Tactical Group Meeting Minutes 11th February 2021

Devon Climate Emergency Tactical Group minutes of meeting 11th February 2021.
You can download a PDF of the minutes here.

Attendees

Doug Eltham, Devon County Council
Hannah Oliver, Devon Climate Emergency
Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency
Adam Williams, South Hams & West Devon District Councils
John Amosford, Public Health Devon
John Golding, East Devon District Council
Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust
Sara Gibbs, Public Health Devon
William Elliott, Teignbridge District Council
Jacqui Warren, Torbay Council
Andrew Busby, Mid Devon District Council David Rose, South West Water Mark Saunders, North Devon District Council

Apologies

Samantha Davis, University of Plymouth
Sarah Higgins, North Devon District Council
Andrew Busby, Mid Devon District Council Andy Seaman, 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 Update

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 and Hannah Oliver provided an update reflecting Section 2 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

Doug raised a risk that the market may not be able to help facilitate a citizens’ assembly in the timescale we want (before the summer holidays). This will be clearer after the 15th February when the evaluation of tender commences. The Group AGREED that the timescale for the citizens’ assembly should be confirmed as soon as possible.  

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. Funding Opportunities

Adam Williams drew attention to the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund Grant.

John Golding said that East Devon District Council is looking at further opportunities from the On-Street Residential Charging Scheme.

4. Local Update from Members

Doug reported that in February Devon County Council’s Cabinet and Council will be considering a £2.15m allocation to start implementing the first two years of its 10-year plan to achieve a carbon neutral organisation and supply chain by 2030.

Jacqui Warren advised that Torbay Council is continuing the preparation of an immediate 10-point plan and a longer-term plan for publication in 2022. Solar farms in Torbay are also being explored.

David Rose said that South West Water is looking at developing solar farm sites to take private wires into their facilities. The organisation is also updating its Adaptation Plan in-line with the Adaptation Reporting Power of the Climate Change Act.

Harry Barton advised that the Devon Wildlife Trust is incorporating livestock emissions on its landholdings into its carbon footprint. These emissions dwarf other sectors. A funding application has been submitted to get resources to find the sweet spot of management of these holdings for wildlife and carbon. Harry reminded partners that the Devon Wildlife Trust can provide advice to partners on land management.   

William Elliot reported that Teignbridge District Council has submitted a £3m bid to the Public Sector (buildings) Decarbonisation Fund but has yet to hear whether it has been successful. A corporate carbon action plan will be prepared for April. Adam Williams said that South Hams and West Devon Councils are considering a crowd funding climate change event later this year to coincide with the G7. Emily noted that Cornwall Council and Devon County Council are considering similar activities.

ACTION: Emily and Adam to discuss crowd funding events further. 

5. Any Other Business

William Elliott suggested that a sub-group of the Tactical Group could meet to discuss in detail potential solutions to bridging the differing aspirations between organisations for a net-zero date for Devon. This was AGREED.

Appendix 1 – PROJECT PROGRESS REPORT

Period: February 2021 to March 2021

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.

1. Project Management Update

1.1 General Project Communications – Green

Newsletters continue to be issued on schedule and social media followings are growing.

1.2 Devon-wide Projects – Green

Update on a selection of Devon-wide projects:

Buildings

The Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme projects are now in their implementation phase. The third lockdown is likely to affect delivery (funding is meant to be spent by March 31st) and so most projects are discussing extensions with BEIS.

Various local authorities in Devon have submitted bids to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme for building retrofit.

Energy Supply

Devon Solar Together – over 913 households are now receiving roof surveys over the next few months.

Transport

The Rapid Charging Exeter project (expected to install up to 150 on-street vehicle charging posts in Exeter) has started the Traffic Regulation Order process for phase 1.

Twenty-five car parks across Devon will be receiving charging posts via the DELETTI project this year. Devon County Council has submitted a bid to the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme for a second phase of a further 48 public car parks.

Food, Land and Sea

Devon Strategic Food Partnership hosted its ‘The Beginning of the Journey’ webinar on 11 February 2021 to share progress so far, hear from some key speakers with food partnership experience locally and nationally, and start the conversation around building a strategic food partnership for Devon. The Devon Wildlife Trust continues to facilitate the preparation of a Nature Recovery Network with Natural Devon to guide opportunities for habitat enhancement and carbon sequestration.

2. Net-Zero Task Force Update

2.1 Interim Devon Carbon Plan – Green

The consultation for the Interim Carbon Plan closed on the 15th February.

The webinar series is now complete and was well received.

The final week of the public engagement strategy was monitored and adjusted in response to evidence of who and how people are being reached. Younger audiences were under-represented despite targeted adverts on YouTube and Instagram, and TikTok content. We reached out to social media influencers, Fridays for Future, the Devon Youth Parliament and the Devon Explorer Scouts Facebook group.

An ‘Eight Point Plan’ reflecting the Plan’s objectives was developed to engage social media audiences through a short video.

About 1300 responses were received by email and via the online questionnaire. This exceeds the number received for the Call for Evidence (934) last year.

The secretariat will prepare a consultation report for the Net-Zero Task Force and the partnership for sign-off by the Response Group. An early draft of this report will be available for the next Response Group meeting on the 18th March. As agreed at the last meeting, a revised timetable for the completion of the Interim Carbon Plan and the Final Plan (following the assembly) will also be brought to the 18th March Response Group meeting, taking account of the number of consultation responses and the learnings from the Interim Carbon Plan consultation process. 

2.2 Citizens’ Assembly Procurement – Green

The procurement process for the recruitment and facilitation provider of the Assembly closed on the 12th February. The evaluation of bids is being undertaken by Devon County Council. Contract start date will be the 8th April. Planning of how the sessions will run will start following analysis of the consultation submissions about the Interim Devon Carbon Plan, which will help identify the most controversial issues to be deliberated.

3. Climate Impacts Group Update

3.1 Narratives of the Effects of Climate Change – Green

A workshop to assign prioritisation scores to the climate risks identified by the group was held on the 27th January 2021, facilitated by the Local Resilience Forum secretariat.

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 Interim Devon Carbon Plan public consultation has now closed. Refinements to the consultation have substantially increased submissions. Analysis of the submissions now continues.

Evaluation of the tender submissions to help design and facilitate the citizens’ assembly is in progress.

The Climate Impacts Group continues to make progress with the narratives and risk assessments.

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