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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

ADEPT launches good practice guide to help local authorities level up locally



The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) and Amey have just published a good practice guide to support councils with levelling up locally that has been a year in the making.


Local Place Leadership: Good Practice for Levelling Up has been developed through ADEPT’s Excellence in Place Leadership (EiPL) programme, run in partnership with Amey. The programme brings together thought leaders and influencers to examine key issues and opportunities affecting the place sector.


With the publication of the Levelling Up White Paper in February 2022, the EiPL cohort decided to make the levelling up agenda the priority theme for the programme this year. The resulting good practice guide examines the relationships between the levelling up, health and environment agendas, and their collective role in building sustainable growth.


It also takes what has been learnt so far about applying the levelling up agenda locally and distils the learnings into three key areas: leadership and vision, using data and evidence, and building effective partnerships. Within these, the programme looked at key elements for change including behavioural science, disruptive thinking, collaborative leadership, co-production and moving to a data driven approach.


Created specifically for place services, the guide explores findings and includes case studies from local authorities across the country. The latter provide examples of best practice, as well as ideas and projects that offer practical approaches that can be adapted to different areas.


Case studies included in the document come from Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Norfolk County Council, Southend-on-Sea City Council and Tees Valley Combined Authority.

Beginning in 2020, ADEPT’s partnership with Amey to develop place-based thought leadership has produced the Green Finance Toolkit and the Customer Experience Toolkitas well as session outputs on subjects ranging from organisational renewal and innovation in procurement to re-imagining highstreets and the future of place.


Mark Kemp, President of ADEPT said: “Levelling up is critical to local authority thinking across all our services but in a cost of living crisis, even more so. The pandemic has been an accelerator of change, but budget cuts and inflation make delivery ever more difficult making the ability to think differently essential.


“Social inequality and climate change are inextricably linked and amongst the most urgent challenges of our times. Levelling up can offer a solution, which is why we have published this good practice guide to support councils grappling with competing priorities and shrinking funding pots.”


Andy Denman, Highways Sector Director, added: “Amey and ADEPT have been delighted to work together on the Excellence in Place Leadership programme over the past three years. Engaging with local authority place leaders across the country has provided a forum to debate the unprecedented challenges that we are all tackling together. Incorporating local authority perspectives and evidence, the levelling up guide summarises key learnings and creative solutions to encourage other place leaders, and the private sector, to think differently for the benefit of local people and places.”


More information on the Excellence in Place Leadership programme is available here: www.adeptnet.org.uk/programmes/excellence-place-leadership-programme.

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