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Tactical Group Meeting Minutes, 11th January


Doug Eltham, Devon County Council

Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency  

Emily Widdecombe, Devon Climate Emergency 

Doug Eltham, Devon County Council 

David Rose, South West Water 

Sara Gibbs, Public Health Devon 

Donna Sibley,  Torridge and North Devon District Councils 

John Golding, East Devon District Council 

Catherine Causley, East Devon District Council 

Andy Seaman, University of Exeter 

Jo Pearce, Exeter City Council 

Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust 

Louise Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police 

Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon Councils 

Alex Gandy, Dartmoor National Park Authority 

William Elliott, Teignbridge District Council 

Bobby Hughes, Devon County Council (Waste Management Team) 


Samantha Davies, University of Plymouth 

Emmanuelle Marshall, Plymouth City Council 

Jacqui Warren , Torbay Council 

Victoria Hatfield, Exeter City Council 

Jason Ball, Mid Devon District Council 

John Amosford, Public Health Devon  

Matthew Tosdevin, University of Plymouth 


1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

Two actions carried forward: 

ACTION: Donna Sibley and Adam Williams to share their experience of implementing Carbon Savvy. This can be done via the community engagement sub-group.   

ACTION: Emily Widdecombe to schedule targeted social-media advertising of the COP26 top tips videos.   

2. Project Progress Report

2.1 Project Communications 

Emily Widdecombe provided an update reflecting Section 1 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.  

Sara said the health benefits of active travel need to be incorporated into the current travel campaign.  

Emily Widdecombe introduced the Net-Zero Visions project that will work with six communities to develop various creative outputs to help people imagine Devon in the future. Doug asked if the communities will be geographically spread across Devon. Emily Reed confirmed they will be. 

ACTION: Doug Eltham to invite a speaker to the January Tactical Group meeting to explain the work of Community Action Groups.  

2.2 Update from the Net-Zero Task Force 

Emily Reed provided an update reflecting Section 2 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.  

No further questions. 

2.3 Update on the Climate Impacts Group 

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

No further questions. 

3. Community Action Groups

Bobby Hughes presented the work of the Community Action Groups (CAGs) in Devon, and how Devon County Council has been supporting them develop. 

The first CAG was set up in 2016 in Tiverton. The CAG support service now covers Mid Devon and Teignbridge. The support service, contracted to Resources Futures, provides training, insurance and skills sharing events. It also provides small amounts of seed funding, but generally new CAGs find their own start-up funding.  

There are now 19 CAGs. They generally develop waste and resource projects, such as repair cafés and community larders, and many have plans to move into other sustainability topics. All rely on enthusiastic community leaders to get the initiatives operating.    

The social benefits of the CAGS are considerable, beyond the environmental benefits. These have yet to be researched fully, but the value of bringing a community together over shared objectives must not be underestimated.  

John Golding said this sort of approach could potentially be used by local authorities’ existing community liaison teams. 

Having now heard about a number of support and engagement options over the past months, the Tactical Group AGREED to establish a task and finish sub-group to develop a county-wide, community engagement proposal. This proposal will be brought back to the Tactical Group for consideration.  


Period: October to November 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. Partnership Update


1.1.1 Following

Newsletters continue to be issued on schedule and social media followings are growing. Monthly growth continues to be about 2%. Currently, our fastest growing communications channel is the Devon Climate Emergency newsletter. 

1.1.2 Campaigns 

  • Travel Devon Collaboration 
    • Collaborating with Travel Devon to encourage local businesses and organisations around Devon to encourage staff to travel sustainably 
    • Promote resources available to local organisations, including the Travel Devon Toolkit, blog posts and 1:1 advisory sessions 
  • Net-Zero Visions for Devon Climate Emergency 
    • Developing web pages on the DCE website to host the Net-Zero Visions project 
    • Introductory online workshop open to the public on January 27th to explain the project and encourage community engagement
    • DCE comms to host the Net-Zero Visions project: all updates will be advertised through our social media and newsletter 
  • Devon Climate Emergency public consultation on the actions arising from the citizens’ assembly 
    • Initial comms about upcoming consultation will appear in the January newsletter 
    • ‘About’ section created on website as useful overview 
    • Secretariat to develop different kinds of engagement material for the consultation 
    • Paid promotion for the consultation on social media 
    • Confirm a date and attendees for a public webinar about the consultation 

1.1.3 COP26 Events

The final elements of the financial claims to the South West Energy Hub are being completed so that partners’ costs can be reimbursed.  

1.2. Partners’ Notable Activity 

Activity is recorded centrally on the Taking Action pages of the Devon Climate Emergency website. Notable activity this month is: 

  • 210 trees planted by Devon County Council’s Environment Group at the Follaton Arboretum, Totnes  
  • Ten young people have started an innovative six month work programme with Plymouth’s newest nature project. The young people have joined the Plymouth Natural Grid, which is helping make nature more accessible to residents across the city. 
  • South West Water’s Net Zero Pioneers have got up to speed with the organisation’s new Net-Zero Plan.  
  • Free home upgrades are available for low-income households from the Heat Devon project until March 2022.  

2. Net-Zero Task Force Update

2.1 Interim Carbon Plan ? [GREEN] 

The rewrite of the Built Environment section has been distributed to the partnership for comment by the end of January. Work is continuing on remaining sections.  

2.2 Citizens’ Assembly Resolution ? [GREEN] 

Comments on the proposed actions responding to the resolutions need to be returned by partners to Emily by the 27th January. Comments from East Devon District Council and the National Farmers Union have been received already.  

Meetings have occurred with the web developer to plan how the consultation will appear on the website in March, implementing the lessons we learned from the Interim Carbon Plan consultation last year.  

Emily is continuing to prepare the consultation document. This will include infographics for people who want a quick overview of what is being proposed. This responds to feedback from the Net-Zero Task Force.  

3. Climate Impacts Group Update ? [AMBER] 

At its latest meeting in December, the Group decided to revisit what is required from the Adaptation Plan before proceeding with the next stages to ensure it gets best value from the £25k funding from the Flood Defence Grant in Aid. A workshop has been planned for 17th January. Subsequent discussion may be required to determine how to spend the £25k once partners’ expectations of the Adaptation Plan have been confirmed.   

4. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Interim Carbon Plan.  
  • The partnership is consulting with Members and boards about the proposed actions to implement the resolutions from the Citizens’ Assembly. The detail of how the consultation in March will operate is being planned.  
  • The funding application for additional resource for the Climate Impacts Group has been successful. A quick review of the outcomes needed from the Adaptation Plan will happen in January and a subsequent work programme will be designed.  

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