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President update: 29th April 2022

29 April 2022

As you may know, ADEPT recently had some fantastic news. The government announced the go-ahead for Live Labs 2 with £30m funding from the Department for Transport. The new expanded programme, Live Labs 2: Decarbonising Local Roads will run for three years and include projects from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Focused on the decarbonisation of transport infrastructure, we will take the same approach to applications using a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style, but with funding available to successful applicants to support both development and procurement stages. We will be publishing the prospectus later in the Spring and more information can be found here.

We have been busy this month responding to consultations on Protected Landscapes - government response and Biodiversity Net Gain as well as ATE's Role in the Spatial Planning System. We have also provided guidance on TRO Changes to Publishing Requirements and Special Events Order Approvals. ADEPT will be responding to the government’s Household waste recycling centres: DIY waste disposal charges and booking systems consultation, but suffice to say, ADEPT’s position is that the change is unnecessary and will only add further pressure to already stretched local authority resources. 

I’d also like to say thank you to everyone who found the time to complete our survey on the impact of the Ukraine crisis. The results are available here. The intelligence we have gathered will be hugely important in our conversations with government on supply chain issues. We will re-open the survey so that we can gather continuing data on impacts over time.

At the start of the month, we published our ADEPT Policy Position: Speed Management which received some interesting media coverage. Look out for that in our monthly newsletter. We regularly publish our media coverage on the website, which this month will see us referenced by nationals from the Sun to the Telegraph over signage changes for level crossings. Do young people know what a steam train is they are asking? Our Highways Magazine regular piece, ADEPT Voices this month comes from Proving’s Simon Wilson talking about the Guidance for the Application of GHG Scope 1 & 2 in Local Highways Authorities published by the Future Highways Research Group.

ADEPT’s Blueprint Coalition partners Ashden and Friends of the Earth have jointly published 40 inspiring case studies from local authorities, showcasing their work and different approaches to tackling climate change and achieving net zero. Our Climate Change blog this month comes from Friends of the Earth’s Senior Sustainability Analyst, Sandra Bell who highlights some of the studies and explains why this is such an important piece of work. 

Due to a date change, you still have chance to sign up for our next Lunch & Learn session on 6th May. Enabling the electric transport revolution to deliver inclusive growth will be hosted by corporate partners, Stantec, and will discuss how the divide between those who can and cannot afford electric vehicles is not being factored into decision making for the provision of infrastructure in our towns and cities. The Lunch & Learn sessions are free, please register here

Live Labs 1, which is reaching its final stages, has published its Programme review & final project evaluations put together by Proving Services who have been responsible for the monitoring & evaluation of the programme. The document is essential reading for anyone contemplating their own innovation projects and is full of what worked, what didn’t and how changes were managed. It also puts forward recommendations for Live Labs 2, so anyone interested in applying should definitely make time to read it. Proving’s Karen Farquharson provides more detail on the report in the first Live Labs blog this month.

Our second April Live Labs blog comes from Katie Metcalf, a member of the Live Labs project management team. Drawn from the Commissioning Board private sector partners, a graduate team works hard behind the scenes across communications, innovation and programme management. They gain valuable experience that will, we hope, support them in their future careers. Katie has also spoken to other team members and shares their experiences of the Live Labs programme and what drew them to become involved. You can read Katie’s blog here

The ADEPT / Amey 2022 Excellence in Place Leadership programme is well underway, with this year’s theme digging into the Levelling Up agenda. The first session examined what the power of disruptive thinking might mean for developing creative solutions in the public sector as we try and tackle tensions in productivity and prosperity across the UK. This first blog for 2022 comes from Philippa Venables, Director of Regeneration and Economy at Walsall Council. You can also find the session summary here.

You have a month left to book your place for the ADEPT Spring Conference - ‘Levelling Up Locally’ - at County Hall, and the Presidential Awards Dinner at One Whitehall, both in London on 26th May. I am especially looking forward to hearing from Professor Kate Raworth, from the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford who will be discussing her theory of Doughnut Economics. Book here for both. The conference programme is available here and I really hope to meet up with you there.

Please keep checking the ADEPT website for news and updates. It’s where we publish a whole range of guidance and documents to support members.