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President's update: 11th May

11 May 2020

The Friday Bank Holiday this month to mark the 75th anniversary of VE has been a time both for celebration and reflection. That it has fallen during a period of huge uncertainty and necessary restriction in our lives is a poignant reminder of how life can change so quickly. I’ve been reflecting on the sacrifices that were made then and the heart-wrenching dedication, commitment and bravery of our frontline NHS and careworkers now. 

Following the Prime Minister’s speech yesterday, the devil, as ever, lies in the detail. We will be combing through the plan once it’s published, to review the implications for our members, our teams, our businesses and communities.

As you all know we’ve been monitoring the impacts on our waste services across the country for the last 5 weeks and will continue to do so. All the indications show that our teams our delivering services as usual or with minimal disruption to household waste and recycling collections.  For the last two weeks there has been an intense focus on household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) and we are monitoring these closely as they begin to open across the country. Early indications show that the biggest issues locally so far involve traffic queues.

Our #HighwaysHeroes and #Wasteheroes social media campaigns are continuing, so please keep sending us your images, videos and case studies. We are also continuing to collect information on changes to local authorities’ highways maintenance regimes – contact the ADEPT secretariat [email protected].

The Leadership Team has established an Economic Recovery and Renewal Task Force to ensure that national plans for recovery from the pandemic are also focused on renewal, and consider the whole place system agenda. We will be pushing for a joined up approach across government departments that must not lose sight of place, clean growth, climate change as part of the economic renewal.

As always, we will take an evidence-based approach to supporting best practice, developing policy position statements and influencing national policy. To begin, we are sending out a short survey on 11th May to all members. We want to know what you think about renewal, what assumptions you are making and what are the concerns your organisation is focused on for the near future, as well as the longer term. Please keep an eye on your inboxes, we would like to build the results into the Spring Conference, so please could we have responses by Friday, 15th May.

Talking about the Spring Conference on 21st May, we’re excited to confirm our speakers include: 

  • Annie Maciver – Head of Cross Government Policy, Cities & Local Growth Unit, MHCLG
  • Jonathan Werran – Chief Executive, Localis
  • Jeanelle de Gruchy - President, Association of Directors of Public Health
  • Mike Childs - Head of Science, Policy and Research, Friends of the Earth
  • Clare Hayward - Director, Cirrus and Chair, Cheshire & Warrington LEP

We’re moving online, so join us as we examine what the ‘new normal’ might mean for our places. We will also be launching our Guide to Green Finance and our Clean Growth Policy Position. Sign up here.

Keep checking our Covid-19 webpage for our latest information and as usual my thanks to all our teams and keyworkers who are working so hard to keep us moving. Stay safe everyone.