Net Zero Task Force, Meeting Minutes, 28th June 2022

Attendees

Sue Goodfellow 

Lyndis Cole 

Laura Cardenas 

Tim Jones  

Nik Bowyer 

Olly Frankland 

James Shorten 

Gill Westcott 

Harry Bonnell 

Hannah Lawrie 

David Sergeant

Apologies

Patrick Devine-Wright

Ian Hutchcroft 

Ian Bailey  

Conny Guell 

Secretariat

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.

Matters arising:

  • Emily reported that Patrick has put her in touch with a PhD student who has been researching how to engage the disengaged.
  • Emily has put Ian Bailey in touch with Lucinda Brook at Plymouth City Council who has led an application to the LGA Behavioural Insights Programme bid.
  • Emily confirmed that grid issues are part of devolution conversations, and that Team Devon have sent a lobbying letter to government about grid issues generally.

ACTION: Doug to circulate the devolution application and Team Devon’s lobbying letter

2. Progress Report

Emily invited questions on the Progress Report and drew attention to the latest projects being implemented by the partners.

Tim reported that government is giving signals that the UK will need to take special planning measures to respond to energy security concerns and the Task Force could have a role in ensuring that Devon is ready to promote renewables, particularly given the feelings of the Devon Climate Assembly about onshore wind. James agreed.

Task Force could provide high-level guidance about how the Local Plans may need to change, providing learning from Cornwall. This could provide policy recommendations.

ACTION: Secretariat to approach the Devon Planning Officers Group to discuss.

ACTION: Tim and James to prepare some initial thoughts.

3. Progress with the Devon Carbon Plan

Doug reported that the final chapter to be redrafted, the Economy and Resources chapter, has been circulated to partners and the Task Force for comments. Comments have been asked to be submitted by the end of June.

ACTION: Task Force to provide comment on the Economy and Resources chapter by the end the 8th July.

The University of Exeter is updating the action diagrams to make them easier to understand.

The partnership’s responses to the Devon Climate Assembly are being incorporated into the chapters.

Emily reported that the Ruby Country Net-Zero Farming report has been received in draft form and the secretariat will circulate that to the Task Force once it has been finalised by the project team.

ACTION: Secretariat to circulate the Ruby Country Net-Zero farming report.

ACTION: Doug to speak with Gill, Laura, Lyndis and Sue about how the Ruby Country Net-zero Report will be incorporated into the Plan.

4. Net-Zero Visions

David Sergeant provided an update on the Net-Zero Visions project. David said that the fact the project was described in the Interim Devon Carbon Plan was instrumental in receiving the £100k funding.

Workshops were delivered in January 2022 with communities for them to develop their net-zero vision. There will animations, poems, illustrations, mobile games, public murals and augmented reality commissions.

Every public library in Devon will receive a free copy of the project book showcasing the visions.

A public call for visions has just been launched. Devon residents can submit their visions to be exhibited on the Devon Climate Emergency Net-Zero Visions Gallery online. Institutions are being encouraged to submit visions, too.

James suggested the visions could be used to help institutions envisage what the future looks like to help them design policy fit for the future.

Gill said that the visions could be shared at community events. The book will be helpful, and a slide deck would be useful too, plus QR codes that could be placed around a community event providing links to the online material.

Laura asked about school engagement with the visions. David said that the visions are being shared with the two schools in Plymouth next month. There will be a net-zero visioning best-practice pack as part of the legacy to the project.

Tim suggested that the visions could be helpful in stimulating the economy of the future and inspiring people to think about skills and training.

Sue highlighted the benefit of engagement projects such as this, drawing on her experience of similar initiatives on Dartmoor. If given the support and resources, communities will run this and develop their own visions.

5. Transitioning to the Future Governance Arrangements 

Emily shared initial work on identifying the skills and representation needed on each Theme Board. The Task Force participated in a short brainstorming session.

Harry suggested the skills and experience recorded in this sessions could helpfully be shared as an infographic with communities and parishes to help them think about their own skills gaps. 

ACTION: Secretariat to prepare a skills and experience infographic for communities.

Tim asked about the timetable for transitioning to new governance arrangements. Emily said that it will be in the autumn after the Plan has been published.

6. Communications Update

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

Tim asked how business will be engaged. Charlotte said we intend to start re-engaging businesses with the opportunity to sign the Devon Climate Declaration. Tim is keen to assist.

ACTION: Charlotte to get in touch with Tim to discuss.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

7. Pipeline of Solar Farm Projects

Olly reported that 760MW of solar has a grid agreement with Western Power in Devon. Each farm is about 30MW, which is slightly smaller than the UK average. In addition there is a 249MW-scale project, with a connection agreement with National Grid. So about 1GW in total.

 Olly has shared this information with the Devon Energy Collective which is undertaking a site-finding exercise currently.

8. Land Use Framework

Lyndis reported that there have been some constructive conservations with partners about the purpose of the Framework. Doug reported that government is looking at Land Use Frameworks due to their recommended use by the National Food Strategy, and is aware of the pilots underway in Devon and Cambridgeshire.

9. Next Meeting

Emily confirmed that the next meeting on the 27th July will be in-person in Totnes.