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Minutes of the Tactical Group – 7th January 2020

Devon Climate Emergency Tactical Group minutes of meeting 7th January 2020.

You can download a PDF version of the minutes here.


Doug Eltham, Devon County Council
John Golding, East Devon District Council
Richard Merrifield, Public Health Devon
Sarah Higgins, North Devon District Council
David Eaton, Teignbridge District Council
Andrew Gunther, Torbay Council
Drew Powell, South Hams and West Devon Councils
Liz O’Driscoll, Exeter City Futures
Tom James, University of Exeter
James Szymankiewicz, Natural Devon
Janet Williams, Torridge District Council
David Rose, South West Water
Emily Reed, Devon County Council
Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust



1) Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

Actions carried over:

ACTION: Jake Burnyeat to circulate the Devon Energy Collective proposal.

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

2) Update on Communications Resource

A full-time Communications Graduate for the project, Ellie Rowlands, will be in post from 13th January. An initial task will be to prepare a communications strategy to engage more with local councils and communities to share tools and actions that can begin to be implemented immediately.

Emily and Ellie will liaise with each of the partners and communities already active on this agenda very soon to compile resources and get these online in a central location.

The Group AGREED that this should be a priority.

3) Update on the Devon Carbon Plan

A) Call for Evidence

The Call for Evidence will remain open until the end of January 2020. There have been 499 submissions so far. There will be a social media push to encourage people to submit further ideas over the next three weeks. Doug Eltham has an action from the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group to contact other local authority areas to understand how this number of submissions compares with other councils.

All of the submissions will be categorised and published online.

B) Thematic Hearings

The thematic hearings completed on the 11th December with a hearing that addressed the cross-cutting themes of spatial planning, finance, procurement and consumption.

Videos the hearings as well as a summary of the key points emerging from the discussions will be published online by the end of January. Hearing summaries are currently with the witnesses and chairs for comment.

The Net-Zero Task Force is considering whether any key issues require further exploration or have been missed. A comparison with the UK Committee on Climate Change’s Net Zero report will be undertaken to assist with this. Further conversations with witnesses may occur or a research budget is available should additional work be required.

C) Citizens’ Assembly Design Procurement

At its meeting on the 18th December, the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group agreed to:

  1. Endorse the recommendations outlined in the University of Exeter report.
  2. Note the recommendations received to date arising from the consultation of local-authority elected members.
  3. Assign the role of determining the final design of the citizens’ assembly to the independent Net-Zero Task Force on the premise that the final design does not deviate significantly from the recommendations in the University of Exeter report, and that the final design should consider the recommendations from the local-authority elected members in the context of the report’s evidence.
  4. Ask the Net-Zero Task Force, via its secretariat, to report back to local-authority elected members on how it considered their recommendations.
  5. Mandate Devon County Council to begin procurement of the citizens’ assembly recruitment and facilitation services in its role as the contracting authority.

It was further agreed that it would be appropriate to oversample Devon’s rural geography in the make-up of the Citizens’ Assembly membership.

ACTION: Remaining authorities to provide elected-member feedback to the Net-Zero Task Force by the end of January via Doug Eltham.  

D) Links Between the County-Wide Plan and District/City-Level Plans

The Group discussed how the district/city-level plans should best link with the county-wide plan, as the district/city-level plans are generally proceeding quicker than the county-wide plan.

It was AGREED that the outcomes of consultation activity and contents of draft district/city-level plans should be shared with the Net-Zero Task Force and with other authorities in Devon. This will enable anticipated local decarbonisation activity to be reflected in the county-wide plan.

ACTION: All authorities to share documents on the Knowledge Hub platform at its free to set up an account

4) Update from the Climate Impacts Group

The Met Office has produced a draft report outlining the latest climate projections.

This Met Office report will subsequently be used by the University of Exeter, Public Health England and the Environment Agency to understand the implications of climate change for different sectors.

Natural Devon will also make use of the Met Office report to review the effects of projected climate change on the natural environment.

A meeting of the Climate Impacts Group in January 2020 will:

  • Review the Met Office report and agree the detail of the further analysis to be undertaken by the listed partners.
  • Revise the Climate Impacts Group’s Terms of Reference to reflect the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group October 2019 decision to incorporate the ecological emergency and the need for a broader climate adaptation plan into the Devon Climate Emergency project.
  • Determine the resources required in various organisations, including Natural Devon, and report back to the DCERG

5) Local Updates from Members

Each member provided an update on their activity to address the climate emergency locally. Most are compiling organisational carbon footprints and developing local action plans.

6) Funding Opportunities

No further funding opportunities shared.

7) Next meeting

February 6th 2pm – 4pm.  Meeting invitations have been sent.

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