Over 150 of our stakeholders, partners, MPs, councillors and Planning Aid volunteers attended the annual RTPI parliamentary reception, held in the prestigious Attlee Suit within the House of Commons, on Wednesday evening (4 September).
The highlight of the invitation-only event in Westminster, which this year also formed part of the celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of Planning Aid, was a series of speeches from leading politicians, including Planning Minister, Nick Boles MP (pictured), Chairman of the CLG Select Committee, Clive Betts MP, and John Healey MP, the former planning Minister.
Nick Boles MP paid tribute to the constructive work of the RTPI and paid a special tribute Chief Executive Trudi Elliott CBE for her ‘outstanding work’ on the Taylor Guidance Review. He also said that without the skills and expertise of Planning Aid that there would be no effective policy of neighbourhood planning. John Healey said the RTPI was one of the most effective bodies in influencing public policy that he had ever dealt with and was extremely skilled at working with ministers. He also praised the ‘revolutionary’ work of Planning Aid over four decades. Clive Betts MP stressed the importance of good planning to economic growth and the well being of communities.
The reception was once again hosted by the Rt Hon Nick Raynsford MP, who also spoke. The evening was kindly sponsored by British Land.
Carl Sargeant AM, the Wales Minister for Housing and Regeneration, the Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and Annette Brooke, the senior Liberal Democrat MP, were also amongst the other distinguished guests.
A special presentation of commemorative cartoons to Planning Aid volunteers who helped start the service 40 years ago was very kindly made by Meg Munn MP, the former CLG minister and Planning Aid England patron.
Miles Price, Director, British Land, who sponsored the event said:
“To attract the number of MPs, Lords and senior planning professionals to the reception is testament to the high regard in which the Institute is held and the importance of planning at the moment.”
Peter Geraghty, RTPI President said: "It was a fantastic evening. We want to continue to ensure the voice of the RTPI is heard at every level enabling us to influence the policy debate."
See more pictures from the reception on our Flickr page.