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Net Zero Task Force Meeting Minutes 23rd November

Net Zero Task Force Draft Minutes 23rd November 2020. Download a PDF copy of the minutes here.


  • Patrick Devine-Wright (Chair)
  • Sue Goodfellow
  • Beth Langley
  • Emily Reed
  • Hannah Oliver
  • Ian Hutchcroft
  • Kerry Hayes
  • Lyndis Cole
  • Nik Bowyer
  • Ian Bailey
  • Iain Stewart


  • Hannah Lawrie
  • Harry Bonnell
  • Cornelia Guell
  • Laura Cardenas
  • Gill Westcott
  • James Shorten

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

It was AGREED that the minutes are a true record of the discussion.

2. Progress of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan Preparation

The chapter texts still to be shared with the Task Force for final signoff are the Built Environment; Food, Land and Sea; Making it Happen; and the Glossary.

Emily advised that the feedback we’re looking for at this stage are significant issues only please as due to slippage with the timetable, text has had to be shared with the website contractor so that they can start populating the page templates ahead of the launch.

ACTION: All Task Force members to review the final drafts for any remaining significant issues by Monday 30th November.

Action Diagrams and the Action Summary Table are in their final stages of amendments before being completed by Andrew Rowson. Ian Hutchcroft advised that he like to see the Built Environment diagram again.

ACTION: Emily to share the Built Environment diagram with Ian.

Some of the case studies have not been prepared yet. The plan for these is to draft them with the partners they relate to during the consultation period.

Iain Stewart asked whether the diagrams will be standardised in size as some appear quite small in the current drafts.

ACTION: Emily to ensure diagrams are large enough to view for accessibility purposes.

Executive Summary is still being drafted and will be shared with the Task Force later this week. Emily will advise on the date for feedback on this.

Lyndis asked if there will be a summary of each section at the start of each section. Emily advised that there will be. Tim mentioned that government’s 10-Point Plan will need mentioning. Emily confirmed this will be referenced in the Executive Summary. Doug and Kerry noted that the 10-Point Plan is bringing forward some of the recommendations made by the Committee on Climate Change within their 2050 net-zero scenario upon which the Interim Devon Carbon Plan is based. Therefore, whilst the 10-Point Plan is welcomed and supported, the timetable of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan remains relevant. The detail of the implementation plans behind the government’s 10 Points will be of great interest.

3.     Sharing the Plan

a) Website

Emily showed the Task Force mock-ups of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan on the website.

Patrick asked if there will be hand holding on the website for readers. Patrick suggested putting it past some non-experts to see if they can navigate it.

ACTION: Emily to arrange some user testing.

Nik asked if there will be a PDF version for download.

ACTION: Emily to check if a PDF version will be available online.

Tim asked if the website meets accessibility guidelines. Emily confirmed that it does.

Lyndis asked if the website layout of the document is the same as the layout in the Word documents we’ve been working on. Emily confirmed it is.

Lyndis suggested the web layout could come across as quite complicated. Emily said the Executive Summary would provide an accessible format, which will be shared with the Task Force later this week. Sue supported Lyndis’ comment.

Patrick asked if the summary tags can be used to navigate by certain types of people. Emily confirmed it can but that it possibly doesn’t do what the Task Force would like it to do.

ACTION: Add ‘farmers and land managers’ as a tag

ACTION: Change the ‘individuals’ tag to ‘individuals and households’.

The Task Force felt that moving forward the information needs to be synthesised for different audiences – i.e. what’s the call to action for each audience?

ACTION: Secretariat will consider how this can be better communicated on the website.

Kerry said that using a range of different networks to publicise the consultation will help. Patrick asked what the Executive Summary will look like. Emily said it will be based on the introductory sections and the priority actions. Patrick requested that the layout of the Executive Summary needs to be as easy to navigate from there to the point of detail in the rest of the Plan as possible.

b) Print Version

Emily shared a mock-up of the print version. Nik asked that the glossary should be appended to the print version.

4.     Communication of the Consultation

Press pack has been produced, including a press release template, and has been sent to all Task Force members, the Response Group partners, and the parish council clerks.

The press release is being pushed by Devon County Council’s press team.

Adverts will appear in print media and posters advertising the consultation and webinar series will be sent to parish councils and schools.

Purchased social media advertising is being prepared with segmented targeting.

Patrick asked how stakeholders beyond the County will be engaged? Emily advised that the partners will be doing that to some extent. Tim suggested using the South West Business Council to disseminate the Plan as well as health organisations.

ACTION: Emily to ensure Sadie at the South West Business Council and Garth at the University of Exeter has the press pack

The estimated time to complete the questionnaire will be added to the questionnaire. A further question asking how the person found the consultation be asked to target further comm’s during the consultation period.

The behaviour questionnaire will be shared with Task Force members later this week.

ACTION: Emily to circulate the behaviour questionnaire this week.

5. Webinars

The series of webinars has been diarised and external speakers are secured for each of those.

We need to start pinning down which polling questions will be used within the webinars and whether breakout rooms will be used.

Nik asked if pre-registration will be required. Emily confirmed it is. Nik said that more than about 5 people in a break-out room and the conversation tends to get dominated.

Facebook Events will be setup for each of the webinars to enable easier social media sharing of the opportunity.

ACTION: Doug and Emily will draft suggested webinar format and polling questions and share.

6.    Citizens’ Assembly

Doug reported that the University of Exeter has issued its report into the effectiveness of online deliberation and recommendations for how the Devon Net Zero Assembly should operate. This will be circulated to the Task Force and made available on the project website.

Next steps will be for the Secretariat to start preparing the Invitation to Tender documentation to select a recruitment and facilitation provider to work with the Task Force. The Tender will need to be launched in January for the assembly to be held by the school summer holidays in 2021.

Doug advised that the specific design of the assembly will be done later next year once the preferred contractor is on board. Such details include exactly how many sessions will be used to engage the assembly. Iain reported that the Scottish online assembly is spending 4 hours per day in 2-hour blocks. The report will also be presented to the Response Group at its meeting on the 1st December.

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