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President's update: 31st March

31 March 2020

The word unprecedented has been used time and time again in recent weeks, but there really is no other way of describing the pace and scale of the challenge to the country and the world caused by Covid-19.

Behind the scenes, ADEPT has been working closely with government departments to provide data and information on our sectors. Highways maintenance, for example, is under intense pressure as our teams work to keep the roads network safe for key workers, NHS and deliveries, while our contractors seek to keep their employees safe and free from abuse. The information we provide from ourselves and our commercial partners is critical to formulating the national response.

Many local authorities are creating signage to link our contracted-out highways teams with their local authorities to enable the public to understand the relationship between highways teams and councils. We need our communities to understand that our private sector partners are doing vital work to keep the country going.

We’ve been working with government to clarify the key worker definition. As far as we are concerned, ALL our workers are key workers, whether they work in social care, on our roads, manage our waste and recycling or are working from home. Every local authority worker is critical to getting us through this.

Waste and recycling services remain operational, although many recycling centres are closed. We are currently operating collections as normal, but keeping the situation under constant review. The double bagging of any rubbish associated with someone in a household who is feeling unwell (whether through Covid-19 or not) is a vital message that we need to ensure our communities understand. We must keep our front-line key workers safe.

Finally, all our members and partners should know by now that, regretfully, we have had to cancel our Spring Conference scheduled for 21 May. We will be rescheduling the Annual Dinner and presenting the President’s Awards at the Autumn Conference in Bath on 5 November. Meanwhile Hannah and the team are exploring how we can deliver a streamlined online and interactive conference with Phil Swann of Shared Intelligence. Look out for more details in your inbox.

Meanwhile everyone, please, stay safe.