The RTPI held one of its most successful annual parliamentary receptions on Wednesday as over 125 guests, including the housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis, MPs, and members of the House of Lords, joined our President Janet Askew for an evening of networking, debate and discussion, very kindly sponsored by British Land.
The event, the first with our new parliamenatry advisor, Bob Neill MP, (pictured left)attracted a wide range of parliamentarians. Apart from the minister, two select committee chairman and the Shadow Secretary of State were part of a strong group of politicians from across the parties.
Brandon Lewis (pictured below), who had prioritised attending the reception on a night when he had many other calls on his time, praised the role planning and planners were playing in helping to create economic growth and places where communities want to live and work. He called planning departments 'the economic heart beat of local authorities' and argued they needed to be properly funded and valued by council leaderships. Planning was not simply a function of control but an essential tool to promote growth and great places. Clive Betts, Chair of the influencial Communities and Local Government Select Committee, also spoke. He urged the Government to genuinely value planning and to make changes to the Housing and Planning Bill to reflect this.
View photos from the evening.
(Adrian Penfold, British Land, Bob Neill MP, Janet Askew, RTPI, Clive Betts MP).