Tactical Group Meeting Minutes, 16th March 2022

Attendees

Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency  

Emily Widdecombe, Devon Climate Emergency 

Doug Eltham, Devon County Council 

David Rose, South West Water 

Lucinda Brook, Plymouth City Council 

Louise Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police 

Andy Seaman, University of Exeter 

Donna Sibley, Torridge and North Devon District Councils 

Iain Miller, University of Plymouth 

Jo Pearce, Exeter City Council 

Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon Councils 

William Elliott, Teignbridge District Council 

Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust 

Jason Ball, Mid Devon District Council 

Apologies

Sara Gibbs, Public Health Devon 

John Golding, East Devon District Council 

Catherine Causley, East Devon District Council 

Alex Gandy, Dartmoor National Park Authority 

Jacqui Warren , Torbay Council 

Victoria Hatfield, Exeter City Council 

John Amosford, Public Health Devon  

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.  No further questions asked.  

ACTION: Emily W to share the climate emergency communications timetable so that partners can consider aligning their messaging.  

ACTION: Doug to feedback to Alastair Mumford support from the Tactical Group for a subsequent phase of Devon Solar Together. 

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.  

ACTION: Donna and Emily R to meet to discuss the Food, Land and Sea redraft.  

2.3 Updates on the Climate Impacts Group

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

ACTION: Emily R to invite Plymouth City Council to the Climate Impacts Group.  

3. Devolution

Doug updated the Group on the approach to responding to government’s invitation to submit an application for a devolution deal.  

Devon is choosing to apply for a combined authority, including Torbay and Plymouth, that will not have an elected mayor. The constituent authorities will remain as their own entities.  

Doug had been tasked by Devon County Council to collect ‘net-zero devolution asks’ from the climate emergency partnership for potential inclusion in the devolution application. This is a significant opportunity to obtain the powers and resources necessary to really accelerate net-zero in Devon. In the days preceding this Tactical Group meeting, Doug had collected ideas and circulated a paper to the Tactical Group for discussion.  

The Group discussed the need for devolved powers to make the planning system more flexible and take note of the Land Use Framework; enable grid constraints to be unlocked; and more funding for the ecological emergency.  

ACTION: All to submit further ideas or comments to Doug by end of Thursday 17th March.  

Next stage is for Devon County Council to consider all ideas and work-up into an application for the chief executives and leaders of the constituent authorities to sign off on Monday 21st March. 

4. Partner Updates

William reported that Teignbridge District Council is heading towards completion of its phase 1 funding from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme that has seen its leisure centres receive low carbon retrofits. Looking to get audits complete ready for a potential 3rd tranche of funding from government in the autumn.  

Adam said the South Hams Community Engagement Fund had received 15 applications and is triple over-subscribed in terms of the funding being requested. Learning will be shared as the scheme is replicable in other parts of Devon. The authority is considering launching a new fund for innovation projects that will offer up to £100,000. Also working on a £700,000 scheme to fit solar power to leisure centres.  

Lucinda noted Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon’s consultation on its climate emergency planning policy and guidance which closes 22nd April.

Appendix 1: Project Progress Report

Period: January to February 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

Newsletters continue to be issued on schedule and social media followings are growing. Monthly growth has reached 3%.  

 

1.1.2 Campaigns 

  1. Campaigns 
  • Public Health Collaboration  
  • We are in the process of facilitating inter-departmental meetings to find commonality between the goals of DCE and relevant projects undertaken by Devon County Council. 
  • So far, we have met with staff from public health to lay the groundwork for long-term collaboration efforts. We intend to include more departments (e.g. transport planning) as time goes on. 
  • The first step will be sharing and aligning communications calendars to ensure that our comms link up successfully. 
  • Net-Zero Visions for Devon Climate Emergency 
  • Second workshop held on the 21st February. Community groups came together to further develop their visions for net-zero, facilitated by members of the expert panel. Discussions were productive and full of original ideas. 
  • The Net Zero Visions webpages are live on the DCE website explaining the project and showcasing the work of each commissioned artist. 
  • You can read the latest blog post on the DCE website. 

1.2 Partners’ Notable Activity

  1. 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 launched its £50k Climate Engagement Fund to support community-based behavioural change projects.  

2. Net Zero Task Force Updates

2.1 Interim Carbon Plan ? [GREEN] 

The redraft of the Food, Land and Sea section has been circulated to the Tactical Group and the Net-Zero Task Force. Comments are due back 8th April.  

Work will now continue with redrafting the Economy and Resources section.  

2.2 Citizens’ Assembly Resolutions ? [GREEN] 

The Response Group signed off the consultation texts at its meeting on the 24th February.  

The web developer and the DCE secretariat have been designing and testing the consultation questionnaire and producing infographics, newspaper adverts and assets for social media..  

The consultation launched on schedule on the 17th March.  

Communications 

  • Print copies of the consultation text, the Climate Assembly Report and the questionnaire are available in public libraries 
  • Comms strategy for paid promotion on DCE socials has been designed and is now in operation. 
  • University of Exeter comms team are helping to secure Spotlight and  radio interviews with Patrick Devine-Wright this week 
  • DCC press office launching a press release 
  • Paid advertising will be appearing in regional newspapers.  
  • Webinar on the evening of 22nd March. 

3. Climate Impacts Group Update ? [AMBER]

The scope of the Adaptation Plan has been revised to reflect the outcomes of the Group’s workshop in December. This revised scope is being used to design the specification to recruit a contractor to help prepare it.  

The Adaptation Strategy will comprise three sections: 

  1. A Climate Risk and Opportunity Assessment for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (DCIoS) 
  1. The Adaptation Plan: Creating the conditions for everyone to act on adapting to climate change together – How adaptation planning will take place and be monitored across DCIoS 
  1. An Action Plan: Priority actions for regional collaboration over the next 5 years 

The resulting Adaptation Strategy will inform a programme of regional interventions to adapt to climate change, as well as catalysing place-based, grass roots and organisational action on climate adaptation.  

The Group has agreed to undertake an open market tender to award the work rather than using a Devon County Council framework contractor.  

Devon County Council Procurement Team has advised on due process and now the climate assembly consultation has been launched, Emily will be able to dedicate time to preparing the documents and issue the tender.   

4. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Interim Carbon Plan.  
  • The partnership launched the consultation on the responses to the Citizens’ Assembly resolutions on schedule on March 17th.   
  • The Adaptation Plan has been redesigned to ensure the outcomes are useful to regional partners. Its next stages will be awarded to a contractor. The tender will be issued next month.