President's Update

This blog page features updates from ADEPT's President, Paula Hewitt.

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President update: 21st June

21 June 2021

It’s certainly a really busy start to summer for ADEPT. One of my first events as ADEPT President was chairing a Building Back Better session at last week’s Traffex conference. Immediate Past President, Nigel Riglar, spoke at the Perspectives on the Climate Change Challenge session at the LGC Climate Change conference, also last week. Sue Halliwell will be representing ADEPT and the Blueprint coalition during London Climate Action Week, joining a panel debate on taking a place-based approach to net zero (click here to register).

The Waste Working Group, has been working hard to develop and submit the ADEPT response to three recent Government waste consultations. Click on the links for our submissions: ADEPT response to the Consultation on the Waste Prevention Programme for EnglandConsultation on Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging - ADEPT response and Deposit Return Scheme Consultation June 2021 - ADEPT response. The Group is currently working on a fourth Defra consultation submission, and the one with the most potential impact for local authorities, the Consistency in Household and Business Recycling in England, which closes on the 4th July.

We’ve also been fortunate to have been called to give evidence to two select committees. David Sutherland spoke on ADEPT’s behalf for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee evidence session for the Tree Planting and Woodland inquiry. You can watch the session here. Polly Cook will be appearing before the HCLG inquiry in Local Government and the Path to Net Zero at 4pm on Monday (21 June), which you will be able to watch, here. We were pleased to see that the HCLG select committee report on planning reform reflected many of the points we made in our evidence.

The Rights of Way Group has published the results of its third survey into Public Rights of Way. The impacts of Covid-19 have continued to impact on rights of way teams through the public’s greater usage of the network and a backlog of maintenance needs. Although more people discovering the health and wellbeing benefits of our footpaths and bridleways is most welcome, we need greater funding certainty to ensure their safety and upkeep. You can find the accompanying press release here.

I’m pleased to be able to announce that Amey has agreed to sponsor the Excellence in Place Leadership programme for another year. The programme is aimed at our radical thinkers and seeks to develop new approaches and disrupt our tendency to rely on business as usual, encouraging innovation and forward thinking. The theme for this year’s cohort has been how we build back better and you can find more information, blogs about the programme, supporting documents and toolkits here

The Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) Live Labs team welcomed Transport Minister, Rachel Maclean last week. I’m pleased to say the Minister was impressed with their Network Resilience Live Lab, which aims to manage congestion, understand travel behaviour and deliver personalised travel planning in the area, using video technology. The latest Live Labs blog comes from Suffolk, who have been working with Canadian firm, Liveable Cities. The company has provided microsensors as part of their smart sensors trial. Find out more here.

I know that many of you were disappointed in the technical difficulties that disrupted the networking sessions at the Spring Seminar. Although we were all really frustrated on the day, it was good to know that so many of you wanted to participate. As a result, we have set up four concurrent Lunch and Learn sessions on 24th June running between 12:00 -12:45. You will need to select which session you would like to attend. All conference delegates, and the wider membership, will have received an email – if you can’t find it, please just email Helen on [email protected].

Finally, look out for an email about our next webinar with CIPFA on renewable energy and investment. We will be publishing details shortly.

As you know, with the delay in lifting the final lockdown restrictions due to increasing numbers of infections, Covid-19 is still very much with us. Keep checking our COVID-19 updates page for news, but also, the ADEPT website, for a whole range of updates and documents that we publish regularly to support members. 


More posts

  • 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. 

    Read more >

  • 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.

    Read more >

  • 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.

    Read more >

  • 8 April 2020

    President's update: 8th April

    As we move into the 3rd week of lockdown across England, I have to say how proud I am of how ADEPT members and local authorities are responding to this exceptional time of crisis. Our members continue to provide the essential universal services on which we all depend, while tracking impacts and planning for the inevitable changes to provision as Covid-19 continues to take hold.

    Read more >

  • 31 March 2020

    President's update: 31st March

    The word unprecedented has been used time and time again in recent weeks, but there really is no other way of describing the pace and scale of the challenge to the country and the world caused by Covid-19.

    Read more >

  • 5 February 2020

    President's Blog: February 2020 - What next for local authorities after Brexit?

    I write this as the UK formally starts our exit from the EU. No matter your view on this moment in history, undoubtedly there will be significant consequences and opportunities for local authorities and our wider sector to grow our places. 

    As the new government develops the details of its policy agenda, there are two areas where ADEPT will need to make sure its voice is heard – future funding and devolution.

    Read more >

  • 16 January 2020

    Can we plant our way out of the climate emergency? Guest blog by 1st Vice President Nigel Riglar

    I’m having an afternoon trying to work out if we can plant our way to carbon neutrality by 2030. It’s a question Place Directors are asking themselves. I’ve been bouncing ideas around with Tom MacMillan from the Royal Agricultural University (RAU). It’s not straightforward. Let us explain.

    If you look out of your window you can probably see a patch of grass. If you can’t then imagine a football pitch.

    Read more >

  • 28 November 2019

    Reflections on the ADEPT Autumn Conference

    Since returning home from last week’s ADEPT Autumn Conference in Bath, I’ve been reflecting on some of the key themes, not just from our speakers and panel discussions, but in conversations with members and delegates throughout the two days.

    We are all so incredibly busy, balancing the demands of service delivery with long term planning, that taking a couple of days away can feel like a big ask. However, taking the time to think, listen, reflect and learn makes such a big difference, and I know following this many of us go back to our organisations with new ideas and connections.

    Read more >