ENews Issue - 28 April 2011

ENews - April 2011

TRA ENews is the monthly newsletter of Trevor Roberts Associates. It provides information about TRA generally, its staff and Associates, current and forthcoming events, new training courses and consultancy services etc.

View our contact Information or subscription information.

In this issue:

  • Make your money go further with our improved discount scheme
  • Join TRA's certificated enforcement course this Autumn
  • Catch up with ENews via the archive
  • Let TRA help you focus with in-house training
  • A new workshop on Trees, Landscape & Ecology for Planners
  • Forthcoming training events for Planning Support Staff
  • Post Election Planning Training for Councillors - A reminder

Make your money go further with our improved discount scheme - 27/04/11

TRA's block-booking scheme for our inter-authority workshops and conferences has always proved popular, and for 2011 we've made it even easier to get discounted places. So make sure you take advantage when booking places for you or your colleagues on events in our 2011 programmes in England or Scotland.

Previously, you needed to book 6 places (across any number of events) in order to qualify for a 15% discount but now you can start receiving a discount as soon as you book more than one place. The discount ranges from 10% to 15% depending how many places you book:

Workshops (standard price £225)

Places booked Discount Your saving per person 2 10% £22.50 3 12.5% £28.13 4 or more 15% £33.75

Conferences (standard price £175)

Places booked Discount Your saving per person 2 10% £17.50 3 12.5% £21.88 4 or more 15% £26.25

So take a look at our calendar of events for 2011 and see if you can make your money go that little bit further.

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Join TRA's certificated enforcement course this Autumn - 26/04/11

The "introductory" module in TRA's certificated course in planning enforcement will be running in October and November, providing an ideal opportunity for new students to join the programme.

The course programme is modular - consisting of 5 modules - and although it is not essential to attend the Key Principles of Planning and Enforcement module first, we recommend it wherever possible since it provides a valuable grounding for the other modules.

The Key Principles module will take place at Madingley Hall, Cambridge on 3-4 October and 7-8 November 2011. It provides an excellent introduction to enforcement, ideally suited to staff new to enforcement, whether qualified or not, who need to learn quickly in order to get on with the job. It is also of great benefit to established enforcement staff who may not previously have had much specific training, giving them a good framework for their practical experience. Full details of this module and what it covers, and of the enforcement programme as a whole can be found on our website.

Below are some comments from people who have attended the Key Principles module and you can also see comments from previous students on the enforcement programme as a whole on the website.

  • As I have only been an enforcement officer for 8 months, this was a good module to start with as I have been able to build on what I have learned. Carmel Driscoll, Mid Suffolk DC
  • Having worked in enforcement for over 4 years, I went with a certain knowledge to the course. However, I was surprised how much I did not know! The information was relevant and the presentation easily understood. I entered the course with a little trepidation but left feeling encouraged and better informed. Justine Warner, Melton BC
  • The training has helped my authority operate its enforcement function in line with best practice. Michelle Hoyles, North Kesteven DC
  • Provided a good foundation and background to planning enforcement which can underpin current and future work. Deborah Jeakins, Cambridge City Council
  • Improved understanding of context of enforcement within the general planning framework helps with decision-making. Neil Howat, South Gloucestershire Council

For further information or to reserve your place on the October/November module please contact Shelagh Pooley. If you would like to attend, early booking is recommended as attendance is strictly limited to 12 students.

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Catch up with ENews via the archive - 25/04/11

If you've missed a recent issue of ENews or have only just subscribed to the newsletter then don't forget that previous issues of the TRA monthly newsletter can still be viewed on our website. Just visit the Newsletter Archives page to catch up.

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Let TRA help you focus with in-house training - 20/04/11

TRA has extensive experience of delivering in-house training for staff in over 220 authorities and we know, especially in the current financial climate, how crucial it is that training is focused where it is needed most. This approach ensures that the key resources i.e. your staff, are able to work more effectively and efficiently and, equally as important, that you get value for money out of training.

That is why we would like to remind you that TRA are willing to consider developing bespoke workshops, or tailoring existing sessions, to ensure that the training we provide meets the unique requirements of our individual clients.

On this basis TRA were recently commissioned to deliver bespoke in-house training sessions at two authorities: Southwark London Borough and Wokingham Borough Council.

Southwark LB - "Supporting the Processing of Applications"

This session was delivered by TRA Senior Associate, Vivien Green covering various topics which included application types, validation, consultation, notification and publicity requirements, end processes and access to information and Registers. Course feedback was very encouraging:

  • Found it very informative and helpful. The delivery of the information was easy to understand and digest. Thank you! Annabelle Ferary
  • I felt the workshop was very informative and I liked the way the presenter allowed us to ask questions at any point, and made us feel that every question was valuable to the group. I did find the fact we could take away documents very positive. Gary Douglas
  • It was well delivered and better than I thought it would be. I gained a lot of knowledge and it was very useful and will help me a great deal. Thank you. Affie Denetriou
  • Met my expectations definitely much more than I imagined and I learnt a lot. Very informative and useful. Claire Cook.

Wokingham BC - "Conditions on Permissions, Certificates of Lawfulness and Planning for Gypsies and Travellers"

This workshop was developed by TRA Senior Associate, Lee Prebble at the request of the authority. The session covered three specialist topics, focusing on particular issues which were identified by the authority. Again, course feedback was positive:

  • Met the agenda specified. The case law references will be of use in future work. Nick Kirby
  • Went into greater depth than expected. Mark Turner
  • Very clear and concise with examples and outcomes of those examples. Michael Lee.

If you have any particular in-house training requirements that you would like to discuss, or you would like to look at the possibility of tailoring an existing TRA workshop to meet with your specific needs then please feel free to contact Angela Holmes, without obligation.

