Happy New Year from RTPI London: Review of 2016

On behalf of RTPI London I would like to wish all members a Happy New Year.

I was delighted with the opportunity to be chair in 2016, in what was an incredibly exciting time for the capital with the Mayoral election. When I was elected to the position of Junior Vice Chair, I noted that I wanted to build the RTPI’s inter professional links within London, bolster the Planning Aid service and increase membership and the diversity of our committee. These main aims and those linked to mayoral series formed part of a 5 point plan for the region, on which the business plan has been developed.  This is an opportunity to reflect on these elements

Capitalise on the opportunity of the mayoral election to shape the planning debate

The region ran a series of debate sessions on main planning issues ahead of the election. The events on health, transport, strategic planning, environment, housing and devolution have been carved. The series culminated in a planning summit on the 27th October, charting the initial actions of the new Mayor. Attended by over 100 people this was a real opportunity to boost the profile of the institute.

Continue to build links with other inter professional bodies and wider RTPI networks.

We were delighted that we had the opportunity to work with inter professional bodies to deliver an inter professional hustings which was highly effective and we managed to engage with parties with our planning asks. Further we are integrating with RTPI networks and non planning firms on some of our other events.

Ensure as sustainable Planning Aid service in London.

We launched Planning Aid England in London earlier this year and now have a healthy membership and a keen task group to help shape our outreach and other activities. The focus for 2016 is learning from other regions, particularly the work conducted by the West Midlands region on a sustainable planning system.

Ensuring core CPD events are delivered.

We need to add value for members by organising a series of topical, useful CPD sessions. We have become known for the core events which are increasingly popular. These included the Law update, CIL and regular APC events. We delivered 33 events across the year.

Increasing membership and the breadth of our committee – The region has an increasing number of members, but the number of chartered members has declines, retired membership has increased and licentiates / students have increased. The region is keen to ensure that we engage with our members and ensure that student and licentiate members become chartered by giving them the support they need. To that end we engaged with Universities and ran APC events, we are wrote to all LPA’s and RTPI Learning Partners, providing a bulletin of activities and encouraging participation. Further we want to ensure a diverse and effective committee.

The above is recognised in our 2016 Annual Report, which we will post on the website. It has been a great opportunity to be chair which I have thoroughly enjoyed.  I want to take this opportunity to thank our 2016 Regional Management Board (RMB) and Activities Committee (RAC) for all of their hard work throughout the year to make this possible and for those moving away from the region, we wish you the best of luck.

We look forward to a great year in 2017 under the stewardship of Annabel Osborne our 2017 chair.

Andrew Dorrian (RTPI London Chair: 2016)

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