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Climate Impacts Group Meeting Minutes, 19th April 2023


Emily Reed
Doug Eltham
Sarah Alsbury
Louise Sawyer
Paul Minshull
Nick Paling
Stephen Swabey
Victoria Hatfield
Claire Below
Emmanuelle Marshall
Richard Saville
Rhys Hobbs
Devon Climate Emergency (Chaired this meeting)
Devon County Council (Environment)
Devon County Council (Environment)
Devon and Cornwall Police
Cornwall Council
South West Water
Council of the Isles of Scilly
Exeter City Council
Cornwall Council
Plymouth City Council
Cornwall Council
Cornwall Council


Mark Rice
Sara Gibbs
George Arnison
Alex Rainbow
Tom Dauben
Carolyn Cadman
Maria Van Hove
Laurence Couldrick
Jacqui Warren
Neil Hamlyn
Thomas Cunningham
Ruth Rockley
Stacy Griffiths
Anya Gopfert
Lesley Newport
James Cooper
James Kershaw
Environment Agency (Chair)
Public Health Devon
Environment Agency
Cornwall Council
Environment Agency
South West Water
Public Health, Exeter University and Torbay Council
Westcountry Rivers Trust
Torbay Council
Local Resilience Forum
Devon and Cornwall Police
Cornwall Council
Wales & West Utilities
Environment Agency / Torbay Council
Environment Agency
Environment Agency
Devon County Council

1. Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as an accurate record.

All matters arising are scheduled for discussion on the main agenda.

2. Adaptation Strategy Feedback

Nick introduced the Water Resources Management Plan that is currently available for consultation.

The Plan is required to achieve a ‘1 in 500’ chance of implementing an emergency drought order by 2039. The ongoing drought is a 1 in 200 year event.

The Plan proposes measures to reduce demand and increase supply.

Planning is also required at a regional level. This is led by the West Country Water Resources Group which plans for water resources from the Hampshire Avon west to the Isles of Scilly.

The Plan is open for consultation until 9th May.

Nick clarified that desalination is not identified as one of the best-value preferred options for the next 5 year plan. However, given the severity of the current drought, it is considered prudent for desalination to start to be scoped due to the long lead-in times to deploy it.

3. Consultation Planning

Consultation Permission
Emily advised the Group that the consultation is planned to launch on the 9th May, one day later than previously planned due to the bank holiday on the 8th.

The sign-off for the consultation is going well in Devon, and the Response Group is expected to give approval on the 4th May.

Rhys reported that Senior Leadership Team at Cornwall Council is content for the Strategy to proceed for consultation. Stephen confirmed that the same approach is acceptable for the Isles of Scilly.

The final version of the document is expected to be available in August. Partnership organisations will be invited to endorse the document in the autumn.

Quick Reads

Emily circulated an example of a Quick Read with the papers for this meeting. The graphic designers will make them engaging and attractive in the coming weeks. The full set of Quick Reads will be circulated to the Group for feedback.

ACTION: Emily to circulate the Quick Reads


Emily has incorporated feedback from the Group into the consultation questionnaire.

The questionnaire can direct respondents to each areas’ climate newsletters or social media profiles.  Emily has the links for the Devon and Cornwall newsletter sign-up pages.

Action: Stephen to send details of comm’s officer at the Isles of Scilly to Emily.

Consultation Communications  

Emily reported that:

  • a webinar will be planned.
  • the independent branding for the webpage to host the consultation.
  • a media pack is being prepared to be distributed to all partners.
  • print adverts will be run in the Western Morning News
  • radio averts will be run on the Bauer network
  • in-person events being organised at universities in Devon

Risk Register

Emily reported that the secretariat proposes that the risk assessment spreadsheet is not published as part of the consultation as a summary of its content is available in the Strategy itself. The Group did not object to this proposal.

4. Governance of the Adaptation Strategy

Doug reported that the proposals for Section 3.5 of the Strategy have been incorporated following feedback from Emergency Planning at Devon County Council about clarification regarding the relationship between this Group and the Risk Management Group of the DCIoS Local Resilience Forum.

This Section forms part of the consultation along with the rest of the Strategy and so further comments can be submitted via the consultation. 

5. AOB

Nick reported that South West Water is running a data sharing event on the 2nd May, which partners would be welcome to attend. The number of attendees is limited.

Action: Nick to circulate an invite to the Climate Impacts Group.

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