The RTPI held a packed invite-only policy breakfast and it was standing room only at our lunch time debate at the Labour Party conference in Manchester last week.
The RTPI events at Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, are a regular feature at the party conferences and regularly attract some of the best attendances.
The RTPI team in Manchester, led by Vice President Janet Askew, put on an early morning policy discussion, very kindly sponsored by Savills, to discuss the topic 'Where next for planning?' Chaired by Janet, the panel comprised Shadow Planning Minister, Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, Savills Planning Director Jeremy Hinds, and RTPI Chief Executive Trudi Elliott. Over 40 planners, developers, delegates, and politicians attended.
Blackman-Woods said Labour did not envisage another major change to the planning system, praised the work of Planning Aid and said the party was looking at how more resources could be put into local authority planning departments.
In the afternoon, in partnership with the Chartered Institute for Highways and Transportation, the RTPI hosted an open debate: 'How can planning help deliver the infrastructure we need?' Key note speaker was Hilary Benn MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. He outlined Labour's plan for a more coordinated approach to infrastructure planning and called for more combined authorities to make this happen.
Listen to the debate
Janet Askew explains why the RTPI was at the conference and what she thought the big issues were. Click here to listen
The RTPI published a new paper at the conference on English strategic planning. The RTPI published proposals for strategic, larger-than-local planning in England. They draw on existing arrangements, but require much stronger incentives for cooperation and making plans for the future.
This activity is an important part of the Institute's annual programme of influencing, along with the activity with politicians in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.