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Young Planner of the Year 2023: congratulations to Sandwell Council’s Joshua Singh

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Sandwell Council’s planning regeneration team leader, Joshua Singh, has won the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)’s national Young Planner of the Year 2023 award.

Josh received the Young Planner of the Year award last week at the RTPI’s Awards for Planning Excellence.

This national award follows Josh winning the West Midlands Young Planner of the Year in June this year. He was recognised for his commitment to making a difference to Sandwell’s residents and businesses. He was also commended for promoting career opportunities in planning to the region’s young people.

Awards for Planning Excellence

At the recent awards the judges commended Josh’s “outstanding commitment and passion”. They added: “As a role model for future young planners, he will benefit the profession and the communities he works within.”

More recently, Josh was part of the team that secured £67.5m of government Towns Fund investment for Sandwell. He lead specifically on the West Bromwich Town Investment Plan. This resulted in West Bromwich securing £25m of funding for six town centre projects.

Josh joined Sandwell Council in 2010. He worked in several planning areas before securing a permanent position in the planning regeneration team in 2015. He has helped to deliver multiple regeneration projects that have benefited the borough. These include leading on a council programme to tackle ‘grot spots’.

The projects ranged from high street upgrades to sustainable transport, with Josh leading on the Urban Greening programme across the town centre.

Making a difference in Sandwell

In addition to these projects, Josh champions engagement with local schools. He works with the council’s employment team to bring career sessions with professional businesses into primary schools.

He has also helped to establish an educational outreach programme to engage with local college students. His aim is to explain what a career in planning might entail.

Josh said: “I’m extremely proud to have won this award and to have this opportunity to represent young planners from the West Midlands region and across the United Kingdom.

“Working in Sandwell for the past fourteen years and raising a young family as a resident of the borough has made me passionate about delivering regeneration and positive transformation for local communities, residents, businesses and young people across the area.

“Winning this award gives me a platform to share this passion and experience. To put Sandwell on the national and international planning stage, showcasing the influential work we’re doing to raise ambitions and create a new story for Sandwell through regeneration and growth.

“I am very fortunate that Sandwell Council has recognised and supported my career, from starting on the main reception through to leading the council’s planning regeneration team. I have a fantastic team around me, and I thank the team of managers who put me forward for this award. Especially Jenna Langford whose footsteps I am following, as a previous recipient of this award in 2019. Two National Young Planners of the Year from Sandwell – we’re obviously doing something right!”

Support from Sandwell Council

Chief Executive of Sandwell Council, Shokat Lal, added: “Josh’s incredible achievement is well-deserved and testimony to his dedication to the people of Sandwell. It is wonderful that the council has been able to support him throughout his career.

“Josh also personifies the vision and ambition for the council and Sandwell as a thriving borough on a journey towards excellence. Josh is a credit to Sandwell, and we couldn’t be more proud of him.”

To find out more about regeneration projects across Sandwell visit www.regeneratingsandwell.co.uk.

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