Monica Praised In ‘Women of Influence 2024’ Planning Power List

Image shows Monica Lennon MSP In Attendance at The Planner’s Women of Influence 2024 Reception at The Exchange in Birmingham.  

Central Scotland politician and former town planner, Monica Lennon MSP, has been praised in a prestigious industry power list for her positive impact on planning. 

The Scottish Labour and Co-op MSP impressed a panel of distinguished judges from across the UK. Lennon previously worked as a planning professional before being elected as a Hamilton councillor and taking up her role at Holyrood. Roles included working for

South Lanarkshire Council, the Scottish Government, national housebuilders and global consultancies. 

The planning award follows on from Lennon being included in a list of 50 UK politicians who have made significant contributions to environmental causes, in the authoritative ENDS report. 

Lennon studied Environmental Planning at the University of Strathclyde after leaving St John Ogilvie High School, Hamilton in 1997.

Her first taste of a Planning Department was in Hamilton during her studies, later joining South Lanarkshire Council as a graduate in 2001. 

On being crowned as one of The Planner’s Women of Influence 2024 for her contribution to national planning policy at an awards reception in Birmingham, Monica Lennon said:  

“It is a real pleasure to be included in the ‘Women of Influence’ class of 2024, sharing this accolade with some of the most inspiring women in the planning profession across the UK and Ireland today. 

“Planning decisions can have long lasting impacts on our local communities and that is why inclusive and sustainable practices are so important”  

“Having the opportunity to speak to so many inspiring women in the industry and celebrate their commitment to creating the places we all want to live and work in was a truly rewarding experience”  

“I am passionate about people having the opportunity to join the planning profession, something that was afforded to me when I left school in 1997. However, since there are fewer universities offering planning courses at a time when we need to widen access to planning education and training. I am pleased that the Scottish Government has taken onboard my ideas on planning apprenticeships. 

“I hope we see more support for people who want to retrain as planners, as they are critical to tackling the climate and nature emergencies and ensuring our communities have the right homes, transport and services.” 

As a member of the Scottish Parliaments Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee (NZET) and the Convener of the Cross-party group on Construction,

Monica has demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing issues of urban development and sustainability. 

Formally a chartered town planner, Monica has used her knowledge of the industry to create positive change, playing a pivotal role in the Scottish Government’s commitment to introduce planning apprenticeships, and in delivering children’s right to play in planning legislation.