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Engagement in the planning process for elected members

Organised by Planning Aid England - South West Task Group
03 November 2021 at 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM / South West England / England / Online

03 November 2021 at 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Price from
RTPI South West | [email protected]

This webinar focuses on the ways in which elected members can engage in the planning process. Speakers include two planning professionals and an elected member who will share their experiences and good practice tips on planning committee, engagement in the Local Plan process and neighbourhood planning.

The webinar is primarily aimed at elected members but could be useful for anyone who is interested in how elected members engage in planning.  If you are a politician working in planning then consider joining the Politicians in Planning Network

As this event has been organised by volunteers on the South West Task Group for Planning Aid England (PAE), the Chair will also give a short presentation on the services that PAE provides for the general public.     

Please get in contact to [email protected] should you have any questions in advance, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions on the day. Please note, this event is not intended to constitute formal member training, but as a useful supplement to your relevant council's training programme.

Please find more information about PAE here:


  • Tim Burton
    Tim is a Chartered Town Planner with over 30 years of experience working for local authorities in the south west, most recently as Head of Planning for Taunton Deane and West Somerset Councils. In 2019 Tim set up Tim Burton Planning Ltd, which carries out reviews and training for local authorities, as well as helping private sector clients navigate the planning system.  Tim has recently delivered training and reviews for several Councils on behalf of the Planning Advisory Service. This has focussed upon good Planning Committee decision making, often working alongside a Councillor peer. Tim is a member (and sometimes Chair) of a Design Review Panel that undertakes design reviews across the country as well as being a volunteer for the RTPI(SW) as a member of the Regional Activities Committee and the Planning Aid Task Group.

  • Rebecca Smith
    Councillor Rebecca Smith has been Chair of Plymouth City Council Planning Committee since May 2021. She has been a member of the Planning Committee since her election to Plymstock Radford Ward in 2018. As well as serving as a City Councillor, Rebecca also works part time for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as Public Engagement Coordinator (SW region) and for a local MP on a range of local and regional issues.

  • Stuart Todd
    Stuart Todd is a chartered town planner with 25 years' experience and is Director of Stuart Todd Associates, a single consultant planning consultancy.  Stuart has experience of supporting well over 50 parish and town councils in developing Neighbourhood Plans at all stages of the process, and supports local authority planning teams in this specialist area and on other various areas of planning policy work. Stuart also specialises in planning for sport and active lifestyles, for example completing various sports and pitch strategies and sustainable travel plans, and the consultancy has recently been awarded a place on Sport England's Consultancy Framework. Prior to establishing the consultancy in 2012 Stuart worked across regional county, unitary and district levels of the public sector in the south-east, east and south-west of England.  Stuart also sits on the South West Design Review Panel, is a member of the Town and Country Planning Association and is a school Governor and Enterprise Advisor for a secondary school in Taunton