Meg Booth introduced herself to the Task Force as the new chair of the Response Group following Phil Norrey’s retirement.
2. Matters arising from previous minutes
Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as a true record of the meeting.
Action 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.
However, Charlotte added that she and Emily have met with Tim to discuss how to engage businesses in the launch of the Carbon Plan. The initial action is to refine the Quick Read of the Carbon Plan to tailor it to businesses and then distribute that to the membership of the South West Business Council. Medium term we’ll look to ask businesses to share case studies about what they are doing to reach net-zero.
ACTION: 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.
3. Progress Report
Emily asked for questions and comments about the progress report.
No further questions from the Task Force.
4. Launch of the Devon Carbon Plan
Charlotte reported that the Devon Carbon Plan launched on the 27th September. We’re waiting for the PDFs of the summary and full versions, which will be available by the 7th October. The PDF of the Quick Read is already online.
The Plan received coverage by BBC Radio Devon and Spotlight.
The webinar was successful on the evening of the 28th September.
Emily added that she will be attending the Act on Climate Teignbridge event on 1st October. There’s a similar community event in the South Hams on the 8th. Plus the Plan will be shared at the Devon Association of Local Councils conference on the 5th October. The Plan will also be aired at the NFU networking lunch on the 3rd October.
Doug added that he presented the Plan to the South West Net-Zero Conference hosted by the Exeter Science Park on the 29th September.
5. Future Governance
Emily shared the timetable for shifting to the new governance structure. The specifications for the experience and skills of the teams needed are to be completed in October with recruitment then occurring in November. The goal is to get the new governance operational by the end of January 2023.
Emily shared a ‘work in progress’ specification. Ian Bailey commented that getting the right types of diversity is important – expertise is necessary but lived experiences, too. Sue agreed.
Sue added whether we can offer an alternative engagement opportunity to people who have expressed an opinion but will not be selected. Gill suggested a review period, perhaps a year, whereby either additional public input is obtained through a workshop (or similar) or members of the theme groups get rotated with other people who’d expressed an interest. Gill acknowledged this would require additional resource.
Ian said that we’ll need to keep the impact of communications about the Carbon Plan high. The ‘peaks’ in further public engagement with the delivery of the Plan could be used to keep communities and agencies interested.
Lyndis noted that the media tends to follow events, rather than progressions. So part of the communications approach needs to be to programme a series of events. Emily agreed and said the Taking Action posts on the website are doing that but that we need to expand this activity to show case studies about what other businesses are doing. Lyndis suggested some sort of net-zero badge that could be used by businesses to demonstrate alignment with the Plan – the issue of the badge could be an event that would be publicised and potentially picked up by media outlets. Sue agreed this was a good idea.
ACTION: Charlotte and Emily to consider how a business badge system could work.
6. Communications Update
Charlotte gave an update on the communications activity described in the Progress Report.
No further questions.
7. In-person meeting of the Task Force
The next meeting will be in-person on the 9th October in Totnes. Emily will be in touch about arrangements. A digital option will be arranged for people who can’t attend.
8. Devon Land Use Framework
The preparation of the land use framework is continuing. Potentially additional funding will be required from government, which given the national situation may be challenging to obtain. Lyndis will continue to be engaged.
9. Power Allotments
Olly said that the Power Allotments project is looking to find parishes interested in exploring the opportunity for 1MW scale solar farms. The idea is to bring together a consortium of projects to take forward for development funding.