The things I know - Gareth Bradford, Devon County Council

Gareth Bradford, Senior planning officer, strategic implementation, Devon County Council.

- Where did you study planning?

I graduated from Cardiff University with an MSc in 2005.

- What skills did you have when you graduated?

How to synthesise complex information, deliver research projects, meet deadlines and balance views.

- What attracted you to planning?

I enjoyed my geography degree, particularly a dissertation on the links between planning and transport, and became frustrated with poorly designed buildings and spaces.

- What did you learn in your first job?

The importance of teamwork and time management in dealing with applications, multiple interpretations of sustainability and the value of softer transport measures.

- What skills have you had to learn over your career?

To think strategically about long-term planning and delivery, adapt to changing policy and negotiate infrastructure and development.

- What or who have been the biggest influences on your career?

Stephen Crow taught me the value of informed decision-making. Growth points and the Sherford new community showed the importance of working to a shared goal. Managers at Devon have enabled me to take on exciting and significant projects.

- What is your career highlight?

Participating in inquiries into the South West regional spatial strategy and the Sherford area action plan.

- What have you learnt outside work that has influenced you?

Competitive sport has given me the ambition to be the best I can and shown the importance of preparation, teamwork and leadership.

- What further skills do you aim to obtain or develop?

Project and staff management, setting the agenda, viability appraisal and switching off outside work.

- How important is it to keep abreast of developments in allied professions?

It is vital, given the need for an urgent collective response to climate change and the importance of sound, deliverable policy documents.

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