President's Update

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

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President update: 28th October

28 October 2020

I think it’s fair to say that as we look down the barrel of a Covid-19 winter, most of us are concentrating on how to keep our communities safe, our poorest children fed and our businesses, well, in business. It’s been a truly difficult couple of weeks for colleagues up and down the country and we all know it’s not going to get any easier. We also know that we will all continue to work hard to support our communities and places and try to provide the very best public services under continuing exceptional circumstances. 

One thing I know members will value is data on the local economic impacts of lockdowns. There is a need for data-led decision-making at the local level, and to this end the Economic Recovery and Renewal Task Force has been working with EY. Our initial findings will be launched at the Autumn Conference on 5/6 November. ADEPT and EY are considering further work based on 3 key pillars – future economies, policy & taskforce support and the development of a programme that will provide intelligence and insight to members. I’ll keep you posted on developments on this page.

The Sustainable Growth Board has been working on our submission to the Planning White Paper consultation. Our key messages are that we want to see a planning system with tackling climate change at its heart. Changes to planning must be used to create healthy, sustainable and inclusive places where local communities have a real say in the future of their towns, cities and neighbourhoods. Needless to say, ADEPT is concerned at the potential loss of democratic accountability inherent in the proposals and the lack of detail. We want to work with the government to address these concerns and ensure we have a planning system that works for our communities and stakeholders, as well as developers. We also responded to the consultation on revisions to the Highways Code, with thanks to the Traffic & Safety Working Group.

Our partnership work to put support for local authorities front and centre of tackling climate changecontinues. Please show your support for the Blueprint for accelerating climate action and a green recovery at the local level and our five immediate priorities for a green recovery by signing up here

Finally, next week is the Autumn Conference, and I really hope you can join us. We hung on to the hope we could meet up in Bath until the last minute, before switching to an online event. Meeting virtually is not as edifying as meeting in person – it’s just not the same when you have to bring your own pastries! But this is your opportunity to take some time out and reflect, if only in part. 

We really do need your support for events such as these, as they take considerable effort and resources to run. I am extremely grateful to our sponsors (Ringway, Atkins, Amey, RWM and WSP) and hope you can support your association. We have a really interesting and wide-ranging line up of speakers and contributors, all exploring the meaning of resilience  and what it means for people, place and infrastructure, as well as our partners. Sign up here! If you are attending and would like to submit a question to our Question time panel, please email Hannah Bartram

As always, keep watching our COVID-19 updates page for the latest ADEPT news. Stay safe everyone.

More posts

  • 14 October 2020

    President update: 14th October

    After much trailing in the media, the Prime Minister finally announced the 3 tier system for local lockdowns on Monday. I think it’s fair to say that these haven’t been received with wholehearted endorsement. Local authorities are facing inconsistencies in how these tiers are being applied across the country. There is some debate whether localised lockdowns are even working and re-emergence of conversations about the North-South divide in terms of economic impacts.

    Read more >

  • 29 September 2020

    President update: 29th September

    As rising numbers of COVID-19 cases continue across the country and the difficult situation for many students dominates the news, we are also facing the prospect of greater national restrictions. Parliament is concerned over the lack of scrutiny of emergency powers and there are still issues with the track and trace app. For many of us, it might also feel like Groundhog Day, as we continue to wait to find out about Tranche 2 of Active Travel Funding. 

    Read more >

  • 15 September 2020

    President update: 15th September

    The rising number of coronavirus cases and the R number increasing to between 1 and 1.2 are obviously concerning, particularly in the northern areas of England and the Midlands and have prompted the Government to introduce the new ‘rule of six’ guidance. The Prime Minister’s introduction of Covid Marshalls took many of us by surprise with more details due out this week. One of the most pressing issues for us of course, is how they will be funded.

    Read more >

  • 1 September 2020

    President update: 1st September

    Managing the reopening of schools to all students has provided many challenges, not only for the Government and schools themselves, but also for place directors. We have been working out how we can ensure pupils can travel to and from schools safely using public transport, which has been a massive issue for ADEPT members, and most keenly felt by those outside more urban areas.

    Read more >

  • 31 July 2020

    President update: 31st July

    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.

    Read more >

  • 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.

    Read more >

  • 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.

    Read more >

  • 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.

    Read more >

  • 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.

    Read more >

  • 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. 

    Read more >

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