President's Update

This blog page will feature regular updates from ADEPT's President, Nigel Riglar.

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President update: 8th July

8 July 2020

It was interesting to listen to the chancellor’s summer statement, which outlined some important new investment that will have an impact on clean and green growth. The investment into infrastructure, the £3bn green jobs plan and the £2bn Green Homes Grant, will all help to drive a green recovery. In particular, retrofitting homes is vital for communities and the wider built environment – it not only reduces carbon emissions, it also builds resilience to future climate change, reduces fuel poverty and improves health. At the same time, it builds skills and supports low carbon economic development. These announcements are positive news for cutting carbon and we are looking forward to receiving more detail on how these schemes will work.

The announcement that all pupils are to return to school in September has led to many questions for local authorities on how public transport can manage large numbers of returning students and social distancing. Many local authorities are reviewing different options from looking at ‘school streets’ to reduce the volume of cars close to schools, to encouraging greater use of active travel for the last mile. With the emphasis on councils to provide local solutions, we are all concerned about how these will be funded and the disparity between rural and urban areas on how they can respond. ADEPT has been feeding into DfT on this issue and we are looking at the potential for a joint response with other Associations.

Mark Stevens and the Engineering Board are working on a policy position paper on e-scooters, which should be ready to publish this month. The Transport and Connectivity Board is gathering evidence on the allocation of tranche 1 active travel funds. Early indication shows it is a very mixed picture across the country. We have been asking DfT for information on tranche 2. On Monday we are hosting a virtual workshop with DfT on the transport decarbonisation plan.

The Recovery and Devolution White Paper is due out in the Autumn, with huge implications for the structure of local government in England. The Leadership Team has begun conversations on a range of questions including on organisational resilience, the impacts on service delivery and for people, place and place-shaping from potential large scale changes. The intention is to develop an ADEPT position on this issue.

The Sustainable Growth Board has just held a workshop to share perspectives around the potential themes of the forthcoming Planning White Paper. Facilitated by Paul Barnard from Plymouth City Council, the group considered the role of planning in delivering green recovery and what are the offers, and asks, of ADEPT to central government and key partners. More detail to follow.

Finally, we are finalising the programme for November’s Autumn conference taking into account the likelihood of 1m social distancing. Perhaps not surprisingly, the conference title is ‘Resilient places: from recovery to renewal’. Two themes will dominate the agenda for place over the coming months and will underpin the conference - tackling climate change (reducing emissions and adapting) and meeting the funding challenge.

As ever, keep an eye on our COVID-19 updates page for our latest news.

More posts

  • 1 July 2020

    President update: 1st July

    The Prime Minister’s much trailed announcement of a New Deal wasn’t the once-in-a-generation, green and clean recovery many had hoped for. Some of the funding had been announced before, just with a speeding up of delivery timescales, but investment in broadband and cycleways is welcome. ADEPT would like to see more ambitious thinking from government.

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  • 24 June 2020

    President update: 24th June

    As the Government opens up the economy further and reduces the 2m rule to ‘1m plus’, local high streets begin to see a welcome influx of visitors becoming more confident in returning to town centres, and a slow shift into a more normal life.

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  • 17 June 2020

    President update: 17th June

    This week marks the beginning of a significant time for our high streets with many shops allowed to reopen, but with strict social distancing in place. We will be watching closely how the public reacts over the coming weeks to get an idea of how safe our communities feel about returning to the shops. It’s a major concern for all place directors who need to ensure their communities feel confident and that their local economies can restart. For retail businesses, it is also a critical point as they work out how they can continue to operate with a reduced footfall. 

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  • 9 June 2020

    President update: 9th June

    My first week as ADEPT President has been a busy one. I never thought my first big role would be to don the Lycra, get on my bike and do an interview with BBC’s Countryfile, but that’s exactly what I did. Never say ADEPT isn’t without surprises.

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  • 29 May 2020

    President update: 29th May

    Hello everyone. 

    I’m Nigel Riglar and I’m ADEPT’s President for the coming 12 months. Firstly, I want to thank Darryl for a fantastic year, which has seen ADEPT continue to grow and expand its work supporting members, increasing influence as well as working on the challenges of climate change, Brexit planning and now Covid-19.

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  • 20 May 2020

    President update: 20th May

    With ADEPT’s Spring Conference this week, this is my last update as President. It’s been a fantastic year, even with small matters such as a prorogued government, general election, widespread winter floods then a global pandemic taking over my final few months. For Nigel, COVID-19 will shape his entire Presidency and I offer him my full support as he takes on what will be a very challenging year ahead for ADEPT members.

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  • 11 May 2020

    President's update: 11th May

    The Friday Bank Holiday this month to mark the 75th anniversary of VE has been a time both for celebration and reflection. That it has fallen during a period of huge uncertainty and necessary restriction in our lives is a poignant reminder of how life can change so quickly. I’ve been reflecting on the sacrifices that were made then and the heart-wrenching dedication, commitment and bravery of our frontline NHS and careworkers now. 

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  • 1 May 2020

    President's update: 1st May

    The Prime Minister gave his first press briefing since coming back to work this week. With much speculation focused on what the plan for lifting lockdown might look like, many have been expecting to hear that at least some restrictions will be lifted soon. Competing views within the Cabinet have been labelled as hawks and doves, and there has been much anticipation about which way the Prime Minister will lean. 

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  • 24 April 2020

    President's update: 24th April

    Much media attention has been turning towards what coming out of lockdown will look like. Questions are being asked of the Government to lay out its strategy as Nicola Sturgeon has set out for Scotland. Similarly, local authorities have been considering what easing of lockdown restrictions might look like and what kind of impact this will have on our services. We’ve started to ask questions about the renewal of places and our local economies and how as place directors, we can provide leadership and thinking on how our places can work differently.

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  • 16 April 2020

    President's update: 16th April

    I hope you all managed to get some respite over the Easter weekend. It’s been a strange one this year. It is no surprise to anyone that the decision from government this week is to maintain the lockdown. Reports vary as to when we will see the peak, but there is no doubt that the public response to the Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives campaign has been far better than anticipated and we seem to be flattening the curve. This is undoubtedly positive news, but we still have a while to go.

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