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Public sector capacity bolstered by Public Practice

Words: Laura Edgar
Increasing capacity / iStock-1198225660

Public Practice has announced that 25 associates have been placed in 18 local authorities as part of its eighth cohort.

Placements have been made at borough councils, county councils, development corporations, shared planning services and unitary councils.

Public Practice supports public sector authorities in London, the South East and the East of England to identify gaps in the capacity of planning and place shaping teams.

It matches skilled candidates to year-long placements with local authorities.

This cohort comprises a number of placements to respond to the climate crisis. For example, Westminster City Council sought a place-shaping and sustainability officer; Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council was looking for a sustainability project manager; Watford Council wanted a transport planning manager to address sustainability; and Greater Cambridge Shared Planning has gained a principal landscape architect to address sustainability.

Public Practice said it continues to see a high demand for architecture, urban design and masterplanning roles including Buckinghamshire Council and Basildon Borough Council. The London boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Southwark sought people for digital roles.

Associates include Jane Briginshaw, who has a wealth of experience across the public and private sectors and will join Buckinghamshire Council; Lucy Bullivant, a place strategist, author and curatorial director known for advocating for social value and participatory placemaking; and Ketan Lad, an experienced architect who has worked at Stirling Prize-winning Maccreanor Lavington Architects and holds a teaching positions at Central Saint Martins and RIBA North West. Bullivant will work with Westminster City Council and Lad will join Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation.

Pooja Agrawal, CEO of Public Practice, said: “Despite the challenges we see the public sector facing post-Covid-19, I continue to be inspired by the people who apply to our programme who are driven by social justice. I am inspired by the breadth of skills, their passion for public service and for making a positive impact on places.

“We will work harder to ensure that the diversity of our associates reflects the communities they serve. As we expand our services nationally, we look forward to being able to support more authorities struggling to attract the right people with the right skills to meet their ambitions. It is an exciting year ahead for Public Practice.”

Public Practice said that on 25 April, the organisation would announce which national locations they will expand to. In February, Homes England and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) announced an investment of more than £200,000 into the organisation to aid its expansion. The partnership is part of Homes England’s Local Government Capacity Centre work, which is designed to increase local government capacity and skills to make better places and homes.

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