Public practice makes perfect

By Sarah Cary | 22 May 2018

In March, I left British Land to take up the role of executive director of place at Enfield LBC. I made the decision to join local government because I wanted to look after a specific area of city for the public good. I am involved in everything from the £6bn Meridian Water project, to rebuilding thousands of homes through estate renewal, to street cleaning and cemeteries – a rewarding job every day of the week.

My move into local government raised a few eyebrows among colleagues. The development industry has become more used to seeing people move in the opposite direction. Faced with shrinking budgets and weakened powers, many experienced planning and regeneration officers have moved into consultancy or taken early retirement. Those who stayed are often doing innovative work despite, not because of, the conditions they operate within.

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