Rising stars set out their winning agenda

To help you decide which candidate deserves to win the RTPI Young Planner of the Year Award, Bryan Johnston outlines their professional contributions to date.

Candidates: looking for your votes
Candidates: looking for your votes

Six young planners have been shortlisted for the RTPI Young Planner of the Year Award 2007, sponsored by the Planning Advisory Service. To win a trip to next year's American Planning Association national conference and the Planning Summer School, the candidates need your vote.

Joanne Dutton joined Congleton Borough Council as principal planning officer this year after experience at GVA Grimley, Stafford and Halton. A University of Manchester graduate, she returns regularly to talk to students and also promotes the profession in schools, careers fairs and exhibitions. Dutton plays a key role in young planners' events in the RTPI North West region and represents them on the institute's executive board. A constructive and articulate team player, she espouses a proactive approach. "I hope to enthuse and excite young people about the difference they can make," she explains.

Susannah Guest is at the cutting edge of planning reform at the Planning Inspectorate, where she heads a team of 13 as senior planning officer. She works on the soundness of development plan documents and has led a DCLG project to support government offices on frontloading. Highly motivated, the Cardiff University graduate is a professional competence assessor, mentors licentiates and supervises a Tomorrow's Planners trainee. "I want to motivate young planners to articulate their ideas and find fresh perspectives," she says.

Richard Lemon, also a Cardiff graduate, spent two years with Thames Gateway London Partnership before joining Roger Tym & Partners in 2004. Keen to cover the full planning spectrum, his recent work has ranged from appraising the development potential of a garden to an evaluation of employment land reviews in the East of England. Since 2002, Lemon has played a pivotal role in transforming the RTPI London region's services for members and chaired the regional management board in 2005. "I would seek to promote planning by celebrating its achievements and the opportunities it presents," he asserts.

Emma Richardson has a key role in the modernisation agenda as manager of the Scottish Improvement Service's £1.25 million skills development programme for planning authorities. Her responsibilities include budgeting, procurement of services and liaising with stakeholders on training needs. A University of Dundee graduate, Richardson has worked for the Scottish Executive, the Glasgow and Clyde Valley structure plan joint committee and RPS Group. Generous with her time and expertise, she is a member of the RTPI in Scotland's executive committee. "I want to ensure that planners are ready for the future and its demands," she concludes.

Graham Stallwood has specialised in development control since 1999 at Broxbourne, Chiltern and now the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, where he is bringing his technical ability, customer care commitment and political awareness to bear as interim manager of its appeals and enforcement group. University of Sheffield graduate Stallwood has chaired the RTPI South East regional management board for two years, building up its events programme and sub-regional networks. "This award is an opportunity to prove that local government provides a great career for able, young, dynamic planners who believe in public service," he says.

Andrew Taylor graduated from the University of Westminster in 2001. After working in Medway, Sevenoaks and Wealden, he now heads Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's development control team. His gift for resolving managerial problems has been put to good use in implementing its restructuring programme. He is an active member of the RTPI general assembly, is an assessment of professional competence mentor and led a successful bid for RTPI learning partner status. "I aim to put planning at the forefront, driving forward the agenda and encourage debate with energy and enthusiasm," he declares.

- For full details of all Young Planner of the Year candidates, please visit www.rtpi.org.uk.


Each chartered member, associate, licentiate or student member of the RTPI has one vote. You will need to enter your RTPI membership number, which appears on the address label for your copy of Planning, to register your vote.

The poll closes at 9am on Monday 7 January 2008.

Online voting: You are recommended to vote online via the RTPI website. Voting instructions are available at www.rtpi.org.uk

Postal voting: Alternatively, complete this form and fax it to the RTPI on 020 7929 8197 or post it to arrive by 7 January 2008 to: Young Planner of the Year Award, RTPI, 41 Botolph Lane, London EC3R 8DL.

Tick one box only
- Joanne Dutton
- Susannah Guest
- Richard Lemon
- Emma Richardson
- Graham Stallwood
- Andrew Taylor
Your surname; Initials; RTPI membership number.

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