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Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Meeting, 9th March 2023


Meg Booth
Doug Eltham
Mark Clapham
John Amosford
Andrew Butler
Rebecca Miller
Charlotte Brown
Emily Reed
David Eaton
Victoria Hatfield
Chris Clarke
Jason Ball
Claire Gibson
Polly Frost
Keir Duffin
Harry Barton
Adam Williams
Devon County Council (Chair)
Devon County Council (Environment Group)
Devon Association of Local Councils
Public Health Devon
National Farmers’ Union
Plymouth City Council
Devon Climate Emergency
Devon Climate Emergency
Teignbridge District Council
Exeter City Council
Wales and West
Mid Devon District Council
Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership
Devon County Council (Economy and Enterprise)
Devon County Council (Economy and Enterprise)
Devon Wildlife Trust
South Hams and West Devon Councils


Emmanuelle Marshall
Lewis Garvey
Mark Kentell
Sara Gibbs
Sally Basker
Matt O’Dowd
Penny Tranter
Neil Hamlyn
Drew Powell
Janet Williams
David Bartram
Stephen Walford
Steve Marks
Alex Gandy
James Cooper
Donna Sibley
David Edmondson
Angus Berry
Plymouth City Council
Wales and West
North Devon Council
Public Health Devon
Exeter Science Park
National Grid ESO
Met Office
Local Resilience Forum
South Hams and West Devon District Councils
Torridge District Council
Exeter City Council
Mid Devon District Council
Environment Agency
Dartmoor National Park Authority
Environment Agency
Torridge and North Devon District Councils
Torbay Council
South West Water

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes were accepted to be a true record.

One action carried over:

ACTION: Meg to arrange agenda slot at Team Devon with David and Mark Kentell.

The next meetings are April and June. Meg is discussing an agenda slot with the secretariat to Team Devon.

Matters Arising:

ACTION: Doug to speak with energy and procurement colleagues at DCC about bulk-buying electricity for electric vehicle charging.

Charge posts operated by partners could collectively purchase electricity by joining the Laser energy purchasing framework used by most public sector organisations in Devon.

Charge posts operated by a third party would not be able to benefit from collective purchasing of energy, although if the third party is a national charge-post operator they will already be benefiting from economies of scale.

No further action.

ACTION: Doug to ask Matt O’Dowd if he could explain the issues in detail at a future meeting.

ACTION: Doug to arrange for the Devon Energy Collective to attend a future meeting.

Matt O’Dowd and Als Parker from the Devon Energy Collective will attend the April Response Group meeting.

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.

ACTION: Secretariat to share the Net-Zero Visions school curriculum pack before it’s issued.

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.

Chris asked whether there had been any progress with establishing the new group to oversee the priority actions in the Energy Supply section.

Doug said there has not been any progress and agreed to prepare a stakeholder list to share with the Response Group at the April meeting.

ACTION: Secretariat to prepare stakeholder list for the new energy group.

2.3 Climate Impacts Group Update

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

ACTION: Circulate draft Adaptation Strategy to Jason.

2.4 Devolution

Meg added that there has been some progress on devolution following a meeting in February with the Department for Levelling Up and Communities.

3. Net-Zero Issues

No further issues were reported this month. Previously reported issues have been added to the programme issues log.

4. Partner Updates

Chris reported that a new price control framework starts next month from Ofgem which will unlock the opportunity for investment in energy networks ahead of need. Matt will be able to tell us more next month.

Polly said that Altilium Metals are recycling electric vehicle batteries in Devon. They have a process to extract the critical metals.

ACTION: Secretariat to invite Altilium Metals to a future meeting.

Harry advised that the Devon Good Food Strategy was launched last week by the Devon Food Partnership.

Claire noted that the Great South West Partnership has commissioned a report to look at issues for energy decarbonisation.

ACTION: Claire to circulate the Terms of Reference for this energy study.

Andrew reported the launch of agricultural sector resilience plans. Feedback from recent engagement with the sector was that the phrases ‘net-zero’ and ‘carbon neutral’ were perceived as jargon.

Andrew further reported that 34,000 trees have been planted in Devon through a collaboration between Lloyds Bank and the Woodland Trust.

Victoria said that Exeter City Council is preparing a Sustainable Food Policy, which is scheduled to be considered by the Executive and Council in April. Meg added that Devon County Council has prepared a Sustainable Food Procurement Strategy, too. Claire added that HoTSW LEP has issued a Food Procurement Declaration, which will be launched in the coming months.

Victoria also mentioned that Exeter City Council is looking again at district heating in the city centre. Victoria will speak to Meg separately about highways issues.

Doug said that South West Water is consulting on its Water Resources Management Strategy. This closes on 9th May.

ACTION: All partners to feedback comments to Doug for inclusion in a partnership response to this consultation.

Appendix 1 – Project Progress Report 

Period: February to March 2023

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 rate remains positive on all channels except Twitter. This minor decline of 0.2% is expected to be due to the increased presence of climate sceptics commenting on tweets.

Initial measures to counter this include an update to the Devon Climate Emergency website homepage to address misinformation being spread, and an upcoming paid social media campaign to raise awareness of the project’s aims.

We are on track to meet our target of 10,000 followers across all platforms by the middle of summer.

A line graph showing the the online communications following
Figure 1.1. DCE Social Media Following

1.1.2 Campaigns and Projects

Business Engagement 🟠[AMBER]

A slide deck aimed at business has been prepared. The LEP and South West Business Council representatives have provided feedback. Initial feedback is that the draft slide deck may be useful to expand the concepts of the Devon Carbon Plan, but a one sheet flyer version could also be useful to attract the attention of people who do not have the time to read the slide deck in full. The idea will be discussed and developed this month.

