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President update: 1st February

1 February 2021

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.

There is some heartening news in that mortality rates and infection numbers seem to be decreasing, and that the country is able to distribute the vaccine to those most vulnerable in our society at pace. It is also a real relief to hear that all care home residents have been offered the vaccine. As ever place services are supporting our public health teams, whether through putting access systems in place for vaccine centres or supporting the centres themselves.

The impact of sickness and self-isolation has again hit our waste services teams. This week, we are relaunching the fortnightly waste surveys, again in partnership with Defra, the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC), the Local Government Association (LGA) and the National Association of Waste Disposal Officers (NAWDO). Please look out for emails in your inbox. As ever the survey is designed to be short and provide a snapshot view. It does get fed back direct to Defra, so please help if you can.

ADEPT is currently working on a number of consultation responses: Cabinet Office's Green Paper - Transforming public procurement, DfT's Rural Strategy, the Transport Select Committee's Zero emission vehicles and road pricing, and finally, the Office of Road and Rail consultation - Principles of Level Crossing Safety.

We had our Leadership Team meeting last week, where it was agreed that this year’s ADEPT Spring Conference and President’s Awards will be a completely online event. As ever, the AGM will be incorporated as part of the day. Please save the date for Thursday 27th May and more details will follow shortly. I’d also like to remind you of some upcoming webinars, which we have put together with partners:

  • Weds 3rd Feb: ADEPT/Arcadis 'Going Dutch' Active Travel webinar (10:30 - 12:00)
  • Fri 5th February: ADEPT/Proving Services Introduction to the Future Highways Research Group webinar (13:00 - 14:00)

Please click here for more information.

Also, at the meeting, the team discussed some ideas for how ADEPT can extend its support to members by providing more skills, training and experience opportunities. We all know how much local authorities have been impacted by a skills shortage, but also how much we have to offer in exciting and varied careers. The public sector has changed so much in recent years to become dynamic and innovative organisations. We need to provide greater opportunities and shout louder to attract the brightest and best both in our traditional services and across analytics, data, user centred design and systems thinking, for example. Keep reading the blog for updates!

Finally, I’d like to welcome Steve Cox, who is taking over as Chair of the East of England Regional Board and to thank Laura Church for all her work and commitment and send her best wishes in her new role. 

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