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President update 1st March - latest news from ADEPT

February has been another busy month for ADEPT, with lots of interesting developments and updates. And you can now book to attend the Spring Conference and Presidential Awards Dinner!

We are kicking off a really interesting project with the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS), focusing on home to school transport, particularly the provision of transport support for children with special educational needs and disabilities. The joint task and finish group has two objectives: to review the relevant legislation, and to collate examples of good practice. It will be co-chaired by Ann Carruthers (Chair, Transport & Connectivity Board) and a representative from ADCS. Watch this space for further updates.

Following on from the official launch of Live Labs 2, the project teams were finally able to meet in person on 16th February. The meeting included a communications update, a monitoring and evaluation briefing, a presentation on behavioural change and a discussion on collaborative working. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to get together in person and share ideas and questions. All the projects are currently preparing outline business cases before the programme goes live in April.

As I mentioned in my last update, the ADEPT Spring Conference and Presidential Awards Dinner will take place on Thursday 25th May. Entitled ‘Resilience through the lens of people, place & planet’, we are delighted to announce that we have secured a number of keynote speakers, including Nazeya Hussain from SOLACE, David Hill from Defra, Elisabeth Costa from BIT UK, Ben Bradley, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council and Rob Whiteman from CIPFA. Visit the booking website to book your place.

We have also launched the application process for the annual ADEPT President’s Awards, which will be held on 25th May. This is a particular highlight of the ADEPT year, celebrating the work of ADEPT members and partners across the country and I would like to encourage all our members to enter - details are on the ADEPT website.

The 2023 ADEPT/SOLACE Leadership Development Programme began earlier this month. There were a record number of applications for the programme and we were delighted to see so much interest and support. The number of applications was so high that we will be running three cohorts over 2023.

Finally, I met with the interim Chair of OFLOG this month and have a very interesting discussion with him about the direction of the organisation. I hope that OFLOG will be engaging with ADEPT over the next weeks and months to help develop how they monitor the performance of Place to ensure the true value of all the services we provide, and how we provide them, is recognised.

Events and other news

February’s Lunch and Learn, hosted by Burges Salmon, looked at the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) landscape under the Planning Act 2008 – the slides are available here. The next Lunch & Learn session will be hosted by the Environment Agency on 24th March and will explore the scope of the £200m Flood and Coastal Innovation programmes, specifically focusing on the 25 local authority projects delivering innovative and practical actions to bolster flood and coastal resilience. Places for are free to ADEPT members – you can find further information and register here.

It is also the last chance to book your place on the Navigating Transition workshop, which will be held in Birmingham on 10th March. This training event is aimed at senior leaders who are considering stepping down from their role to embark on a new stage in their careers. For more information, please see the workshop programme or email: [email protected]

Building on the success of the first session, we are planning a second Green Finance training course, which will take place in London on 25th April. This is aimed at place leaders and senior finance business partners – and this time will include the opportunity for participants to bring a live issue or challenge about how to identify the funding/finance for a local decarbonisation/adaptation/nature recovery project and get some there-and-then  feedback and guidance from our panel of expert speakers. Full details and booking information are on the ADEPT website.


This month, our Climate Change blog features Chris Parkin, Community Energy Manager at Cambridgeshire County Council. In this guest blog, Chris shares progress and learnings about the council’s Schools Energy Efficiency Retrofit Programme. You can read the Climate Change blog here.

The Live Labs blog features the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Chief Scientific Adviser Sarah Sharples. Sarah is a member of the Live Labs 2 Commissioning Board and in this month’s blog she tells us about her role at DfT and her ambitions for Live Labs 2 – you can read the Live Labs blog here.

In Autumn 2022, the ADEPT Excellence in Place Leadership Programme (EiPL) cohort completed their final session. Run in partnership with Amey, the cohort focused on levelling up as their core theme over the year. Neil Gibson, the EiPL facilitator, has reflected on the programme and reviews its success in driving innovation among Place sector leaders. You can read his thoughts in the latest EiPL blog, here.

As ever, you can find out more about ADEPT’s latest news, publications and the work of our boards and groups on the website:

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