Former Urban Task Force member gets role on key design body

A former member of Richard Rogers’ Urban Task Force, and director of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, has been appointed director of policy at the Design Council.

Tony Burton, who most recently founded influential community charity Civic Voice, will become director of policy and communications at the design body, which now incorporates built environment expert Cabe. He will work across both the industrial design and built environment parts of the business, reporting in to chief executive David Kester.

Burton’s previous high profile roles have included heading up strategy and external affairs for the National Trust, and deputy director of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. 

Despite the National Trust’s anti-development stance, Burton played a role in drawing up the Urban Renaissance report for then deputy prime minister John Prescott, which defined the direction of built environment policy during the last decade and led to the founding of Cabe.

Burton said: “Policy makers, politicians, businesses and communities are really starting to appreciate design’s role in driving innovation, improving public services and transforming the quality of the buildings, streets and open spaces in which we all live.” 

David Kester, chief executive of the Design Council said he was “delighted” that Tony Burton was joining the organisation. He said: “His experience in community engagement and in building and representing memberships will play a vital role in our commitment to putting good design at the heart of delivering new national policies in areas such as social transformation, economic growth and the built environment.”