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Decarbonising the South West: vision and practice

Event organised by ICE

22 November 2023
18:30 - 20:00 GMT
Creative Innovation Centre, CIC
The Memorial Hall
Paul Street
Taunton, TA1 3PF
United Kingdom

This event has now ended

You can catch-up on details or any broadcast and downloads here.


The first part of the event will cover the background to and need for South West Infrastructure Partnership (SWIP) and how people can learn more about the partnership.

It will explain how the south west vision 2050 was developed, the evidence base and the case studies that support the vision. The key actions and asks of decision makers will be explained and the Beyond Brunel podcasts will be introduced.

The next steps for the vision and turning it into action will be discussed and links will be shared to access the vision and to sign up for SWIP and its newsletters (it is free!).

The second part of the event will cover the growth in electric vehicle take up, setting it in the context of the global market, advances in technology and the carbon benefits over ICE cars.

It will cover charging tariffs and the challenges of providing an equitable solution for all. Potential future trends will be discussed, for example will we all have a home charge point or will we go back to a ‘petrol garage’ type model, and what this means for planning for our towns and cities and new developments of the future.

It will also discuss types of chargers, their relative benefits and how we see these being delivered as we go forward.

Doors open at 18:00, the event starts at 18:30.


Rob McDonald

Rob McDonald

Future Mobility and Smart Cities, Stantec


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Rob McDonald

Rob is a director at Stantec with over 30 years’ experience in the field of transportation. He has a strong interest in R&D and innovation as well as working on projects for both the public and private sectors. In recent years he has developed his role from transport and intelligent transport systems into a wider smart cities role and has led the Thames Valley Berkshire smart city cluster project which won the ADEPT president’s award for innovation.

In the private sector he has most recently been working on the Gravity development, a large, advanced manufacturing site, where he has led the transport appraisal and the development of a new tool to address future uncertainty. Rob has recently worked on EV strategies for public and private sector companies and is involved in developing the evidence base for Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) funding bids.

Paula Hewitt

Paula Hewitt

South West Infrastructure Partnership


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Paula Hewitt

Paula Hewitt is the chair of the South West Infrastructure Partnership. She was deputy chief executive, lead director for Economic and Community Infrastructure and also the director of commissioning at Somerset County Council, where she had a diverse mix of responsibilities including economic development, highways and transport, waste, planning, property, environment, registration services and libraries. Paula was acting CEO at Somerset County Council during 2022.

She has led a number of high-profile programmes, delivering innovation and partnerships. Paula’s led the Council’s work in relation to accommodating and securing a legacy from the largest construction project in Western Europe, the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. Other notable achievements securing significant Government and private sector investment in regeneration, environmental and transport schemes and the development of a network of innovation and enterprise centres to deliver increased productivity and prosperity.

Paula was heavily involved in co-ordinating the Local Authority response to the devastating Somerset winter 2014/15 floods and led the work to minimise future flooding in the county through the establishment of the Somerset Rivers Authority. As a result, she was asked to be an expert advisor to the European Committee of the Regions in relation to disaster resilience. Paula is a past president of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT).