Cath Ranson was yesterday (15 January) inaugurated as President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, the organisation representing professional planners in the UK, in its centenary year in central London.
She emphasised the unique opportunity the centenary affords her Presidency and the profession: “The Centenary is about our heritage and our future, spanning the serious and the celebratory. We must use the centenary, not just for our own reflection, understanding and celebration, but to raise the profile and improve public understanding of planning.”
She further outlined her aims during the year:
- to improve public, interdisciplinary and Government understanding of the power of planning for good;
- to empower the Institute by more active member engagement;
- to reinforce the Institute’s role in leading thinking and brokering dialogue;
- to set the context for the long term vision of the profession for our second century;
- to be proud of Planners and proud of Planning.
Possibly the first RTPI President to begin her inauguration in Welsh (saying 'Prynhawn Dda' ), she praised her predecessors and in particular the outgoing President, Dr Peter Geraghty:
“Peter has been an extremely popular and very effective President. We often talk, don’t we, of the great pioneering Presidents of the past. Those famous names. The creme de la creme of Planners. But I also think we have had some very great Presidents over the past few decades – some are here tonight - and Peter is one of these.”
And looking forward, she also welcomed the incoming Vice President, Janet Askew: “I am also delighted that in Janet Askew, our newly elected vice President, we will have, for the first time ever women Presidents in consecutive years.”
Cath Ranson is Development Plans and Conservation Manager for Pembrokeshire County Council, and Chair of the Special Fund Panel for Planning Summer School.
She has an honours degree in Geology (University of Wales, Swansea), a part time postgraduate diploma in Town and Country Planning (Bristol Polytechnic) and a post-graduate certificate in Leadership for Collaboration (Bangor University). She has had a varied and interesting career with local authorities in South West Wales, the Welsh Government and Snowdonia National Park Authority, spanning planning policy, urban regeneration, economic development, environmental project implementation, research and improvement.
In 2010, Cath completed a post-graduate certificate in Leadership for Collaboration through Bangor University, a return to formal education after a considerable gap, having graduated in Geology (University of Wales, Swansea) and completed a part time postgraduate diploma in Town and Country Planning (Bristol Polytechnic).