Tactical Group Meeting Minutes, 11th May 2022

Attendees

Doug Eltham, Devon County Council 

Emily Widdecombe, Devon Climate Emergency 

Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency  

Louise Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police 

Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust 

Iain Miller, University of Plymouth 

Donna Sibley, Torridge and North Devon District Councils 

Lucinda Brook, Plymouth City Council 

Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon Councils 

Sara Gibbs, Public Health Devon 

Chris Greener, Devon County Council 

Apologies

Cara Stobart, DALC 

Emmanuelle Marshall, Plymouth City Council 

Andy Seaman, University of Exeter 

Alex Gandy, Dartmoor National Park Authority 

Victoria Hatfield, Exeter City Council 

John Amosford, Public Health Devon  

Jacqui Warren , Torbay Council 

Jason Ball, Mid Devon District Council 

David Rose, South West Water 

John Golding, East Devon District Council 

Catherine Causley, East Devon District Council 

Alice Gent, Exeter City Council 

Jo Pearce, Exeter City Council 

William Elliott, Teignbridge District 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

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

Iain Miller added that there is an opportunity to get the student community in Plymouth involved in Cycle September.  Lucinda Brook said this could be linked to the electric-bike rental scheme and mobility hubs being developed in the city.  

2.2 Updates 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 asked. 

2.3 Updates on the Climate Impacts Group

Emily Reed provided an update reflecting Section 3 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes. No further questions asked.  

3. AOB & Partner Updates

Doug Eltham reported that a new member of staff, Sarah Alsbury, as started in the Environment Group at Devon County Council. One of Sara’s first projects is to start developing the detail about how the authority and other partners can access carbon offsets to reach net-zero by 2030. Trials undertaken over the past 2 years has shown this will be very difficult. Sara will be meeting as many of the partnership as possible over the next few months.  

Lucinda Brook said it would be helpful to understand more about what is happening locally on carbon offsetting. Iain Miller said they’d been looking at the Oxford Principles on Offsetting and are considering being more flexible initially to ‘get off the mark’.  

ACTION: Doug to put Lucinda and Iain in touch with Sarah Alsbury.  

Ian Miller added that the University is looking put a car-club on site.  

Harry Barton advised that the Devon Wildlife Trust is preparing a Landscape Recovery bid for the eastern part of Dartmoor, which will be a 20-year project.  

Adam Williams reported the launch of the South Hams £100,000 Climate Infrastructure Fund offering grants of between £1,000 and £25,000. Closes 9th June.  

Donna Sibley said North Devon and Torridge District Councils are also looking at offsetting. The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has submitted a funding bid to deliver a community engagement project on climate and nature. Donna has also been speaking with Greenpeace to see if they will share data wit local authorities from their ‘Big Plastic Count’.  

Louise Sawyer added that Devon and Cornwall Police are developing sustainable procurement processes in partnership with four other forces in the south west.  

Lucinda added that Plymouth City Council is looking at a Climate Ambassadors scheme. This could link very well to the Community Action Group (CAG)-style initiative  that the community engagement sub-group is preparing.  

ACTION: Doug to ensure Lucinda is part of developing the CAG-style proposal.  

Appendix 1: Project Progress Report

Period: April to May 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

As predicted, our following across all platforms has begun to rise again since we have resumed our usual communications following the end of the public consultation. Growth has resumed a rate of 2%, with the largest increase in our newsletter subscription rate.  

 

1.1.2 Campaigns

Travel Devon Collaboration 

  • We are now consistently working with colleagues at Travel Devon to promote active travel to schools where possible. 

‘Naturally Healthy Month’ 

  • This May, the Devon Local Nature Partnership and Active Devon are running ‘naturally healthy month’, encouraging people to get outside and explore the natural world. 
  • This is an opportunity for DCE to highlight the health and wellbeing co-benefits of making sustainable choices (e.g encouraging active travel), as well as encouraging interest in and appreciation of nature. 
1.1.3 Future Campaigns

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 

Devon-Wide Community Engagement 

At its latest meeting, the Community Engagement Sub-Group heard from Devon Communities Together about its Asset-Based Community Development model. The Sub-Group learned that the approach is very similar to the Community Action Groups model run by Devon CC. The Sub-Group is now going to prepare a proposal to enhance this activity across Devon.  

Plymouth City Council is going to lead an application to the Local Government Association’s Behavioural Insights Programme to receive funding to trial a behaviour change intervention about home energy efficiency. 

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: 

  • South Hams District Council is installing solar panels, costing £500,000, on all four of its leisure centres and is decarbonising its vehicle fleet, as well as planting a further 2.5 hectares of wildflowers across the district. 
  • English Riviera Geopark has launched a new Marine User Policy aimed at educating partners and users about ways to enjoy and use the marine environment which doesn’t damage fragile ecosystems. [Will appear on DCE website shortly] 
  • Marine Drive, Paignton, to receive permanent widening of the pavement, an upgrade to an existing and installation of an additional crossing point, improvement to cycling facilities and the introduction of a 20mph zone. [Will appear on DCE website shortly] 

2. Net Zero Task Force Updates

2.1 Interim Carbon Plan ? [GREEN] 

Work is continuing with redrafting the remaining sections – Economy and Resources, Introduction and Making it Happen. These will be circulated for comment shortly.  

The Centre for Energy and Environment at the University of Exeter has started re-modelling the Action Diagrams.  

We remain on schedule to have the Devon Carbon Plan available for organisations to consider adopting from the end of August 2022.   

2.2 Citizens’ Assembly Resolutions ? [GREEN] 

Emily Reed has prepared the consultation report to share at the Response Group meeting on the 23rd May, along with any amendments required to the partnership’s responses.  

All but three of the partnership’s proposals have over 50% of respondents agreeing with our approach and therefore amendments are minimal. 

3. Climate Impacts Group Update ? [AMBER]

The tender to recruit a consultant to help prepare the Adaptation Plan has closed and is now being evaluated. The work is expected to be completed within 6 months of awarding the tender, depending upon how much of the Strategy can be developed for the available budget. We’ll find this out in the next couple of weeks once the tenders have been evaluated and we’ll keep the partnership updated.    

4. Devolution Update

We continue to wait for a response from government on the first application stage. A timetable has not been disclosed but it’s likely to be a couple of months.

5. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Interim Carbon Plan.  
  • The partnership closed its consultation on the responses to the Citizens’ Assembly resolutions on schedule on April 14th and the analysis is underway.   
  • The final version of the Devon Carbon Plan continues to be prepared for its August deadline.  
  • The tender to recruit a contractor to assist with the Adaptation Plan is being evaluated.