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14/05/2020

My view on... public sector planning

As part of the RTPI’s Chief Planners of Tomorrow scheme, Young Planner Joshua Parkinson learnt about the challenges and opportunities at Carlisle City Council

Over the past year, I have developed a growing understanding of the challenges facing public sector planning. The funding cuts to local government and its implications on practice are well documented, but the public sector also offers opportunities to be at the forefront of leading solutions to local, national and global issues. I applied to take part in the Chief Planners of Tomorrow initiative, to see at first hand how planners can be leaders in successfully managing these challenges and opportunities.

"Often discussions related to public sector planning rightly focus on the increasingly difficult challenges, but I also saw a range of opportunities"

My day at Carlisle City Council was spent looking at a number of key projects including St Cuthbert’s Garden Village, where I was fascinated to see multidisciplinary teams from both the public and private sector working together to share expertise. Later, a meeting about the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal involved local authorities, Scottish Government and a senior civil servant providing an interesting dynamic between local, regional and national priorities while exemplifying the intensely political nature of planning.

It was an action-packed day. Often discussions related to public sector planning rightly focus on the increasingly difficult challenges, but I also saw a range of opportunities. Carlisle City Council is clearly ambitious and with effective leadership it is planning proactively to achieve positive outcomes for the city.

Joshua Parkinson is a planner at Craven District Council in North Yorkshire. He is pictured with Jane Meek, Carlisle City Council’s Corporate Director of Economic Development. For more on the Chief Planners of Tomorrow initiative, visit bit.ly/planner0520-Tomorrow

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