The RTPI’s General Assembly is the debating forum of the Institute and meets three times per year. Here is a brief synopsis of what happened at the last meeting on Wednesday 15th January 2014…
Sir John Armitt, Chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) presented to General Assembly members on the influential independent Armitt Review of infrastructure planning, commissioned by the Labour Party. In his speech, Sir John talked about how the ODA has been a successful governance model for delivery which has now been translated into a Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC). He also discussed the conclusions of the review, which include establishing a statutory body – the Independent Infrastructure Commission appointed by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor – and the production of 30-year plans, subject to parliamentary approval. Sir John described how he has now been tasked with drafting a White Paper to further develop the Labour Party’s emerging proposals for national infrastructure planning. You can listen to a podcast of the talk or view the presentation slides.
Sir John’s talk coincided with the launch of the RTPI’s new policy paper: Capturing the Wider Benefits of Investment in Transport Infrastructure. The paper proposes hat infrastructure projects which could help deliver housing and employment are being held back because they do not pass narrowly-focused cost-benefit analyses and do not make full use of the ‘spatial planning’ skills of planners.
General Assembly also saw the presentation of the President’s Special Award for Planning Achievement which went to the Olympic Legacy Development Corporation (OPLC) and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).
Bob Neill MP, Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party and former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DCLG also presented to General Assembly. Bob talked about the formation of the Conservative Party’s pre-2010 election green paper ‘Open Source Planning’ and how this shaped the party’s manifesto, the coalition agreement and the current policies of the government.
Andrew Taylor, the Chair of the RTPI’s Board of Trustees, reported to General Assembly on some of the key activities if the Institute in recent months and also updated on the RTPI’s Centenary Projects, ‘Proud of Planners’ initiative and the results of the recent RTPI Member Survey.
During the meeting, there were also presentations of Outstanding Service Awards to John Acres and Owain Wyn, a presentation on ‘The Collaborating Planner’ research project by Mark Tewdwr-Jones and Ben Clifford and a presentation on “machizukuri” and neighbourhood planning following a visit to Japan by George Pepler Award winner, Lorayne Woodend.
The meeting closed with a speech by Dr Peter Geraghty, outgoing President for 2013 and the inauguration of Cath Ranson as new President for 2014.