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.
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Localism - and particularly neighbourhood planning - is giving Parish Councils, community groups and community forums a greater say in how their areas are planned and developed. Nowhere is this more evident than in the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan.
Whilst support is available through a variety of sources when it comes to actually preparing a Neighbourhood Plan, it is vital that the people at the heart of the process understand from the very start how it all works so that they can get the most out of the process (and from those who are assisting them along the way). That way, they will be able to obtain the best results for their local community.
TRA has therefore developed two brand new half-day training workshops that are specifically designed for community groups and Parish Councils who are keen to embark on the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan but may be unsure of what is involved and how the process works:
The workshops can be delivered for individual community groups, forums or Parish Councils but they could also be commissioned by local planning authorities for the benefit of a group (or groups) within their area to help bring forward Neighbourhood Plans. Further information on the two workshops and how to arrange in-house training can be found on our website.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of organising one of these workshops please contact Angela Holmes for a no-obligation discussion.Back to top
Bookings are currently being taken for the next two modules in TRA's Certificated Course in Planning Enforcement in October and November and we're delighted to say that they are both already provisionally fully-booked. Although there are no places available at the moment, we do keep a waiting list in case people are not able to confirm their place. So, if you would be interested in a place on either Key Principles of Planning and Enforcement or Planning Enforcement and Operational Development if one becomes available please contact Shelagh Pooley.
Looking ahead - the next available modules begin in January 2014 and may be of interest:
Further details are available via the above links or by contacting Shelagh Pooley.
The Enforcement programme has been running since 1996 and so far more than 140 students have successfully completed the course and been awarded the Certificate.Back to top
Getting the most out of local authority staff and resources, through enhanced skills and practice, is the key to achieving quality outcomes at a time when financial constraints mean an increasing need to "get more from less". Despite planning budgets continuing to be under severe pressure, spending a relatively small amount of time and money now on developing and/or updating management and/or personal development skills could well be one of the best investments to make for both the short and long term.
TRA's 2013 Training Programme includes a couple of workshops focusing on relevant topics, tailored specifically for those working in the planning and development field:
Both workshops are presented by Chris Weetman, a planning consultant with over 20 years' experience of working in local government, primarily in development control. Chris has a post-graduate management diploma and considerable experience of improving service structure and delivery within local authorities. He has presented these and similar workshops numerous times for local authority and private sector staff and was formerly course tutor on TRA's Certificated Course in Management Concepts and Skills in Planning. Comments of previous participants on these workshops include:
Booking forms for the workshops can be found on the TRA website by following the links above. If you are interested in attending, but unable to make a firm booking right away, places can be reserved provisonally by telephone on 01204 385678 or via our online provisional booking facility.Back to top
As mentioned in last month's ENews, details for the next in our long-running series of Conferences for Planning Support Staff have been finalised and are available to view on the TRA website. If you are interested in attending this event, there are places still available but prompt booking is recommended.
The conference will take place on 6 June in London. In this period of continuing uncertainty and challenges in the planning service, it aims to reflect these challenges and the changing nature of the work of support staff, looking not only at technical issues such as validation, but also some new topic areas and skills that support staff increasingly need to use in their day-to-day work.
Once again, the conference is being run in conjunction with the Planning Admin Network (PAN), a FREE online network for anybody with an interest in the administration of the planning service, working in either the public or private sectors in England, Wales and Scotland. A discounted price is available to PAN members and further discounts are available to all via our discounted block booking scheme. Why not visit the PAN website to find out more about the network and the quick and easy registration process to become a member.
A booking form for the conference can be downloaded here, or use the block booking form for 2 or more places to obtain your discount.Back to top
Effective enforcement is essential in order to maintain the integrity of an authority's plan-making and decision taking processes. In fact, enforcement is probably the most complex and litigious part of the planning process; the decision to enforce is not taken lightly and has to be soundly based on evidence of 'planning harm' and be legally well-founded in all respects.
TRA is able to provide focused, in-house training sessions for Councillors on Enforcement issues, helping them to understand how to deal with breaches of planning control, development without
planning permission or not in accordance with permission, and looking at how the enforcement 'toolkit' can be used to resolve problems in the most appropriate way.
Training is presented by knowledgeable Associates who have considerable experience in the field of enforcement and are therefore ideally qualified to deal with the questions that Councillors want answered, for example:
Our sessions look at the resources devoted to the work of Enforcement, Monitoring and Planning Officers - dealing with complaints, identifying breaches and making sure of their evidence. We
focus on what can and cannot be taken into account in assessing whether or not it is "expedient" to take enforcement action.
Various workshop formats are available: a full-day session can look at Councillors' concerns in some depth by making use of a case study and/or cameo cases to highlight key points. If timing is a major consideration we are also able to offer shorter sessions (usually 3 hours) in a morning, afternoon or evening, to provide an 'overview'.
Enforcement is just one of the areas in which TRA can provide training on for Councillors: a full list of our workshops on Specific Aspects of Planning can be found on our website. If required, we are also happy to consider designing bespoke sessions or tailoring an existing programme to suit an individual client's needs - please do not hesitate to ask if you have any specific requirements.
If you would like to receive more information on in-house Enforcement training for Councillors (or any of the other topics mentioned on our website), including an outline programme, then please do not hesitate to contact Angela Holmes for a no-obligation discussion.Back to top
The next batch of workshops in the 2013 Training Programme for Scotland are due to take place on 11 June in Glasgow. Several authorities have already secured places for their staff using our popular block booking scheme, but a number of places are still available should you or your colleagues be interested in attending. The workshops are:
Further details and booking forms for all of these events are available on the TRA website by following the above links to the workshops(s) you are interested in. If you are unable to make a firm booking straight away, places can be reserved provisionally by telephoning us on 01204 385678 or via our online provisional bookings facility.
Remember - bookings of 2 or more places will attract a discount of up to 15% off the normal event price (depending on the total number of places booked) under our block booking scheme. Further details of the scheme are on the website.Back to top
TRA was recently commissioned by East Hertfordshire District Council to develop and deliver two in-house workshops for Officers. The sessions were entitled "An update on recent changes to Development Management" and "Managing in planning today: leadership, coaching, mentoring and counselling".
The Changes to DM workshop was the first session to be delivered and was developed and presented by TRA Senior Associate, Vivien Green. Key elements of the workshop included:
The session resulted in some excellent feedback from participants:
The Management workshop was prepared and delivered by TRA Associate Chris Weetman. This second session was developed to help participants:
The session was very well received and course feedback was very positive:
If your authority has any specific requirements with regards to in-house training and you would be interested in looking at the options available, please contact Angela Holmes for a no-commitment discussion. Remember, the prices we quote are 'all-inclusive' and so include all of our fees, presenter expenses and pre-course/course material. This means that there are no 'hidden extras' and clients are aware, from the outset, what they can expect to pay at invoicing stage.Back to top
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