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President update: 28th October

28 October 2020

I think it’s fair to say that as we look down the barrel of a Covid-19 winter, most of us are concentrating on how to keep our communities safe, our poorest children fed and our businesses, well, in business. It’s been a truly difficult couple of weeks for colleagues up and down the country and we all know it’s not going to get any easier. We also know that we will all continue to work hard to support our communities and places and try to provide the very best public services under continuing exceptional circumstances. 

One thing I know members will value is data on the local economic impacts of lockdowns. There is a need for data-led decision-making at the local level, and to this end the Economic Recovery and Renewal Task Force has been working with EY. Our initial findings will be launched at the Autumn Conference on 5/6 November. ADEPT and EY are considering further work based on 3 key pillars – future economies, policy & taskforce support and the development of a programme that will provide intelligence and insight to members. I’ll keep you posted on developments on this page.

The Sustainable Growth Board has been working on our submission to the Planning White Paper consultation. Our key messages are that we want to see a planning system with tackling climate change at its heart. Changes to planning must be used to create healthy, sustainable and inclusive places where local communities have a real say in the future of their towns, cities and neighbourhoods. Needless to say, ADEPT is concerned at the potential loss of democratic accountability inherent in the proposals and the lack of detail. We want to work with the government to address these concerns and ensure we have a planning system that works for our communities and stakeholders, as well as developers. We also responded to the consultation on revisions to the Highways Code, with thanks to the Traffic & Safety Working Group.

Our partnership work to put support for local authorities front and centre of tackling climate changecontinues. Please show your support for the Blueprint for accelerating climate action and a green recovery at the local level and our five immediate priorities for a green recovery by signing up here

Finally, next week is the Autumn Conference, and I really hope you can join us. We hung on to the hope we could meet up in Bath until the last minute, before switching to an online event. Meeting virtually is not as edifying as meeting in person – it’s just not the same when you have to bring your own pastries! But this is your opportunity to take some time out and reflect, if only in part. 

We really do need your support for events such as these, as they take considerable effort and resources to run. I am extremely grateful to our sponsors (Ringway, Atkins, Amey, RWM and WSP) and hope you can support your association. We have a really interesting and wide-ranging line up of speakers and contributors, all exploring the meaning of resilience  and what it means for people, place and infrastructure, as well as our partners. Sign up here! If you are attending and would like to submit a question to our Question time panel, please email Hannah Bartram

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