County Show 🟢 [GREEN]

  • Discussions continue around DCE’s presence at the 2023 Devon County Show, taking place from Thursday 18th May to Saturday 20th May at Westpoint, Exeter.
  • DCE have plans to showcase the work of the Net Zero Visions project. Acclaimed creative professionals have worked with Devon communities to produce positive ‘Visions’ of their local area as net-zero by 2050. The Visions produced include murals, animations, illustrations, computer games and more.
  • The DCE marquee will be decorated with posters of some of the completed Visions, and copies of the associated book compiling the work of the Net Zero Visions project will be available. Visitors will be able to try out the Net Zero Visions game on laptops.
  • An ‘art station’ for children to draw their own Vision will be available. These Visions will be displayed together as the Show progresses and added to the DCE website.
  • A tombola-style competition will run throughout the Show with one prize available per day for anyone who pledges to reduce their emissions and sign up to the DCE newsletter. These prizes could be art kits for winners to take home on the day.
  • Four or five members of the Devon Youth Parliament (DYP) will attend on the Saturday to encourage young people to visit the marquee and create their own Vision at the art station, and they may contribute to content produced for social media and the website. We have also asked the DYP to provide feedback on ideas for competition prizes.

Net-Zero Visions Curriculum Material 🟢 [GREEN]

Devon County Council has collaborated with the University of Plymouth to fund the preparation of a school curriculum pack aimed at teachers for young people to design a net-zero vision for their community. This will be finished by the end of April and made available to all schools.

Devon-Wide Community Engagement 🟢 [GREEN]

The design and scoping work is underway, being led by Devon County Council. This is starting with research during March and April that will meet with a selection of community organisations across the county to understand the gaps in community support that need filling by the project. This will be used to design the support programme for 2023/24, which will be an extension of the Community Action Group initiative.  An additional extension is being planned for delivery from April 2024.

1.2 Partners’ Notable Activity

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

  • DEFRA funding obtained by Devon County Council will expand the Future Farming Resilience programme to cover Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly.
  • Torbay Council and Fernbank Advertising are working together to replace Torbay bus shelters with new Eco Living Roof bus shelters.
  • A draft Exeter Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) is now open for public consultation.
  • More houses in Exeter will have access to dedicated food waste collections after the latest rollout to properties in St Loyes.
  • Plymouth City Council have agreed a £2.5 million investment into smart street lighting, which will help to cut carbon emissions.
  • During the first three months of Bin-It 123 services, Mid Devon’s recycling rates have increased to 56.56%, as compared to 52.02% during the same period in 2021/22. 

1.3 New Governance Structure 🟢 [GREEN]

Following a thorough review, a proposal was presented to the Response Group at its meeting on 10th January 2023. This was agreed and will be implemented. It will be kept under review and amended as necessary.

Current activity of the Secretariat is determining how the online reporting platform will work, and continuing conversations with existing groups and networks that will have a role in the oversight of actions. The Net-Zero Task Force membership is advising us who will stay on as it transitions into a Climate Task Force (incorporating adaptation issues) so that the process of receiving nominations for people covering specific experience and knowledge gaps can be started. Professor Patrick Devine-Wright has stepped-down as chair, but will remain a member of the new Climate Task Force.

2. Devon Carbon Plan 🟢 [GREEN]

Partners, as well as organisations beyond the partnership, are now encouraged to endorse the Plan through their governance arrangements. Organisations that have endorsed so far are:

  • Dartmoor National Park Authority
  • Devon County Council
  • East Devon District Council
  • Devon Association of Local Councils
  • Plymouth City Council
  • Mid Devon District Council
  • Devon Wildlife Trust
  • Torridge District Council
  • Torbay Council
  • Exeter City Council
  • North Devon District Council
  • South Hams District Council
  • Teignbridge District Council
  • Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership

West Devon Borough Council has noted the ambition and objectives set out within the Devon Carbon Plan, and will revise its Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and assess the financial and resource implications required to show how it would contribute to delivering the Devon Carbon Plan.

3. Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Plan 🟢 [GREEN]

The secretariat presented the process of preparing the Adaptation Plan to the Exe Estuary Management Partnership and the Torbay Climate Forum in early March.

Comments have been received from partners on the pre-consultation draft. The remaining stages are:

  • 13/3 – 23/03/2023: RSK review comments and update Adaptation Strategy
  • 24/03/23: RSK handover final draft of Adaptation Strategy
  • 27/03 – 05/05/23: Partner organisations have 6 weeks to sign-off draft Adaptation Strategy for consultation (using local governance arrangements preferred by each partner)
  • 08/05 – 02/06/23: Four week public consultation
  • 05/06 – 14/07/23: Six weeks processing consultation results and amending the strategy
  • 2023 August CIG meeting: review amended Adaptation Strategy (may be July meeting if fewer consultation responses are received than anticipated)
  • Autumn 2023: Take the amended Adaptation Strategy to partner organisations for endorsement

The consultation will provide a set of ‘Quick Read’ versions for people who don’t need the detail. Online advertising, a webinar and physical drop-in events are being planned.

4. Devolution Update

Devolution is progressing following a meeting with government in February. No further details available at this time.  

5. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Devon Carbon Plan, and support available to communities to act will increase from May 2023.
  • The consultation draft of the Adaptation Plan is being prepared following feedback from the partnership.
  • New governance arrangements are being implemented.



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