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POS Elects New President for 2010/11

Date: 26/6/2010

The London Borough of Enfield Assistant Director in the Place Shaping & Enterprise Department, Stephen Tapper, has become the new President of the Planning Officers Society.  He was elected at the Society's Annual General Meeting held in Southport on Friday 25th June 2010.


At the AGM Stephen stated that he had several aims for the year:

First and foremost, the Society must work with the new government to make sure that recent and future changes, including the radical change to strategic planning, are properly effective and achieve the laudable aims of greater efficiency and greater local ownership of the planning process, without creating delays and uncertainties that will work against recovery in the development industry, and further erode our ability to meet housing need. The Society is in a good place to influence the new government as it represents the most experienced and skilled public sector planning practitioners in the country.

Secondly, to work more closely with the other professional bodies and associations to respond to and support the government in bringing about effective change - the more common ground we can identify, the stronger will be our response.  An area of particular interest is to give guidance on ways in which the public can be more engaged and influential in the planning process, leading to better outcomes in terms of development quality, which is an agenda that would be shared by most local councillors involved in planning.

Thirdly, and continuing work led by the outgoing President, to implement changes in the Society itself to broaden its appeal within the public sector, and to ensure that it properly represents the diversity of public sector planning and planners. At the same time, to promote the richness and diversity of the work that planners do in the public sector to encourage a succession of talented people. The Society's new website will be a key to achieving that.

Stephen is well placed to represent the Society, having worked for a number of planning authorities in the North, Midlands and South East, and he is currently Assistant Director, (Strategic Planning and Neighbourhoods), at the London Borough of Enfield, where he has helped to revitalise and grow the Council's regeneration agenda.

Stephen has been Chairman of the Society's Sustainability and Rural Planning Committee for many years, and was particularly engaged in promoting good policy and practice in regard to sustainable building. He took up the position of Senior Vice President of the Society in May 2009, and has been very involved in the work to improve the organisation and effectiveness of the Society.

The Immediate Past President of the Society is David Hackforth, Head of Planning at Milton Keynes Council. The new Senior Vice-President is Mike Holmes, Director of Planning & Transport Services at Bournemouth BC; the new Junior Vice-President is Malcolm Sharp Director of Environmental and Community Services at Huntingdonshire DC.


1.  A full copy of Stephen's acceptance speech is available by contacting John Silvester 

2. Stephen Tapper can be contacted at Tel 0208 379 3800, Fax 0208 379 3811, Email stephen.tapper@enfield.gov.uk .

3. The Planning Officers Society was formed in April 1997 by the amalgamation of the former County Planning Officers Society, District Planning Officers Society and the Metropolitan Planning Officers Society. The society is the single voice for public sector planning practitioners pursuing good and effective planning practice within and for local government.


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