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Climate Impacts Group Meeting Minutes, 13th December


Mark Rice (Chair) – Environment Agency
Tom Dauben – Environment Agency
Emily Reed – Devon Climate Emergency
Doug Eltham – Devon County Council
Emily Widdecombe – Devon Climate Emergency

Mark Rice (Chair) – Environment Agency 

Emily Reed – Devon Climate Emergency 

Doug Eltham – Devon County Council 

Alan Jeffrey – Cornwall Council 

Alex Rainbow – Cornwall Council 

Louise Sawyer – Devon and Cornwall Police 

Stephen Swaby – Isles of Scilly Council 

Laurence Couldrick – West Country Rivers Trust 

Douglas Lisle – NHS England 


Elliot Batty – D&CIoS Local Resilience Forum
Penny Tranter – Met Office

Rob Scarrott – South West Water 

Harriet Googe – Environment Agency 

Emily Widdecombe – Devon Climate Emergency 

Tom Dauben – Environment Agency 

Elliot Batty – D&CIoS Local Resilience Forum 

Penny Tranter – Met Office 

James Cooper – Environment Agency 

Neil Hamlyn – D&CIoS Local Resilience Forum  

Dave Watkins  - Cornwall Council  

Ruth Rockley – Devon County Council 

Jacqui Warren – Torbay Council 

Saska McGrath – South West Water 

Michael Allum – Public Health England 

Hannah Fox – Cornwall Council 

Paul Minshull – Cornwall Council 

Sara Gibbs – Public Health, Devon County Council 

1. WSP proposal to continue the work of the group

The Group has been successful in receiving £25k from the Flood Defence Grant in Aid to consolidate the work of the Group and get the next stages of the Adaptation Plan complete. A brief has been provided to DCC’s framework contractor, and Emily has met with them to develop a work programme and timetable. 

The brief is asking them to: 

  • Compare the existing climate risk register with the latest UK climate risks register. Identify any gaps. 
  • Bring those gaps to the Group to sense check them. 
  • Contact group partner organisations individually to discuss levels of preparedness for each of the risks in the register.  
  • Start developing actions to fill any gaps in preparedness to form the Adaptation Plan. 

Mark Rice led a conversation about the proposal.  

Alan Jeffrey said that a risk with this approach is that the scope may be too broad for what we need for building resilient communities. Alan favours a bottom-up approach that would engage communities more from the outset.  

Stephen Swaby agreed with Alan but added that a discovery phase to inform the conversations that we subsequently have with communities is still necessary.  

Doug described the workplan the Group had agreed previously but asked if it needs revisiting to bring in these new ideas? How about a workshop in January? 

Alan said he thinks the process Doug described fits the discovery phase, but it would be helpful to have the next phase mapped out. Stephen agreed with Alan and said the discovery phase should involve thinking about who implements the next stages of the plan.   

Laurence Couldrick said he’s having more conversations on the ground with land managers about adaptation. It’s a different narrative when you talk about what needs to be done now in response to a lived experience, and what needs to be done in 20 years down the line. Mark related this to his work at the EA currently about future water resource management.  

Alan said he would support a workshop in the New Year to review the scope of the work of the group to ensure we’re using time and resources effectively. 

Emily reminded the group about the stakeholder evaluation the existing process was trying to do – identifying what activity is already happening across the peninsula to prepare for key risks. Stephen said it would be useful to add thinking on that to how strategy becomes action, because communities are often involved in that process – indeed some things are better taken forward by a community, having had the strategic issue signposted. Emily confirmed that it was her understanding that the strategic-level plan would identify the significant things that need to be done to adapt, irrespective of which actor is responsible or best placed to act – that may well be communities.  

Mark proposed that we do have a workshop to regroup. Doug supported this and said the way Stephen described the purpose of a strategic climate adaptation plan is not far off what the Group had previously agreed.  

Douglas Lisle said whilst he can see the benefit of a January workshop, we must agree that we get a good outcome from that and make sure the project moves forward. Mark agreed.  

Mark summarised where we’d got to: We’ve heard that taking a brief pause to reconsider the scope of this work would be beneficial, but that we need to do that quickly. We also potentially need something that blends the strategic activity with community activity.  

Emily said she’ll arrange a meeting for the New Year. Stephen asked that we structure that meeting so that we can refresh ourselves about the mandate and purpose of this Group and what was planned previously etc.

ACTION: Emily to arrange a longer meeting in the New Year to use as a workshop. Emily to circulate proposed structure of the workshop for input from others. 

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