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Henry McLeishFormer Scottish First Minister, Henry McLeish, has become a patron of PAS, a charity that helps people to ‘build’ their future.

Having formally trained as a planner before entering the world of politics, Mr McLeish has a keen understanding of planning and many of the key issues facing the built environment in Scotland today – including the vital role of the planning system in helping Scotland realise its ambition of a low carbon economy. PAS is an independent organisation, working across Scotland to help people shape their communities and improve the way people engage with the planning system.

Henry McLeish said, “Ever since my early career as a planner, I’ve always admired the work of Sir Patrick Geddes, the ‘father of town planning’, who asserted that successful town planning is ultimately about ‘folk-planning’. It is exactly this approach that is at the heart of PAS’s work – to involve people – and is one of the reasons I’m delighted to take on the role of patron.

The planning system in Scotland will increasingly have to cope with the challenges of the low carbon economy – what we do with our waste, how we plan for renewable energy – and it’s vital that an organisation such as PAS can help to raise awareness.

Petra Biberbach, Chief Executive of PAS said, “We’re thrilled to have Henry McLeish as a patron of our organisation. He brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and leadership at a time when planning’s important role in securing sustainable economic growth is more and more acknowledged.

Ian Angus, Chair, PAS added, “The board is pleased to welcome Henry to represent PAS – a man who values the planning system and who recognises the importance of people taking part in decisions that affect their communities and environment.