Planning Authority of the Year
South Staffordshire Council
South Staffordshire Council are a small authority facing a number of challenges with much of the authority been washed over by Green Belt. They have a diverse team of planners and seek to provide high professional standards which is evidenced by the number of Chartered Planners within the team alongside those who are going through the Chartered Process with the support of more senior members of staff. The Council are aiming to make significant changes to service delivery, including bringing services back in-house and delivering a Local Plan through challenging political circumstances nationally and having a large extent of Green Belt within the District.
Judges‘ comment: "The Council also demonstrated their ability to work cross boundary to address issues such as air quality and climate change adaptation. They have an excellent promotion of continued professional development and supporting more junior members of the team. They offer (amongst other things) graduate planner posts, apprenticeships, secondments, buddying and work shadowing. They are also seeking to work closely through engagement with secondary schools to demonstrate how planning seeks to deliver the specific needs of the community such as an ageing population and gypsy and traveller families, further enhancing their Equality, Diversity and Inclusive objectives. The Council is making great strides towards improving service delivery, working with the corporate partners and enhancing the planning profile in what is a challenging environment"