President's Update

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

Latest post

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

  • 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 >