Lobbying for climate action and funding

Please supply me with information relating to the following question:

Has the council written to or met with UK national or devolved governments to ask or lobby for climate action since 1st January 2019? Please provide some evidence of the most recent letter or meeting such as a copy of the letter or email sent, or the date, topic of meeting and position of the person that the meeting was held with.

This includes either asking for more powers and funding for local authorities to take climate action, or asking for the government to take further action themselves. This includes working with other local authorities to send joint letters or meetings to lobby UK or devolved governments, and includes both general climate action and calls for action on specific issues such as transport where climate change is mentioned as a motivating factor for taking action.

This includes if a cabinet member or other councillor has written to or met with the UK or devolved governments on behalf of the council.

Phil Norrey, the then chief executive of Devon County Council and chair of the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group, has written to Boris Johnson to endorse fully the recommendations offered to Government by the Committee on Climate Change regarding how we must work together to achieve a green COVID-19 recovery and to highlight opportunities within Devon for doing so.

More recently, Council leaders across Devon have told the Government they want to be one of the first counties to take advantage of a new offer to devolve more powers from London. Part of this would be to promote a clean growth agenda that would see Devon achieve net zero carbon emissions with key priorities for transport, housing, energy and land use.

Regionally, the Great South West initiative – three Local Enterprise Partnerships, seven county and unitary authorities, six universities and major businesses – have a shared desire to create a clean, digital economy and tackle climate change. The group includes the region’s members of parliament. One of the priorities in the Great South West prospectus is to become the UK’s Clean Energy Powerhouse, which is a direct response to the challenge of climate change. The initiative is lobbying government (and here) which has resulted in £1.5m to deliver the prospectus.  Additionally, the County Council collaborates with other South West local authorities through the Peninsula Transport Sub National Transport Body (STB) and has been developing a series of strategies aimed at incentivising changing travel behaviour and modal shift through publishing the South West Freight Strategy, Rail Strategy and Rural Mobility Strategy. Regular meetings are held between the Chair and South West MPs through the work of the STB. The impact of this work has been recognised through the publication of the 20 year plan for rail (see prtf-closing-the-gap.pdf (wordpress.com)) which has resulted in significant Government investment to make the mainline railway more resilient to the impacts of climate change (see South West Rail Resilience Programme – Network Rail)