Young planners award ballot under way

Four candidates are in the running for RTPI Young Planner of the Year 2010 and voting starts today.

The winner, to be announced at the RTPI Planning Awards in February, will win expenses-paid trips to next year’s American Planning Association national conference in Boston and the Planning Summer School in Swansea.

James Bompas is a planning officer with strategic and development management experience at Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation. He currently chairs the RTPI London region, where he has organised seminars, tours and networking events and is accountable for the budget and business plan. "I will challenge those who overlook the institute and show that we deserve a seat at the table when debating the profession and all that surrounds it," he promises.

Sarah Foster heads up a team of four development management officers at the Peak District National Park and has experience as a geography teacher, planning consultant and local authority offer. She became chair of the RTPI North West in 2008 and is closely involved in Planning Aid workshops to community groups. "I would build upon this experience to meet and present to organisations or groups who want to understand more about the planning profession," she explains.

Zoë McClelland is a senior planning consultant at URS Scott Wilson, where her experience centres on project-managing major infrastructure schemes. As incoming chair of the Scottish Young Planners Network, she has close links with the Scottish Government, Scotland’s planning schools and Planning Aid for Scotland. "There should be a strong focus in this challenging economic climate on providing opportunities to keep young planners connected to the profession," she believes.

Lucie Taylor has a key role in co-ordinating community involvement in her role as planning policy liaison officer at Newport City Council. Previously she was case manager at Planning Aid Wales and she is currently chair of RTPI Cymru.

"The starting point for achieving good planning is to learn about existing communities and find out how people would like to see their surroundings improved. I would help people understand what planning is in plain language," she says.

For further details of the candidates and online voting instructions, click here.

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