Message from Wendy Hague, RTPI East of England Regional Chair 2017 (pictured left, receiving the Regional chain of office from 2016 Regional Chair, Michael Hand)
"Planning in the Spotlight"
The New Year began with a government announcement about garden villages and towns. This was covered in detail by the media and provoked many a discussion in households on the Bank Holiday Monday. The RTPI issued a statement on 4th January and Trudi Elliott CBE, RTPI Chief Executive, referred to the fact that many of these settlements have been part of Councils' planning strategies for some time... planners in the public and the private sectors are at the centre of this growth agenda.
However, as we know, new settlements are only part of the answer to address housing need. The role of planners in articulating the debate about the management of growth and the measures required to mitigate adverse effects is essential to our prosperity, particularly at a time of uncertainity about the direction of travel post the Referendum. The skills we possess as a profession are critical to delivering goals and reducing risk.
So as your new Regional Chair, I would like to urge you not to under-estimate your importance and to look forward to 2017 with renewed vigour and confidence.
The incoming Chairs for the Nations and Regions met in London on 14 December 2016. We were asked to present our objectives for 2017. One of mine was to establish stronger links with academic institutions within the East of England. The shortage of experienced planners is particularly acute in the East of England. We need to encourage more young people to consider the profession as a career.
The RTPI's Future Planners initiative aims to inspire and support the next generation of town planners. As part of that project, RTPI members can volunteer to attend careers events, give talks to students, run school activities, anything that gets young people talking about planning and promoting planning as a career. If you would like more information, please see the weblink above to register as a volunteer Ambassador. By registering, you will receive regular e-bulletins and news on the Future Planners project. Not sure? Contact the Regional office for more information.
Given the constraints upon training budgets, we also need to deliver CPD events which meet your needs in the most efficient way possible. We will be discussing the results of the recent Regional Member Survey at a forthcoming Meeting of the Regional Activities Committee and we will endeavour to tailor our CPD programme based upon this survey.
I look forward to seeing you at conferences and seminars over the coming months.
The Regional Management Board met on 5 January 2017. We expressed our gratitude to Michael Hand for all of his hard work as Chair over the last year and to Jackie Ward who has served as Honorary Secretary for four years and is now stepping down.
Should you wish to contact me this year, the contact e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Wendy Hague, Regional Chair,
RTPI East of England 2017