President's Update

This blog page will feature regular updates from ADEPT's President, Darryl Eyers.

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President update: 20th May

20 May 2020

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.

I was told before I started that the year would fly by, and it certainly has. I have enjoyed every minute and feel privileged to have been President of this fantastic association. I know I have also developed personally and as a leader over the last year through experiences you cannot buy. Every week, I have witnessed ADEPT prove that as an association we are only as meaningful and powerful as our membership. It is our members who make things happen - collecting and sharing best practice, shaping national policy and making the case for place. I am proud to be a Director of Place and proud to be part of an association that supports its members the way ADEPT does. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing and inspiring people in the Leadership Team and beyond, and I would like to thank everyone for their support over the last 12 months. 

However, I won’t be leaving entirely. I’ll be retaining my role as Chair of ADEPT’s Economic Recovery and Renewal Task Force, which will have a vital role in shaping ADEPT’s work and supporting our members in the coming year. I want to thank everyone who has responded to the Task Force survey last week. We will be reviewing responses ahead of Thursday’s conference and feeding them in to each session. It’s not too late to sign up.

The ERRTF has been set up to ensure  economic recovery planning considers the whole place agenda (whole system) and goes further than recovery into renewal and transformation of economies and places. This means we need to shape national thinking to go beyond recovery and into wider place shaping and green economic renewal. As well as this, we also want to provide ADEPT members with the tools, information and guidance (policy/practical) to enable them to deliver broader socio-economic renewal and place shaping plans in their localities.  All of this will be done in our usual style of engaging our wider membership and collaboration with other associations and organisations. 

Our seventh survey into waste impacts has been published. Our teams continue to deliver services as usual or with minimal disruption to household waste and recycling collections. Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) are opening up across the country, but with significant levels of disruption as teams manage both high levels of traffic and the need to maintain social distancing and safe working practises.

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

Our work with the Highways Sector Council is ongoing. This week Project SafeStart has been published, setting out the ‘Golden Covid-19’ rules to accelerate and bring forward major maintenance and essential highways projects on local highways authorities’ road networks.

This week also sees the launch of our Guide to Green Finance, and in the next couple of weeks, our Clean Growth Policy Position. 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.

More posts

  • 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. 

    Read more >

  • 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. 

    Read more >

  • 24 April 2020

    President's update: 24th April

    Much media attention has been turning towards what coming out of lockdown will look like. Questions are being asked of the Government to lay out its strategy as Nicola Sturgeon has set out for Scotland. Similarly, local authorities have been considering what easing of lockdown restrictions might look like and what kind of impact this will have on our services. We’ve started to ask questions about the renewal of places and our local economies and how as place directors, we can provide leadership and thinking on how our places can work differently.

    Read more >

  • 16 April 2020

    President's update: 16th April

    I hope you all managed to get some respite over the Easter weekend. It’s been a strange one this year. It is no surprise to anyone that the decision from government this week is to maintain the lockdown. Reports vary as to when we will see the peak, but there is no doubt that the public response to the Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives campaign has been far better than anticipated and we seem to be flattening the curve. This is undoubtedly positive news, but we still have a while to go.

    Read more >

  • 8 April 2020

    President's update: 8th April

    As we move into the 3rd week of lockdown across England, I have to say how proud I am of how ADEPT members and local authorities are responding to this exceptional time of crisis. Our members continue to provide the essential universal services on which we all depend, while tracking impacts and planning for the inevitable changes to provision as Covid-19 continues to take hold.

    Read more >

  • 31 March 2020

    President's update: 31st March

    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.

    Read more >

  • 5 February 2020

    President's Blog: February 2020 - What next for local authorities after Brexit?

    I write this as the UK formally starts our exit from the EU. No matter your view on this moment in history, undoubtedly there will be significant consequences and opportunities for local authorities and our wider sector to grow our places. 

    As the new government develops the details of its policy agenda, there are two areas where ADEPT will need to make sure its voice is heard – future funding and devolution.

    Read more >

  • 16 January 2020

    Can we plant our way out of the climate emergency? Guest blog by 1st Vice President Nigel Riglar

    I’m having an afternoon trying to work out if we can plant our way to carbon neutrality by 2030. It’s a question Place Directors are asking themselves. I’ve been bouncing ideas around with Tom MacMillan from the Royal Agricultural University (RAU). It’s not straightforward. Let us explain.

    If you look out of your window you can probably see a patch of grass. If you can’t then imagine a football pitch.

    Read more >

  • 28 November 2019

    Reflections on the ADEPT Autumn Conference

    Since returning home from last week’s ADEPT Autumn Conference in Bath, I’ve been reflecting on some of the key themes, not just from our speakers and panel discussions, but in conversations with members and delegates throughout the two days.

    We are all so incredibly busy, balancing the demands of service delivery with long term planning, that taking a couple of days away can feel like a big ask. However, taking the time to think, listen, reflect and learn makes such a big difference, and I know following this many of us go back to our organisations with new ideas and connections.

    Read more >