South Downs provides members with an updated view of their role in planning

TRA is the UK’s leading provider of practitioner-presented training for Councillors involved in planning, and has trained thousands of Councillors in over 250 local authorities throughout England, Wales and Scotland.

The South Downs National Park Authority recently commissioned TRA to deliver a one-day training workshop for their Members, on The Role of Councillors in Planning.  

The session is designed to help Councillors understand and appreciate their role and functions more clearly as a basis for contributing more effectively. In particular it helps Councillors to understand something of the broader framework of planning so that they can:

  • understand more clearly the different roles they play in the planning process
  • take practical steps to deal with conflict between their various roles where appropriate
  • appreciate both the potential and the limitations of their decision making responsibilities within the planning legal framework
  • be aware of good practice and statutory requirements when making decisions in Committee, including how to handle conflicts of interest
  • understand the different roles of Councillors and officers in the planning process, including the specific professional responsibilities of their staff
  • be more confident overall about what they can and cannot do when making planning decisions.

The workshop was delivered by Senior TRA Associates, David Kaiserman and Peter Lerner, and feedback from attendees was encouraging:

  • Very valuable to have regular reminders of all of these important aspects.
  • I enjoyed the weaving of the case study through the detailed information to break up the delivery of information with discussion and Member engagement, very useful.
  • The training was useful, even though I took my first planning decision back in 1999.  Useful interplay between all people in the room.
  • Some new information and a good reminder of ‘how to’.

 A full list of the training sessions we can run for Councillors can be found on our website. We are also happy to consider designing bespoke sessions, or tailoring an existing programme, to suit individual clients – so please do not hesitate to ask if you have any specific requirements.   

Even if this kind of training has traditionally been delivered by your own officers, it is certainly worth considering an “external” training session provided by TRA. These sessions are delivered by our experienced team of presenters, all of whom are planning practitioners, as opposed to academics. 

If you would like to see more information on in-house training for members, including outline programmes, then please do not hesitate to contact Angela Holmes for a no-commitment discussion.