criticised by some, are integral to the organisation’s remit, and will continue.

The timescale of the job losses means that decisions will have been made before Paul Finch, the new chair, takes up his position in December.