Media Release: Former First Minister, Henry McLeish, becomes patron of award-winning charity

News release from Planning Aid for Scotland (PAS)

Date: 24 February 2012

FAO: All news desks

Embargo: Immediate

Contact: David McAllister

Telephone: 0131 220 9734 / 07595 995268



FORMER Scottish First Minister, Henry McLeish, has become a patron of Planning Aid for Scotland (PAS), a charity that helps people to ‘build’ their future.

Having formally trained as a planner before entering the world of politics, Mr McLeish has a keen understanding of planning and many of the key issues facing the built environment in Scotland today – including the vital role of the planning system in helping Scotland realise its ambition of a low carbon economy.

Said Henry McLeish: “Ever since my early career as a planner, I’ve always admired the work of Sir Patrick Geddes, the ‘father of town planning’, who asserted that successful town planning is ultimately about ‘folk-planning’.

“It is exactly this approach that is at the heart of Planning Aid for Scotland’s work – to involve people – and is one of the reasons I’m delighted to take on the role of patron.

“The planning system in Scotland will increasingly have to cope with the challenges of the low carbon economy – what we do with our waste, how we plan for renewable energy – and it’s vital that an organisation such as PAS can help to raise awareness.”

Planning Aid for Scotland (PAS) is an independent organisation, working across Scotland to help people shape their communities and improve the way people engage with the planning system.

Petra Biberbach, chief executive of PAS, said: “We’re thrilled to have Henry McLeish as a patron of our organisation. He brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and leadership at a time when planning’s important role in securing sustainable economic growth is more and more acknowledged.”

Ian Angus, chair, PAS, added: “The board is pleased to welcome Henry to represent Planning Aid for Scotland – a man who values the planning system and who recognises the importance of people taking part in decisions that affect their communities and environment.”


Notes to editors:

About Planning Aid for Scotland

Planning Aid for Scotland (PAS) is an independent organisation, working across Scotland to improve the way people engage with the planning system. Planning is a vital public service and everyone in Scotland should be able to participate effectively and efficiently. PAS is here to provide everyone with the skills and information to engage positively with planning.

As an independent organisation, impartiality is our most important guiding principle – one that we will not compromise.

Planning advice helpline: 0845 603 7602

What do we mean by ‘planning’?

Terms such as ‘planning’, ‘the planning system’ and ‘planning process’ are about deciding how land is used in our towns, cities and the countryside. This includes a wide range of things – from home extensions, micro-renewable projects, building schools, shopping centres, roads, skate parks, new towns and windfarms to protecting public open spaces like playing fields, leisure centres and listed buildings. These activities in the ‘built environment’ are known as ‘development’ and often require planning permission.

Planning decides where development should happen, where it shouldn’t and how it affects and fits into its surroundings. The planning system is essential for economic growth, protecting the environment, promoting sustainability and improving quality of life for all of us.

Scotland has recently undergone the biggest reform to its planning system for 60 years, with a strong emphasis on community engagement.

Find out more about the planning system:

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Contact: David McAllister
Phone: 0131 220 9734