The Inaugural Meeting of the Barbados Town & Country Planning Society (BTCPS) was held on 1st October, 1968 at the Marine Hotel, Barbados. Initial members included the Convener and Founder President, Mr. Leonard St. Hill, other professional Town Planners and other interested persons coming from a variety of professions and vocations.
The Principal Objective of the Society was “the promotion of the study of land use planning and the provision of a forum for the development of informed public opinion on all planning matters for the improvement of the community as a whole”.
The Constitution of the Society was amended on 12th June, 1972 to create two classes of membership, Professional and Associate Members.This new professional organization would therefore be controlled by its professional Council, from which its officers would be elected, with Associate Members playing a supportive role.
The change in status to that of a professional planning organization led to its membership of the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) in 1972.By 1973, the Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica organizations represented the Caribbean in membership of CAP.
But the influence in CAP had begun with Richard Gill of the Barbados Government’s Town & Country Development Planning Office and Bill Hodges of the Technical Institute in Jamaica who were two of the group which met in London in 1970 to thrash out a draft constitution under the chairmanship of Professor Arthur Ling, who became CAP’s founding President in the following year.Bill Hodges became the first Regional Representative (Americas).The Americas Region includes the Caribbean and Canada, but the latter was not initially represented in the formation of CAP.
Since 1972, the Society has participated in most formal CAP plenary meetings and its delegates have represented the Americas Region three times. Luther Bourne was the Regional Representative (1980-1984) and Richard Gill (2006-2008) and Yolanda Alleyne (2012-2014) were Vice-Presidents.By convention, representation of the Americas Region on the CAP Executive is by a Professional Representative of Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica or Canada by rotation.
CAP has played an important role in the development of the profession and interaction of professional Town Planners throughout the Commonwealth, with generous financial assistance of the Commonwealth Foundation.The BTCPS has therefore given priority to its support of CAP’s activities over the years, even though it is small in size.
The BTCPS has held a number of regional conferences under the aegis of the Commonwealth Association of Planners and with partial funding from other agencies.Major conferences were held in 1974 (with the CAP Executive), 1988 and 2006.
A number of other seminars were held in several Caribbean countries by the Caribbean Conference for Town & Country Planning, with Leonard St. Hill as Coordinator.This was inaugurated in 1984 by the three regional Bodies as the “umbrella” under which they met.Its existence was solely to host seminars and it had no formal management structure.Its function was overtaken by the three regional Bodies.
In addition to its major regional conferences, the BTCPS has hosted many local seminars and conferences since its inception, choosing topics of wide interest to associated disciplines and to the public at large.
It also represents the interests of its members and expects to be incorporated as a company shortly.