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Tactical Group Meeting 5th August

Devon Climate Emergency Tactical Group minutes of meeting 5th August 2020.
You can download a PDF of the minutes here.


Doug Eltham | Devon County Council
Sara Gibbs | Public Health Devon
Emily Reed | Devon Climate Emergency
Ellie Rowlands | Devon Climate Emergency
Lynda Wookey | University of Exeter and Exeter City Futures
Janet Williams | Torridge District Council
Sarah Higgins | North Devon District Council
Adam Williams | South Hams and West Devon District Council
Karl Bigmore | South Western Ambulance Service Trust
William Elliott | Teignbridge District Council


John Golding | East Devon District Council
Harry Barton | Devon Wildlife Trust
Tom James | University of Exeter

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

2. Project Progress Report

2.1  Project Management and Communications Update

Ellie Rowlands and Doug Eltham provided an update reflecting Section 1 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

In addition, Ellie noted that the new website is due to be completed by early September.

2.2 Update from the Net-Zero Task Force

Emily Reed provided an update reflecting Section 2 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

2.3 Update on the Climate Impacts Group

Emily Reed provided an update reflecting Section 3 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

Sara Gibbs suggested that Public Health England are likely to have little time to assist with the project at the current time and so an alternative solution to providing the health impacts narrative may be necessary. A solution to this could be using the Devon Public Health Annual Report that focused on Planetary Health. It would need amendment to cover Cornwall and Isles of Scilly issues.

ACTION: Emily and Sara to follow up on this suggestion.

3. Opportunities

Doug Eltham raised a £200m fund that has been launched on the 4th August as part of government’s Green Homes Grant. This fund is to be spent through local authorities on fuel poor households. The application deadline is the 1st September. The Cosy Devon partnership will be meeting next week to discuss Devon’s approach to submitting a bid in this short timescale.

4. Local Updates from Members

Some members provided an update on their activity to address the climate emergency locally.

  • North Devon District Council – Sarah Higgins confirmed the authority will recruit to provide additional resource to respond to the climate emergency.

ACTION: Partners with a recent job description please share with Sarah.

  • Teignbridge District Council – Will Elliott reported that the council’s carbon footprint is now available online. The authority has also updated its carbon calculator that developers are expected to use to demonstrate compliance with Policy S7 in the Teignbridge Local Plan – this now requires a 26% improvement over the Target Emission Rate in the latest Part L of the Building Regulations, which reflects an appropriate trajectory to reach a 100% reduction by 2050.  

5. Next meeting

September 3rd, 12 – 12.  Meeting invitations have been sent.


Period: Jul – Aug 2020

Status Indicator key:

Red = Serious issue that requires Response Group intervention;

Amber = Minor issue that will initially be managed by the secretariat, but the Response Group should be aware;

Green = No issue.

1. Project Management Update

1.1. Activity Over the Past Month

Project Communications   Continuing to work with the new website contractor to develop the new website. Photo competition was launched asking for people’s visions for net-zero Devon. This has concluded and received 132 submissions – the winning photos will be used on the new website. These are already being used in social media content.   Social media and website content has been developed about the projects that partner organisations are already implementing.   Social media following continues to grow as does subscribers to the newsletter.  Green
Using the Climate Emergency as a Material Planning Consideration   Devon Planning Officers’ Group met with James Shorten, the planning lead on the Net-Zero Task Force, on the 15th July. A second meeting is taking place on the 11th August.   Green
Covid Reset We have received two replies from cabinet ministers thanking the DCE for its letter and each outlines their plans to ensure a green recovery.   Devon County Council is preparing to submit its bid for the second round of Emergency Active Travel Funding by Friday 7 August. Devon is bidding for around £1.3 million to create more permanent schemes that provide extra space for pedestrians and cyclists in order provide alternatives to public transport and to improve safety and encourage more active travel.Green

1.2. Activity Expected Next Month

Project Communications

  • Development of ‘Website Phase 2’ will continue.
  • Further social media content around the upcoming Interim Devon Carbon Plan will be developed and shared

Using the Climate Emergency as a Material Planning Consideration

  • James Shorten, member of the Net Zero Task Force, will be meeting with the Devon Planning Officers’ Group on the 11th August. 

Covid Reset

  • A full report on the Economy and Business Recovery to accompany the Team Devon Prospectus was due to be completed in August but that has been delayed until September.

2. Net-Zero Task Force Update

Role from its Terms of Reference: To use its specialist knowledge and experience to produce an evidence-led Devon Carbon Plan, including consideration of the earliest credible date that should be set for net-zero emissions.

2.1. Activity Over the Past Month

Citizens’ Assembly The University of Exeter is going to research the effectiveness of online deliberations to understand whether the Devon Climate Assembly could move online given the continued pandemic.   This work will complete in September.  Amber
Developing the Carbon Plan   A three-month delay to the Carbon Plan timetable was agreed by the DCERG. The public consultation on the draft will now commence in the first week of December and run until the middle of February.   The Task Force continues to synthesise the key actions for the Version 1 Carbon Plan and its structure is taking shape.   In-depth meetings with each of the project partners and the secretariat are now drawing to a close. Having had those feedback meetings, the actions are being refined and the sections of the Plan are being drafted.  Green

2.2. Activity Expected Next Month

Citizens’ Assembly

  • The university’s research on the effectiveness of online deliberation will be ongoing, with the final report expected later in September.  

Developing the Carbon Plan

  • Actions will be refined following the feedback from partners.
  • Once actions are refined, then finalise the assessment of the carbon saving potential of the actions with the Task Force. Use this analysis to help prioritise actions further.
  • Critical path diagrams will be updated reflecting the refined actions.
  • Drafting of the Carbon Plan text will continue and this will be shared with the sub-theme leads on the Task Force for amendments.

3. Climate Impacts Group Update

Role from its Terms of Reference: To work collaboratively with the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly climate emergency projects operating in each of the three localities to use its expertise to help:

  • prepare communities for the necessary adaptations to infrastructure, services and behaviours that will be required to respond to a warmer world.
  • improve the resilience of the natural environment against the effects of climate change

3.1. Activity Over the Past Month

Narratives of the Effects of Climate Change   Narratives on: Flood and coastal risk (led by the Environment Agency) is drafted and has been shared with the Group for input. The natural environment (led by the Local Nature Partnership with the Westcountry Rivers Trust) has been drafted and shared with the Group for input. Health (led by Public Health England) is awaited.   The partners’ involved in COVID response has contributed to a slight delay in the timetable.   Subsequently, the social and economic commentary will be added by the University of Exeter.Amber

3.2. Activity Expected Next Month

Narratives of the Effects of Climate Change

The narratives will be finalised and the University of Exeter will begin its commentary on wider social and economic issues.

Summary Comments

The Devon Carbon Plan is now in a phase of assembling and writing the Plan. Vital feedback from the partners has largely concluded.

Whilst the three-month delay to the timetable is frustrating, this has given sufficient time to have full discussions now, which will make the adoption and implementation of the Plan easier in the long-term.

The Climate Impacts Group has experienced a slight delay due to a focus of some partners on the Covid-19 response, but the impact narratives are progressing.

As a whole, the project is continuing to make progress despite the Covid-19 resource restrictions.

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