‘Planners need to see things through the lens of local politics’, Helen Hayes MP told a gathering of RTPI Young Planners at parliament yesterday.
Helen Hayes, the planner turned MP for Dulwich and West Norwood met with 9 of the RTPI’s Young Planner Chairs during a meeting in parliament. They met with Helen, to discuss how to raise awareness of the profession among young people, to better understand the politics of planning and to discuss the impact of the EU Referendum outcome.
On politics, Helen stressed the need for planners to understand the political context they worked in and to be more vocal in a political way. She said the impact of the biggest political issue of the day, the country’s decision to leave the EU, on planning was the impact from the wider economy. She cited Housing Associations having increased difficulty borrowing from the European Investment Bank and funds that were investing in physical development withdrawing as examples.
Helen shared how the social impact of housing had drawn her into the planning profession and then into politics. There was agreement that more could be done to attract young people into the profession and that many students only came across planning by chance. She said that the idea of being a part of shaping your own future was a strong idea that attracted young people into the profession.
Helen reiterated her support for young planners and the profession at large. She will continue to be a champion for planning in the parliament, noting that planners have a ‘bigger perspective of what we need and where’.
Listen: Young Planners share their take home message from the meeting
Read: The Planner reports on Helen’s Planning Convention speech
Join: RTPI Young Planners