How do they do it? Pam Ewen

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 6 Feb 2015

Pam Ewen

TAYplan is one of four strategic development planning authorities covering the city-regions for Scotland’s four largest cities. Since its start in 2009 Pam Ewen has been in charge of the authority for the Dundee and Perth city region in Scotland.

Before moving to TAYplan she worked for nine years as a planning manager with Fife Council, leading strategic planning, economic policy, research and information across Fife.

After graduating in the early 1990s from Strathclyde University she started her career in local government in Ayr before moving to Clackmannanshire. Ewen has a degree in town planning and an MBA and is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) heads of planning Scotland executive. She is also a board member of the Scottish Cities Knowledge Centre. 

Q. What are your objectives in your current role and how are you measured against them?

My key objective is delivering strategic development plans, which in Scotland we have to do every four years. So it's a constant cycle of working with key partners including the NHS, Transport Scotland, Architecture and Design Scotland and private-sector organisations. We have to produce a performance planning framework and submit it for ministerial scrutiny, but below that we deliver against an agreed project plan with feedback from our key partners.

Q. What key lessons have you learned during your career that help you to fulfil those objectives?

A. Respect and trust are core values. You meet lots of people and change jobs throughout your career but showing and maintaining trust are constants. They are fundamental to relationships with colleagues and key partners.

Pay close attention to detail. Regardless of whether it's a committee report, research document, a plan or a project on the ground you won't get far in your career without attention to the detail.

Be sensitive. Working in the public sector means you are a professional advisor on behalf of the public and elected members. You have to respect that position.