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President update 1st July - latest news from ADEPT

Hello everyone! 

As we move into July, I wanted to touch on some important updates and upcoming events for ADEPT. 

Firstly, with the general election on the 4th of July, we are gearing up to ensure that our sector’s needs are well understood by the incoming government. We’re committed to working closely with the new government to advocate for the interests of place and our Manifesto for Stronger Places will guide this work. 

Since the Manifesto was published, we’ve been refining the detail behind some of the specific asks, including housing, waste, transport and climate change. This information will be published as a series of detailed briefings over the next couple of months - watch this space! We will also be writing to new ministers once announced and seeking meetings.

Over the last month, we’ve had some interesting conversations with some key sector bodies. The National Infrastructure Commission gave an update on ‘testing thinking on infrastructure costs’ at the recent ADEPT leadership team meeting. 

We also had a presentation from the LGA, who spoke about their next steps following on from the publication of the Local Government White Paper. We look forward to hearing more from them in the future. I was delighted to host a special Lunch & Learn session too, throwing the spotlight onto our recent award winners. 

I had the opportunity to attend the inauguration of the new CIHT president, Professor Glenn Lyons. It was great to hear the achievements of Karen McShane as outgoing president (a real inspiration in terms of energy!) and then to connect with Glenn and hear his objectives for the coming year. 

If you know me you will know I am a bit of an opportunist, so at the recent East Midlands ICE Merit Awards, I took another opportunity to connect with their president Professor Anushka Shah (their 159th president but only 3rd female president). 

Anyway, I will be pursuing meetings with both to identify and collaborate on common agendas. I am a big believer that we can achieve more together and collective weight may be critical with a new government. I will not dwell on the fact I am not a professor when everyone else seems to be at the moment!

New Leadership Pathway Programme – apply now

Do you know someone who is aiming to move into a leadership role in place services? ADEPT’s new Leadership Pathway Programme is designed to develop future leadership skills and pave the way for ADEPT’s comprehensive Leadership Development Programme. Developed in partnership with Solace, we are now accepting applications – we need a strong pipeline of future leaders for our sector! Learn more and apply here.

And talking of the Leadership Development Programme, I am delighted that we are hosting the first alumni event later this month for the 150+ people that have been on the programme. It will be fabulous to hear how they have progressed in their careers since taking part in the ADEPT learning programme.

Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund – case studies published

Back in November 2022, 57 local authorities across England were awarded nearly £10 million to accelerate woodland and tree planting plans. The Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund is providing local authorities with financial support to boost capacity and resource, helping them to employ, train up and bring on board professional expertise to drive and accelerate tree planting and woodland creation commitments. 

The Fund has been promoted by ADEPT, on behalf of Defra and the Forestry Commission and we have just published two case studies highlighting progress and showcasing some of its impactful work to date. You can read the case studies here and here. I am also delighted to be chairing the WCAF conference in Birmingham later this week.

For more updates on ADEPT’s latest news, publications and the work of our boards and groups, visit our website:

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