In 2021, the RTPI team across the region, led by the north west Chair- Ian Gilbert, along with many other fantastic volunteers have excelled under the ever changing Covid-related restrictions we have found ourselves under. We owe a big thank you to Ian for his commitment and leadership as Chair throughout 2021. We are also sad to announce that long serving members, Julian Jackson, Justin Paul and Kim Cooper will call it a day on their years of voluntary commitments.
We can look back with pride and satisfaction at our achievements over the last 12 months. Not just within the RTPI, but the planning profession as a whole which has undoubtedly thrived across the north west. The private sector has continued to facilitate high quality and much needed development across the region to support the buoyant construction industry. Whilst planners within the public sector continue to operate effectively within smaller teams suffering limited government funding which has emerged as another key challenge for the planning industry. Despite this challenge, public sector teams continue to drive forward the levelling up agenda with millions of pounds of funding secured following bids for regeneration projects across the north west including areas such as Barrow-in-Furness, Pendle, Burnley and the Wirral. Garden Villages are beginning to spring up across the region in places like Carlisle, Handforth and Lancaster which are to be delivered by funding streams coordinated with the help of public sector planners.
2022 is now upon us and it is a year of even greater promise and excitement as we look ahead to a packed calendar which will ease us into a post-Covid world.
This year we aim to bring back the best of the in person events but not forget the benefits of attending sessions remotely. This is a key year to define the new norm for networking and CPD events. With this importance, great deliberation has been given to the events planned across 2022 and beyond which prioritises the support offered to members and reflects the emerging challenges the planning industry faces. These include key challenges such as the climate crisis and the housing crisis which are both central cogs within the governments levelling up agenda.
Building on our success of 2021, in the coming year we will aim to:
- Deliver a comprehensive calendar continuing to provide in-person and virtual attendance where possible to an even wider range of CPD and networking events targeting key topics, with reputable speakers.
- Following the formation of the LPA Champions, in 2022 we will look to explore how the RTPI can provide more support to public sector planners through this challenging time. This will be considered through engagement with the LPA Champions leading to specific CPD sessions and further support where possible.
- Support the diversification of the planning industry by promoting equality and diversity which is to be led by the recently formed Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) volunteer group and the Education, Careers and Mentoring volunteer group. The work these groups will carry out will aim to instil EDI principles within all aspects of the RTPI’s member offer and promote the planning profession to the next generation of planners.
- Define the role of planners and the planning industry within the climate emergency and integrate this within our sessions moving forward.
I’m sure you share my excitement looking towards 2022 to work together to tackle the challenges that are ahead, take the opportunities coming our way, and create a post-Covid world that we can thrive in for years to come.