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RTPI issues UK general election guidance

30 March 2015

While there are clear boundaries about what we can do as a charity, we are encouraging our members to engage with the election debates to promote the value of planning and help us advocate our position on important policy issues such as housing, strategic planning and devolution.

Summary: what the law says

The RTPI's objective as defined by its Charter is, "to advance the science and art of planning (including town and country and spatial planning) for the benefit of the public". We operate under charitable law - there is also additional law governing what charities are permitted to do in relation to elections.

We are seeking to ensure that what the political manifestos contain are workable policies, underpinned by sound planning principles. Members, where they wish to, can support and reinforce what we do by contacting their prospective MPs to restate the importance of good positive planning.

Broadly, the principles are that a charity can seek to further its object(s) by campaigning so long as it does not influence or seek to influence the way that people vote or the outcome of the election.

Ballot Box New

The RTPI does not and should not therefore seek to influence how its members or the public vote. We work with politicians from all political parties to promote good planning and good planning policy in line with our objective and in accordance with the law. This does not mean, of course, that we cannot make our views known to the political parties.

Getting involved 

We are seeking to ensure that what the political manifestos contain are workable policies, underpinned by sound planning principles. Based on our established positions and policies we have published a summary of our asks of government and the planning solutions we have been putting forward.

Members, where they wish to, can support and reinforce what we do by contacting their prospective MPs to restate the importance of good positive planning. We can help you find out who your parliamenatry candidates are

RTPI regions and nations can find information and advice on how to organise or be a part of hustings events on our election web site pages. 

For more information on all aspects relating to the UK general election see our election guidance pages.

For information generally about charities and elections see the Charity Commission (for England and Wales) and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.