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Tactical Group Meeting Minutes, 11th August 2022


Doug Eltham, Devon County Council

John Amosford, Public Health Devon

Catherine Causley, East Devon District Council

John Golding, East Devon District Council

Louise Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police

Iain Miller, University of Plymouth

Alice Gent, Exeter City Council

Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon Councils

Freya Branley, Exeter City Council

Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust

Hugh McCann, University of Exeter

Jason Ball, Mid Devon District Council

William Elliott, Teignbridge District Council

Lucinda Brook, Plymouth City Council


Andy Seaman, University of Exeter

Charlotte Brown, Devon Climate Emergency

Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency

David Rose, South West Water

Donna Sibley, Torridge and North Devon District Councils

Jacqui Warren , Torbay Council

Sara Gibbs, Public Health Devon

Emmanuelle Marshall, Plymouth City Council

Alex Gandy, Dartmoor National Park Authority

Victoria Hatfield, Exeter City Council

1. Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes were AGREED to be a true record of the discussion.  

2. Project Progress Report

2.1 Project Communications

Doug provided an update reflecting Section 1 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.  No further questions asked.

2.2 Updates from the Net Zero Task Force

Doug provided an update reflecting Section 2 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes. No further questions asked.

2.3 Updates on the Climate Impacts Group

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

ACTION: Doug to distribute RSK’s presentation to the Climate Impacts Group to the Tactical Group.

The Group discussed the global weather phenomena that are considered to be climate-driven, which reinforces the urgency of this workstream. The Adaptation Plan needs to get the message across without being fatalistic and include the system behaviour changes required alongside the personal behaviour changes that can help improve resilience.

3. How Partners are Considering Endorsing the Devon Carbon Plan

The Group talked about the different approaches partners are considering to show their endorsement of the Devon Carbon Plan.

Doug explained that Devon County Council is considering a cabinet-member delegated decision to endorse the Plan, followed by an update to the authority’s own Climate Change Strategy that will show how the council will deliver the aspects of the Devon Carbon Plan it can influence.

John Golding said that East Devon District Council may use a Cabinet and Council decision.

Will said that Teignbridge District Council may use the same approach as Devon County Council.

4. Devon County Council’s Impact Assessment Tool

Doug shared a pilot version of Devon County Council’s Impact Assessment Tool for decisions and projects. It is based on the principles of doughnut economics and is in the early stages of testing.

Some partners have similar tools in use and under development and will be happy to share at future meetings.

5. Partner Updates

John Amosford reported that the Food Poverty Survey is planned to be run again. The partnership can help promote this when it’s ready.

Jason said that Mid Devon is developing an Interim Statement on planning policy to make the climate emergency a material planning consideration. The authority is also producing a Housing Assessment Tool that calculates the CO2 intensity of new development.

Catherine advised that East Devon District Council is recruiting a new Climate Change Support Officer post.

Will said that Teignbridge District Council has adopted its full Carbon Plan.

Harry reported that the Devon Wildlife Trust is continuing to review the net carbon footprint of its land assets.

ACTION: Doug to catchup with Harry to discuss synergy with county farm assets.

Adam said that South Hams and West Devon Councils have been successful in an application to the Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund.

Appendix 1: Project Progress Report

Period: July to August 2022 

Status Indicator Key:  

🔴 [RED] = Significant issue 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. Partnership Update

1.1 General Project Communications 🟢 [GREEN]

1.1.1 Following

The rate of growth has increased on all the platforms that we are actively using.

Figure 1.1. DCE Social Media Following

1.1.2 Campaigns

Net Zero Visions

  • Net Zero Visions brings together six communities with the creative industries and transition experts to produce positive ‘Visions’ of net-zero in 2050 using animation, illustration, interactive games, and public murals.
  • The Visions are now being finished and will be compiled into a book this month featuring authors’ essays, images of commissioned works and photography of communities involved. It will also contain Visions submitted by the public.
  • There was a community event in Plymouth last month, at which communities met with some of the creatives to see how the Visions are developing and offer feedback.

Cycling campaign in September

  • Collaboration with Active Devon, Travel Devon & Devon CC’s Environment Group to deliver a month-long campaign around cycling this September
  • There will be community rides lead by community cycling groups, development of re-usable assets and opportunities for cycle confidence training.
  • Community groups have been contacted, so their meetups and events will be promoted by DCE throughout September alongside information about how cycling is a great option for eco-friendly travel.
  • Several videos have also been taken at a recent community cycling event, asking the public about their thoughts on cycling and why they love it. These will be shared by the campaign partners and ourselves on social media.

Devon-Wide Community Engagement

  • The Community Engagement Sub-Group nominated Devon County Council and Plymouth City Council to bring a proposal back to them to enhance the Community Action Group activity across Devon. This will be picked-up in September.  

1.2 Partners’ Notable Activity

Activity is recorded centrally on the Taking Action pages of the Devon Climate Emergency website.

  • Government will provide £1.5 million in core funding to the Great South West over the next three years, to fastrack green growth
  • The Plymouth City Council Planning Committee have unanimously approved the construction of a new community-owned solar farm next year
  • The University of Exeter, University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marjon University have reached the finals of the 2022 Green Gown Awards, which recognises excellence in sustainability across higher and further education
  • The Department for International Trade (DIT) has recognised the South West as a world leader in Smart and Sustainable Aviation
  • The Exeter Sustainability Awards have been launched to recognise businesses, community groups and individuals who are leading the way with their commitment to sustainable practice.
  • North Devon Council will be planting 24,000 new trees, expanding a community woodland in the Barnstaple area
  • The rollout of the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) programme has connected another 2,500 homes and businesses in Devon and Somerset with full fibre broadband
  • After identifying a skills deficit in regenerative farming methods, the Apricot Centre was supported by Devon County Council to deliver a free pilot training programme in sustainable farming

2. Net Zero Task Force Updates 🟢 [GREEN] 

Final amendments to the Carbon Plan are complete. The Task Force will receive the document by the 11th August and the Response Group will be sent it by the 18th, ahead of its expected sign-off at the Response Group on the 25th

Subsequently, organisations can consider endorsing the Plan through their governance arrangements during the autumn.

Assuming it is signed-off, the Plan will be published on the website by mid-September.

3. Climate Impacts Group Update 🟠 [AMBER]

RSK has been appointed as the consultant to help continue the preparation of the Adaptation Plan. A contract kick-off meeting has occurred.

The Adaptation Strategy is expected to be completed by January 2023.

4. Devolution Update

We continue to wait for a response from government on the first application stage. In the meantime, Doug Eltham has developed the climate-related ideas submitted in the application into fuller proposals. These have been circulated to the partnership for comment and additional information by the end of August.

5. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Interim Carbon Plan.
  • The final version of the Devon Carbon Plan remains on track to be signed-off on the 25th August.

The continuation of the preparation of the Adaptation Plan is now underway.

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