DCERG Minutes 16th January 2020

Devon Climate Emergency Response Group – minutes of meeting 16th January 2020. Download a PDF copy of the minutes here.

Attendees:

Phil Norrey ; Devon County Council (Chair)
Doug Eltham; Devon County Council
Emily Bullock ; South Western Ambulance Service Trust
Peter Chamberlain; Devon County Council
Emily Reed; Devon County Council
Ellie Rowlands; Devon County Council
Andy England; Torbay Council
David Eaton; Teignbridge District Council
Ken Miles; North Devon District Council
Paul Cottington; National Farmers’ Union
Emma Page; University of Exeter
James Szymankiewicz; Natural Devon
Katie Snook; Environment Agency
Neil Hamlyn; Devon, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Resilience Forum
Sophie Hosking; South Hams and West Devon Councils
Harry Barton; Devon Wildlife Trust

Apologies:

Virginia Pearson; Public Health Devon
Amanda Palmer; Devon County Council, Emergency Planning
Andrew Pritchard; Mid Devon District Council
Tracey Polak; Public Health Devon
Helen Dobby; Environment Agency
Theresa Farris; Devon Clinical Commissioning Groups

1. Matters arising from the minutes

1.1 Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were AGREED as a true record of the discussion.

Matters arising are addressed on the main agenda and in Section 1 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes

1.2 Update from the Net-Zero Task Force

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

ACTION: All partners to use their communications channels to promote the final two weeks of the online call for evidence.

The Response Group noted the increased costs of the citizens’ assembly and scope of the procurement process necessary to appoint the recruitment and facilitation provider. This may lead to a delay in holding the assembly.

1.3 Update on the Climate Impacts Group

Neil Hamlyn provided an update reflecting Section 3 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

ACTION: Peter Chamberlain to lead on refreshing the Terms of Reference of the Climate Impacts Group to reflect its broader scope following the incorporation of the ecological emergency into the project.

1.4 Local Updates

Partner organisations provided brief updates of activity contributing to the implementation of the Devon Climate Declaration.

1.5 Next Meeting

Next meeting is the 13th February 14:00 – 15:00.

2. Project Progress Report

Period: 18th December 2019 – 16th January 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

2.1 Project Management Update

2.1.1 Activity Over the Past Month

ActivityRAG
Project Communications  
The project’s Climate Emergency Communications Graduate started in post on the 13th January.
Green
Using the Climate Emergency as a Material Planning Consideration  
At its meeting on the 18th December, the Response Group requested that this issue is addressed in partnership with other local authorities that will presumably be exploring this issue.   Opportunities for collaboration are being discussed at: Greater Exeter Principals Group 21/1/20 Devon Planning Officers Group 23/2/20 Heart of the South West Joint Committee 29/1/20 Association of Directors of Environment, Planning and Transport Climate Change Event 30/1/20 South West Councils Conference 31/1/20
Green

2.1.2 Activity Expected Next Month

Project Communications

A formal communications plan will begin to be developed.

Resources to assist individuals, communities and local councils to accelerate their decarbonisation will begin to be compiled and shared on the website.

A comm’s push to publicise the final 2 weeks of the online call for evidence.

Using the Climate Emergency as a Material Planning Consideration

Understand opportunities for collaboration to address this issue from the various meetings at which it will be raised.

2.2 Net- Zero Task Force Updates

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.

2.2.1 Activity over the last month

ActivityRAG
Online Call for Evidence  
The number of submissions has risen to 518. There is a mix of responses from individuals, community organisations, businesses, statutory bodies and topic experts. Through the website analytics it is known that the age profile of those submitting has become more uniform across the age spectrum, whereas it had been a predominantly the 30-40 age bracket. It is difficult to conclude whether 518 is a “good” level of response because similar surveys have operated band been promoted differently. An informal network of southwest councils has been asked for information on their experience, as has Oxford City and Camden and we are awaiting replies from them. The Devon County Council communications team have advised that in their experience 518 feels very successful for a survey focussed on a single theme. The call for evidence remains open until the end of January.
Green
Thematic Hearings  
The key findings from the hearings have been approved by the Hearing chairs. Web pages containing this information have been drafted and will be published imminently.  
Green
Citizens’ Assembly

Design
The University of Exeter recommendations about how the citizens’ assembly should operate have been published on the website following their endorsement by the Response Group at its meeting on the 18th December.   Feedback from further local authorities has been received for consideration by the Task Force.
 
