World’s longest pier plays host to devolution conference

Southend Pier

Leading voices in the region’s planning profession, the Royal Town Planning Institute, are to converge on the end of the world’s longest pleasure pier to examine how greater devolution of powers to local regions is transforming the way local authorities plan for growth and deliver sustainable development.

‘LEPs and Devolution – Planning for Growth’ is a one-day conference being held by RTPI East of England and RTPI South East and supported by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council at the award-winning Royal Pavilion at the end of Southend Pier on Thursday 22 October.

As well as featuring key note speeches examining the opportunities being catalysed through devolution, the conference will also highlight progress to date in the process of delegating funds to local partnerships from central government through:

A share of the £1,400m Local Growth Fund allocated through competitive bidding;

Getting LEPs to draw up plans for local growth as the basis for negotiation on money from the Fund;

Realigning the management of EU Structural and Investment Funds in England to follow the plans made by LEPs.

There will be an opportunity to share knowledge and experience of working in a rapidly changing governance context and how planners, economic development officers and other professionals can work with businesses to deliver sustainable growth and create greater opportunities for our citizens.

Cllr David Norman, Executive Councillor for Housing, Planning & Regulatory Control at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said: “The rise of Local Enterprise Partnerships and the greater devolution of powers to the regions is giving town planners an unrivalled opportunity to unlock the economic potential of their communities.


Peter Geraghty Head of Planning and Transport at Southend BC and former RTPI President said: “I am delighted to welcome colleagues from the Royal Town Planning Institute to Southend to discuss the planning and devolution issues of the day and to showcase what Southend has to offer.”