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ADEPT celebrates success at annual awards event

28 June 2019

The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) Annual Dinner and President’s awards took place last night (Thursday 27th June 2019), celebrating the outstanding achievements of ADEPT members and partners across the country.

Darryl Eyers, the new President of ADEPT, said: “The place sector is a beacon of innovation and ambition and these awards highlight this. It is wonderful to celebrate the amazing work happening across the country, creating great, sustainable places for people to live, work and thrive.”

Darryl is the Director for Economy, Infrastructure & Skills at Staffordshire County Council.

The Awards were held at One Whitehall Place in London and there were three categories: Delivering Clean Growth; Deploying Innovative Technology; and Improving the Environment, Promoting Health.

The Delivering Clean Growth category, sponsored by Veolia, highlights where councils have gone beyond traditional roles to promote clean growth, in line with government guidelines.

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) was named the winner for the Solar Power for Schools Project, which enabled schools to install roof-mounted solar panels. The local authority met the capital cost of installing the systems, allowing schools to purchase the electricity generated at a reduced cost. The impact has been significant: West Sussex solar schools have reduced their combined emissions by 1,300 tonnes per year and reduced energy budgets by £158,000.

There were two highly commended projects for this category: Oxfordshire County Council, for their project to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles from their own fleet; and Norfolk County Council and Suffolk County Council’s Business Energy Efficiency Anglia project, a business service, which tackles barriers to clean growth.

The Deploying Digital Innovation & Technology category, sponsored by Kier, showcases digital innovation and innovative approaches across the sector, that are sustainable, resilient, accessible and promote wellbeing.

The winner of this category was a collaborative project between Ringway, Ringway & Jacobs, Hertfordshire & Essex County Councils and Elgin. This delivered live road closure and real time roadworks information to sat nav devices across the two counties. Data shows that the project saved drivers time by communicating accurate live information. It also increased live traffic monitoring capability across Hertfordshire and Essex from 5% to 40%, without the need to use expensive roadside monitoring equipment.

Nottinghamshire County Council was highly commended for a digital growth programme, aiming to increase digital skills, confidence and knowledge across the business community. Plymouth City Council was also highly commended for City Change Fund, a pioneering citizen-led decision making approach, that gets the community involved in spending infrastructure funds. The project uses crowdfunding technology, called Crowdfund Plymouth, to spend the neighbourhood portion of the Community Infrastructure Levy.

The final category, Improving the Environment, Promoting Health, sponsored by WSP, celebrates excellence in delivering environmental services, including energy, green spaces, local air quality, flood and water maintenance, that also generates public health benefits.

Oxfordshire County Council was top in this category for their Electrical Repair Cafes project, which created a network of electrical repair events to reduce waste and create a more circular economy. To date, the project has diverted over 5 tonnes of waste from landfill, helping to instil a culture of reuse and repair. It has also been extended to other locations across the country.

Luton Borough Council was highly commended for its Lea River Restoration Project, which created a community space with the aims of improving biodiversity, reducing flood risk, and boosting health benefits. South Gloucestershire Council was also highly commended for the Page Park Project, which created a green community space in Staple Hill – the project has transformed the area, adding social value, enhancing health and quality of life.

After the awards, Darryl Eyers, spoke about his ambition and priorities for the year ahead: “I’d like to thank ADEPT’s outgoing President, Neil Gibson for his work: his commitment, ambition and energy towards the sector and for ADEPT have been inspirational.

“As the new ADEPT President, my key priority is to bring together ADEPT with the other local authority professional bodies, ensuring we speak with one voice to government. This will create a powerful, unified force that we can use to ensure resilience for our communities, to safeguard the most vulnerable and sustainably grow our economy and infrastructure.

“My other objectives include implementing the new ADEPT business model, to focus on ADEPT membership and to champion diversity and inclusion across the sector.”

ADEPT is the voice of local authority county, unitary and metropolitan Strategic Place Directors across England with responsibility for the key place based services, including transport, environment, planning, economic development, housing and waste.

Award winners – list of finalists

Category 1 - Delivering Clean Growth (sponsored by Veolia)

  • Winner: Solar power for schools / West Sussex County Council
  • Highly Commended: Oxfordshire CC’s journey to ULEV fleet / Oxfordshire County Council
  • Highly Commended: Business Energy Efficiency Anglia / Norfolk County Council and Suffolk County Council

Category 2 - Deploying Innovative Technology (sponsored by Kier)

  • Winner: Live time road closure info / Hertfordshire County Council & Essex County Council
  • Highly Commended: Digital Growth Programme / Nottinghamshire County Council
  • Highly Commended: Crowdfund Plymouth / Plymouth City Council

Category 3 - Improving the Environment, Promoting Health (sponsored by WSP)

  • Winner: Electrical Repair Cafes / Oxfordshire County Council
  • Highly Commended: River Lea restoration / Luton Borough Council
  • Highly Commended: New Life for Page Park / South Gloucestershire Council