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JUNE 2016
From your ADEPT President

This hasn’t quite been the month I expected as my first month as President. The outcome of the referendum is going to be felt for some time and while it is we still have work to do. It reminds me of the first few lines of that famous Rudyard Kipling poem! And keeping our head will be vital over the next few months as we become clearer on what all this means for Local Government.

Notwithstanding this, I’ve enjoyed my first month as President. I attended meetings of the South East Board (SEDEEPT) and the National Bridges Group, and met with the Chair of the London Environment Directors Network. It’s my intention to attend as many sector and sub-national board meetings as I can, as one of my priorities is to recognise and build on the strengths of the ADEPT membership.
 
Another priority is to help build the right conditions for growth based on the right skills. I am therefore proposing to establish a Skills & Training Commission, which will run for 2 years and have representation from the supply chain as well as key government departments. Finally – it’s great to see the media coverage ADEPT’s been getting recently, on business rate retention, flooding and devolution – see the website for more details.

Rupert Clubb
 
Rupert Clubb- The ADEPT President!
Westminster Update- Brexit Special
 
So here we are. A few mornings after THAT night before. Britain has voted Brexit in a campaign memorable more for hysteria than quality.
 
Brexit For The Country - David Cameron, in resigning, did 2 crucial things. Firstly, he delayed his departure until his successor is elected. This has allowed No.10 to work with the Treasury and the Bank of England to provide much needed stability to initially jittery markets. Secondly, he delayed using prerogative powers to trigger Article 50. This makes sense strategically and Oliver Letwin is currently preparing some initial research on the options available for a Brexit model ready for the new PM’s arrival. It does however allow those who oppose Brexit to reflect on how best to use what are unclear constitutional arrangements. The drafting of the Scotland Act looks particularly ambiguous in retrospect in terms of whether Holyrood needs to approve repeal of the EU Act...whilst some in parliament will suggest the decision to trigger Article 50 should rest with the House as opposed to the PM. Expect complications.
 
Brexit For The Economy - The misjudged emergency budget the Chancellor suggested would be needed unsurprisingly failed to materialise, although even the most optimistic Brexiter accepts growth forecasts are likely to slow in the short term; resulting in further austerity or tax rises. Various credit ratings agencies have downgraded the UK, although we remain a safe bet according to the experts and our guilt yield hit an all-time low in the days following Brexit. This, alongside the £250bn the BoE has offered to shore up the economy and keep finance fluid, will hopefully reassure initially sceptical investors. The markets meanwhile underwent a serious and entirely expected correction, having bet on the house of remain. However, at the time of writing, both the FTSE 100 and the 250 are trading above where they were before this all began. If economic armageddon is to befall us, it's not arrived yet...
 
Brexit For The Conservatives - The leadership contest will be mercifully swift. A result will be known by early September. Michael Gove announcing his intention to stand has now forced Boris Johnson’s hand. His decision against running will have relieved many in the party, but outraged others. This has undoubtedly strengthened Theresa May’s position, but the other candidates will be seeking to capitalise on the latest turn of events. Stephen Crabb and Sajid Javid have teamed up to offer what they're calling a blue collar conservative choice....Liam Fox will no doubt offer a voice for the unflinching brexiteers. Jeremy Hunt and Nicky Morgan, at the time of writing, were taking soundings on a second referendum and more centrist platform respectively and John Baron is also considering a run from the traditional wing of the party. Osborne is out...but wants to play a role in the next government. The big question is what does Andrea Leadsom do...if any camp fails to offer her a serious role, she just may go for the top prize.
 
Brexit For Labour - The Labour Party has imploded. Mr Corbyn faced and lost a vote of no confidence and the indignity of losing over 30 ministers in a mass resignation drive. Angela Eagle has emerged from the pack as the one to formally challenge him, although Owen Smith may also seek the leadership should it become an option. There is some dispute on whether Corbyn will need the required signatures to make the ballot. Should he get there, the grassroots will make dethroning him extremely difficult and Momentum have already indicated its intention to support their man again.
 
Lastly. The tragic death of Jo Cox shocked not just Westminster, but the entire country. She was not “just another politician”. She was a human being, like all of us, prepared to try and make a difference. 


To read the summary of the EU referendum debate please log-in as a member on the ADEPT website and click here.
New to the Management Board
 
ADEPT’s sister organisations across the UK have welcomed new chairs in the past month, and we welcome them to the Management Board.

Stuart Davies is the new Chair of County Surveyors Society Wales, and is Head of Highways & Transportation for the City and County of Swansea.

Scott Allan is the new Chair of the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS) and Head of Amenity Services, Renfrewshire Council.

Pat Doherty is President of ADEPT Northern Ireland and Director of Engineering for Transport NI.
 
See the whole ADEPT Management Board
Board/Working Group updates

 Waste Panel
The Panel recently responded to the Environmental Audit Committee invitation to comment on HM Treasury’s contribution to meeting waste and recycling targets. In summary, Government policy has been successful in driving performance towards meeting targets but the policy framework is often disjointed and confused, and is creating perverse incentives. Early changes to long term policy are then creating outcomes that risk undermining value for money, and shift costs from central Government and industry to local government and businesses.
 
