Close this search box.

Minutes of the Tactical Group – 6th February 2020

Devon Climate Emergency Tactical Group minutes of meeting 6th February 2020.

You can download a PDF version of the minutes here.


Doug Eltham, Devon County Council
Richard Merrifield, Public Health Devon
Sarah Higgins, North Devon District Council
David Eaton, Teignbridge District Council
Andrew Gunther, Torbay Council
James Szymankiewicz, Natural Devon
Emily Reed, Devon County Council
Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust
Nicki Collas, Devon and Cornwall Police
Alex Gandy, Dartmoor National Park Authority
John Amosford, Public Health Devon


John Golding, East Devon District Council
David Rose, South West Water
Janet Williams, Torridge District Council
Liz O’Driscoll, Exeter City Futures
Drew Powell, South Hams &West Devon Councils

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes were AGREED to be a true record of the discussion.

Harry Barton requested that his presence at the meeting be reflected in the Attendees list.

ACTION: Doug Eltham to update the Attendee list.

Actions carried over:

ACTION: Liz O’Driscoll to circulate the community resources webpage that Exeter City Futures is compiling, once prepared.

2. Draft Communications Plan

Emily Reed introduced the Draft Communications Plan that Ellie Rowlands, the Devon Climate Emergency Communications Graduate, has compiled.

The Group welcomed the Plan and were pleased with its detail. The following comments were provided for consideration before presenting it to the Response Group for endorsement:

  • James Szymankiewicz
    • The comms should “Engage, educate and empower”
    • Emphasize that this is a collective Devon effort, not a local authority responsibility – stories from the community and benefits of taking action should be compiled
    • Understand the barriers – what turns people off acting?
    • Approach talking about climate change from other angles – such as by talking about biodiversity or health that people might relate to more easily.
    • Make sure all partners are sharing and amplifying the messages

ACTION:  All members to encourage their communications teams to follow the Devon Climate Emergency on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.

  • Harry Barton
    • Communicate that this is a joint ecological and climate emergency
    • Can we make the targets for enhancing the social media following more ambitious?
    • Explode myths
    • Prepare people for some shocks e.g. flood defences and difficult conversations about managed retreat
    • Goals and outcomes: Could we have some goals such as x number of new organisations have signed up to be net zero carbon
    • Stories about stakeholders e.g. people directly affected by climate change e.g. living on coast, farmers…
    • Potential for significant action from the ‘aware but inactive’ group who just need advice and support to make big changes to their lifestyles
  • Alex Gandy
    • Bust Myths and explain problems – e.g. scope 1 & 2 emissions, how we define net zero – explore scepticism around calculating carbon emissions and offsetting, upskill the population to better understand these things, e.g. on life cycle analysis of electric vehicles
  • John Amosford – Public Health
    • Include positive conversations: positive impacts of improving places you live

Emily also reported that she and Ellie have begun compiling resources for local councils and resources and as part of this have met with the Devon Association of Local Councils, Teignbridge District Council and have meetings scheduled with 361 Energy and Exeter City Futures.

3. Update on the Devon Carbon Plan

a) Call for Evidence

The call for evidence has now closed. The number of online submissions reached 853. The secretariat has begun sorting and categorising these for consideration by the Task Force. This will be completed during the next period. Submissions will also be published online but the priority is to process them into a form digestible by the Task Force. 

b) Thematic Hearings

Web pages containing the key findings from each hearing have been published. A gap analysis between the UK Committee on Climate Change policy scenario for 2050 and the topics discussed at the hearings has been completed for the Task Force to consider at its meeting on the 14th February. This may lead to further conversations with additional witnesses or research commissions. 

c) Citizens’ Assembly Design Procurement

Revised costs for the assembly are between £130k and £180k, depending upon the costs of the recruitment and facilitator company’s time, which is between £30k and £80k more than originally anticipated. Devon County Council has the funding available to implement this.

The procurement specification has been produced and has been reviewed by the research team at the University of Exeter who will be evaluating the effectiveness of the assembly. Further advice has been received from a team of international researchers providing guidance to the Economy and Society Research Council funded project to evaluate the effectiveness of the assembly. The tender should be issued by the end of February at the absolute latest with the ambition for the assembly to be complete before the school summer holidays in mid-July.

Sarah Higgins suggested getting dates in the diary for venues across the county that can be used to stage the Assembly. This will be tricky until the facilitation provider is onboard as the dates will partially be dictated by their availability.

4. Update from the Climate Impacts Group

The revised Terms of Reference have been drafted this period and are with the Climate Impacts Group for comment. This will be finalised next month.

The Met Office has led on the production of a document summarising the 2018 Climate Projections. Devon County Council met with the Met Office to agree additions to the document. The Group will work on the narratives of the effects of climate change on flood and coastal risk, health and the natural environment over the next 3 months for completion in May.

5. Local Updates from Members

Each member provided an update on their activity to address the climate emergency locally. These included:

  • The Annual Public Health Report is approaching completion and has focussed on Planetary and Human Health. This will be circulated to the Group once finalised.
  • Government’s Future Homes Standard consultation closes on the 7th February. Regen has produced a consultation response that Group members can use to inform their submissions.
  • The Nature Recovery Network pilot in the Tamar Valley being led by the Devon Biodiversity Records Centre is progressing well. The pilot is due for completion by 31/3/20 and will then be extended to cover the whole of Devon by the end of March 2021.

ACTION: Emily Reed to arrange for Harry Barton to meet with the Food, Land and Sea theme leads on the Net-Zero Task Force to explain the concept of the Nature Recovery Network.

  • The Local Nature Partnership conference is arranged for the 20th March 2020 and is focussing on the climate and ecological emergency. Take up has been good and it is almost full.
  • The Devon Clinical Commissioning Group has signed the Devon Climate Declaration.
  • Devon and Cornwall Police is developed a new sustainability strategy for its buildings. As part of this there is an ambition to make the new Okehampton Police Station passivhaus with the intention of rolling the model out to other new buildings if it’s successful.
  • The third week of March will see North Devon’s Climate Action Week during which local councils and schools are being invited to share what they are doing to help address the climate emergency.

6. Funding Opportunities

No further funding opportunities shared.

7. Any other Business

James Szymankiewicz asked whether this Group should be engaging in lobbying activity at this stage. The Group AGREED that it would be more effective to wait for the district-level action plans to be prepared (which are generally operating at a faster timetable than the county-wide plan) so that lobbying priorities can be aligned and agreed between the administrations. This does not prevent the non-governmental organisations on the Group from undertaking separate lobbying activity though.

8. Next meeting

March 10th 2pm – 4pm.  Meeting invitations have been sent.

Scroll to Top