Planning and Architecture
Guest Blog by PAS
I’m Erin, the Volunteers and Interns manager at PAS, a great organisation, which supports communities and individuals to get involved with planning and place making, ensuring that they are empowered to influence and shape the places that they live.
I started at PAS in July 2017 and had a lot to learn about the planning system. So when Graeme Walker invited my colleague Laura and me along to the planning and architecture division in Scottish Government to shadow their work, I jumped at the chance. It was a great opportunity to learn more about how the work of PAS fitted into the wider context.
Laura and I headed down to Victoria Quay on the morning of the 14th of February with a tin of lemon and poppy seed muffins, as a gift to our hosts. It is worth mentioning here that we had such a great, jam packed itinerary that it was difficult to pick the right time to break out the muffins. So if you met Laura and I, and didn’t get offered a cake, rest assured that it was nothing personal.
Our meetings over our two days at Victoria Quay included a broad range of people and work areas.
Meetings, such as our one with Andy about the Planning Bill, gave us more detail about planning functions and approaching changes which will affect our work at PAS.
Other sessions like those with the Year or Young People Team and Helen, Head of Charity Law and Volunteering, allowed us to exchange knowledge on other areas of work, still very relevant to PAS, and learn about plans and ideas which PAS could benefit from and contribute to.
From planning policy to e-development, each meeting complemented the work we do at PAS and helped us to understand it with a broader perspective. We also created useful contacts, allowing us to continue our conversations on how we could continue working together.
We are also able to experience first-hand how Scottish Government teams were organised and supported each other. Laura and I sat in on the Directorate gathering for Local Government and Communities and were also welcomed to shadow the Placemaking and Housing team catch up.
Our impressions were of a supportive environment which works hard to bring the best out of individuals to create strong teams.
In addition to meeting and learning from all of these new people, Laura and I found the time out of the office really valuable in itself. In between meetings we were able to talk informally and at length about our own work areas. This in turn generated ideas of how we could better support and enhance each other’s projects.
Laura and I had a really enjoyable and informative two days at the Scottish Government back in February. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to plan and meet us during our visit, making us feel so welcome throughout.