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Tactical Group Meeting 5th October

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


  • Doug Eltham | Devon County Council
  • Emily Reed | Devon Climate Emergency
  • Ellie Rowlands | Devon Climate Emergency
  • Lynda Wookey | University of Exeter and Exeter City Futures
  • Adam Williams | South Hams and West Devon Councils
  • Andrew Busby | Mid Devon District Council
  • William Elliott | Teignbridge District Council                                               
  • John Golding | East Devon District Council
  • Sarah Higgins | North Devon District Council
  • Richard Merrifield | Devon Public Health
  • David Rose | South West Water
  • Harry Barton | Devon Wildlife Trust
  • Janet Williams | Torridge District Council
  • Nicki Collas | Devon and Cornwall Police


  • Tom James | University of Exeter
  • Julia Wordley | Devon and Cornwall Police
  • Sara Gibbs | Public Health Devon

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.

Partners agreed to work with Ellie to produce videos from prominent people in their organisations explaining why they’ve got involved with the Devon Climate Emergency project. These will be used as part of the public consultation from December.

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.

Representatives from South Hams, West Devon, North Devon, Torridge and Devon County councils confirmed that the proposed net-zero timetable is being discussed with councillor groups this month.

2.3 Update on the Climate Impacts Group

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

3. Future Governance Arrangements

The Devon Carbon Plan is being prepared by a collaboration of over 25 organisations, and many more will be involved in its implementation. The existing governance arrangements have been appropriate for managing the development of the Plan (and the Adaptation Plan) but the implementation of the wide variety of decarbonisation projects in the Plan will need something different.

Doug Eltham outlined one potential model of future governance as a stimulus for discussion between the climate emergency partners. Revised governance arrangements will need to be in place from summer 2021 at the latest. It is recommended partners begin thinking about how governance could work, how it can bring together projects in the Devon-wide and partner-level climate plans, and what involvement they would like to have in it.

Partners offered their immediate views.

It was AGREED that the public consultation should be used to gather opinions from organisations and communities about how the governance should work and that an initial proposal to stimulate discussion and feedback should be offered.

ACTION: All partners to provide their thoughts to Emily Reed on how governance could operate, particularly those with experience of implementing complex programmes.

4. Funding Opportunities

Harry Barton and Doug Eltham reported three known bids in the county for the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. Two are being developed by the North Devon Biosphere Reserve and one by the Devon Wildlife Trust.

John Golding reported that East Devon District Council is looking at funding for further district heating opportunities in the west end of the district.

Adam Williams drew the group’s attention to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, newly launched by government, offering 100% grants for public sector building retrofit.

5. Local Updates From Members

Harry Barton reported that he is currently the acting chair of Natural Devon as the chair has stepped down. A search for a new chair is underway.

Andrew Busby reported that Mid Devon’s draft carbon reduction strategy for its corporate estate has been to Cabinet and was approved. A new post is needed and permission has been granted to advertise.

ACTION: All partners to send Andrew example job descriptions

William Elliott reported that Teignbridge District Council has recently declared an ecological emergency.

David Rose reported:

  • The water industry’s net-zero plan has been pushed back to November.
  • South West Water is starting to work with the Isles of Scilly as a sand pit opportunity to make the islands carbon neutral by 2030.
  • New training for staff has been introduced.

6. Next meeting

November 11th, 10 – 11am.  Meeting invitations have been sent.


Period: Sept – Oct 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. Project Communications ? [GREEN]

Website has been ‘signed off’ with the developers and is now live.

Communication elements of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan consultation continue to be developed. These include drafting consultation questions and producing ‘talking-head’ videos with individual Task-Force members.

Recycle Devon textiles campaign has launched.

1.2. Spatial Planning ? [GREEN]

The DCE response to the Planning White Paper consultation has been drafted and circulated for comment to the Response Group, Tactical Group and the Net-Zero Task Force. Comments are required to Doug Eltham by the 16th October.

