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Joshua Singh – National Young Planner of the Year

Joshua Singh has been recognised for his commitment in making a difference to Sandwell’s residents and businesses, as well as promoting career opportunities in planning to the region’s young people.

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

Since joining the council in 2010, Josh has worked in several planning areas, before securing a permanent position in the Planning Regeneration team in 2015. While there, he has helped to deliver multiple regeneration projects that have benefited the borough, including leading on a council programme to tackle ‘grot spots’.

More recently, Josh was part of the team that secured £67.5million of Government Towns Fund investment for Sandwell, leading specifically on the West Bromwich Town Investment Plan. This resulted in West Bromwich securing £25million of funding for six town centre projects, ranging from High Street upgrades to sustainable transport, with Josh leading on the Urban Greening programme across the town centre.

In addition to this, Josh champions engagement with local schools, working 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, explaining 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 14 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, experience and 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!”

Shokat Lal, Chief Executive of Sandwell Council, 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 prouder of him.”

Visit Regenerating Sandwell website to find out more about regeneration projects across Sandwell.