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Kerslake elected honorary RTPI member

Words: Laura Edgar
Lord Kerslake and RTPI vice president Stephen Wilkinson

The RTPI has elected Lord Kerslake as an honorary member in recognition of his “outstanding contribution” to helping promote the value of town planning.

The institute has also awarded honorary membership to its former head of communications Tino Hernandez, and Lord Taylor of Goss Moor.

Phil Williams, president, RTPI, said: “I am thrilled to welcome our new honorary members of the institute. Their passion for town planning has made them excellent ambassadors for our profession. Through their work with the institute they have contributed to its reputation as the authoritative champion of planning and planners.”

Kerslake is the former head of the civil service and current chair of Peabody, a London-based housing association, and London’s King College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as well as the president of the Local Government Association. He has championed planning across the highest level of the public service with a strong interest in communities and local government policy, said the RTPI.

Kerslake’s work includes chairing think tank IPPR’s commission into affordable homes in London in 2015, serving as a permanent secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government, being the first chief executive of the Home and Communities Agency and being awarded a knighthood in 2004 for services to local government.

He said: “I am delighted and honoured to accept the honorary membership. Throughout my career I’ve sought to maximise the benefits to the community through planners and the planning system. I look forward to working with the RTPI to promote the value of planning to society.”

Presenting the honorary membership, Stephen Wilkinson, vice-president of the RTPI, said Kerslake had made an “enormous” contribution to promoting the value of planning in creating prosperous places and vibrant communities.

“He has been a tireless advocate for the profession and it is my privilege to present him with honorary membership on behalf of the institute.”

Taylor has, said the RTPI, made a significant contribution to rural planning issues over 30 years, including as a special adviser to the government. He has conducted major national planning policy reviews for Labour and the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition governments.

Hernandez was the head of communications and public affairs at the RTPI for over 10 years until June 2016. He has been an “outstanding ambassador” for the planning profession, enhancing the reputation of the institute with members, the public, the government, development industry and other stakeholders.