Tactical Group Meeting Minutes 15th December 2020

Devon Climate Emergency Tactical Group minutes of meeting 15th December 2020.
You can download a PDF of the minutes here.

Attendees

Doug Eltham, Devon County Council
Hannah Oliver, Devon Climate Emergency
John Amosford, Public Health Devon
Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon District Council
Andrew Busby, Mid Devon District Council
John Golding, East Devon District Council
Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust
Sarah Higgins, North Devon District Council
William Elliott, Teignbridge District Council
Lynda Wookey, University of Exeter and Exeter City Futures

Apologies

Samantha Davis, University of Plymouth
Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency
David Rose, South West Water

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

Doug Eltham provided an update reflecting Section 1 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

The Group discussed the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Schemes that have started in the county. The schemes being run by Devon County Council, East Devon District Council and South Hams and West Devon Councils are all running to schedule. Andrew Busby reported that Mid Devon District Council was unsuccessful in obtaining funding via the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

The Group also discussed Devon County Council’s successful application to the Woodland Trust Emergency Tree Fund and noted that this needs to tie in with the Saving Devon’s Treescape project (principally related to responding to Ash Dieback) and will need liaison with highways management within Devon County Council.

ACTION: All to send links to existing web pages, press releases or short text statements, ideally with an image, about key projects to Hannah Oliver.

2.2  Update from the Net-Zero Task Force

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

It was highlighted that the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group confirmed at its meeting on the 1st December that an online citizens’ assembly will be held in July 2021. This is following advice from the University of Exeter on how to operate an online assembly to achieve maximum value from the deliberations. The report from the University is available at https://www.devonclimateemergency.org.uk/devon-carbon-plan/citizens-assembly/

2.3  Update on the Climate Impacts Group

Doug Eltham provided an update reflecting Section 3 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

3. Funding Opportunities

John Amosford reported that he is part of a team looking at the Economies for Healthier Lives fund which is likely to include funding to develop skills in retrofitting homes as skills in this sector will give a job for life.

William Elliot advised the group that Teignbridge is looking at the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund.

Harry Barton reported that the Devon Wildlife Trust was unsuccessful in getting Green Recovery Challenge Funding but there will be a second opportunity in the New Year. Hoping to get the funding for encouraging carbon sequestration in woodland and peatland habitats.

Andrew Busby reported that Mid Devon District Council is applying to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund for works to leisure centres.

The Group AGREED this approach.

4. Local Update from Members

Adam Williams advised that the South Hams and West Devon Climate Change Strategy is being adopted by the two councils now. The first Community Forum to get community input to the life of the strategy has happened. The councils have allocated funding to the strategy which will be topped up using crowd funding.

Andrew Busby reported that Mid Devon District Council is advertising for a climate change specialist.

John Golding reported that East Devon District Council has published a Climate Change Statement of Intent. Also talking to the University of Exeter about engaging masters students from the Global Systems Institute on the climate challenge. Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) and Wild East Devon have launched a new travelling creative space – the Creative Cabin. This is a fun and creative space to explore art and nature. https://www.thelmahulbert.com/?q=creative-cabin-0.

The Group discussed Doughnut Economics, which most of the partners are exploring.

ACTION: Doug to circulate link to the Informal Local Government Network that has been established as a result of the Regenerate Devon Summit.

Lynda Wookey advised that Exeter City Futures are developing various tree projects. In addition, Lynda advised the Group of the “Exeter Emergency Roundtable: Clean Growth” that Exeter City Futures is facilitating on 12th January 2021. With skills, jobs, carbon emissions, and our ability to hit net zero while also tackling the challenge of the pandemic in its sights, the roundtable is intending to find out what Clean Growth means for Exeter: Please sign up at https://www.exetercityfutures.com/events/clean-growth-roundtable/

8. Next Meeting

13th January 2021, 10 – 11am.  Meeting invitations have been sent.

Appendix 1 – PROJECT PROGRESS REPORT

Period: December to January 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.

Project Management Update

Project Communications – Green

The project welcomes Hannah Oliver to the team as the new Climate Emergency Communications Intern.

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

Covid Reset – Green

The various Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme projects in the county are now in their implementation phase. The Devon-wide project expects to appoint the preferred installer before Christmas.

The opportunity for households to confirm they wish to proceed for a detailed survey for rooftop solar PV through the Devon Solar Together project has now closed. Surveys will be undertaken over the next few months.

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

Devon County Council has been successful in obtaining £300k funding from the Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Fund to accelerate tree planting across the county.

Funding Successes – Green

Public Health Devon has been successful in receiving funding to kickstart a Devon Food Partnership initiative. Further details in due course. Devon CC has received further Heat Network Delivery Unit funding to push forward aspirations to use the waste heat from the Exeter EfW. Further details in due course

Net-Zero Task Force Update

Citizens’ Assembly – Green

The University of Exeter’s research and advice on the effectiveness of online deliberations has been completed and the procurement process for the recruitment and facilitation provider will commence in January, with paperwork largely prepared before Christmas.

The University has been successful in obtaining further Economy and Society Research Council funding to monitor the effectiveness of the citizens’ assembly and make recommendations for the use of similar deliberative techniques in other policy areas.

Interim Devon Carbon Plan – Green

The consultation for the Interim Carbon Plan went live on the 7th December and will remain open through to the 15th February. Extensive social media content has been developed, including animations and videos.

We have had teething issues with the consultation pages of the website, which are being resolved as quickly as resources allow.

The Plan was principally to be an online document, but we have had multiple requests for a PDF and so a PDF of the Plan and the consultation questionnaire will be available from the 15th December.

Webinar Series

A webinar series is running during the 10-week consultation period aimed at different audiences and focusing on different aspects of the Plan. The webinars for Members, Organisations and Individuals have occurred already and were well attended, with about 40 in attendance at the Members’ and Organisations’ sessions and 85 at the Individuals’ session.

Offline Audiences

Offline audiences are being reached through: adverts in print media; a press pack distributed to media outlets and parish councils; posters in schools and parish council notice boards.

Hard copies will be available on request and via libraries from January 6th, along with hard copies of the questionnaire and freepost envelopes for easy return.

Climate Impacts Group Update

Narratives of the Effects of Climate Change – Green

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 Interim Devon Carbon Plan public consultation is now live until the 15th February.

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.