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As the Association attempted to link theory and practice in regional policy and planning, a common discussion held was whether it should, or could, exert policy influence. To a degree, the extent to which the Association could seek political influence was resolved when, in 1969, it became a registered charity: under the Charities Act (1960) it could not overtly lobby. However, members continued to press the Association to use its activities for influence, leading the Executive Committee to agree that the Association could make public statements, but should avoid becoming a ‘pressure-group for particular strategic and political interpretations of regional planning’. Instead, the Association continued to provide a forum for non-partisan consideration of government consultations and policies.

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