There’s much to report on this month.
Firstly, there are a couple of opportunities that will be of interest to many of you.
Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund
The Forestry Commission is running in partnership with Defra, the £7.8m Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund, which ADEPT is supporting and promoting to all local authorities. Designed to support councils to employ, train up and bring on board professional expertise to drive tree planting and woodland creation commitments, the award is capped at £150,000. The deadline for applications is Friday, 8th July. As well as the details you can find on the ADEPT website, there is also a webinar recording, FAQs and you can contact the Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund team with any questions: [email protected].
Live Labs 2 and transport news
As you know, ADEPT was successful in its proposal to DfT to secure £30m of funding for Live Labs 2 focusing on decarbonising local roads. And now’s your chance to find out more about it. We have begun a series of workshops, both to outline the scope & challenge, but also to market test the approach ahead of the publication of the prospectus and Expression of Interest (EoI) form later this summer. The final workshops are in Glasgow on the 4th July, and two virtual seminars on the 6th July.
I have the privilege of sitting on the DfT’s Transport Research & Innovation Board. Now chaired by Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Sarah Sharples, there has been some restructuring. I am pleased to say that ADEPT is well represented on the Board and across all the new working groups – thank you to those who have volunteered.
Also undergoing some change is the UK Roads Liaison Group. Now rebranded as the UK Roads Leadership Group, that too is undergoing a review and restructuring of governance, roles and structure. The aim is to ensure the Group offers consistency of approach allowing for regional variations across knowledge sharing, knowledge transfer and guidance.
ADEPT is supporting Digital Roads for Local Roads, a new initiative with a range of highways partners who want to create a vision for a digital local roads network for 2030. I am delighted to be chairing this work. The group has set up a survey with more information available and would very much like to have local authority input. It takes about 15 minutes and your input will be hugely appreciated.
ADEPT working with government
Sticking with government departments, we recently had our quarterly meeting with DfT, who are particularly interested in the inflationary pressures we currently face, and the implications for service delivery. We are working with DfT colleagues on a survey – so watch this space. ADEPT also attended a recent Transport Whitehall roundtable event themed Why invest in Roads?
We have been meeting with DLUHC on the levelling up agenda and Sue Halliwell, 2nd Vice President attended the first meeting of the Local Net Zero Forum. The Forum was one of the commitments made in the Government’s Net Zero Strategy published in 2021 and is chaired by BEIS. ADEPT is clear that local authorities are taking action now with the biggest barrier they face being government funding uncertainty – too often finding is either competitive or too niche. We have also submitted a letter to BEIS as ADEPT’s Response to the Green Finance Strategy and also ADEPT’s response to Defra’s Environmental Targets consultation. ADEPT was invited to give evidence at the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill Public Bill Committee. Carolyn McKenzie represented us at the fourth sitting and there is a transcript available.
The case for funding certainty was one of the subjects under discussion at the recent joint Presidents meeting of the four professional associations (ADEPT, ADASS, ADCS and ADPH) and the LGA. We have established an ADEPT led working group to explore the synergies between the government’s levelling up agenda and wider people and place related policy. A soon to be completed literature view is already establishing cross-cutting themes and areas for case studies.
Our Climate Change blog this month describes a fascinating Lunch & Learn session from Stantec on the social impact of electric vehicle infrastructure as we transition to a multi-modal transport world.
As ever you can find out more about ADEPT’s latest news, publications and the work of our boards and groups on the website: www.adeptnet.org.uk.