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President update: 24th June

24 June 2020

As the Government opens up the economy further and reduces the 2m rule to ‘1m plus’, local high streets begin to see a welcome influx of visitors becoming more confident in returning to town centres, and a slow shift into a more normal life.

These signs are all vital for our local economies, jobs and businesses. But as always with COVID-19, safety is vital as we see renewed outbreaks in Beijing and Germany. Local authorities continue to monitor the situation in their areas closely as responsibility for instigating any future lockdown measures shifts from national government to new local outbreak boards. Place has a vital role in managing spaces in the event of local outbreaks.

This week, ADEPT and partners from key local government, environmental and research organisations, have published A blueprint for accelerating climate action and a green recovery at the local levelThe document, which has been put together following consultations and surveys with scores of local authorities, outlines what we believe to be the key approaches for ensuring we address climate change at the local level as part of the recovery from coronavirus. From investment in the low carbon economy and retrofit, developing new workforce skills to protect jobs, to managing the circular economy more efficiently, embedding zero carbon into planning and restoring green spaces, achieving net zero by 2050 can only be done through supporting action at the local level.  And this can be done most effectively by investing in local authorities. I urge you all to read the blueprint, which we have shared with the Prime Minister, and I want to thank our many partners in this piece of work for their time and commitment.

The ADEPT Economic Recovery and Renewal Task Force has been working closely with EY to produce the evidence report that was sent to MHCLG and BEIS last week. As part of this, EY is happy to provide members with a summary of the data specific to a local area, along with a conversation about the key considerations emerging from the analysis.  If you would like to take up the opportunity, or find out more, please get in touch with Hannah ([email protected]). In addition, the Sustainable Growth Board will host a workshop on 8th July to discuss the role of planning in delivering clean growth, and Covid-19 recovery and renewal, and would like to invite members of other subject boards to join. Let Hannah know.

The results of the eleventh waste impacts survey for w/c 15th June has been published. I am pleased to report that responding local authorities are showing incremental improvements in all collections except food waste, which showed a small increase in disruption, that said, almost three in four councils are operating at normal levels. Bulky waste collections are improving, with 77% of councils reporting normal operations, but there is still a high level of disruption to commercial waste collections, albeit with a jump to 66% operating as normal. All councils are now providing household waste recycling centre services, with 74% of councils reporting that these are operating as normal or with only minor disruption compared to 59% in the previous week. Thanks to everyone who has responded to both of these surveys. 

Finally, we are starting talks with the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) about how place can best support  public health directors with outbreak management, and how we can use the learning from outbreaks. The information and data will provide invaluable assets on how people and place interact, with important implications for the future design and management of our places.

All our publications and news related to our work on coronavirus impacts are on ADEPT’s COVID-19 updates page, so keep checking regularly for latest news.