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Tactical Group Meeting Minutes, 12th October


Doug Eltham, Devon County Council
Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency
Andy Seaman, University of Exeter
Donna Sibley, Torridge and North Devon District Councils
Jason Ball, Mid Devon District Council
Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon Councils
John Golding, East Devon District Council
Catherine Causley, East Devon District Council
Emily Widdecombe, Devon Climate Emergency
Jacqui Warren,Torbay Council
William Elliott, Teignbridge District Council
David Rose, South West Water
Joel Smith, University of Exeter


Louise Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police
Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust
Matthew Tosdevin, University of Plymouth
Victoria Hatfield, Exeter City Council
John Amosford, Public Health Devon
Samantha Davies, University of Plymouth
Emmanuelle Marshall, Plymouth City Council


1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes were AGREED to be a true record of the discussion. One action was carried forward:

ACTION: Doug to circulate the report by NatWest about reporting the environmental effects of home working.

2. Project Progress Report

2.1 Project Management Update 

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

ACTION: Partners delivering COP26 events as part of the Green Zones funding are asked to sign the partnership agreement and return to Doug.

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. The full Devon Climate Assembly report is now live on the website.

The Response Group agreed the timetable at its September meeting for responding to the recommended resolutions and conditions. This is:

By the 18/11/21, officers will have developed draft actions to the assembly's recommendations. By the 27/1/22, those actions will have been commented on by elected members. There will then be a public consultation from 17th March to 14th April 2022 for the public to comment on how the partners have translated the assembly's recommendations into actions.

2.3 Update on the Climate Impacts Group 

Emily Reed provided an update reflecting Section 3 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes. Emily will be following-up with colleagues to speed up the application for further funding to provide more resource for the Climate Impacts Group. This is becoming particularly important given the increasing focus on the role of adaptation in addressing the climate emergency.

3. Employee and Community Behaviour Change

3.1 University of Exeter

Joel Smith attended to explain to the Group their experience of engaging the campus communities on climate issues with a reward-based website and smart-phone app.

3.2 Existing Campaigns

The Group discussed the Recycle Devon campaign as an example of partners collaborating successfully on a specific issue. Doug noted that many partners have people and money being used to raise awareness about a range of climate-related issues – transport, energy, food etc. But there’s nothing at the moment to tie it all together for the public.  

3.3 Next Steps

Jason Ball, Catherine Causley and Adam Williams said that a joint brand for an awareness raising campaign is a good idea.

The Group AGREED to undertake a quick base-lining exercise of this activity. This will help inform the scale of increased activity that would be required to make a substantial difference to awareness and understanding about the climate emergency.

ACTION: Secretariat to send out

After the meeting, Donna Sibley suggested inviting Mukti Mitchell to the next meeting to explain more about the Carbon Savvy campaign being run in various districts in Devon.

ACTION: Donna to invite Mukti Mitchell to a future meeting.


Period: September to October 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.



1.1.1 Following

Newsletters continue to be issued on schedule and social media followings are growing. Monthly growth has been approximately 2% over the summer.  

Figure 1.1: Online Communications Following

1.1.2 Campaigns 

The Call to Action campaign is continuing. This campaign focuses on tangible things people can do to help reach net-zero. Partners have been involved in some of the Calls to Action where it is relevant to their activity.

A new campaign started on the 13th September called ‘Together for Devon’. This asks people to upload a short video of themselves showing one carbon-friendly tip with the hashtags #TogetherforDevon and #Togetherforourplanet (to align with the COP26 communications). Each week our favourites will be featured in our social media stories and channels).

1.1.3 Youth Engagement 

The Devon County Council Waste Team will be sending out links to teaching materials related to COP26 in a special edition of their school sustainability bulletin later this month.

1.1.4 COP26 Events

A consortium of the local authorities involved in the Devon Climate Emergency partnership have been successful in their funding bid to the South West Energy Hub to deliver nine events across Devon during the COP26 fortnight (first two weeks of November 2021). A total of £18,360 has been awarded and is being matched by £28,000 of funding from the local authorities. Most of the events will be community led in partnership with local authorities. Some will be physical and others will be video case studies shared widely online.

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:

  • Devon County Council has launched a £200k Community Energy Fund capable of awarding up to £25,000 to community energy initiatives in order to help increase the community energy sector in Devon.
  • Plymouth City Council and Crowdfunder have joined forces to host the #BackTheFuture LIVE: Plymouth Climate Challenge event. The top prize is £20,000, second place prize is £12,500 and third place is £7,500, all of which will go towards a crowdfunding campaign.
  • The Exeter Development Fund will create sustainable development opportunities for Exeter. The Exeter Development Fund commits to building 12,000 new homes that are not only energy-efficient, but renewably powered, affordable, and in neighbourhoods that are well-connected, car-free and full of community facilities.

Net-Zero Task Force Update

2.1 Interim Carbon Plan [AMBER]

Amendments continue to be made to the Interim Devon Carbon Plan by the secretariat, however this remains behind schedule due to resources being focussed on the citizens’ assembly. The impact of this is not significant as the Plan is being implemented and funding opportunities are being seized by partners to increase delivery as they arise.

The Energy and Cross Cutting Themes section redrafts are with Tactical Group members for comment.

2.2 Citizens’ Assembly [GREEN]

The final draft of the report collating the resolutions designed by the Assembly members and the conditions attached to those resolutions has been circulated to the Tactical Group and Net Zero Task Force, following incorporation of requested amendments by these groups. The report will be shared with council members on the 11th of October and published on the website on the 12th of October.

At the September meetings of the Tactical Group and Response Group the partnership agreed on a process for how the Assembly’s resolutions will be turned into actions. Draft actions are now being developed by the secretariat in collaboration with the Tactical Group.

The Net-Zero Task Force will respond to the partnership about the Assembly’s recommendations to facilitate this process.

The secretariat are planning a public webinar led by Involve in the weeks after the launch of the report on the Citizens’ Assembly.

3. Climate Impacts Group [AMBER]

The time-commitment of the two interns a the Environment Agency to this project has now finished and so it’s important that further funding is put in place.

The Secretariat has completed the second stage (preparing a business case) of obtaining funding from the Flood Defence Grant in Aid fund to provide a 6-month resource to accelerate the preparation of the Adaptation Plan. This now progressing through approval procedures before it can be submitted.

The Group has collated a register of climate risks and is at the stage of understanding current levels of preparedness for those risks. Key organisations responsible for managing the risks at a strategic level are contributing to the review. This will identify gaps in preparedness, and the actions required to fill those gaps will become the Adaptation Plan. 

4. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Interim Devon Carbon Plan while partnership procedures are ongoing
  • The revisions to the Interim Carbon Plan are underway but behind schedule.
  • The report on the Citizens’ Assembly by Involve has been finalised and will be made public on the 12th of October.
  • Further applications for additional resource for the Climate Impacts Group is progressing.

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