President's Update

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

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President update: 13th May

13 May 2021

Following last week’s local elections, many of us will be preparing to welcome new Mayors and councillors and looking ahead to the policy changes that a change of political leadership often brings. These are always challenging times for officers, where we aim to ensure our politicians are fully briefed and prepared for the challenging decisions that lie ahead. 

Nationally, we have just had the Queen’s Speech and the State Opening of Parliament. Of key interest to ADEPT members will be the contents of the Planning Bill and what, if any, changes to the zoning system outlined in the White Paper might mean. The replacement guidelines for State Aid will be set out in the Subsidy Control Bill, and we will be keeping an eye on the Procurement Bill for any implications for local government. There was a lot in this speech, with a Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill to extend 5G mobile coverage amongst other things, a Building Safety Bill and of course the Environment Bill will get another run. Also noteworthy is the Bill to remove five year fixed term governments and a return to the Prime Minister having the power to call early elections.

We have just published our latest Policy Challenge Paper, a response to the Government’s review of local enterprise partnerships. Many LEPs are ADEPT members, and we support the evolution of LEPs. We acknowledge that there are areas such as accountability, transparency and representation, where improvements can be made, but above all, we would like to see an increase in LEPs working in cross-sector partnerships and engaging with stakeholders at the sub- regional level to truly deliver for place. Click on the link for the Policy Challenge Paper - LEPs Review. We would welcome your comments – please do send them to Hannah ([email protected]).

ADEPT has submitted a response to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s inquiry, Local government and the path to net zero. Read our submission here. We’ve also been invited to give verbal evidence to the EFRA Committee inquiry into Tree Planting & Woodlands. 

The Excellence in Place Leadership programme is continuing with the second cohort. We have had sessions on The Future of Place and Green Recovery. Building on this second session, Carolyn McKenzie will be leading on work with Natural England around financing, raising profile and data insights. For the third session we will have a focus on skills which will be used to complement the work ADEPT is doing on building skills for innovation in place. Keep an eye on the EiPL webpages for session documents and blogs.

With the success of the Live Labs programme, which is due to complete in November, ADEPT has been putting together a proposal for Live Labs 2, with the working title ‘Bringing the decarbonisation of local and regional roads to reality’. DfT has indicated they would like to explore the potential for a UK wide programme, and we have been discussing this with our associate organisations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In the meantime, we continue to promote the excellent Live Labs 1 programme, with forthcoming webinars planned for CCS Wales and DfT. 

Next month, both ADEPT and Live Labs will have sessions at this year’s online Traffex conference 15-17 June. Incoming ADEPT President Paula Hewitt (who will take over as ADEPT President on 27th May) will be chairing a session on Building Back Better and Giles Perkins will be leading a session on Live Labs.

There is still time to book your place on our Spring Seminar on 27th May. With an exciting line up planned, Reimagining places: a focus on town centres & high streets promises to be an interesting and thought provoking event – with popcorn! The Seminar and the ADEPT President’s Awards are both virtual this year so make sure you’re booked in. 

As always, keep watching our COVID-19 updates page for the latest news. Stay well everyone.

More posts

  • 30 April 2021

    President update: 30th April

    As lockdown restrictions are eased, we are beginning to see the impacts reflected through our places. We have had reports of traffic increases of 10 % in the last week and there are varied reports from our high streets, with some market towns reporting benefits from people not having to commute. It’s going to be interesting to see whether some of the environmental benefits of less traffic on our roads and people shopping locally can remain after lockdown ends.

    Read more >

  • 14 April 2021

    President update - 14th April

    Welcome back from the Easter break everyone, I hope you have all managed to enjoy some well needed time off.

    I wanted to start this blog by taking a brief moment to acknowledge Prince Philip’s passing and his many long years of service. On behalf of ADEPT, I would like to offer our deepest condolences to the Queen and the Royal Family.

    Read more >

  • 31 March 2021

    President update: 31st March

    This week we begin our path out of lockdown, with people being able to meet up with other households within existing guidelines. With some welcome sunshine and the clocks going forward, there is a sense of relief in the country, albeit with some wariness about how Europe’s third wave might affect the UK.

    Read more >

  • 15 March 2021

    President update: 15th March

    The continued roll out of the vaccine and the drop in numbers of infections and deaths due to Covid-19 continues to be good news in what has been a hard start to 2021. The winter lockdown has been difficult for everyone and although it will be good to see restrictions lift, I think we are all mindful of Professor Chris Whitty’s warning and the continued need to support colleagues in public health.

    Read more >

  • 2 March 2021

    President update: 2nd March

    It has been reassuring to see the Government take a more measured route out of lockdown based on data. Although there is inevitable discussion and disagreement about the approach to schools reopening and concern amongst business and the tourism industry, it is useful to have some degree of certainty on the route forward. All eyes are now on the Budget, where the Chancellor is expected to announce a continuation of support for business, the furlough scheme and other job support schemes, at least in the short term.

    Read more >

  • 17 February 2021

    President update: 17th February

    The success of the NHS vaccine rollout has been most welcome amidst all the grim news, ongoing restrictions and winter weather. Unfortunately. it has also brought with it increased speculation and leaks to media about how we get out of lockdown and how soon - the kind of mixed messaging that helps no-one. So far, all it seems to be is speculation, and the Prime Minister is certainly indicating that by taking it slowly, this could be our last lockdown.

    Read more >

  • 1 February 2021

    President update: 1st February

    I think I can speak for everyone when I say how the recent news about the UK’s COVID-19 deaths have saddened us all. We have all taken a moment, I am sure, to reflect on the people whose lives have been shortened and families who have been devastated by losing loved ones.

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  • 20 January 2021

    President update: 20th January

    A belated Happy New Year!

    For many of us, I suspect 2021 couldn’t come fast enough. Although we can be forgiven for the ‘Groundhog Day’ feeling of finding ourselves in another national lockdown, the vaccine rollout shows us that there is an end in sight. I think we all accept that this will take some time and that we will still be working hard to maintain core services, but at least we are no longer wondering whether it will end at all.

    Read more >

  • 18 December 2020

    President update: 18th December

    Christmas is going to look very different for most people this year, but even so, it feels something of a relief to be coming to the end of 2020. Although there is plenty of work and more challenges ahead, and it is certainly not a time to be letting our guards down, I think we will all be glad to get this year behind us.

    I think ADEPT members can look back on a year that has been one of the hardest we have known, but also one where we can really say we have stepped up to do what we do best: support and advocate for our places, communities and people.

    Read more >