President's Update

This blog page will feature regular updates from ADEPT's President, Nigel Riglar.

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President update: 31st July

31 July 2020

The news has been concerning this week, with the reintroduction of some lockdown measures across areas in the north of England, as well as the requirement to quarantine for travellers returning from Spain. The measures serve to highlight that coming out of lockdown is not an easy process, and with increases in cases across Europe, a reminder of how connected we are with our friends.

Local authorities are taking over responsibility for local outbreak management, but as we’ve seen with this most recent announcement, the need for swift decision-making can mean Government making announcements at speed, leaving little time for local preparation. For place directors, it is critical that we are plugged into local outbreak management boards and have ever closer relationships with our colleagues in public health. 

We are becoming increasingly confident at hosting webinars for members; the focus this week was on climate change. We were fortunate to have three very engaging speakers – Louise Marix Evans from the Committee for Climate Change, Ashden’s Cara Jenkinson and our own Sue Halliwell. Louise spoke on and answered questions on the CCC’s pathway to net zero work, Cara focused on the recently published partnership report Blueprint for accelerating climate action and a green recovery at the local level and Sue talked through how ADEPT is carrying forward its work on climate change. The slides are available on the Climate Change Hub (here).

As well as this, Sue managed a session capturing members’ views on key questions: whether Covid-19 was impacting on the implementation of climate emergency plans (mostly no); whether councils were turning to external support to develop plans (yes and mostly from the private sector) and what support could ADEPT best provide for members (influencing government).

Our Active Travel Policy Position was published this week at the same time as the Government announced its Cycling and Walking Plan for England. In it we argue for a single active travel fund to support permanent change and to embed walking and cycling into our transport network.  

This week saw the publication of our 14th waste survey. It is clear that collections of household waste and recycling are stabilising, with normal operations across 92% and 82% of responding councils, respectively. 77% of councils are reporting normal collections of food waste, 90% for garden waste and 73% for commercial waste. Unsurprisingly there is a significant increase in commercial waste compared with the beginning of lockdown as more businesses, shops, pubs and restaurants reopen. 

The Sustainable Growth Board is continuing its work both on recovery and renewal. The minutes of the planning workshop have been published on the website here. We’ll be publishing the notes of the workshop on town centres and high streets soon.

The update is now taking a holiday for the next few weeks and will return at the end of August. As always, keep watching our COVID-19 updates page for latest ADEPT news.

More posts

  • 20 July 2020

    President's Update

    Local government yet again finds itself facing an uncertain future with even less certain budgets. There has been much coverage of the Public Accounts Committee report which has outlined risks and issues with increasing commercial investments and borrowing across councils, and how Covid-19 has led to a shortfall in expected income.

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  • 8 July 2020

    President update: 8th July

    It was interesting to listen to the chancellor’s summer statement, which outlined some important new investment that will have an impact on clean and green growth. The investment into infrastructure, the £3bn green jobs plan and the £2bn Green Homes Grant, will all help to drive a green recovery. In particular, retrofitting homes is vital for communities and the wider built environment – it not only reduces carbon emissions, it also builds resilience to future climate change, reduces fuel poverty and improves health.

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  • 1 July 2020

    President update: 1st July

    The Prime Minister’s much trailed announcement of a New Deal wasn’t the once-in-a-generation, green and clean recovery many had hoped for. Some of the funding had been announced before, just with a speeding up of delivery timescales, but investment in broadband and cycleways is welcome. ADEPT would like to see more ambitious thinking from government.

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  • 24 June 2020

    President update: 24th June

    As the Government opens up the economy further and reduces the 2m rule to ‘1m plus’, local high streets begin to see a welcome influx of visitors becoming more confident in returning to town centres, and a slow shift into a more normal life.

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  • 17 June 2020

    President update: 17th June

    This week marks the beginning of a significant time for our high streets with many shops allowed to reopen, but with strict social distancing in place. We will be watching closely how the public reacts over the coming weeks to get an idea of how safe our communities feel about returning to the shops. It’s a major concern for all place directors who need to ensure their communities feel confident and that their local economies can restart. For retail businesses, it is also a critical point as they work out how they can continue to operate with a reduced footfall. 

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  • 9 June 2020

    President update: 9th June

    My first week as ADEPT President has been a busy one. I never thought my first big role would be to don the Lycra, get on my bike and do an interview with BBC’s Countryfile, but that’s exactly what I did. Never say ADEPT isn’t without surprises.

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  • 29 May 2020

    President update: 29th May

    Hello everyone. 

    I’m Nigel Riglar and I’m ADEPT’s President for the coming 12 months. Firstly, I want to thank Darryl for a fantastic year, which has seen ADEPT continue to grow and expand its work supporting members, increasing influence as well as working on the challenges of climate change, Brexit planning and now Covid-19.

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  • 20 May 2020

    President update: 20th May

    With ADEPT’s Spring Conference this week, this is my last update as President. It’s been a fantastic year, even with small matters such as a prorogued government, general election, widespread winter floods then a global pandemic taking over my final few months. For Nigel, COVID-19 will shape his entire Presidency and I offer him my full support as he takes on what will be a very challenging year ahead for ADEPT members.

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  • 11 May 2020

    President's update: 11th May

    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. 

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  • 1 May 2020

    President's update: 1st May

    The Prime Minister gave his first press briefing since coming back to work this week. With much speculation focused on what the plan for lifting lockdown might look like, many have been expecting to hear that at least some restrictions will be lifted soon. Competing views within the Cabinet have been labelled as hawks and doves, and there has been much anticipation about which way the Prime Minister will lean. 

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