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Climate Impacts Group Meeting Minutes, 5th March 2024


Mark Rice
Doug Eltham
Emily Reed
Richard Sweatman
Claire Below
Sara Gibbs
Nick Paling
Donna Sibley
Louise Sawyer
Victoria Hatfield
Kathryn Deeney
Environment Agency (Chair)
Devon County Council (Natural Environment)
Devon Climate Emergency
Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Resilience Forum
Cornwall Council
Public Health Devon
South West Water
Torridge District and North Devon Council
Devon and Cornwall Police
Exeter City Council
Plymouth City Council


Paul Minshull
Rhys Hobbs
Laurence Couldrick
Nathan Streetley
John Amosford
Harriet Googe
Jess Pryer
Paul Lunt
Maria Van Hove
Zoe Sydenham
Carolyn Cadman
George Arnison
Alex Rainbow
Tom Dauben
Kathryn Deeney
Rebecca Williams
Penny Tranter
Cornwall Council
Cornwall Council
Westcountry Rivers Trust
Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Resilience Forum
Public Health Devon
Environment Agency
Met Office
University of Plymouth
Public Health, Exeter University and Torbay Council
Plymouth City Council
South West Water
Environment Agency
Cornwall Council
Environment Agency
Plymouth City Council
Council of the Isles of Scilly
Met Office

1. Feedback on format of meetings

Emily has contacted Climate Ready Clyde to understand how they operate.

Feedback has been received from one member to date, who has said the existing format is useful and will take a few meetings for the routine of reviewing risks and actions to ‘bed in’.

ACTION: All to send further thoughts on the meeting format to Emily.

2. Minutes of the previous meeting

Nathan and Richard requested their organisation name to be corrected the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Resilience Forum, rather than Devon and Cornwall Police, which is the hosting organisation.

ACTION: Emily to change organisation name on minutes of previous meeting.

Emily has scheduled a meeting with the Forestry Commission to discuss their representation on the Group. Emily has also contacted the NFU to find out about their water strategy.

3. Review of Natural Environment Risks CIG11 – CIG15

Five risks from the Natural Environment section of the regional Climate Adaptation Strategy were scheduled for review at today’s meeting. These are the risks with identification codes CIG11 – CIG15.  [Every risk in the Strategy is scheduled for review once a year].

This is an opportunity to raise any changes in the region which may have occurred since the risks were last reviewed in October 2022 which need to be noted and may impact on the risk ratings.

Mark invited comments from the group on the risks being considered.

No changes were required.

4. Review of Infrastructure Actions

Four actions in the Action Plan (Appendix 6) for the Health & Built Environment sector were reviewed at this meeting. Ahead of the meeting, Emily circulated a table that has collated local activity that is helping to implement each action. Comments on this were requested.

HBEA–1 – Develop a Climate Change awareness campaign to inform stakeholders, including the public, of the projected range of changes and their impacts alongside how we are adapting and what we can all do to respond.

Richard said there is a move towards whole society resilience, which is promoted nationally. This will involve a lot of community engagement around risks and preparedness, so there is definitely room for joint working on events and engagement.

Claire said that incorporating adaptation into existing events and campaigns would be an efficient solution. Also developing joint communication material that is relevant to the whole area would save time and resources.

Mark agreed that an agreed set of messages is a good idea. Sarah said there is an Adaptation group at the University of Exeter that we could collaborate with – they are looking at how climate adaptation is best communicated. Communicating the co-benefits of acting should be a focus.

Donna shared a good example of information boards from the Tyne, and Emily reminded the group about the Environment Agency’s Hello Lamppost project. Mark said that information boards work well and should be built into partners’ projects.

Louise said more stories and examples of projects on the Climate Resilient DCIoS website would be good too.

ACTION: All to share with Emily what comm’s are planned so that we can see what gaps need to be filled from new activity.

HBEA–2 – Public authorities to continue to provide timely & localised information on climate change impacts to enable appropriate adaptation planning by all.

The Group discussed the differentiation between this action and HBEA-1. It was agreed that HBEA-1 is about general awareness raising whereas HBEA-2 is location and community specific.

Sarah – We need to be able to communicate messages in a way that is useful for communities.

Mark said that there is a new national assessment of flood and coastal risk on its way from the Environment Agency which will need communicating to communities.

Nick offered an example of a project that fits here, which is the specific desalination project at Parr, which requires more detailed communication than we are doing across Cornwall on water resources, which fits under HBEA1.

Doug said that the information currently collated in the progress report against this action feels more relevant to HBEA1 than HBEA2. Others agreed.

ACTION: We need to gather location specific examples for HBEA-2. Move the information in the progress report to HBEA-1.

HBEE-4 – Policymakers to engage with the public to ensure awareness and understanding of the predicted impacts of climate change around the coast generally, and on their local communities specifically – to co-produce knowledge and agree viable actions.

Doug said that the information currently recorded needs to be tied to coastal issues specifically, and perhaps some more specific examples such as the Paignton promenade project.

ACTION: Emily to update the commentary in the progress report to explicitly link the projects listed to coastal issues.

HBEC–3 – Work with partners to develop the materials and training to support in the establishment and operation of local Community Resilience Groups (or similar existing groups) and the development of community adaptation plans.

Donna said that North Devon councillors are keen to work with community leaders on climate adaptation. Resources for councillors to understand what can be done and how would be helpful.

Richard said it would be helpful to understand what additional guidance communities would like to ensure they are considering coastal issues within their resilience plans. Emily agreed and noted this links to the issue we’ve identified that we need to understand what parishes are putting in their resilience plans.

Emily said there is a live conversation with Devon Communities Together and Devon County Council about supporting communities to develop resilience plans. Claire said that in Cornwall there is deep-dive work going on in specific communities as a pilot to understand what a climate adaptation programme would like.

ACTION: Emily and Sara to engage with the Communities team at Devon CC, and learn from Cornwall CC approach.

5. Feedback from the Climate Impacts Group to Devon and Cornwall climate partnerships

The Environment Agency shared that they work with Local Flood action Groups across Devon and Cornwall.

ACTION: The Environment Agency to share information about their work with these groups.

6. Consideration of New Risks and Vulnerabilities

No additional risks and vulnerabilities were identified.

7. Funding Opportunities

National Lottery Community fund. Donna said the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Reserve has been awarded money from this.

ACTION – Doug to speak to Andy Bell at the Biosphere to find out more.

Donna said that Levelling Up Funding in North Devon and Torridge may be appropriate to help with the resilience issues discussed today. Donna will keep look out for opportunities.

8. AOB

Emily reported that the Local Adaptation Tool has launched, developed by a team from the University of Exeter and Cornwall Council. Webinar on 26th March 2024.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has published its first Health Effects of Climate Change (HECC) report.

Doug said he’d attended the South West Infrastructure Partnership’s adaptation event in February. The event gathered examples of how climate is affecting infrastructure and collected case studies of good adaptation practice.

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