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Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Meeting, 25th July 2022


Phil Norrey
Doug Eltham
Emily Reed
Sara Gibbs
David Edmondson
Steven Crampton
Janet Williams
David Eaton
Andrew Butler
Charlotte Brown
Keir Duffin
Mark Kentell
Adam Williams
Polly Frost
Mark Clapham
Rebecca Miller
James Cooper
Alex Gandy
Devon County Council
Devon County Council (Environment Group)
Devon Climate Emergency
Public Health Devon
Torbay Council
Met Office
Torridge District Council
Teignbridge District Council
National Farmers’ Union
Devon Climate Emergency
Devon County Council (Economy and Enterprise)
North Devon District Council
South Hams and West Devon Councils
Devon County Council (Economy and Enterprise)
Devon Association of Local Councils
Plymouth City Council
Environment Agency
Dartmoor National Park Authority


David Bartram
Neil Hamlyn
Chris Clarke
Drew Powell
John Amosford
Emmanuelle Marshall
Victoria Hatfield
Claire Gibson
Harry Barton
Angus Berry
Jason Ball
Donna Sibley
Exeter City Council
Local Resilience Forum
Wales and West Utilities
South Hams and West Devon District Councils
Public Health Devon
Plymouth City Council
Exeter City Council
Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership
Devon Wildlife Trust
South West Water
Mid Devon District Council
Torridge and North Devon District Councils

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

2. Project Progress Report      

2.1 General Project Communications

Charlotte provided an update reflecting Section 1.1 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes.

David Edmondson noted that Helen Vines, Community Action Group Devon Project Manager, had presented to the Brixham Climate Conference. Torbay would like to increase publicity about what is going on locally and so will speak to Charlotte about this.

ACTION: Charlotte to speak with David about promotional opportunities for Torbay.

2.2 Net-Zero Task Force Update

Emily provided an update reflecting Section 2.1 and 2.2 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes and invited questions.

The final version of the Devon Carbon Plan will be circulated to the partnership on the 18th August, a week before the Response Group on the 25th August at which the partnership will be recommended to sign-off the Plan. Assuming it is signed off, it will subsequently be available online in mid-September to the public. Following this, the partners and organisations will be encouraged to endorse the Plan and demonstrate how they will contribute to its implementation.  

2.3 Climate Impacts Group Update

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

RSK has been appointed to help take forward the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Adaptation Plan. A kick-off meeting is scheduled for August. The Plan is expected to be complete by January 2023.

3. Future Governance

Emily presented the proposed governance structure to oversee the delivery of the Carbon Plan and the Adaptation Plan. The Response Group will meet quarterly and will continue to oversee progress. Theme Boards will be established to monitor progress, based on the themes of the Carbon Plan and a further on adaptation. An independent Devon Climate Change Forum will be recruited to review progress by producing an annual report. A specification of the skills and experience needed on each Board and the Forum will be used to invite the public to volunteer to sit on these groups.

David Edmondson said we need to be careful not to put people off through listing skills and experience. It will be important to have new people and younger people involved. Phil suggested preparing a specification for the ‘team’ of people rather than individuals expected on each Board and the Forum.

Sarah said passion and commitment for the climate and ecological emergency should be on the list. Plus expertise in social justice, health and equality need to be represented on each Theme Board.

The governance proposals were AGREED.

4. Devolution

Phil advised that Government is continuing with devolution. Team Devon will engage with government departments in the autumn. The Team Devon Asks are being developed for the end of September. Doug is leading the preparation of these and has circulated the Ask Templates to the Group. Feedback and further information is requested by the of August.

5. Response Group Chairing

Phil is retiring at the end of August. The Group thanked Phil for chairing the Group since May 2019.

Doug reminded the Group that the Terms of Reference say that the chair should be re-elected every 12 months. This was done in 2020 but didn’t happen in 2021. Now is a good opportunity if any partner to nominate themselves for consideration by the Group.

ACTION: All partners to consider nominating a senior officer to chair by next meeting (25th August).

Devon County Council will nominate itself again to chair.

6. Partner Updates

James reported that the Environment Agency has a new post of Carbon Technical Specialist being advertised.

ACTION: James to share link with Charlotte for advertising.

Appendix 1 – Project Progress Report 

Period: May to June 2022

Status Indicator Key:  

🔴 [RED] = Significant 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. Partnership Update 

1.1 General Project Communications [GREEN] 

1.1.1 Following 

Growth returned to 2% over the past month. Charlotte Brown, the project’s new Climate Engagement Officer, will be developing content to get the following increasing at a faster rate. Additionally, our newsletter open rate is 42%, which is significantly higher than the average of roughly 20%.

Figure 1.1. DCE Social Media Following

1.1.2 Campaigns

County Show

  • The County Show was successful, and social media posts were received well alongside posts from Recycle Devon, Suez and Devon County Council. We showcased displays highlighting community action in Devon such as Repair Cafes, Libraries of Things, Share Sheds and Clothes Swaps, and junk funk band Weapons of Sound did a series of performances on the final day. Below are some photos of the event:

Cycling campaign in September

  • Collaboration with Active Devon, Travel Devon & Devon CC’s Environment Group to deliver a month-long campaign around cycling this September
  • There will be community rides lead by community cycling groups, development of re-usable assets and opportunities for cycle confidence training
  • Further work on this campaign is expected to take place over the coming month, including contacting more community cycling groups to raise awareness for the campaign and to encourage them to take part

Devon-Wide Community Engagement

The Community Engagement Sub-Group nominated Devon County Council and Plymouth City Council to bring a proposal back to them to enhance the Community Action Group activity across Devon. The latest meeting between Devon and Plymouth to progress this proposal occurred on the 27th June. 

1.2 Partners’ Notable Activity

Activity is recorded centrally on the Taking Action pages of the Devon Climate Emergency website.

  • among four regions awarded funding to support supplying sustainable local food to public institutions
  • 68 farmhouses currently being retrofitted by Devon County Council, which will reduce farmhouse carbon emissions by up to 70%
  • Environment Agency launches roadmap for practical actions against flooding and coastal erosion

2. Net-Zero Task Force Update 

2.1 Devon Carbon Plan [GREEN]

Final amendments continue to be made to individual chapters of the Devon Carbon Plan. This includes incorporating the partnership’s responses to the Devon Climate Assembly.

The Centre for Energy and Environment at the University of Exeter continues to re-model the Action Diagrams that show the duration of each action.

We remain on schedule to have the Devon Carbon Plan available for organisations to consider adopting from the end of August 2022. 

3. Climate Impacts Group Update [AMBER]

The evaluation of the tender to recruit a consultant to help prepare the Adaptation Plan has completed. Standstill period ends midnight on the 8th July.

The Adaptation Strategy is expected to be completed within 6 months of awarding the tender.

4. Devolution Update

We continue to wait for a response from government on the first application stage. Doug Eltham has been asked by Team Devon to develop the ideas submitted in the application into fuller proposals. This is going to need external support for which WSP has been approached.

Doug will keep partners up to date as this develops.

5. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Interim Carbon Plan.
  • The final version of the Devon Carbon Plan continues to be prepared for its August deadline.
  • The tender to recruit a contractor to assist with the Adaptation Plan is in its standstill period.



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