Independent Review of Planning

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The UNISON Scotland Evidence to the Independent Review of Planning

UNISON is Scotland’s largest public sector trade union representing a range of public sector workers including Scotland’s planners.

Despite the radical reform of the planning system in 2009 the government is proposing further changes to the performance management of planning authorities. The real issues in planning are already constrained planning budgets and staff shortages. Delays are due to underfunding and heavy workloads. Planners deal with a range of issues from large developments to house extensions. The number of planning disputes and often bitter and lengthy neighbourhood feuds over boundaries, extensions and hedges show how important it is for planning decisions to be right in the first place. This requires adequate funding. Improvement will come through adequate funding and staffing levels and empowering staff and giving them the time to reflect, learn and implement change.

UNISON Scotland is able to collate and analyse member’s experience to provide evidence to inform the policy process. We therefore welcome the opportunity to submit written evidence to the Independent Review of Planning. UNISON members would also welcome the opportunity to meet with the review panel to discuss the review in more detail.


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The introduction of Universal Credit has the potential to significantly impact on the jobs of UNISON members working in Housing Benefit & Welfare rights roles . The Bargaining and Campaigns team are keen to hear from members working in these areas about what has , or seems likely to change, in their job as a result.

Please could you ask any relevant members to get in touch with me – with anything they want to say about .

1.What changes there have been since Universal Credit has been rolled out?
2. How much the shambles that the roll out has been has made or stopped things happening.
3. What changes do they see in their job happening longer term as a result of UC ?

Many thanks

Stephen Low
Policy Officer
UNISON Scotland
Tel: 0141 342 2811/ 0795 685 2822