President's Update

This blog page features updates from ADEPT's President, Paula Hewitt.

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President update: 21st June

21 June 2021

It’s certainly a really busy start to summer for ADEPT. One of my first events as ADEPT President was chairing a Building Back Better session at last week’s Traffex conference. Immediate Past President, Nigel Riglar, spoke at the Perspectives on the Climate Change Challenge session at the LGC Climate Change conference, also last week. Sue Halliwell will be representing ADEPT and the Blueprint coalition during London Climate Action Week, joining a panel debate on taking a place-based approach to net zero (click here to register).

The Waste Working Group, has been working hard to develop and submit the ADEPT response to three recent Government waste consultations. Click on the links for our submissions: ADEPT response to the Consultation on the Waste Prevention Programme for EnglandConsultation on Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging - ADEPT response and Deposit Return Scheme Consultation June 2021 - ADEPT response. The Group is currently working on a fourth Defra consultation submission, and the one with the most potential impact for local authorities, the Consistency in Household and Business Recycling in England, which closes on the 4th July.

We’ve also been fortunate to have been called to give evidence to two select committees. David Sutherland spoke on ADEPT’s behalf for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee evidence session for the Tree Planting and Woodland inquiry. You can watch the session here. Polly Cook will be appearing before the HCLG inquiry in Local Government and the Path to Net Zero at 4pm on Monday (21 June), which you will be able to watch, here. We were pleased to see that the HCLG select committee report on planning reform reflected many of the points we made in our evidence.

The Rights of Way Group has published the results of its third survey into Public Rights of Way. The impacts of Covid-19 have continued to impact on rights of way teams through the public’s greater usage of the network and a backlog of maintenance needs. Although more people discovering the health and wellbeing benefits of our footpaths and bridleways is most welcome, we need greater funding certainty to ensure their safety and upkeep. You can find the accompanying press release here.

I’m pleased to be able to announce that Amey has agreed to sponsor the Excellence in Place Leadership programme for another year. The programme is aimed at our radical thinkers and seeks to develop new approaches and disrupt our tendency to rely on business as usual, encouraging innovation and forward thinking. The theme for this year’s cohort has been how we build back better and you can find more information, blogs about the programme, supporting documents and toolkits here

The Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) Live Labs team welcomed Transport Minister, Rachel Maclean last week. I’m pleased to say the Minister was impressed with their Network Resilience Live Lab, which aims to manage congestion, understand travel behaviour and deliver personalised travel planning in the area, using video technology. The latest Live Labs blog comes from Suffolk, who have been working with Canadian firm, Liveable Cities. The company has provided microsensors as part of their smart sensors trial. Find out more here.

I know that many of you were disappointed in the technical difficulties that disrupted the networking sessions at the Spring Seminar. Although we were all really frustrated on the day, it was good to know that so many of you wanted to participate. As a result, we have set up four concurrent Lunch and Learn sessions on 24th June running between 12:00 -12:45. You will need to select which session you would like to attend. All conference delegates, and the wider membership, will have received an email – if you can’t find it, please just email Helen on [email protected].

Finally, look out for an email about our next webinar with CIPFA on renewable energy and investment. We will be publishing details shortly.

As you know, with the delay in lifting the final lockdown restrictions due to increasing numbers of infections, Covid-19 is still very much with us. Keep checking our COVID-19 updates page for news, but also, the ADEPT website, for a whole range of updates and documents that we publish regularly to support members. 


More posts

  • 1 June 2021

    President update: 1st June - new President, Paula Hewitt

    Can I start by saying what a huge honour and privilege it is to be the new president of ADEPT. When I started thinking about my year as President, I little thought how quickly it would come upon me, or that we would still be holding our conferences virtually. As I took part in our online AGM it made me realise how much better we have got at using the technology over the last year, with raising hands, emojis in the chat and virtual hand clapping all playing a part.  

    Read more >

  • 26 May 2021

    President update: 26th May

    With our Spring Seminar and AGM on Thursday, I’ve come to my final week as ADEPT President. What a strange year it has been. Apart from travelling to the Bristol Bath Railway Path to be interviewed for Countryfile about sustainable travel, my whole presidency has been done from my house. That makes me the lowest carbon president ever – which seems appropriate in a year that will end with COP26.

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  • 13 May 2021

    President update: 13th May

    Following last week’s local elections, many of us will be preparing to welcome new Mayors and councillors and looking ahead to the policy changes that a change of political leadership often brings. These are always challenging times for officers, where we aim to ensure our politicians are fully briefed and prepared for the challenging decisions that lie ahead. 

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  • 30 April 2021

    President update: 30th April

    As lockdown restrictions are eased, we are beginning to see the impacts reflected through our places. We have had reports of traffic increases of 10 % in the last week and there are varied reports from our high streets, with some market towns reporting benefits from people not having to commute. It’s going to be interesting to see whether some of the environmental benefits of less traffic on our roads and people shopping locally can remain after lockdown ends.

    Read more >

  • 14 April 2021

    President update - 14th April

    Welcome back from the Easter break everyone, I hope you have all managed to enjoy some well needed time off.

    I wanted to start this blog by taking a brief moment to acknowledge Prince Philip’s passing and his many long years of service. On behalf of ADEPT, I would like to offer our deepest condolences to the Queen and the Royal Family.

    Read more >

  • 31 March 2021

    President update: 31st March

    This week we begin our path out of lockdown, with people being able to meet up with other households within existing guidelines. With some welcome sunshine and the clocks going forward, there is a sense of relief in the country, albeit with some wariness about how Europe’s third wave might affect the UK.

    Read more >

  • 15 March 2021

    President update: 15th March

    The continued roll out of the vaccine and the drop in numbers of infections and deaths due to Covid-19 continues to be good news in what has been a hard start to 2021. The winter lockdown has been difficult for everyone and although it will be good to see restrictions lift, I think we are all mindful of Professor Chris Whitty’s warning and the continued need to support colleagues in public health.

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  • 2 March 2021

    President update: 2nd March

    It has been reassuring to see the Government take a more measured route out of lockdown based on data. Although there is inevitable discussion and disagreement about the approach to schools reopening and concern amongst business and the tourism industry, it is useful to have some degree of certainty on the route forward. All eyes are now on the Budget, where the Chancellor is expected to announce a continuation of support for business, the furlough scheme and other job support schemes, at least in the short term.

    Read more >

  • 17 February 2021

    President update: 17th February

    The success of the NHS vaccine rollout has been most welcome amidst all the grim news, ongoing restrictions and winter weather. Unfortunately. it has also brought with it increased speculation and leaks to media about how we get out of lockdown and how soon - the kind of mixed messaging that helps no-one. So far, all it seems to be is speculation, and the Prime Minister is certainly indicating that by taking it slowly, this could be our last lockdown.

    Read more >