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A new workshop on Trees, Landscape & Ecology for Planners - 18/04/11

Our 2011 training workshop programme for Scotland sees the introduction of a new workshop 'Trees, Landscape & Ecology for Planners'.

The aim of this workshop is to provide planning staff with the knowledge and understanding needed to make informed decisions regarding tree retention, protection, removal and replacement within the context of the now established BS5837:2005 'Trees in relation to construction: Recommendations'. Participants will also learn about ecology and landscape within the planning framework, enabling planning officers to seek the right information and know what to expect. The workshop is participatory in format, including a mixture of technical inputs from the presenter and practical exercises to demonstrate the difficulties faced by both the planner and the developer/applicant in relation to tree landscape assessment. The workshop also provides assistance on how to confidently interpret the guidance, improve understanding of terminology, and help participants understand where contradictions and anomalies may exist.

The workshop will take place in Glasgow on 14 June 2011 and further details are available on this downloadable pdf leaflet/booking form. Bookings can be made using this form, or alternatively provisional bookings can be made to reserve places for a limited time either by telephone on 01204 385678 or via the provisional bookings page on our website.

For those south of the border, a similar workshop is to be held in York on 29 November 2011 and details for this can be found on the website.

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Forthcoming training events for Planning Support Staff - 15/04/11

TRA has always championed the role of Planning Support and Administrative Staff and recognised their value, regarding them as a vital part of the planning service. For many years we have focused on the specific training needs of these staff via:

  • our specialist 1-day training workshops
  • our annual conference, where delegates have a chance to learn about current best practice and future developments affecting planning, and exchange experience with collegues from other authorites
  • our certificated course in Town Planning Support and,
  • the ground-breaking Planning Admin Network (PAN) where people involved in the administration of the planning service can contact each other and share experiences, issues, problems etc.

In these challenging times of change and uncertainty, it is more imperative than ever that this backbone of the planning service is able to function effectively and efficiently. To this end, the TRA training workshop programme for 2011 includes a number of events for planning support staff, including the two workshops listed below:

  • The Essential Elements of Support for Planning and Listed Building Control - York, 26 May 2011

    This workshop is designed to give support staff a contextual understanding of the complexities of processing planning, listed building and other applications. It helps them develop their knowledge and confidence and see the importance and relevance of their roles, and so enables them to contribute to procedural improvement. The workshop focuses particularly on validation and the notification and consultation requirements, and participants will also learn how to scale and read plans, how applications are determined, and the key elements of the appeal system.
  • Supporting the Processing of Planning Applications: a workshop for experienced technical/administrative staff and their managers - London, 29 September 2011

    This workshop aims to develop the knowledge and understanding of these key staff members of the detailed requirements involved in processing planning applications. This will also enable them to make a valuable input into re-engineering or streamlining these processes. The workshop will also deal with practical issues and concerns, including those which confront front-line support staff such as Data Protection, Copyright and Access to Information.

If you would like to book places on either of these workshops, booking forms can be downloaded from our website via the above links to the relevant workshop. Alternatively places can be reserved provisionally by telephone on 01204 385678 or via our online provisional bookings facility. Bookings of 2 or more places made at the same time (over any number of events in the programme) will receive up to 15% discount. Further details can be found on our website, where you can also download our special block booking discount form.

As mentioned in a previous Enews, details for our Conference for Planning Support Staff on 16 June 2011 in London, have now been finalised and can be found on our website. This year's conference is being run in association with the Planning Admin Network (PAN) and a discounted price is available for PAN members.

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Post Election Planning Training for Councillors - A reminder - 04/04/11

"The LGA endorses the good practice of many councils which ensures that their members receive training on the planning process when first serving on the planning committee. It also recommends that members be updated regularly on changes to legislation or procedures. Such training is essential for those members involved in making decisions on planning applications and on local development documents. Authorities should provide training on the planning processes for all members." Local Government Association, Probity in Planning (2009)

For some authorities local elections are fast approaching and we would like to remind those of you who are considering providing planning training in the coming months about the importance of booking early to ensure that your Councillors don't miss out on one of our extremely popular in-house training sessions.

We can respond to various training requirements, providing individual bespoke sessions as appropriate, but particularly popular in the post-election period are our one-day sessions:

  • A Briefing on Planning for Councillors - covering planning procedures and policies, and focusing especially on Development Management
  • The Role of Councillors in Planning: propriety and good practice - covering issues such as conflicts and declarations of interest, material considerations, lobbying, and making the decision.

Both of these sessions are delivered by two members of our presenting team (providing a wide range of experience) and a real life case study is referred to throughout which helps to reinforce key points during the day. This gives the training a much stronger impact and in our experience the case study in particular is an element which Councillors find interesting and useful.

If the time commitment for Councillors is a major consideration we can also offer shorter sessions (usually 3 hours) with flexible timings during a morning, afternoon or evening. These sessions are essentially shortened versions of the above one-day workshops and are delivered by one presenter. Please note that due to time constraints the case study cannot be used during the shorter sessions.

The Training for Councillors section of our website provides some further information and answers the most frequently asked questions. Please note that demand is always very high in the period immediately after the elections but thanks to our large team of experienced presenters we should be able to accomodate all those who wish to provide training. However we would highly recommend that you get in touch as soon as possible to fix your date. A number of authorities have already avoided the rush and booked their training days - so don't leave it until the last minute, contact us today!

To see an outline programme without obligation, or to arrange a booking please contact Angela Holmes.

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Contact Information

Trevor Roberts Associates

1 Atlas House, St. Georges Square,

Bolton, BL1 2HB,

United Kingdom

Tel: (01204) 385678

Fax: (01204) 386376

Email: mail@tra-ltd.co.uk

Website: http://www.tra-ltd.co.uk/


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