Young planners to get a taste of top table at Trafford Council

Trafford Council is taking part in a pioneering scheme to help train the planning chiefs of tomorrow. 

The Council is to offer two trainees a valuable insight into what life is like as a Chief Planning Officer as part of a work-shadow initiative organised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). 

Rhiannon Moylan and  Robin Jones will be given the chance to shadow Head of Planning and Development Rebecca Coley on 4th March to understand how strategic decisions are made.

Trafford Council is one of 20 local planning authorities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland taking part in the scheme that aims to nurture future leadership talent in the planning profession. 

The RTPI recently published the ‘Chief Planning Officers: The corporate and strategic influence of planning in local authorities’ report, highlighting planning’s importance as a strategic corporate function that helps councils tackle social, economic and environmental challenges.

Cllr James Wright, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Investment, Regeneration and Strategic Planning, said:

Trafford’s planning service is central to its place shaping agenda and we are delighted to be able to support the RTPI and offer this opportunity for young planners to understand how planning can be truly influential at the top table.

We hope that the experience will inspire the young planners to pursue public sector careers and understand how rewarding they can be. It is also important to encourage female leadership within planning teams.

Victoria Hills MRTPI, RTPI Chief Executive, said:

I am delighted that Trafford Council and many others have responded with such enthusiasm to our work to champion good leadership in public sector planning. 

Amid the challenges of Brexit and tight resources, strong, experienced local planning leadership makes all the difference. Our members tell us that councillors are more likely to respect planning advice from a senior officer from a chief executive's team. We’re passionate about putting planning back at the top-table, and that’s why it is vitally important to inspire young planners with this ambition and precious career development opportunity.

 Rhiannon said:

This is an excellent opportunity to learn from Rebecca Coley at Trafford City Council; to share knowledge and most importantly experience. I am an advocate for the importance continued professional development and look forward to the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a chief planner and the impact of successful leadership. This initiative will enable a two-way skills exchange and inspire young planners like myself to continue to promote the profession."

The scheme, the first of its kind, invited professional planners in the first 10 years of post-qualification experience and a current member of the RTPI to apply.  


Posted on Monday 11th February 2019