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Simon Creer: The RTPI’s campaign engagement

Simon Creer is the RTPI's Director of Communications

The RTPI’s ambition is to be the collective voice for planning and argue the case as publicly as possible for our 27,000 members.

The calling of a general election is the perfect opportunity for us to do that, but recent changes to the rules regulating campaigning and political activity mean that Royal Chartered organisations like ours need to be necessarily cautious to protect our independence. 

That said we recognise through the results of our member value proposition survey that the majority of members expect and demand that we advocate on their behalf and argue the case for the profession of planning.

We endeavour to do that and have been doing so with our more robust and resourced communications and public affairs functions as well as the professional expertise of our policy and research teams. You will hopefully have seen activities such as our State of the Profession report, our Planifesto which we launched at Party Conferences in October of 2023 and the impact we've had on the recent Levelling Up and Regeneration Act. 

However, we must collectively recognise the need to remain non-partisan and operate within our area of expertise.  As such we will be making the case for planning and not for individual parties or candidates and we'll endeavour to recognise that a membership as large and diverse as ours is unlikely to have a single unified opinion. We're also making the RTPI's in-house expertise available to members and volunteers through the guidance on our Volunteer Hub which you can use to help you deliver any RTPI events and other activities within the rules during this pre-election period.

That is why the policies we are advocating and arguing for have been agreed by our standing England Policy Committee and National Directors.

It is anticipated that planning and housing will likely play a prominent role in the debates during the election campaigns and we will strive to include ourselves in those debates on our membership’s behalf being mindful that we represent people from across the political spectrum, who have a shared ambition that planning in the UK be the best it can possibly be and provide the positive outcomes for the population that we all know it can.

The RTPI General Election 2024 hub will be your one stop shop for the activities of the institute and provide you and the public at large with useful information on our activities, positions and more broadly the important part that a properly resourced planning system can play across the UK.

We will strive to do everything we can to be the collective voice of the profession in a way the represents the benefits of planning to as wide an audience as possible.

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