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Tactical Group Meeting Minutes, 22nd August 2023


Doug Eltham, Devon County Council

John Amosford, Public Health Devon

Clare Jones, Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Collette Germon, Devon Partnership NHS Trust

Catherine Causley, East Devon District Council

Charlotte Brown, Devon Climate Emergency

Louise Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police

Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon Councils

Will Elliott, Teignbridge District Council

1. Minutes of previous meeting

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

Charlotte advised the Group that the poster that partners can consider displaying in retrofitted public buildings is approaching completion.

The Net-Zero Visions Curriculum Material is available at

2. Project Progress Report

2.1 Project Communications

Charlotte provided an update reflecting Section 1.1 and 1.2 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

2.2 Governance

Doug provided an update reflecting Section 1.3 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

The Devon Energy Planning Group has now met three times. It is now commissioning updates to renewable energy opportunity mapping and baselining the amount of renewable energy in Devon, has the latter has not been done since 2018. Will said it will be key to ensure attendance from National Grid at distribution and transmission level at the next meetings, and suggested getting in touch with the Future Energy Scenarios team directly.

ACTION: Doug to approach Future Energy Scenarios team.

Members of the Climate Task Force are now being invited following endorsement of the potential members by the Response Group.

ACTION: Doug to share the skills and experience with the Tactical Group.

2.3 Update on the Devon Carbon Plan

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

The Group considered the progress report on the priority actions from the transport section of the Devon Carbon Plan.

Doug reported that Devon CC has received interested from parties interested in operating a shared bike rental scheme in Exeter following the collapse of Co-Bikes. There will be a competitive exercise in the autumn to select a supplier in partnership with stakeholders. The Group agreed that a supplier has the aspiration to expand the scheme beyond Exeter would be advantageous.

Will added further information for Action T35 that Teignbridge District Council is taking a decision paper to Cabinet next month for grid upgrades at depots to enable 20 – 30 electric vehicles to be brought onto the vehicle fleet from April 2024.

ACTION: Doug to add Will’s update to the progress report.

Louise asked whether electric vehicle charge posts for fleet vehicles could be shared between organisations to minimise impact on the local distribution network and get best use from assets.

ACTION: Louise to prepare a proposal paper for further discussion.

The Group AGREED that it would be helpful for the Priority Action Progress Reports to be shared with the Tactical Group for updating before being sent to the Response Group. This will involve missing a month of Progress Reports to the Response Group so that we can get back in sync.

ACTION: Doug to notify Meg Booth and Emily Reed of the need to involve the Tactical Group in the Priority Action monitoring.

It was suggested that short telephone meetings with the partners relevant to each action could be useful in collating activity.

2.4 Update on the DCIoS Adaptation Strategy

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

Doug also explained the Gantt chart describing the remaining stages of the preparation of the Strategy. Organisations will be invited to endorse the Strategy through their formal procedures from the middle of November.

ACTION: Doug to circulate the Climate Adaptation Strategy Consultation Report to the Group.

3. Updates from Partners

The Group discussed the risk vs reward of applying to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme considering the highly competitive nature of the application process. Phase 3c opens at the end of September – we are awaiting a definite date.

Appendix 1: Project Progress Report

Period: July to August 2023

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

1.1.1 Following 🟢 [GREEN]

Growth remains positive but has slowed, which may be due to a reduction in activity over the summer break.

Posts targeting specific personas – segments of our audience – are being trialled and evaluated. These include posts focused on businesses, young people, and communities, among others.

A line graph showing the DCE online communications following. All lines are increasing
Figure 1.1. DCE Social Media Following

1.1.2 Campaigns and Projects

Net-Zero Visions Curriculum Material 🟢 [GREEN]

The resource pack has been finalised following feedback and will be made available to all schools. The Sustainability Bulletin that goes to all schools in Devon in September will be used to do this.

A selection of resources created for the Net Zero Visions project are now available on the Devon Climate Emergency website, alongside project art, public art submissions, the Net Zero Visions book and other information.

1.2 Partners’ Notable Activity

Activity is recorded centrally on the Taking Action pages of the Devon Climate Emergency website.

  • The Devon Agri-Tech Alliance (DATA) aims to support Devon’s agricultural sector by making innovation easier and more accessible.
  • The new Marsh Barton Railway Station opened to the public, helping to ease traffic congestion and provide more sustainable travel options for locals.
  • East Devon District Council (EDDC) and their waste contractor Suez have spoken to more than 500 local primary school pupils about the value of recycling.
  • Adding to South West Water’s (SWW) existing fleet of 16 electric vehicles (EVs), a further 37 EVs will come into use later this year.
  • The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, has awarded £7.5 million to the Supergen ORE Impact Hub led by the University of Plymouth.
  • The University of Exeter is part of a multidisciplinary team of researchers involved in a new research Hub which will tackle challenges associated with the wider use of hydrogen in the UK.
  • Devon County Council’s Community Energy Fund has funded several projects to create new energy companies, deliver additional training places, and engage communities in the Community Energy sector.
  • A BMW partnership with National Parks has been confirmed and is set to fund electric vehicle (EV) charge points throughout Parks including Dartmoor and Exmoor.

1.3 New Governance Structure 🟢 [GREEN]

  • We are delighted that Claire Pearce has accepted the invitation to chair the Climate Task Force. Attention is now on who else needs to join the Climate Task Force to ensure a spread of necessary expertise and experience.
  • The Devon Energy Planning Group is meeting regularly. Devon County Council has been nominated as the chairing organisation and the modest funding available this financial year is to be used to progress the early stages of energy planning – namely stakeholder mapping, collating the existing project pipeline and data gathering.

2. Devon Carbon Plan 🟢 [GREEN] 

Partners continue to deliver the Devon Carbon Plan. This month a progress report on the Transport section’s priority actions are available to the Response Group to review.

The existing partnerships and groups that are overseeing delivery of the priority actions in the Carbon Plan are assisting with preparing the monthly progress reports. However the secretariat is finding more success in obtaining updates by contacting stakeholders directly. This is not necessarily a problem because the information is still being obtained – just via a different route – and the information gleaned can then be shared with the oversight groups for their consideration.  

3. Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Plan 🟢 [GREEN] 

A draft consultation report, including proposed amendments to the strategy was made available for the Climate Impacts Group to review from the 17th August through to the end of September. Further amendments may be necessary in October. The Response Group will be invited to endorse it by its November meeting, after which individual partners will be encouraged to endorse it via their formal procedures.

4. Devolution Update

No formal update this month. 

5. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Devon Carbon Plan.
  • The new governance arrangements are being used to prepare the monthly Priority Action progress report, however the secretariat is finding that bypassing the oversight groups to approach individual stakeholders directly is proving more useful.
  • The adaptation strategy consultation report is being drafted.
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