National Bridges Group
At the ADEPT Bridges Group meeting earlier this month, the key concerns for the ADEPT Bridges Group were the Bridge Inspector Certification Scheme (BICS), the Structures Toolkit, the Local Highway Authority/Highways England boundary protocol, and improved liaison/relationships with Network Rail. We are also waiting with considerable interest for the new Code of Practice for Highways Maintenance. The Bridges Group were delighted that the ADEPT President, Rupert Clubb, and the Chief Operating Officer, Hannah Bartram, were able to attend the last meeting.
 
Engineering Board
Parvis Khansari, chair of the board, is speaking at ICE Roads 2016 conference on 6 July. Two issues of note were discussed at the recent Engineering Board meeting:
  • As part of the work on transport resilience and through modelling, government has identified 500 communities which are at risk of total isolation during a 1 in 1000 year rainfall event. They will be approaching ADEPT for comments.
  • DfT is working to establish the size of the maintenance backlog of roads managed by Local Authorities. The figure is currently between £4-8bn for roads and street lighting, excluding bridges and other assets. DfT will be consulting ADEPT with regard to methodology and process. This is about agreeing size of the problem, hopefully before moving on to find a solution. 
ADEPT thoughts on Devolution
 
The LGA asked for our Thoughts on Devolution, in less than 300 words. Peter Geraghty, chair of the Planning, Housing & Regeneration Board, gave it his best shot – see here for the outcome.
ADEPT Conference 2016
Enabling good growth, everywhere: Place leadership in uncertain times

 
24-25th November 2016, The Radisson Blu Hotel, Manchester Airport
 
With a significantly changing national landscape, place leadership and place services have never been more vital. The UK needs more housing, sustainable economic growth, better connected and more resilient places. And as we face 2020, we will require healthy local economies to secure funding for vital local services through retained business rates.
 
This forms the background to the 2016 annual ADEPT conference, which was also informed by feedback from the member survey we ran in May (summary available here). We’ve already secured exciting speakers such as Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority; Phil Swann, Executive Director of Shared Intelligence and Sarah Richards, Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate. Plenaries focus on issues such as devolution, increasing resilience to flood and water management and strategic infrastructure. There’ll also be a variety of workshops.
 
The draft programme and application form to attend will be published before the end of July. Aldercross Events will be handling the administration.

ADEPT Website- the place to go!
 
I hope you have now all had chance to look at the new and improved ADEPT website! The webpages are updated daily with all the latest information making it the ‘go to’ place. Click here to go online and see the latest news, events, etc. Please note that the ADEPT Secretariat now manage the website, so please direct any queries to secretariat@adeptnet.org.uk (and not Alison Young at Aldercross).
ADEPT Soils & Materials Design & Specification Group- FUTURE MEMBERSHIP
 
Message from Parivs Khansari (Chair of ADEPT Engineering Board)
 
I am writing as Chair of the ADEPT Engineering Board on behalf of one of our sub Groups, the Soils & Materials Design & Specification Group.  This has traditionally been very strong through the various Local Authority Materials Groups and Laboratories around the country.  In recent times the number of such establishments and hence the technical expertise from within has been reducing.  If this continues and as age takes its toll on the current membership the Group cannot be sustained.

The Group represents ADEPT in all matters technical related to the highway pavement, footway, foundations and materials for all highway assets.  The Group has members representing ADEPT on BSi and European Committees, HAPAS, National Highway Sector Schemes and has regular meetings with RSTA and MPA.  Highways England is a member of SMDS and hence input and liaison regarding the Specification for Highway Works, development of IANs and the DMRB.

I am keen to maintain such expertise within ADEPT through the SMDS Group which also has members from DoE NI and TfS.  If you have staff in the highway materials or maintenance sphere who would be interested in participating and who you could support to attend 3 meetings of the Group per year the Chair of SMDS, Stephen Child would be pleased to hear from you on 07585703655 or at stephenchild@smc-consultancy.co.uk.
 
ADEPT SMDS/ASSET Management Workshop
 
The ADEPT SMDS/ASSET Management Workshop is taking place on the 5th July 2016 between 09.30 and 16.00 at the below location:
 
The Technology Centre
University of Wolverhampton Science Park
Glaisher Drive, Wolverhampton, WV10 9RU
 
Please click here to see the provisional programme
Upcoming ADEPT Meetings
 
  • Environment Board meeting and Natural Capital & Heritage workshop – 7 July, London
  • South West Board meeting – 14 July, Exeter
  • Transport Board meeting - (am) 15 July, London
  • ADEPT / Campaign for Better Transport workshop on station regeneration - (pm) 15 July, London
  • President’s Team meeting – 21 July, London
  • SEDEEPT Board Meeting - 22 July, Woking
  • Planning, Housing & Regeneration Board Meeting- 29 July, London
  • East of England Board meeting – 1st August, Cambridge
 
Please click here to find a full list of all the ADEPT meetings scheduled for 2016.
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