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On-going cuts in planning budgets may run counter to government's growth plans

Date: 15/1/2016

Malcolm Sharp, a former President of POS, has been researching planning department resourcing for POS Enterprises, the consultancy arm of the Society. He told Planning magazine that he estomates that, over the past five years,whiole local government budgets have fallen by a quarter, fundding for planning departments has been cut by 47 per cent, undermining their skill sbase and ability to be proactive and take the lead in deliveraing projects.

Steve Ingram, the Society's Junior Vice President and Strategic Director of Development and Growth at South Kesteven DC, informed the magazine  that "the challenge for chief planners is to construct a good logical rationale demonstrating why continuing high levels of expenditure on planning services makes sense."

"Planning will be up against the other challenges on local budgets, but it is important that it makes the case that growth-focussed planning services can deliver the sustainable growth that the government is demanding and by which local authorities will be funded in future, in terms of business rate retention and New Homes Bonus," he says. Ingram's authority has used  a mixture of tools to manage workloads, including consultants' input and the use of shared servcies with other councils for technical work.

malcolm-sharp-pos.jpg Malcolm Sharp Steve_Ingram(3).jpg Steve Ingram

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