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Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Meeting 20th April

Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Minutes 20th April. Download a PDF of the minutes here.


Response Group
Phil Norrey | Devon County Council
Emily Reed | Devon Climate Emergency
Hannah Oliver  | Devon Climate Emergency
Doug Eltham | Devon County Council (Environment)
Emma Page  | University of Exeter
David Eaton | Teignbridge District Council
David Bartram | Exeter City Council
David Edmondson  | Torbay Council
Jason Ball | Mid Devon District Council
Sara Gibbs| Public Health Devon
Andrew Butler  | National Farmers Union
Emmanuelle Marshall  | Plymouth City Council
Angus Berry  | South West Water
Melanie Sealey  | Devon County Council (Economy)
Roli Martin | Global City Futures
Glenn Woodcock | Global City Futures
Darin Halifax  | NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group


Penny Tranter  | Met Office
David Ralph  | Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership
Neil Hamlyn | Local Resilience Forum
Harry Barton | Devon Wildlife Trust
Clare Reid | Exmoor National Park Authority
Jane Grey  | NHS England
Dan Ulanowsky  | Pennon Group
Helen Dobby  | Environment Agency

1. Presentation from Global City Futures

Glenn Woodcock and Roli Martin presented the Innovative Approaches to Financing Projects being explored and trialled as part of the Exeter Climate Emergency Plan. The approaches look to understand and then pool the existing private and public sector spend on various services and outcomes so that best use is made of existing finance. For example, looking at how much is already spent on subsidising and purchasing mobility services to understand how much funding is already available locally to fund new ways of providing the services people need. This will minimise the funding gap that needs further public finance support from government.

The Group discussed the approach and its applicability to the rest of Devon.

Phil Norrey invited Glenn and Roli to join the Response Group and to keep the group abreast of progress.

ACTION: Doug Eltham to add Roli and Glenn to the Response Group.

2. Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were AGREED as a true record of the discussion.

3. Project Progress Report

3.1 Partnership Update

Hannah Oliverprovided an updated reflecting Section 1.1 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes.

Emily Reed invited questions about Section 1.2, of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes.

No further questions.

3.2 Net-Zero Task Force Update

Emily Reed provided an update reflecting Section 2 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes.

Emily said that all partners would receive a copy of the invitation letter being sent to 14,000 households in May, along with a briefing pack for their customer service teams and members.

3.3 Climate Impacts Group Update

Emily Reed provided an update reflecting Section 3 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes.

4. Revised timetable for the Interim and Final Carbon Plans

Doug Eltham introduced a paper proposing an option to speed-up the process for preparing the final Devon Carbon Plan after the Climate Assembly. This option is to remove the public consultation on the actions that the Net-Zero Task Force and the project partners develop in response to the recommendations provided by the Assembly. Removing this step will save 8 months and see the final Devon Carbon Plan available for organisations to endorse from April 2022.

The Response Group AGREED to remove this stage of public consultation, pending legal advice about any implication of this decision.

ACTION: Legal advice to be reviewed at next meeting.

5. Any Other Business

David Edmondson said Torbay Council is organising carbon literacy training for its senior leaders and members from ‘Speak Carbon”.  

Appendix 1 – Project Progress Report

Period: March 2021 to April 2021

Status Indicator key:

Red = Serious issue that requires Response Group intervention;

Amber = Minor issue that will initially be managed by the secretariat, but the Response Group should be aware;

Green = No issue.

1. Project Management Update

1.1. General Project Communications (GREEN)

Newsletters continue to be issued on schedule and social media followings are growing.

The social media following growth has slowed to 3% following the end of the consultation period on the draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan. During the consultation period the monthly growth was at a high of 15%. The citizens’ assembly will provide the next significant opportunity to grow the project’s reach.

Partnership communications activity to coincide with the G7, the citizens assembly and COP26 continue to be developed. This is likely to involve crowd funding competitions from South Hams, West Devon and Devon County Council.  The Devon County Show is expected to proceed in July and the Devon Climate Emergency will be featured on the Devon County Council stand.

