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Tactical Group Meeting Minutes 13th April

Devon Climate Emergency Tactical Group minutes of meeting 13th April 2021.
You can download a PDF of the minutes here.


Doug Eltham, Devon County Council
Hannah Oliver, Devon Climate Emergency
Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency
Adam Williams, South Hams & West Devon District Councils
John Amosford, Public Health Devon
John Golding, East Devon District Council
Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust
David Rose, South West Water
William Elliott, Teignbridge District Council
Jason Ball, Mid Devon District Council

Lynda Wookey, Exeter City Futures

Louise Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police

Janet Williams, Torridge District Council


Jacqui Warren, Torbay Council
Neil Hamlyn, Local Resilience Forum
Sara Gibbs, Public Health Devon

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

2. Project Progress Report

2.1  Project Management Update

Hannah Oliver gave an update on the communications activity reflecting Section 1 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

The Group AGREED to keep a shared database up-to-date of projects that are being delivered to implement the Devon Carbon Plan. This will be used by Hannah to keep the ‘Taking Action’ web pages up to date, produce social media content and build the monthly newsletter.

ACTION: Doug to circulate link to shared spreadsheet for everyone to update periodically.

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.

In addition, Emily thanked Jacqui Warren from Torbay Council and Adam Williams from South Hams and West Devon Councils for volunteering to sit on the Climate Assembly Project Team.

2.3  Update on the Climate Impacts Group

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

3. Timetable for the Interim and Final Devon Carbon Plans

Doug Eltham introduced a paper proposing an option to speed-up the process for preparing the final Devon Carbon Plan after the Climate Assembly. This option is to remove the public consultation on the actions that the Net-Zero Task Force and the project partners develop in response to the recommendations provided by the Assembly. Removing this step will save 8 months and see the final Devon Carbon Plan available for organisations to endorse from April 2022.

John Amosford recommended checking whether there is legal requirement to consult before actions developed from the assembly’s recommendations are implemented.

ACTION: Doug to seek legal opinion from Devon County Council legal services.

Pending the outcome of the legal advice, the Tactical Group AGREED to recommend the removal of this stage of public consultation to the Response Group on the basis that the community will have further opportunities to be involved in the delivery of the Plan and the Plan itself will be kept under review.

4. Net-Zero Date

Doug introduced a paper outlining the progress made at the previous meeting of the Tactical Group about strengthening the net-zero date in response to the public consultation of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan.

The Group felt that it is almost at a point of agreeing a strengthened ambition to recommend to the Response Group to incorporate into the next iteration of the Devon Carbon Plan.

The Group requested a further iteration that provides:

  • Clarity on the meaning of “all investment in community infrastructure beyond 2030 is compatible with a net-zero future” as it is ambiguous
  • A greater emphasis on the need for organisations in Devon to sign the Devon Climate Declaration and commit to reducing their direct emissions to net-zero by 2030

ACTION: Doug to update the words of the strengthened ambition and circulate ahead of the next Tactical Group meeting.  

5. Partner Updates

Harry Barton reported that the Devon Wildlife Trust has signed off its Carbon Plan which now has a greater focus on agile working as a result of COVID-19, and actions to reduce the emissions from livestock on its land holdings.

David Rose advised that South West Water is planting trees at Combe Martin in partnership with the UNESCO North Devon Biosphere Reserve.


Period: April 2021 to May 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. Project Management Update

1.1 General Project Communications – Green

Newsletters continue to be issued on schedule and social media followings are growing.

The social media following growth has slowed to 3% following the end of the consultation period on the draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan. During the consultation period the monthly growth was at a high of 15%. The citizens’ assembly will provide the next significant opportunity to grow the project’s reach.

Partnership communications activity to coincide with the G7, the citizens assembly and COP26 continue to be developed. This is likely to involve crowd funding competitions from South Hams, West Devon and Devon County Council.  The Devon County Show is expected to proceed in July and the Devon Climate Emergency will be featured on the Devon County Council stand.

The website has been improved so that it’s easier to find examples of activity the partners are implementing now to ‘take action’, and links to these are being provided on social media and the monthly newsletter. 

1.2 Devon-wide Projects – Green

The long list of projects that appeared in the March 2021 Progress Report has been moved into a shared drive where partners can keep their projects up to date each month. Projects appear on the DCE website (some will be added after purdah due to DCC elections) and will be showcased in the project newsletter and on social media.

New projects not reported last month include:

Okehampton railA daily Okehampton to Exeter rail service will be running for the first time in nearly 50 years. This is a step towards increasing the accessibility of shared public transport options across the county. Devon County Council has worked with Great Western Railway, Network Rail and local partners to achieve this, the first project to see services return under the Government’s Restoring Your Railway fund. The service is expected to open in December this year.

Table Tuesdays – a community swap set up by Recycle Devon. This is a great way to declutter whilst reducing waste, giving old items a second. The first Tuesday Table went ahead on the 6th April. If you are interested head to the Recycle Devon website to find out more.

Moor Meadows Dartmoor  – Funding from the Devon Environment Foundation has allowed Moor Meadows Dartmoor to launch the Meadow-Makers’ Forum, a place to share information and advice about creating wildflower meadows. Anyone can ask a question and receive an answer from other meadow-makers. The forum also acts as an online hub for the creation and development of new local meadows groups under the umbrella name Moor Meadows. New groups are forming in West Devon, South Hams and East Devon, and a new group for Exmoor has been backed by Exmoor National Park Authority.

2. Net-Zero Task Force Update

2.1 Interim Devon Carbon Plan – Green

The secretariat has drafted a consultation report summarising the 1321 submissions on the draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan. This is now with the Task Force for amendments before it will be shared with partners in May. Subsequently, amendments to be made to the Draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan, which the Task Force will lead on. A subsequent draft is expected to be available for partners’ comment during June, dependent upon resources required to arrange the citizens’ assembly.

2.2 Citizens’ Assembly


Involve Foundation have been appointed as the partner and facilitation provider for the Devon Climate Assembly. Contract initiation meeting is scheduled for the 14th April.


An Assembly Project Team will be established with representation from the secretariat, the contractor, the Task Force and the Tactical Group. This team will have the mandate to make decisions about the operation of the Assembly within the framework already agreed by the partnership so that the challenging timescale to deliver the assembly before the school summer holidays can be met.

The Task Force will operate as the Assembly Advisory Body and will be consulted at key points during April, May and June.

The Tactical and Response Groups will be kept informed of progress.

3. Climate Impacts Group Update

3.1 Narratives of the Effects of Climate Change [AMBER]

The Group, having collated risks from the local analysis and a review of the national risk register, are compiling information about:

  1. The key organizations that are currently involved in mitigating or planning for the impacts arising from each risk
  2. Additional stakeholders who have an interest in each risk but who are not directly responsible
  3. Existing controls and reporting mechanisms for each risk.

This process will identify the gaps in local preparedness for these risks. Actions required to fill these gaps will form the basis of the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Plan.

The timetable for preparing the Adaptation Plan has slipped due to resource availability in the partner organisations. This was discussed at the Response Group in March. A revised timetable is to be prepared by the secretariat for discussion in April. This will be shared with the Tactical Group by email in the next few days before the Response Group meeting.

4. Summary Comments

The Interim Devon Carbon Plan consultation responses have been summarised into a draft report that is now with the Task Force for amendment. Revised Carbon Plan will be available for partners in June.

Involve Foundation will be engaged this week to progress the Devon Climate Assembly.

The Climate Impacts Group has not made progress as quickly as hoped but partners remain committed to preparing the Adaptation Plan.

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