April has been another busy month for ADEPT with events, collaborations, consultations and meetings with government.
Thank you to everyone who entered the annual ADEPT President’s Awards. We had a high level of interest and we will now be judging the entries - the winners will be announced at the ADEPT Spring Conference and Presidential Awards Dinner on 25th May.
Speaking of which, the deadline for booking a place at the Spring Conference is looming. The conference’s key theme this year is ‘resilience’ through the lens of people, place and planet and is packed full of thought-provoking speakers including Chris Skidmore MP, who chaired Mission Zero: Independent Review of Net Zero earlier this year. It also offers a valuable chance to network with your peers, to take stock and gear up for the challenges ahead. We are also excited to announce that Dr David Prout, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University and Chair of the Transport Research & Innovation Board will be our Guest Speaker at the Awards Dinner. Book your place here.
ADEPT working with government
As part of our work with professional associations, ADEPT has submitted a joint response to the government’s Air Quality Strategy consultation with the Association of Directors of Public Health and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. While we broadly welcome the aims of the strategy, the timing for responses and the focus on local authority action without more information on funding and support from government and business is concerning. Read our submission here. We have also responded to the government’s consultation on Increasing planning fees and performance (see here).
We are preparing a response for DLUHC on the government’s proposal to end Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) core funding from April 2024 and transfer LEP functions to strategic local authorities. We are looking primarily at four areas – funding, business voice, managing transition and outcomes.
Hannah and I were delighted to join Past Presidents of ADEPT for their Annual Lunch this month. We updated them on the achievements over the past year and discussed some of the opportunities moving forward. It was nice to hear their positive comments about the direction that ADEPT is taking. Please see the images below.
Live Labs 2
The Live Labs 2 projects all submitted their outline business cases on 21st April. The Commissioning Board will now review these and the programme will enter the deployment phase early next month. Meanwhile, our communications plans are well underway as we gear up to presenting on the programme at various conferences and events over the forthcoming months. These include NCE UK Roads 2023 Conference, Traffex, MOVE 2023, Strictly Highways and Highways UK.
In other Live Labs news, Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) have both published their final report and business case for Live Labs 1. The CBC report covering trials included kinetic walkways, thermal car parks and solar roads, is available here. TfWM, who focused on network resilience through granular personas and real time data availability to ease congestion has published a booklet and final report
Events and other news
We have just updated our guidance on the operation & maintenance activities for Local Authority Highway structures over Canal & River Trust waterways. The ADEPT/Canal and River Trust guidance note (updated 2023) is available here.
ADEPT members attended a ‘highway sector and resilience’ webinar last month. The event included a presentation from Dr Hugh Deeming, author of a DfT commissioned research report which examines the impact on the UK highway sector from extreme-weather events. The webinar included a lively discussion on how local authorities are increasing the resilience of assets and asset-management processes and in doing so, increasing the resilience of communities. You can view the recording of the webinar here.
We also attended the initial meeting of the Bus Centre of Excellence Advisory Board which aims to create ‘Generation Bus’, developing new levels of excellence through providing training, support, events and networking opportunities.
April’s Lunch & Learn session was hosted by Anthony Collins Solicitors and focused on Procurement Potential, reviewing the proposed changes to the new Procurement Bill. The slides are available here. The next Lunch & Learn will be hosted by Jacobs and will take place on 23rd June – more details to follow, watch this space!
In what has proved to be a busy month, we also hosted the second session of our Green Finance Training that we have developed with CIPFA. Speakers included Abundance Investment, and the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero with case studies provided by West Berkshire and Bristol City. A Dragons’ Den style session on wicked green financing issues proved popular and we are hoping to run a third session later in the year.
This month’s Climate Change blog features ADEPT Policy Officer, David Dale, who writes more about ADEPT’s new Climate Change Board, which has been set up to be the voice of ADEPT when speaking on strategic climate change issues. The blog is here.
The Live Labs blog is written by Ann Carruthers, Director of Environment and Transport at Leicestershire County Council and a member of the Live Labs 2 Commissioning Board. Ann talks about her involvement in Live Labs 2 and her ambitions for the programme. The blog is here.
You can find out more about ADEPT’s latest news, publications and the work of our boards and groups on the website: www.adeptnet.org.uk