‘Making the case for place has never been more vital’ is the call from the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT).
Launching its call to political parties of all stripes – Manifesto for Stronger Places sets out the strategic objectives ADEPT wants to see adopted in a future government’s approach to local authorities, and place specifically.
As well as calling for more ambitious devolution, an end to competitive bidding and a commitment to sustainable growth and levelling up, the Association has set out its stall on net zero – that alongside climate adaptation and nature recovery it needs to have a place-based approach.
In a bid to ensure that the importance of local leadership in achieving national policy is recognised, ADEPT has also set out its top priorities across its core areas – housing, planning and growth; transport and infrastructure, and environment and climate change.
- Providing a financial regime that enables councils to build more, genuinely affordable and climate ready new homes for social rent.
- Doubling or more the current level of capital funding to address the deteriorating local highway network.
- Unlocking grid scale infrastructure investment to enable renewables to connect more quickly.
- Introducing new Local Climate Action Agreements between national and local government.
- Committing to prompt implementation of the key reforms set out in the Resources & Waste Strategy.
Ann Carruthers, 1st Vice President of ADEPT said: “Local government shapes the places it serves and ADEPT members can and do deliver on national policies by providing day to day services and inclusive, sustainable growth. However, our abilities to do this are now seriously constrained.
“After a prolonged period of acute budget pressures, many local authorities are in an alarming position. We have unprecedented resource issues and have already made deep service delivery cuts across all areas. National government must find a way of working differently with local authorities going forward if we are to deliver positive outcomes for our communities and places.
“With recent announcements indicating a serious change of direction on transport, environment and net zero, local authorities increasingly find themselves having to hold their nerve under immense pressure. We need a new partnership with government, and what we’ve set out in our Manifesto for Stronger Places envisions where to start and what that could look like for place.”
ADEPT’s Manifesto for Stronger Places is available on the ADEPT website: https://www.adeptnet.org.uk/documents/manifesto-stronger-places