Craig McLaren outlines RTPI Scotland’s achievements in 2013.
RTPI Scotland has just published its Annual Report for 2013. I may be biased but I think that it shows that RTPI Scotland has had an exceptionally busy and productive year. Key headlines include:
• 65 events have been held for members across Scotland. The very large majority of these were either free or low-cost and were attended by around 2000 people. These include 52 events organised by Chapters: 7 in Dumfries and Galloway, 5 in East Scotland, 7 in Edinburgh, Lothians, Borders and Fife, 7 in Grampian, 12 in the Highlands and Islands; 10 in the West of Scotland Chapter and 4 in the Central Scotland. We have had events in Inverness, Dumfries, Perth, Falkirk, Stirling, Loch Lomond, Glasgow, Dundee, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. These have covered a range of issues from, town centres, the 3rd National Planning Framework, processing agreements, the historic environment, battlefields, planning law, National Parks and fracking to name but a few!
• It also includes 10 events organised by Scottish Young Planners Network (including 2 workshops on the Assessment of Professional Competence and a Career Development event attended by 100 recent graduates and students and which included a presentation by Derek Mackay MSP, Minister for Local Government and Planning.
• 1 Annual Conference, 1 Sir Patrick Geddes Commemorative Lecture and 1 Scottish Young Planners’ Conference were held attracting 330 delegates
• 20 responses have been submitted to consultation documents issued by Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and other bodies covering issues including the National Marine Plan, the review of the Scottish Planning Policy document, allotments, the National Planning Framework, community
empowerment, town centres, regeneration, tourism and land reform
• Oral evidence was given to Parliament on 2 occasions on planning’s role in tackling climate change and on planning performance
• 8 Briefing Papers have been published for MSPs and other stakeholders
• RTPI Scotland has participated in over 23 working/ advisory groups including those dealing with the 3rd National Planning Framework, the Town Centres Review and the Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill
• We have over 1600 followers on our @RTPIScotland and @NikolaMiller Twitter accounts and 600 Members on the RTPI Scotland Linked In discussion page
• 6 editions of Scottish Planner have been published, each sent to around 2,500 people including RTPI members, MSPs, Planning Convenors and key stakeholders
So a busy and productive year and it doesn’t look like slowing down in 2014. Work will need to continue on influencing the National Planning Framework, the emerging Scottish Planning Policy, the National Marine Plan and the Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill. We will also be looking at issues around the historic environment, the proposed new Place Standard for Scotland and the ongoing pursuit of improved performance of planning authorities. And that’s on top of the work we will be doing to celebrate the Institute’s Centenary, where we have just launched an ambitious initiative to try to find Scotland’s top ten best places which have been built, enhanced or protected by planners, planning and the planning system since 1914.