Planners back place-base budgeting, according to the Royal Town Planning Institute, in its response to the call for evidence by the Local Government Innovation Taskforce, a body set up by the Local Government Association’s Labour Group. Composed of Council Leaders and Mayors from across England, the Taskforce’s report will feed into the Labour Party’s manifesto-making process.
The Institute supports place-based budgeting as the process “improves the efficiency of the planner in achieving positive outcomes for the community."
The RTPI’s submission pressed homed the point that government is fragmented and not geared to delivering growth: “Ultimately, whilst many ministers and local politicians and public and private employees have individual responsibilities within their portfolios, it is a major concern of ours that it is no-one’s responsibility to see that the growth in homes and jobs that individual communities need is actually delivered. This would be easier with greater local decision making on priorities.”
It is a major concern of ours that it is no-one’s responsibility to see that the growth in homes and jobs that individual communities need is actually delivered.
The Institute added: “We are also concerned about the costs to efficiency of the delays to development brought about by the necessity to achieve coordination of numerous national bodies before development can take place. The RTPI’s recent housing paper shows how getting sites off the ground is often delayed by getting agreement between different players to fund infrastructure.”
The RTPI also emphasised the role that planners can play in delivering place-based budgeting: “the planning profession is well placed to assist: planners can play a pivotal role in overseeing and reflecting on participatory budgeting and ‘total place’ initiatives. This is because the training and experience of planners is especially focussed on individual places and in drawing together different specialisms. Planners are also beneficial to the process of getting places to work in that they are trained and experienced in producing evidence-based strategies for the future of places.”
The RTPI’s evidence was prepared with substantial input from Professor Janice Morphet, University College London, and Gavan Rafferty MRTPI of Ulster University.