Procurement of Recruitment and Facilitation Provider
The estimated cost of the Assembly from the University of Exeter exceeds £100,000. Previously the estimated cost was £80,000. Above £100,000 requires a more formal procurement route to meet Devon County Council’s (DCC) financial regulations. The DCC Procurement Team will be able to provide support from February. This raises the risk that the citizens’ assembly may be delayed but best endeavours will be used to keep to the current May timetable. Other climate assemblies have been approached to ask if the Devon Climate Emergency can have sight of their procurement documents. This risk has been added to the Net-Zero Task Force’s risk register.  

Incentive Payments to Participants
Tax advice suggests that the incentive payments to the assembly participants will be subject to income tax. This will further increase the cost of delivering the assembly, as the Devon Climate Emergency will need to pay the tax liability. A more accurate estimate of the cost for the citizens’ assembly will be brought to the next Response Group meeting.  

Population Data to Inform Recruitment
Devon County Council’s Spatial Planning Team have been consulted about how the rural/urban populations can be considered within the demography of the assembly delegates. Population split between rural and urban definitions is available at Lower Super Output Area (LSOA). ‘Rural’ is defined by the Office for National Statistics as any LSOA with fewer than 10,000 residents. This information will be made available to the Net-Zero Task Force.

Amber

2.2.2 Activity Expected Next Month

Online Call for Evidence

The call for evidence will close on the 31st January. All members to use their networks to share the social media material. Collation and categorisation of the submissions will begin. All evidence will be published in due course.

Thematic Hearings

The key findings from the hearings will be published online. Gap analysis will commence to determine issues that require further conversations and/or research commissions. 

Citizens’ Assembly

A more accurate estimate of the cost for the citizens’ assembly will be developed.

Procurement documents will begin to be drafted.

Rural/Urban population data will be analysed.

2.3 Climate Impacts Group Update

Role from its Terms of Reference: To use the expertise of the Local Resilience Forum to assess the current risks in the Community Risk Register that specifically ascertain to climate impact over the next 10-20 years.

[Note – the Group’s Terms of Reference are under review – see Section 2.1]

2.3.1 Activity Over the Past Month

ActivityRAG
Summary of the 2018 Climate Projections   The Met Office has led on the production of a document summarising the 2018 Climate Projections. This is drafted. The target date for completion of this document is May 2020, which will include narratives on the effects of climate change – see below.  Green
Narratives of the Effects of Climate Change  
At its meeting on the 14th January 2020, the Climate Impacts Group confirmed the Met Office’s summary of the 2018 climate projections will be used to inform narratives to include in the summary of the 2018 climate projections document, describing in qualitative terms the effects of climate change on:  
– Flood and coastal risk (led by the Environment Agency)
– Health (led by Public Health England)
– The natural environment (led by the Local Nature Partnership)  

The document will include a global politics and emerging science narrative from the University of Exeter and the Met Office.  

Green
Review of the Terms of Reference
As agreed by the Response Group at its meeting on the 18th December 2019, the Terms of Reference for the Climate Impacts Group will be updated to reflect the incorporation of the ecological crisis into the project. The Climate Impacts Group has nominated Devon County Council to lead on an initial redraft. 
Green

2.3.2 Activity Expected Next Month

Summary of the 2018 Climate Projections

The Climate Impacts Group members will be providing feedback to the Met Office on the draft document.

Narratives of the Effects of Climate Change

Development of the narratives will begin.

Review of the Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference will be reviewed.

2.4 Summary Comments

Communications will become more regular and targeted now that the Climate Emergency Communications Graduate is in post.

The Net-Zero Task Force activity has been delivered on schedule. A key risk around the procurement timetable for the citizens’ assembly is being worked on by the secretariat to avoid a delay to the May timetable. Additional revenue funding is likely to be needed to fund the tax implications of the incentive payments to the participants. 

The Climate Impacts Group has clarified its work programme and will be revising its terms of reference over the next month.

Overall, the project continues to perform well.