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President update: 30th November

30 November 2020

As I write, the Government has announced the local restriction tier system that will replace the national lockdown from December 2nd. With very few exceptions, we will be continuing to live with many restrictions in Tier 2 and Tier 3, which means a continued need to provide meaningful support to our businesses and communities. Just a reminder, we published our report with EY, Resolute and Resilient - Safeguarding the economy during local lockdowns, as a resource for members working to support their local economies.

With a focus firmly fixed on the relationship between place and health, ADEPT welcomed the Centre for Aging Better  to a recent Leadership Team meeting. Their work is focused on taking a strategic and evidence-based approach to enabling people to enjoy later life. Concerned about how inequality is causing disparities in health and life expectancy, the Centre is working with local authorities to look at adaptability in homes and how place and community can provide better environments for us all as we age. We are exploring how we might support and share their work amongst members, take a look at their presentation here. We’ve also been asked to share a really useful joint report, The urgent case for more walking and cycling in the UK, which makes clear the reasons for supporting active travel. Unsurprisingly the two are very much linked with preventative work amongst the 50s-70s needing to encourage walking and cycling in this age group.

I think Covid-19 has highlighted for everyone the interconnectedness between public health and place, so I was pleased to welcome ADPH to the same meeting. Both organisations take the view that the actions, impacts and evidence gathering resulting from a national strategy all take place at the local level, so we support ADPH’s view that any new model for public health must have local leadership at its core. Public health, like place is an intrinsic part of local authorities, and with Covid shining such a spotlight on the importance of access to green space, active travel, we will continue to work together at a national level to support healthy people, places and economies.

The importance of the environment and a green recovery was recognised with the publication of the Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. While we welcome the Government’s step change in recognising the urgent need for a green recovery, yet again the critical role of local authorities has been overlooked. We need a detailed road map and the resources to make this happen at the local level as I set out in our piece in last week’s MJ (p10/11).

Paula Hewitt, ADEPT’s 1st Vice President recently made her debut appearance in front of the Housing and Local Government select committee. ADEPT was asked to give evidence to their inquiry into the future of the planning system in England. We delivered ADEPT’s clear message that planning must not only be about delivering housing volume, we must also create sustainable and resilient places that work for our people. To do that, we need to design for the future now.

There is still time to book your place for the Live Labs Expo on 2nd December and discover  all the extraordinary things our Live Labs teams have been up to, including the unintended links between the Live Lab trials and support for adult social care . Find out more in the Live Labs blog.

Finally, we have once again been working with our partners Ashden, Friends of the Earth, Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment (Imperial College London), Greenpeace UK, London Environment Directors’ Network (LEDNet), Place based Climate Action Network (PCAN) at LSE, and Solace to update our Blueprint for accelerating climate action and a green recovery at the local level. Please read the summary and sign up to show your support. The updated report will be launched on 8th December – if you’d like to attend the webinar, please register here.

You’ll see we’ve made some changes to the website, making it easier for you to find out the latest from Live Labs and our blogs. As always, keep watching our COVID-19 updates page for the latest news. Stay safe everyone.