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ADEPT awards winners 2024 - celebrating innovation and creating resilient communities in a time of change

At its annual President’s Awards on the 16th of May, the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) has recognised the achievements of members and partners working across the country.

The awards ceremony, which was part of ADEPT’s Spring Conference, also marks the end of Anthony Payne’s presidency of the Association - Ann Carruthers, Director of Environment and Transport for Leicestershire County Council, will be taking over the role of President for the forthcoming year.

The President’s Awards, held at One Whitehall Place in London, is a highlight in the ADEPT year and acknowledges the important work of members and partners, with projects that demonstrate achievements in improving the delivery of community services and their outcomes. 

Winner of the Delivering Clean Growth Award, sponsored by Jacobs, was the Suffolk Carbon Charter project, submitted by Suffolk County Council. This scheme provides guidance, support and accreditation to small and medium businesses (SMEs) throughout Suffolk and into Norfolk as they reduce their carbon output and adopt sustainable business practices. The judges applauded this very practical approach to helping SMEs transition to net zero.

Highly commended in the same category was Luston Wetland, a project submitted by Herefordshire Council, aimed at capturing and removing phosphate from waters of the River Lugg catchment. 

Ocean City Nature by Plymouth City Council was also highly commended for demonstrating doughnut economics in action. Through investment in some of Plymouth’s natural spaces, the project will support nature recovery, bringing benefits for biodiversity and improved recreational spaces for residents.

The winner of the Digital Innovation and Technology award, sponsored by Ringway, was Drones Data and Artificial Intelligence submitted by Transport for West Midlands. This project is helping to combat traffic congestion and enhance public safety by providing real time footage and filling coverage gaps in the region’s existing CCTV network. The judges felt that it showed a different way of applying existing technology and demonstrated an innovative approach.

Suffolk County Council was highly commended for their submission Discovering Suffolk, a website designed to promote and encourage exploring, walking, cycling and riding in Suffolk.

The final award, Shaping Places for People, sponsored by Impower, was won by the Reconnecting Runcorn project by Halton Borough Council. This project aims to drive sustainable long term economic and productivity growth and will include enhanced transport links, housing and environmental improvement as well as upgraded visitor attractions. The judges felt it showed great collaboration, engaging the youth sector and using culture to drive economic activity.

Highly commended in this category was South Gloucestershire Council’s Improving Homes and Wellbeing Service, a pilot project between the local authority and Age UK South Gloucestershire to help homeowners whose homes have fallen into disrepair. The scheme provides individuals with help and support to rectify issues and identifies any underlying problems.

Bath and North East Somerset Council’s was also highly commended for its three-year pilot project The Active Way, which will provide a range of free activities to increase the health and wellbeing for the people in the Somer Valley, through encouraging and supporting active travel.

Finally, the President's Special Recognition Award, sponsored by AMEY, celebrates an individual who makes a real difference by the way they work, the outcomes they deliver and the influence they exert.

This year, the President’s Special Recognition Award was won by Bob Evely who works in Environmental Enforcement for South Gloucestershire Council. The judges said that Bob was chosen for the passion he clearly displays for his role in environmental enforcement.

Overall, the judges felt that this year saw the strongest set of submissions that they had seen so far and that every entry resonated with today’s issues, feeling both contemporary and relevant.

Outgoing ADEPT President, Anthony Payne said: “The Spring Conference and Awards offers ADEPT members a well deserved and hugely positive opportunity to come together, celebrate the past year’s achievements and discuss the challenges that lie ahead.

“It's truly inspiring to witness the high standard of entries in all categories in this year’s, awards, which sparked extensive deliberation among the judges. I'd like to congratulate all of the exceptional winners and thank everyone who entered. 

"Creating resilient places was the theme of our event and the complexities of this bold and exciting goal are ones we can only tackle with innovation and collaboration.”

ADEPT is the voice of strategic place directors from county, combined and unitary authorities across England with responsibility for the key place based services, including transport, environment, planning, economic development, housing and waste. 

Information on all the 2024 President Award entrants is available here.

Award winners – list of finalists: 

Category 1 - Delivering Clean Growth (sponsored by Jacobs)

  • Winner: Suffolk County Council for Suffolk Carbon Charter
  • Highly commended: Herefordshire Council - Luston Wetland 
  • Highly commended: Plymouth City Council - Ocean City Nature

Category 2 - Digital Innovation & Technology (sponsored by Ringway)

  • Winner: Drones Data and Artificial Intelligence for Transport for West Midlands
  • Highly commended: Discovering Suffolk - Suffolk County Council

Category 3 - Shaping Places for People (sponsored by Impower Consulting)

  • Winner: Reconnecting Runcorn for Halton Borough Council
  • Highly commended: The Active Way - Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • Highly commended: Improving Homes and Wellbeing Service - South Gloucestershire Council

President’s Special Recognition Award (sponsored by Amey)

  • Winner: Bob Evely – Environmental Enforcement Team Leader - South Gloucestershire Council

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