The website has been improved so that it’s easier to find examples of activity the partners are implementing now to ‘take action’, and links to these are being provided on social media and the monthly newsletter. 

1.2. Partners’ Activity (GREEN)

The long list of projects that appeared in the March 2021 Progress Report has been moved into a shared drive where partners can keep their projects up to date each month. Projects appear on the DCE website (some will be added after purdah due to DCC elections) and will be showcased in the project newsletter and on social media.

New projects not reported last month include:

Okehampton railA daily Okehampton to Exeter rail service will be running for the first time in nearly 50 years. This is a step towards increasing the accessibility of shared public transport options across the county. Devon County Council has worked with Great Western Railway, Network Rail and local partners to achieve this, the first project to see services return under the Government’s Restoring Your Railway fund. The service is expected to open in December this year.

Table Tuesdays – a community swap set up by Recycle Devon. This is a great way to declutter whilst reducing waste, giving old items a second. The first Tuesday Table went ahead on the 6th April. If you are interested head to the Recycle Devon website to find out more.

Moor Meadows Dartmoor  – Funding from the Devon Environment Foundation has allowed Moor Meadows Dartmoor to launch the Meadow-Makers’ Forum, a place to share information and advice about creating wildflower meadows. Anyone can ask a question and receive an answer from other meadow-makers. The forum also acts as an online hub for the creation and development of new local meadows groups under the umbrella name Moor Meadows. New groups are forming in West Devon, South Hams and East Devon, and a new group for Exmoor has been backed by Exmoor National Park Authority.

2. Net-Zero Task Force Update

2.1. Interim Carbon Plan (GREEN)

The secretariat has drafted a consultation report summarising the 1321 submissions on the draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan. This is now with the Task Force for amendments before it will be shared with partners in May.

Subsequently, amendments to be made to the Draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan, which the Task Force will lead on. A subsequent draft is expected to be available for partners’ comment during June, dependent upon resources required to arrange the citizens’ assembly.

2.2. Citizens’ Assembly (GREEN)

2.2.1 Procurement

The procurement process for the recruitment and facilitation provider of the Assembly closed on the 12th February. The evaluation of bids has been undertaken by Devon County Council and a preferred contractor identified. Contract start date will be the 8th April.

2.2.2 Governance

An Assembly Project Team will be established with representation from the secretariat, the contractor, the Task Force and the Tactical Group. This team will have the mandate to make decisions about the operation of the Assembly within the framework already agreed by the partnership so that the challenging timescale to deliver the assembly before the school summer holidays can be met.

The Task Force will operate as the Assembly Advisory Body and will be consulted at key points during April, May and June.

The Tactical and Response Groups will be kept informed of progress.

2.2.3 Presentations of Issues

The Task Force has been refining the six issues presented in the draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan and will now work with Involve Foundation to determine exactly how these will be deliberated and to select expert witnesses who will present potential local actions and policies to inform the assembly’s discussions and recommendations.

3. Climate Impacts Group Update

3.1. Narratives of the Effects of Climate Change [AMBER]

The Group, having collated risks from the local analysis and a review of the national risk register, are compiling information about:

  1. The key organizations that are currently involved in mitigating or planning for the impacts arising from each risk
  2. Additional stakeholders who have an interest in each risk but who are not directly responsible
  3. Existing controls and reporting mechanisms for each risk.

This process will identify the gaps in local preparedness for these risks. Actions required to fill these gaps will form the basis of the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Plan.

The timetable for preparing the Adaptation Plan has slipped due to resource availability in the partner organisations. This was discussed at the Response Group in March. A revised timetable is to be prepared by the secretariat for discussion in April. This will be shared with the Tactical Group by email in the next few days before the Response Group meeting.

4. Summary Comments

The Interim Devon Carbon Plan consultation responses have been summarised into a draft report that is now with the Task Force for amendment. Revised Carbon Plan will be available for partners in June.

Involve Foundation will be engaged this week to progress the Devon Climate Assembly.

The Climate Impacts Group has not made progress as quickly as hoped but partners remain committed to preparing the Adaptation Plan.

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