1.3. COVID Reset ? [GREEN]

The Cosy Devon partnership submitted a DCE-wide application to the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme on the 1st September.  This is a £1.2m bid to retrofit 100 homes by 31st March 2020. The bid was successful and Devon County Council is now reviewing the contract before the project can commence.

Devon Solar Together has launched inviting households to participate in a solar panel buying collective. This has been promoted widely on social media and households likely to engage have received a targeted letter.

Tim Jones, a member of the Net-Zero Task Force, met with the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Board along with representatives of the Somerset climate emergency initiative by the invitation of David Ralph, the LEP Chief Executive, on the 18th September. Investment priorities were discussed along with the preparation of an action plan to deliver the Three-LEP Energy Strategy.

The full report on the Economy and Business Recovery to accompany the Team Devon COVID Prospectus has been delayed due to resources being focussed on government funding opportunities.

2. Net-Zero Task Force Update

2.1. Citizens’ Assembly ? [AMBER]

The procurement process for the research and advice on the effectiveness of online deliberations has concluded and has awarded the contract to the University of Exeter.

This work will conclude by the end of October. If the research outcome is positive and partners agree, the procurement process for the recruitment and facilitation provider would commence in January.

2.2. Drafting the Interim Plan ? [AMBER]

Plan Sections

Emily Reed has been progressing all sections of the Plan. These have been drafted and have received comment from the Task Force and these have been incorporated into the current draft.

A draft of all sections will be shared with partners in the week of the 5th October, which is a couple of days later than scheduled. The purpose of sharing a draft at this stage is for partners to identify any significant concerns with the plan’s wording ahead of the public consultation from the 7th December. Significant concerns need to be raised by the 2nd November to give time to the secretariat and Task Force to amend the draft before the consultation.

In the meantime, the Task Force and the secretariat will continue refining the draft for consultation. Minor concerns from partners can be raised during the consultation, which will run for 10 weeks to the 15th February 2021.

Net-Zero Timetable

The Task Force’s proposal for Devon’s Net-Zero timetable is with all partners for comment. Please send comment to Doug Eltham by the 22nd October so that they can be collated ahead of the Response Group on the 28th October at which we need to agree the timetable that will appear in the consultation draft of the Interim Plan.

Action Scheduling Diagrams

Diagrams identifying when each of the actions in the plan needs to be implemented to align with the Committee on Climate Change net-zero scenario for 2050 are being prepared by the University of Exeter. There will be one diagram for each section. Additionally, the diagram will demonstrate the carbon emissions reduction trajectory over the next 30 years. Using these diagrams, five-year carbon budgets will be prepared for Devon to help with the monitoring of the implementation of the plan.

These will not be ready in time to include in the draft for partners in the week of the 5th October. Instead we intend to share one of the diagrams – for the Built Environment section – with partners in October for feedback. The remaining diagrams for the other sections will be prepared subsequently for inclusion in the consultation draft. 

3. Climate Impacts Group Update

3.1. Narratives of the Effects of Climate Change ? [GREEN]

Narratives on flood and coastal risk and the natural environment are largely complete.

The narrative on health has been drafted has been shared with Public Health England for comment.

The Group is speaking with Rebecca Mitchell at Exeter University to understand her capacity to help with social and economic risks.

The Environment Agency has kindly made national resource available to bring all of the risks identified in the narrative documents into one single register and cross-reference with the national climate risk register to check for omissions in our local analysis.

4. Summary Comments

The Devon Carbon Plan is now in an advanced phase of assembling and editing the Interim Plan ahead of sharing with the partners as an early draft from October 5th. Drafting is taking longer than expected but progress is being made.

The Climate Impacts Group is making progress with the narratives and the offer of support from the national Environment Agency team will help keep things moving.

As a whole, the project is continuing to make progress.

See over page for Issues Log and Risk Log

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