6th May 2022

Forty shades of NIMBY

Forty shades of NIMBY I thought the headline might appeal to you, but first a word from our sponsor. Commercial Break. Yesterday there were local elections in many parts of the UK. You can get the headlines but what really happened to YOUR site? We […]
29th April 2022

I’m in floods of tears

I’m in floods of tears I’m not going to name the council, but I have just spent the best part of an hour watching a planning committee in action. (or inaction as it turned out). The executives at Netflix, Amazon Prime and the Disney Channel […]
22nd April 2022

Confessions of a door-knocker

Confessions of a door-knocker Here we come Walkin’ down the street We get the funniest looks from Everyone we meet ​​​The Monkees, 1966 I had my first experience of door-knocking when I was six. While other boys were brought by their fathers to watch hurling or […]
13th April 2022

Which came first? The Planner or the Chicken

Which came first? The Planner or the Chicken When McDonalds decided to introduce Chicken McNuggets 40 years ago, they had a problem. (Please read on – I’ll get to the point in a minute). Their demand for chicken would be so great that it would […]
8th April 2022

Isn’t our local government democracy in a total mess?

Isn’t our local government democracy in a total mess? You can too much of a good thing. And democracy is one of them. Look at the layers of government we have in the UK. Parish Councils, District and Borough Councils, County Councils, MPs. I’m not […]
1st April 2022

How to stop local Authority Planners from quitting

How to stop local Authority Planners from quitting There are very few planners I know who didn’t start their career in a Local Authority. Some have stayed and risen through the ranks whereas others have moved to the private sector or consultancy. (It amuses me […]
25th March 2022

The rise of citizen power: it’s time to learn your ABC

The rise of citizen power: it’s time to learn your ABC As we head towards the local election on May 5, we are noticing a strange phenomenon: the rise of the residents’ groups as a political force. Take for example Spelthorne Council in Surrey. This […]
18th March 2022

Where have all the planners gone?

Where have all the planners gone? It came to me in blinding flash just as I was falling asleep. The reason that planning is slow is not the system. It is because there is no one to manage the system. It is like an engine […]
11th March 2022

Has reorganisation of planning ever worked?

Has reorganisation of planning ever worked? This week’s question: how many housing Ministers have there been since 1990? (Have a guess and let me know, I’ll tell you the answer next week) We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to […]
3rd March 2022

Do we learn anything from history?

Do we learn anything from history?   Normally, I try to keep this column cheery but this week, it is difficult to be humorous in light of what’s happening in Ukraine. A couple of weeks ago, I and many other commentators thought Putin was posturing […]