With a general election only a matter of months away, members of the RTPI's General Assembly gathered in London, on Wednesday, October 20, 2009, to question Conservative and Liberal Democrat front-bench spokespersons about their latest thinking on policies and proposals for the future of the planning system and the profession.
Conservative Shadow Planning Minister Bob Neill MP (pictured right) and the Liberal Democrat lead in the House of Lords on local government Baroness Sally Hamwee briefed the elected assembly members and sparked a lively debate during the question-and-answer session.
Both parties paid special tribute to the hundreds of RTPI members who volunteer for Planning Aid.
The highly topical session was organised in the wake of the recent party conferences, which were also attended by the RTPI, where we ran a busy programme of meetings – including with John Healey MP, the Minister for Housing and Planning – and activities, all aimed at influencing the parties' election manifestos.
The RTPI has, over the past year, put extra resources into this area of work, and views positive engagement with each of the political parties as vital to highlighting the key role that planning has to play in delivering national and local economic, social and environmental objectives.