Live Careers Question & Answer Forum with the Guardian newspaper

Monday, June 10, 2013

Wed 13 Jan 2010

Forum via the Guardian website:

Town planning has been in the news recently due to the Scottish Funding Council's consultation on future spending for university courses. The council aims to cut down on the amount of funding given to planning and architecture courses, downgrading these subjects to the lowest possible funding level.

The town planning community rejects to move, with the Royal Town Planning Institute claiming the cuts will "decimate the planning sector in Scotland at a time when the nation faces major environmental, regeneration and development challenges" and that, in fact, more and better skilled planners are needed.

But what does this mean for the sector and the people working within it?

We have assembled a panel of experts and professionals to take your questions about careers in town planning — everything from getting in to moving up — and talk about the current state of the sector and its job market.

Our panel includes:


Chris Sheridan, planners in the workplace manager, Royal Town Planning Institute

Ruth Allanson, senior consultant (planning), Beach Baker Property Recruitment — a specialist property and planning recruitment company

Gavin Hall, associate director for Savills' planning and regeneration team. Gavin manages the recruitment of planning graduates for Savills across the country and oversees their progress

Gavin Parker, professor of planning studies at Henley Business School at University of Reading. Gavin is a chartered planner and fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

Vicky Aston, planning manager at Sport England. Before joining Sport England last year, Vicky worked as a planning consultant in the private sector (Savills, CB Richard Ellis and Turley Associates) and in the property team at Sainsbury’s. She is also a member of the RTPI Young Planners’ Network and secretary for the RTPI South-East regional activities committee 

Cathy Parker is professor of marketing and retail enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University and a director of the Institute of Place Management, the professional body for those involved in making, marketing and managing places. She is also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Place Management and Development, as well as being course leader for an MSc in place management and an introductory diploma

Dr Alison Greig, skills development consultant at Anglia Ruskin University. Alison is responsible for developing university level programmes which specifically address the skills needs of employers. Alison is a chartered environmentalist with significant experience of developing the skills required to deliver sustainable communities

Gwyn Jones, city growth and development manager at Norwich City Council. Gwyn's curent role involves working corporately across the council to manage the delivery of growth and regeneration initiatives in the city. Having trained as a planner, Gwyn has held a variety of posts over the last 25 years- some directly in planning and other in related fields including regeneration


For more information and to visit the Guardian website click here