An attempt to increase diversity in the recruitment of town planners is recalled by Ros Ward

There was an example of a programme to address the whiteness of the town planning profession initiated over a decade ago (A decade of cuts has set back diversity in the public sector, 19 September).

The chief inspector, Chris Shepley, knew he could not recruit enough BAME inspectors to meet the then civil service target. He therefore set up a programme to give a boost to the chances of young BAME graduate planners to rise through the profession so that they would be eligible to become senior planners and perhaps enter the ranks of inspectors. Funding was given to participating mentors so that these young planners could be given extra coaching in management training and experience. I don’t know how many of those who participated have gone on to become team leaders, heads of departments or planning inspectors, but I know that the programme no longer exists.
Ros Ward

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