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Net Zero Task Force, Meeting Minutes, 22nd August 2022


Tim Jones

James Shorten

Lyndis Cole

Nik Bowyer

Gill Westcott


Hannah Lawrie

Iain Stewart

Harry Bonnell

Ian Hutchcroft

Patrick Devine-Wright

Sue Goodfellow

Olly Frankland

Harry Bonnell

Ian Bailey

Conny Guell

Laura Cardenas


Emily Reed  

Charlotte Brown

Doug Eltham  

1. Matters arising from previous minutes

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as a true record of the meeting.

Emily has contacted the chair of the Devon Planning Officers Group for James and Tim to attend. This is likely to be a date in October.

Actions carried over:

ACTION: Secretariat to prepare an infographic describing the skills and experience required by each theme board, which could be shared with communities for them to evaluate their own skills gaps.

2. Progress Report

Emily asked for questions and comments about the progress report.

Nik reported that Plymouth has been successful at receiving funding from the Department for Transport for social prescribing of low-carbon travel initiatives.

No further questions from the Task Force.

3. Final Devon Carbon Plan

Emily thanked the Task Force for the further feedback they have been providing. The Quick Reads, Summary and Full version of the Plan have been shared with the Response Group ahead of its meeting on the 25th August. At that meeting we anticipate the plan to be ‘signed-off’ by the partnership and for the partners to start to endorse it.

Lyndis said that the summary version is still quite long. Doug agreed and said that it was a struggle to remove content whilst leaving enough detail about the context of the actions for them to continue to make sense. The full version formatted as a Word document is 155 pages. The summary version is 96 pages. The quick read version is 19 pages. Emily added that policy makers are expected to use the summary version, whilst the public are expected to use the quick read version initially. The full version is then available for people who want more detail.

Emily showed a mock-up of how the three versions will be presented on the website, which is expected to go live on the 15th September. Nik said this looked clear. Emily added that the quick reads may be displayed using Google Slides if this meets accessibility criteria. If it doesn’t, an alternative visual approach will be pursued to keep it engaging.

The Task Force discussed whether the summary version should be called something else, as it’s still quite long. After the discussion it was agreed to leave it titled as the summary but to explain on the landing page for the Plan, the purpose of each version and the type of audience that might benefit from each version.

Gill, Nik and Lyndis said that the Quick Reads are really helpful. Emily asked for feedback on these, particularly about whether the recommended actions for individuals are appropriate given the cost of living crisis, and whether it would be better for these to be presented after the recommended actions for policy makers. The Task Force agreed that the actions for individuals appearing first in the document is fine, as people may not want to read through the actions for policy makers before getting to the actions for individuals. The Task Force further agreed that the actions for individuals should be reviewed for sensitivity to the cost of living crisis.

Lyndis asked for confirmation that the minor amendments that she has suggested to the full plan will be replicated in the summary version. Emily confirmed they will be.

The Task Force agreed to ‘sign-off’ the final version of the carbon plan.

4. Future Governance

Doug said that none of the partners have yet nominated themselves to lead the partnership for the next 12 months and so it is likely that Devon County Council will continue in that role. The new chair will either be the interim Chief Executive or the Director for Climate Change, Environment and Transport. This will be determined at the next Response Group on the 25th August.

Doug added that the recommendations made by the Task Force at its last meeting have been incorporated into the future governance arrangements.

Task Force agreed to continue meeting until the new governance arrangements are established. Emily will prepare a timetable for the transition to the new governance arrangements within the next month.

5. Communications Update

Charlotte gave an update on the communications activity described in the Progress Report.

Communicating the Launch of the Carbon Plan

The Task Force discussed whether a webinar would be a useful addition to the launch of the Devon Carbon Plan.

Gill suggested some of the visuals that have been developed for the Net-Zero Visions project could be used to accompany the launch, or indeed a webinar.

Tim said the way that Tik Tok communicates dynamically with its audience should be considered. Twitter conversations and Instagram Live were mentioned as ways of reaching far more people.

James reminded the group that the launch should focus on the message that this is now the beginning of the implementation phase – this isn’t the end! Nik agreed.

Nik suggested bringing members of the climate assembly back into the communications activity so that the public hear different voices.

Engaging Businesses

Tim asked about engagement with businesses and how the launch of the Plan can be used to engage businesses better. Doug suggested we could share the opportunities arising from the Carbon Plan with businesses when we are encouraging the business community to endorse it. Tim and Gill agreed and added that many businesses need help with understanding scope 3 emissions management and what the larger anchor institutions will be requesting from their suppliers. Tim suggested that business ambassadors could be found who can promote this activity within their spheres of influence.

ACTION: Emily, Charlotte and Tim to meet to discuss how to best engage business communities in the short term.

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