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Enhancing the role of the community in public affairs is a lynch-pin of current government thinking, but are we alw...
Enhancing the role of the community in public affairs is a lynch-pin of current government thinking, but are we always getting it right?

This subject will be examined in three different sessions at next month's planning summer school (see notes below, for details).

In his paper 'Partnerships, Pojects, People - Ontario Stewardship', Steve Wilkins describes his experiences in Canada. He emphasises the need for all community planning to include: consensus building; project co-ordination; volunteer motivation; and starting from the ground up.

In an earlier session, entitled 'Community Planning in Scotland', Barbara Illsley says that while the British government's programme stresses the need to develop a genuine partnership between those providing services and those using them, it has not become a reality yet in some areas.

Initial evidence from a review of the first community plans to be prepared in Scotland, sheds some doubt upon the extent of the commitment to community participation in practice.

In his workshop session 'Planning Aid - Rural Planning Outreach', Andrew Ford takes the problem out into the countryside.

A planning outreach project - covering the rural areas around North Yorkshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire - tries to solve the problems of a lack of 'planning capacity', together with a largely unanswered need for locally available and independent planning advice.

Andrew explores examples of best practice - including the setting of realistic and flexible project targets - to share with summer school delegates.


The Planning Summer School (PSS) is an annual event, which has been running since 1933; it is a unique blend of hard work and good fun!

This year it takes place at the University of Exeter. The improved format begins with the councillors' school - from 31 August to 4 September - followed by two separate planners' schools from 4 to 8, and from 8 to 12 September.

A wide choice of papers, workshops, and study tours are on offer; and this year PSS is delighted to welcome Lord Falconer - from the DTLR - to address delegates on the evening of Friday 6 September.

The RTPI is the professional body in the United Kingdom chartered to advance the science and art of town planning in all its aspects (national, regional and local) for the benefit of the public.It has a membership of over 17,500 who work in local and central government, planning education, research and private practice.

* See the Planning Summer School websitefor details of other papers and synopses.

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