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President update: 20th May

20 May 2020

With ADEPT’s Spring Conference this week, this is my last update as President. It’s been a fantastic year, even with small matters such as a prorogued government, general election, widespread winter floods then a global pandemic taking over my final few months. For Nigel, COVID-19 will shape his entire Presidency and I offer him my full support as he takes on what will be a very challenging year ahead for ADEPT members.

I was told before I started that the year would fly by, and it certainly has. I have enjoyed every minute and feel privileged to have been President of this fantastic association. I know I have also developed personally and as a leader over the last year through experiences you cannot buy. Every week, I have witnessed ADEPT prove that as an association we are only as meaningful and powerful as our membership. It is our members who make things happen - collecting and sharing best practice, shaping national policy and making the case for place. I am proud to be a Director of Place and proud to be part of an association that supports its members the way ADEPT does. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing and inspiring people in the Leadership Team and beyond, and I would like to thank everyone for their support over the last 12 months. 

However, I won’t be leaving entirely. I’ll be retaining my role as Chair of ADEPT’s Economic Recovery and Renewal Task Force, which will have a vital role in shaping ADEPT’s work and supporting our members in the coming year. I want to thank everyone who has responded to the Task Force survey last week. We will be reviewing responses ahead of Thursday’s conference and feeding them in to each session. It’s not too late to sign up.

The ERRTF has been set up to ensure  economic recovery planning considers the whole place agenda (whole system) and goes further than recovery into renewal and transformation of economies and places. This means we need to shape national thinking to go beyond recovery and into wider place shaping and green economic renewal. As well as this, we also want to provide ADEPT members with the tools, information and guidance (policy/practical) to enable them to deliver broader socio-economic renewal and place shaping plans in their localities.  All of this will be done in our usual style of engaging our wider membership and collaboration with other associations and organisations. 

Our seventh survey into waste impacts has been published. Our teams continue to deliver services as usual or with minimal disruption to household waste and recycling collections. Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) are opening up across the country, but with significant levels of disruption as teams manage both high levels of traffic and the need to maintain social distancing and safe working practises.

Please keep sending us your images, videos and case studies for our #HighwaysHeroes and #Wasteheroes social media campaigns. We are also continuing to collect information on changes to local authorities’ highways maintenance regimes – contact the ADEPT secretariat [email protected].

Our work with the Highways Sector Council is ongoing. This week Project SafeStart has been published, setting out the ‘Golden Covid-19’ rules to accelerate and bring forward major maintenance and essential highways projects on local highways authorities’ road networks.

This week also sees the launch of our Guide to Green Finance, and in the next couple of weeks, our Clean Growth Policy Position. Keep checking our Covid-19 webpage for our latest information and as usual my thanks to all our teams and keyworkers who are working so hard to keep us moving. Stay safe everyone.