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Victoria Hills: Keeping planning front and centre

Highlighting the importance of planning to Levelling Up

When Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a cabinet reshuffle in early February, the team at the RTPI knew we had a busy month ahead. We had built a strong working relationship with Christopher Pincher through his work as Housing Minster, always aiming to be a helpful, expert source of solutions.

We knew that, whoever came after him would need equal understanding of how integral planners are to levelling up the country. Fortunately, Housing Minister Stuart Andrew has already shown recognition of this.

On 22 February, I travelled into the heart of London, to Westminster, with the continued commitment to strengthening the common ground between town planners and the Government. I met with the new Housing Minister to discuss planning, planning reform, resourcing, working with and for communities, and local government.

I left with confidence, having seen the clear opportunity to work with Mr Andrew as we have with Mr Pincher, to utilise the full power of the planning system to support policy goals.

Meeting the Board of Trustees

There was little time to enjoy the increasingly pleasant spring mornings before diving into our first #InRealLife Board of Trustees Meeting of 2022. It is always a pleasure to meet with existing and  new trustees alike, but for a new year, we wanted to look to the future, and show our Trustees how we’re inspiring the next generation of planners.

it is our role as town planners to ensure that the future of built and natural environments is secured, and that means inspiring the best and brightest of the next generation

Fortunately, we have the perfect tool to do just that, our Planning Your World site, which was launched on 19 January. The site, which aims to inspire the next generation of planners through graphically inviting information on subject from green space to health and wellbeing, has seen almost 10,000 unique page views on the site since launch. We also hope it will de-mystify and myth-bust what planning does, and doesn’t do.

If you haven’t yet seen it, I highly recommend visiting the site and sharing it with friends and family – it is our role as town planners to ensure that the future of built and natural environments is secured, and that means inspiring the best and brightest of the next generation.

International Women’s Day, every day

It’s the RTPI’s sincere pleasure to host RTPI Member and planner Jennie Daly at our event  in partnership with Women in Planning, and supported by No 5 Chambers, on 8 March International Women’s Day 2022. This years #IWD theme is #BreakTheBias, and there will be much to celebrate, not least because it marks the first major in-person event hosted by the RTPI since the start of the pandemic in over two years.

Daly, our key speaker at the event, is an inspiration not only to women in planning, but to the industry as a whole, having recently been appointed CEO of Taylor Wimpey. Daly is the first female to hold this role, and one of a handful of female CEOs at FTSE 100 companies.

But I’m not waiting until 8 March to amplify the voices of women. In February alone, I sat down with Founder of BAME Planners Network Helen Fadipe, co-founder of Women in Planning Alison Mackay, Leeds Becket University’s Dr Karen Horwood, and Jean Marshall Chief Planning Officer at Wiltshire Council, and caught up with Joanna Averley, England’s Chief Planning Officer, to listen to what they had to say about the industry. Not only did I learn about the essential work they’re doing within their fields, but found inspiration in fellow women progressing an industry that is no longer male-dominated. I look forward to seeing many more women in planning celebrated as the next week unfolds.

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