About ADEPT

The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) represents 'directors of place' who are responsible for providing day-to-day services including local highways, recycling, waste and planning as well as the strategic long-term planning and delivery of sustainable places. ADEPT members are at the very heart of delivering clean sustainable growth, tackling climate change at a local level. We manage the projects that are fundamental to creating more resilient, inclusive and safe communities, economies and infrastructure.

Who we are

ADEPT represents directors of place from county, unitary and combined authorities, along with directors of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), sub-national transport boards and corporate partners drawn from key service sectors throughout England.

ADEPT is a membership based professional organisation with:

  • 95+ county, unitary and combined authority members,
  • 4 sub-national transport bodies,
  • 14 local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and
  • 21 Corporate Partner members across England.

The key to unlocking economic recovery and renewal lies with local leadership. Place directors create the strategies, run the services and lead the projects that shape local places for their communities. The whole country benefits from investment in local place. Tackling inequality and climate change, while promoting health and wellbeing, supporting business and maintaining critical infrastructure is most successful when national investment is locally led.

We represent members' interests by proactively engaging central government on emerging policy and issues, responding to consultations and enquiries, creating national guidance, and promoting initiatives aimed at influencing government policy. We also represent public sector interests across all our key areas in national sectoral organisations.

ADEPT's remit

ADEPT members manage some of the most pressing issues facing the country today, including green recovery and tackling climate change. We are responsible for everyday public services that people need to ensure communities thrive, are well-connected, sustainable and healthy.

Local planning and services, public transport and high streets, green spaces and active travel, employment and skills all contribute to the wellbeing of our local areas and the people who live, study and work in them. ADEPT members are passionate about making them better, working with colleagues, partners and government to create the places are communities and businesses need.

Our remit includes:

  • delivering clean, sustainable growth through recovery and regeneration
  • infrastructure including local roads, highways and digital connectivity
  • planning & housing
  • environment including waste, flood & water management, energy, natural capital

ADEPT published its Strategic Plan 2020-2023 at the Autumn Conference in November 2019.

How we operate

We are responsible for delivering public services that primarily relate to the physical environment and the economy, but which have a significant impact on all aspects of the nation’s wellbeing. 

We engage directly with central government, senior civil servants and principal departments, contributing to select committees, advising on policy development and initiatives. We also represent public sector interests across all our key areas. Our aim is to create healthier, sustainable and inclusive places.

We have a unique understanding of the opportunities and barriers facing our communities. Working extensively with business and the voluntary sector, we regularly engage with other professional organisations and trade bodies. These partnerships give us a broad perspective, while delivering at local, regional and national levels means we have a depth of experience that we can bring to our work with government.

Although our members are predominantly from English authorities, we are closely affiliated with the County Surveyors’ Society (CCS) Wales, the Society of Chief Officers of Transport in Scotland (SCOTS) and the Department for Infrastructure Northern Ireland plus the London Environment Directors Network (LEDNet) and Transport for London. Senior figures from local authorities form part of ADEPT's Leadership Team.

On 1st April 2022 ADEPT became a company limited by guarantee. Our Articles of Association are here and the Incorporation document is here. A explanation behind the move to incorporate is here

The Leadership Team retains its current constituency. That includes the President, Immediate Past President and three Vice Presidents – as company directors / legal members – along with the chairs of the Regional and Subject Boards, CCS Wales, SCOTS, the Department for Infrastructure Northern Ireland plus the CEO. Its role will be to continue to act as a consultative body, advising the Board of Directors on behalf of the wider membership.

Developing our members

Developing members and supporting them is at the heart of ADEPT’s work. We run a number of programmes, all designed to drive innovation and develop leadership. You can find out more about the programmes here.

Leadership

ADEPT’s Leadership Team is made up from the chairs of Subject Boards and Sub-national Boards and includes the leads from the devolved nations’ organisations.

In May 2021 Paula Hewitt from Somerset County Council became the ADEPT president, taking over from Nigel Riglar of South Gloucestershire Council. 

Our next AGM is 26th May 2022.

Click here to find out more about the structure and governance of ADEPT.

Groups

The Association consists of a number of subject and geographical boards and working groups that reflect ADEPT’s remit. These enable ADEPT members across the country to come together to formulate policy and advice to government, produce national guidance and to share best practice. Find out more about ADEPT's groups.