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Presidents Piece June 2016

Date: 20/6/2016

Anna Rose was elected President of the Society for 2016/17 at the AGM on 17th June 2016.

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President's Blog 20/06/2016

In thanking Stewart for his excellent work over the past year my thoughts now turn to the year ahead. My theme for the year is 'Plans and Planners'. This sounds too simple and a little obvious but planning is changing and as a Society of public sector planners we must adapt to retain our relevance.

At the heart of the planning system are plans. Over the years there have been a variety of ways to make plans and today is no different. It is important for POS to support and promote plan-making across the country. These plans will take a variety of forms, cover a range of timescales and contribute in different ways to national issues. All of them are important and having a complete set of plans across the country will promote appropriate development as well as improving the reputation of our profession. Public sector planners need to lead the plan-making agenda, working alongside politicians, communities and the private sector to bring about plans that provide certainty, increase confidence and deliver places. I believe that development plans are critical not only for growth but they also have the potential to bring about the long term strategic partnerships that are necessary to sustain an effective public sector.

In order to maximise the potential that plans now provide we have to recognise that, as a sector, we need planners with a different skill set. Planners will fulfil different roles in their organisations which relate to a wider remit rather than the traditional development role. With the reduced resources available in the public sector, expertise and leadership will come from different layers of the organisation, we need to embrace this. Whilst these leaders may have less experience than their predecessors, they will also be free of the history that often constrains and open to new ideas, releasing creativity and driving through change.

POS has a key role in representing the varied and often complex issues that arise in public sector planning. We use the experience of our membership to provide solutions to the Government and also to our membership. To do this effectively we need to know what is happening in organisations across the geographic spectrum. We are looking to engage with a much wider audience over the coming years, finding new ways to share information and to make it time and cost effective for the public sector to stay engaged.

Amongst the frequent consultations, changes to the way we work and negative press is an opportunity to make a difference. As planners we need to seize this opportunity, we need to maximise our potential and we need to show our class as a profession.

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Anna Rose, President 2016/17


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