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Tactical Group Meeting Minutes 11th November 2020

Devon Climate Emergency Tactical Group minutes of meeting 11th November 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
Beth Langley, Devon Climate Emergency
Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon District Council
Andrew Gunther, Torbay Council
John Golding, East Devon District Council
David Rose, South West Water
Sarah Higgins, North Devon District Council
Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust
Samantha Davis, University of Plymouth


Janet Williams, Torridge District Council
William Elliott, Teignbridge District Council

Lynda Wookey, University of Exeter and Exeter City Futures
Andrew Busby, Mid Devon District Council

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.  

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.

Emily will send an example to the Group of the diagrams being used to communicate the duration of the Plan’s actions and how they fit against the net-zero timetable.

Ellie will circulate a press pack to all partners to assist with communicating the consultation. John Amosford asked if the consultation will be used to understand communities’ willingness for changing behaviours. Ellie advised that there will be a second survey alongside the main consultation survey that will gather information about behaviours. Emily noted that the citizens’ assembly is also an opportunity test this with a representative sample of Devon’s population.

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. Engaging elected Members During the Consultation

The Group AGREED that a single webinar aimed specifically at elected Members from all of the local authorities and national park authorities would be welcome. Whilst this will need to be high-level, members can be directed to the themed webinars to learn more about specific elements of the Plan.

ACTION: Secretariat to plan a single webinar for Members.

4. Future Governance Arrangements

The Group discussed the example governance model for the implementation of the Plan that was introduced at the previous meeting. Doug advised that future governance will be a specific point of consultation, using the model to aid discussion, as agreed at the last meeting.

John Amosford reminded the Group that we need to be clear where health and equality fits in, and that it should be clear that the governance is working for the benefit of the whole community.

Adam Williams suggested that the issue of governance should be raised with the Member webinar.

Harry Barton noted that there are various points of detail that will need fleshing out, such as how individuals will be assigned to each of the theme boards.

ACTION: Secretariat to amend governance example to reflect these comments before including in the consultation version of the Plan.  

5. Greenhouse Gas Data

The University of Exeter has provided 2016 and 2018 greenhouse gas data for Devon to accompany the 2017 data that is already online. The 2016 and 2018 data will be loaded onto the website in the next couple of weeks. This dataset will be updated annually into the future.

6. Future Funding Opportunities

Doug reminded the group of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, newly launched by government, offering 100% grants for public sector building retrofit.

John Amosford reported that he is part of a team looking at the Economies for Healthier Lives fund.

7. Local Updates from Members

Andrew Gunther reported that Torbay Council officers are meeting with Members on 23rd November to provide further briefing on Devon and local work. We have a dedicated Climate Change Emergency Officer starting in December.

Adam advised that South Hams and West Devon Councils have appointed 20 community representatives to sit on a panel that will meet quarterly to discuss the themes of its climate change strategy.

Doug reported that Devon County Council is continuing to identify resources to implement its net-zero by 2030 organisational target, including the offsetting commitments. Harry advised that Devon Wildlife Trust is also looking at offsetting.

ACTION: Doug and Harry to discuss collaboration.

David Rose reported the water industry’s net-zero plan is expected to be launched on the 12th November 2020.

8. Next Meeting

15th December, 10 – 11am.  Meeting invitations have been sent.


Period: September to October 2020

Status Indicator key:

Red = Serious issues 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.

Project Management Update

Activity Over the Past Month

Project Communications  
New website is now live and has been well received. Newsletters continue to be issued on schedule and social media followings are growing.
Temporary cover is in place for the Communications Graduate post to cover an anticipated post vacancy during late November and early December. Interviews for the new graduate are taking place on the 10th November.
Spatial Planning
The DCE response to the Planning White Paper consultation has been submitted and is on the website.
Covid Reset
The Cosy Devon partnership submitted a DCE-wide application to the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme.  This is a £1.2m bid to retrofit 100 homes by 31st March 2021. The bid was successful. Plymouth City Council, South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council also submitted successful bids.
The number of households that have expressed an interest in Devon Solar Together has exceeded expectations.
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.
Devon County Council has submitted a £300k application to the Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Fund to accelerate tree planting across the county. Will hear the outcome in December.

Activity Expected Next Month

Project Communications

  • Development of ‘Website Phase 2’ will commence.
  • Further social media content around the suggestions in the call for evidence and themed hearings will be developed.

Using the Climate Emergency as a Material Planning Consideration

  • Await the consultation responses from Cornwall Council – this is likely to identify the issues and unintended consequences of prioritising carbon reduction within the planning process, which is an activity we were going to use a workshop for in Devon. 

Covid Reset

  • Letter to UK Government will be finalised and despatched.

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.

Activity Over the Past Month

Citizens’ Assembly
The University of Exeter’s research and advice on the effectiveness of online deliberations is slightly delayed and is expected this week. If the research outcome is positive it is proposed that the procurement process for the recruitment and facilitation provider would commence in January, with paperwork largely prepared in December. Conversations with the Devon CC Procurement Team have occurred to schedule the necessary support.
Drafting the Interim Carbon Plan  
Plan Sections
A draft of all sections was shared with partners on the 7th October. Partners had until the 2nd November to identify any significant concerns with the plan’s wording ahead of the public consultation from the 7th December. Thank you for the comments received.
In the meantime, the Task Force and the secretariat have continued refining the draft for consultation.
Net-Zero Timetable
The Task Force’s proposal for Devon’s Net-Zero timetable is was considered by the Response Group on the 28th October. It was agreed that the target date for achieving net-zero across Devon will be a specific topic of the public consultation.
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.
Clearly, if it is subsequently concluded that the target date for Devon to achieve net-zero needs to be before 2050 then the modelling will be updated for the final version of the Plan. 
Public Engagement Communication elements of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan consultation continue to be developed. These include planning how the Plan will be displayed on the website; drafting consultation questions; organising a webinar series; planning how to reach offline audiences; and developing social media material.
A communications pack will be shared with all partners, including a template press release in late November.

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

Activity Over the Past Month

Narratives of the Effects of Climate Change  
Most of the narratives are now complete. The one remaining is being completed by the University of Exeter, which is an understanding of wider social and economic risks. The Environment Agency has made national resource available to cross-reference the locally-identified risks with the national climate risk register to check for omissions in our local analysis.
All of the risks identified are now being brought together by narrative authors into one register with the assistance of the Local Resilience Forum secretariat. A workshop to assign prioritisation to these scores is being scheduled for January 2021.
The next stage is to identify the gaps in local preparedness for these risks. Actions required to fill these gaps will form the basis of the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Plan
Summary comments
The Devon Climate Emergency is now in an advanced phase of assembling and editing the Interim Plan ahead of commencing the public consultation on 7th December.
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.

Activity Expected Next Month

Summary Comments

The Devon Climate Emergency is now in an advanced phase of assembling and editing the Interim Plan ahead of commencing the public consultation on 7th December.

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.

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