Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Meeting, 28th April 2022

Attendees

Phil Norrey, Devon County Council 

Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon Councils 

Emily Widdecombe, Devon Climate Emergency – Environment 

Doug Eltham, Devon County Council 

Angus Berry, South West Water 

Chris Clarke, Wales and West 

Claire Reid, Exmoor National Park Authority 

James Cooper, Environment Agency 

Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust 

Keir Duffin, Devon County Council – Economy 

Sara Gibbs, Public Health Devon 

Mark Clapham, Devon Association of Local Councils 

Rebecca Miller, Plymouth City Council 

 

Apologies

Emmanuelle Marshall, Plymouth City Council 

Helen Dobby, Environment Agency  

Karime Hassan, Exeter City Council 

Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency 


David Edmondson, Torbay Council 

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

2. Project Progress Report

2.1 General Project Communications

Emily W gave an update on the communications. There were no further questions. 

2.2 Net-Zero Task Force Update

Doug provided an update on the feedback on the Food Land and Sea section of the Devon Carbon Plan. 

2.3 Climate Impacts Group Update

Doug reported that the tender for the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Plan has been launched, and will be closing in a few weeks’ time.  

3. Citizens’ Assembly Consultation

Doug shared a brief presentation about the initial findings of the consultation about the partnership’s response to the resolutions and conditions from the Devon Climate Assembly. The group heard an explanation of the consultation process, the total number of participants (209 responses, 10 of which were from organisations) as well as some detail about the geographical spread of responses. Doug emphasized that this information did not yet include responses submitted as hard copies. 

The group discussed the outcomes of the consultation and the Devon Climate Assembly, with group members highlighting the strength of local support for measures such as onshore wind, which is believed to be unpopular.  

The group discussed existing barriers to sustainable transport, citing equity as the main challenge in encouraging behaviour change in this area.  

The group also more generally discussed the difficulty in encouraging collective action, suggesting that there might be scope to include encouragement to this effect in the wording of the Devon Carbon Plan. 

Finally, the group addressed the lack of participation by Devon’s young people, as an important reminder that the partnership needs to better represent young voices. 

The full consultation report and any proposed amendments to the partnership’s responses will be brough to the next Response Group meeting on the 23rd May.  

4. Devolution Update

Phil provided an update about the devolution process, informing the group that BEIS had been nominated as the lead government department for negotiating discussions with partners. Phil also informed the group that Devon County Council (DCC) is awaiting a timetable for departmental negotiations, and highlighted that devolution had generally received good support from local MPs, particularly around encouraging nature recovery.  

Phil informed the group that, of all the devolution partnerships, Devon has climate change highest on the agenda. 

Doug said that the DCC Economy and Enterprise service is expecting to need to provide more detail about the asks included on the initial application form. They will also need help identifying the knowledge gaps and determine how best to use resources from the partnership in the forthcoming negotiations. 

5. New Devon Greenhouse Gas Time Series

Doug provided an overview of the greenhouse gas data on the DCE website, as well as an explanation that there will be a power BI dashboard for people to look at and interact with.  

6. Roundtable Updates

Chris Clarke: Reported that the greenest town in England has been found to be South Molton, because it is using farm wastes in an anaerobic digestor for heat & power 

Angus: South West Water (SWW) is progressing with its net zero plan. SWW have signed up to the ‘race to zero’. Five new Solar PV sites are being installed at water treatment works. Delivery dates are coming through for first 53 electric work vehicles. Contributing to planting another 100,000 trees: trying to build net zero into all activities. 

Harry Barton: Government is looking for pilots to test the highest level of the Environmental Land Management Scheme. Devon Wildlife Trust is submitting a bid on east Dartmoor – 5000 hectares there. Detail on plans for this area will be revealed in due course.  

James Cooper: Environment Agency has been rolling out carbon training for all staff  and are trying to get everyone to complete their training this year. This has been made available to all partners as well. Available through supply chain availability school.  

Adam Williams: Like the Environment Agency, also did carbon literacy training for the senior leadership team and elected members last year. Some staff who undertook training will be taking the ‘train the trainer’ course over the summer so that they can deliver more training. Last month both South Hams and West Devon councils committed £8,000 to putting solar PV on leisure centres. 

Rebecca Miller: Reported that Plymouth City Council finished their consultation on the interim climate emergency planning policy and guidance last week. 121 responses were received from individuals and organisations totalling 728 comments.