President's Update

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

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President update: 30th November

30 November 2020

As I write, the Government has announced the local restriction tier system that will replace the national lockdown from December 2nd. With very few exceptions, we will be continuing to live with many restrictions in Tier 2 and Tier 3, which means a continued need to provide meaningful support to our businesses and communities. Just a reminder, we published our report with EY, Resolute and Resilient - Safeguarding the economy during local lockdowns, as a resource for members working to support their local economies.

With a focus firmly fixed on the relationship between place and health, ADEPT welcomed the Centre for Aging Better  to a recent Leadership Team meeting. Their work is focused on taking a strategic and evidence-based approach to enabling people to enjoy later life. Concerned about how inequality is causing disparities in health and life expectancy, the Centre is working with local authorities to look at adaptability in homes and how place and community can provide better environments for us all as we age. We are exploring how we might support and share their work amongst members, take a look at their presentation here. We’ve also been asked to share a really useful joint report, The urgent case for more walking and cycling in the UK, which makes clear the reasons for supporting active travel. Unsurprisingly the two are very much linked with preventative work amongst the 50s-70s needing to encourage walking and cycling in this age group.

I think Covid-19 has highlighted for everyone the interconnectedness between public health and place, so I was pleased to welcome ADPH to the same meeting. Both organisations take the view that the actions, impacts and evidence gathering resulting from a national strategy all take place at the local level, so we support ADPH’s view that any new model for public health must have local leadership at its core. Public health, like place is an intrinsic part of local authorities, and with Covid shining such a spotlight on the importance of access to green space, active travel, we will continue to work together at a national level to support healthy people, places and economies.

The importance of the environment and a green recovery was recognised with the publication of the Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. While we welcome the Government’s step change in recognising the urgent need for a green recovery, yet again the critical role of local authorities has been overlooked. We need a detailed road map and the resources to make this happen at the local level as I set out in our piece in last week’s MJ (p10/11).

Paula Hewitt, ADEPT’s 1st Vice President recently made her debut appearance in front of the Housing and Local Government select committee. ADEPT was asked to give evidence to their inquiry into the future of the planning system in England. We delivered ADEPT’s clear message that planning must not only be about delivering housing volume, we must also create sustainable and resilient places that work for our people. To do that, we need to design for the future now.

There is still time to book your place for the Live Labs Expo on 2nd December and discover  all the extraordinary things our Live Labs teams have been up to, including the unintended links between the Live Lab trials and support for adult social care . Find out more in the Live Labs blog.

Finally, we have once again been working with our partners Ashden, Friends of the Earth, Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment (Imperial College London), Greenpeace UK, London Environment Directors’ Network (LEDNet), Place based Climate Action Network (PCAN) at LSE, and Solace to update our Blueprint for accelerating climate action and a green recovery at the local level. Please read the summary and sign up to show your support. The updated report will be launched on 8th December – if you’d like to attend the webinar, please register here.

You’ll see we’ve made some changes to the website, making it easier for you to find out the latest from Live Labs and our blogs. As always, keep watching our COVID-19 updates page for the latest news. Stay safe everyone.

More posts

  • 10 November 2020

    President update: 10th November

    The election of Joe Biden has come at the end of a tumultuous week for global leaders. Covid numbers are rising across the UK, Europe and US, and in England, we find ourselves in a second national lockdown and diverging ever more from the timings and strategies deployed in the devolved nations. Hopes for breaking the lockdown and lift cycle seem to be firmly pinned on a successful vaccine.

    Read more >

  • 28 October 2020

    President update: 28th October

    I think it’s fair to say that as we look down the barrel of a Covid-19 winter, most of us are concentrating on how to keep our communities safe, our poorest children fed and our businesses, well, in business. It’s been a truly difficult couple of weeks for colleagues up and down the country and we all know it’s not going to get any easier. We also know that we will all continue to work hard to support our communities and places and try to provide the very best public services under continuing exceptional circumstances. 

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  • 14 October 2020

    President update: 14th October

    After much trailing in the media, the Prime Minister finally announced the 3 tier system for local lockdowns on Monday. I think it’s fair to say that these haven’t been received with wholehearted endorsement. Local authorities are facing inconsistencies in how these tiers are being applied across the country. There is some debate whether localised lockdowns are even working and re-emergence of conversations about the North-South divide in terms of economic impacts.

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  • 29 September 2020

    President update: 29th September

    As rising numbers of COVID-19 cases continue across the country and the difficult situation for many students dominates the news, we are also facing the prospect of greater national restrictions. Parliament is concerned over the lack of scrutiny of emergency powers and there are still issues with the track and trace app. For many of us, it might also feel like Groundhog Day, as we continue to wait to find out about Tranche 2 of Active Travel Funding. 

    Read more >

  • 15 September 2020

    President update: 15th September

    The rising number of coronavirus cases and the R number increasing to between 1 and 1.2 are obviously concerning, particularly in the northern areas of England and the Midlands and have prompted the Government to introduce the new ‘rule of six’ guidance. The Prime Minister’s introduction of Covid Marshalls took many of us by surprise with more details due out this week. One of the most pressing issues for us of course, is how they will be funded.

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  • 1 September 2020

    President update: 1st September

    Managing the reopening of schools to all students has provided many challenges, not only for the Government and schools themselves, but also for place directors. We have been working out how we can ensure pupils can travel to and from schools safely using public transport, which has been a massive issue for ADEPT members, and most keenly felt by those outside more urban areas.

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  • 31 July 2020

    President update: 31st July

    The news has been concerning this week, with the reintroduction of some lockdown measures across areas in the north of England, as well as the requirement to quarantine for travellers returning from Spain. The measures serve to highlight that coming out of lockdown is not an easy process, and with increases in cases across Europe, a reminder of how connected we are with our friends.

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  • 20 July 2020

    President's Update

    Local government yet again finds itself facing an uncertain future with even less certain budgets. There has been much coverage of the Public Accounts Committee report which has outlined risks and issues with increasing commercial investments and borrowing across councils, and how Covid-19 has led to a shortfall in expected income.

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  • 8 July 2020

    President update: 8th July

    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.

    Read more >

  • 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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