Public Practice names its ‘first national cohort’ of local authority placements

Public Practice said its latest batch of architects and designers reflected a ‘high level of interest in place-making roles responding to the regeneration of England’s town centres’.

The associates have been matched with 27 different authorities in England, with almost 80 per cent of the associates entering the public sector for the first time.

In spring, Public Practice’s 10th cohort included Aberrant Architecture’s David Chambers, residential sector expert Morgan Wild, shedkm architect and Sheffield School of Architecture teacher Leonora Aigbokhae, and Martin Prince-Parrott.

‘Each associate is taking a big leap in their career by joining a local authority. Our aim is to support these individuals to develop their placemaking skills for long-term careers in the public sector.’

Pete Gladwell, group social impact and investment director, Legal & General said:There is an urgent need for additional resource in planning departments across the UK, so it’s great to see the fruit of our partnership with Public Practice resulting in another terrific collection of people stepping into that role.

The not-for-profit organisation, which originally focused on London, the South East and East of England, said its 11th cohort focuses on roles on regeneration and placemaking as well a focus on net zero and creating active and healthy spaces.

If you are a practitioner with more than three years of relevant professional experience, you can apply now to the next Public Practice associate programme. The next recruitment round opens on 16 October.



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Earlier this year Public Practice was handed £1 million from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), which the organisation said it would use to expand its reach.

‘And not just any collection of people; Public Practice has done a great job of pulling together diverse talents, backgrounds, and experiences to augment those who already work so tirelessly in this space.’

Full list of associates in 11th Public Practice cohort

Aatique Shaikh Lewisham Strategic assets project manager
Abigail Murphy Rugby Borough Senior planning officer (urban design)
Adeleh Haghgoo Huntingdonshire District Council Senior development management officer (strategic team)
Anna Czigler Newcastle City Economic development officer
Anna Louise Bradley North Hertfordshire Senior town centre project officer
Azhar Kapadi Rochdale Borough Urban design principal
Camilla Wells Lambeth Future workspace fund manager (maternity cover)
Chris Fleming Lewes Project manager – strategic projects
Clare Rhatigan Waltham Forest Regeneration project manager (north)
David McAleavey Middleborough Creating active and healthy spaces lead
Eleanor Lygo St Helen’s Masterplanning officer
Hannah Haddad Hounslow Head of strategic planning
Jesse Handler Richmond and Wandsworth Transport strategy programme coordinator
Jessica Lam West Berkshire Principal developer contributions officer
Jessica Woodward Tang Croydon Regeneration manager
Joe Morizzo North Hertfordshire Senior planner/urban designer
Joseph Stancer Waltham Forest Regeneration project manager (central)
Louise Young Greenwich Project manager – retrofit
Lydia Toohey Westminster Place shaping officer (High Streets)
Mark Boyd East Riding of Yorkshire Urban design officer
Meg Collin Somerset Landscape and green Infrastructure Officer
Natasha Sturrock West Berkshire Senior conservation and design officer
Nick Phillips Uttlesford Principal urban design officer
Peter Inglis Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) Senior project manager (net zero)
Rebecca Miller Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) Senior urban design officer
Sahar-Fatema Mohamedali Oxford Principal placemaking and regeneration officer
Sanaa Shaikh Bexley Placemaking projects manager
Sophie El Nimr Havering Urban design officer
Tom Ardron Merton Community retrofit officer
Described by its founder as Public Practice’s ‘first national cohort’, the latest round of 29 placements organised by the expanding social enterprise will benefit nine English local authorities for the first time. They are: Huntingdonshire, North Herts, Lewes, Middlesbrough, West Berkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Somerset, Rochdale and Rugby.

Chief executive Pooja Agrawal said: ‘We know that local authorities are facing many recruitment challenges and their biggest issue is difficulty attracting qualified and skilled candidates. We are committed to attracting highly skilled placemaking professionals into the public sector and I continue to be inspired by the motivated associates joining our programme, who are driven to have more purpose in their work and shape places across England for the better.

The 29 associates in the autumn group include Cullinan Studio’s director and practice leader Peter Inglis, Joe Morrizo of Morrizo + Co, and Sahar-Fatema Mohamedali of Weston Williamson + Partners.

Since its launch in 2017, Public Practice has placed 320 associates into 87 authorities in England (including every London borough), 77 per cent of whom have continued to work in the public sector post-placement.

The news comes just days after the Labour Party vowed to boost the capacity of the planning system by hiring more than 300 planners in the public sector.

Posts filled by the latest cohort include senior planning officer (Urban Design) at Rugby Borough Council, community retrofit officer at Merton London Borough Council and place shaping officer (High Streets) at Westminster City Council.