How do they do it? Paul Miner

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 8 Dec 2014

Paul Miner

Paul Miner has worked for CPRE since 2002. He has a degree in politics and an MA in town and country planning from the University of the West of England in Bristol. He became a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) in 2008, is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and has a long track record as a media spokesman for CPRE on BBC news and Radio 4's Farming Today.

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

Objectives include helping to formulate green-belt policy and looking at how it ties in with brown-belt development, identifying the need for research and, if needed, helping to pull together bids to fund or commission research. We have annual appraisals and performance planning, which usually happens at the start of the year where we sit down and set personal objectives.

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

A. Teamwork and partnership are really important. The more people you can give a sense of involvement and co-ownership to on a project the more it can help you succeed than by working in isolation.

If you can't teamwork, network. Sometimes it's not possible to take a partnership approach, in which case networking is important for gathering the intelligence you need to start and execute a project. We often work with the Department for Communities and Local Government or Natural England but not necessarily in partnership. However, a good network of contacts within those groups helps us get the information needed.

Don't lose heart, planning can be high profile. When I trained I was often told planning struggled to get public profile. But I have learned many people do care about planning and the future especially in terms of where people will live. When we worked on the National Planning Policy Framework in 2011 the amount of public interest surprised even us at CPRE.