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Tactical Group Meeting Minutes, 22nd June 2023

Attendees

Doug Eltham, Devon County Council

Jacqui Warren, Torbay Council

Jo Pearce, Exeter City Council

Alice Gent, Exeter City Council

Charlotte Brown, Devon Climate Emergency

Lucinda Brook, Plymouth City Council

Freya Branley, Exeter City Council

Louise Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police

David Rose, South West Water

Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust

Hannah Clark, Devon County Council

Collette Germon, Devon Partnership NHS Trust

Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency

1. Minutes of previous meeting

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

2. Local Transport Plan (LTP) 4 and Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPS)

Hannah explained that the preparation of the LTP4 has started. The Plan will cover the period 2026 – 2040. Unlike the LTP3, Torbay Council is preparing its own Plan on this occasion. The Devon Carbon Plan will be the golden thread of the LTP4.

Hannah shared the draft Vision and Objectives of the LTP4. During July and August, partners will be invited to comment on these.

A public consultation on the LTP4 is anticipated for January 2024.

LCWIPs for the Heart of Teignbridge and Barnstaple are complete. Torbay and Plymouth also have complete LCWIPs.

The Exeter LCWIP is being finalised.

LCWIPs for East Devon, Mid Devon and a multi-use trail LCWIP covering the whole county are expected to follow.

3. Green Accord

Jo, Alice and Freya explained the Green Accord. It is a simple self-assessment tool of a company’s environmental business practices. Any size organisation can use it. It’s run by Exeter City Council.

Exeter City Council expects to require all new suppliers to hold the Green Accord or similar environmental accreditation.

The scheme involves 24 questions, 8 of which are core and 16 are optional. The scheme awards a Bronze, Silver or Gold score based on the number of questions that can be answered successfully. Evidence is required against each question as part of the application process.

The cost varies by number of employees from £200 to £600. This covers the running costs of the scheme.

Jo, Alice and Freya can support procuring organisations to use the scheme. There is a supplier pack on the website to engage suppliers.

Supplier feedback has been positive and it has the support of procurement colleagues and Members at Exeter City Council.

ACTION: All to consider whether the Green Accord could be used partner organisations

Appendix 1: Project Progress Report

Period: May to June 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 🟢 [GREEN]

1.1.1 Following

Growth rate remains positive on all channels. Newsletter subscribers have seen a significant jump of 3.5% due to efforts encouraging the public to sign up at the County Show and at a pop-up stand at the University of Exeter. Sign-ups were an optional part of a pledge for people to take action to reduce their emissions. Total newsletter subscribers are now 3,968.

We also received the highest number of total monthly visitors to our website so far, at 2,356.

A line graph showing the DCE online communications following. All lines are going up
Figure 1.1. DCE Social Media Following
1.1.2 Campaigns and Projects

Business Engagement 🟢 [GREEN]

A week-long online survey ran at the end of April to understand the usefulness of, and appetite for, a business badge scheme to recognise local businesses acting on net-zero. The findings have been analysed and next steps are to explore a partnership with the Green Accord and to produce a printable DCE poster for partners to display in the windows of buildings that have been upgraded, particularly via the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

County Show 2023 🟢 [GREEN]

DCE showcased the Net Zero Visions project. 114 people committed to a net-zero pledge and 51 of those joined the email mailing list.

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 will be used to do this.

Devon-Wide Community Engagement Service 🟢 [GREEN]

The design and scoping work is underway, being led by Devon County Council. The initial research phase to understand the gaps in community support that need filling by the project has concluded. This is now being used to design the support programme for 2023/24, which will be an extension of the Community Action Group initiative.  An additional extension is being planned for delivery from April 2024.

1.2 Partners’ Notable Activity

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

  • Devon Wildlife Trust’s ‘Big Spring Sow‘ has planted miniature wildflower meadows across Exeter with the help of local communities, and more meadows are on their way.
  • The BIG FIX celebrated Repair Cafés and skilled menders who provide broken items with a new lease of life, reducing waste and saving money.
  • Over 100,000 free water-saving devices have been provided to people and businesses across the South West as part of South West Water’s Save Every Drop campaign.
  • The Department for Transport are set to run approved e-scooter trials across the UK, and a fleet is now available in Barnstaple as of Wednesday 17th May.
  • A new two-way, segregated cycleway along Rifford Road in Exeter has been approved by Devon County Council.

1.3 New Governance Structure 🟠 [AMBER]

Activity of the Secretariat is has been focussed on preparing for the consultation of the Adaptation Strategy, so there has been little progress this month. However, progress has been made with refining nominations for the chair of the Climate Task Force, and an initial meeting of the Devon Energy Planning Group is arranged for the 22nd June.

2. Devon Carbon Plan 🟢 [GREEN] 

Partners continue to deliver the Devon Carbon Plan. Whilst the new governance is being established, the Secretariat has begun preparing highlight reports for the priority actions of each section of the Plan. Each section will be seen by the Response Group every 6 months.

The Taking Action pages have been setup so that the actions are filterable by theme, goal and geography. The secretariat is working through the legacy pages so that all of the Taking Action pages will behave in the same way.

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

The consultation launched successfully and will conclude on 30th June.

Communications activity includes:

  • The distribution of a communications toolkit with assets for partners to use to share content
  • A webinar on Tuesday 16th May
  • A paid social media and Google Display Network advert campaign in Devon
  • A radio advertisement on Greatest Hits Radio Devon
  • A press advert in the Western Morning News
  • Distribution of messaging to local newsletters and a special feature in the DCE newsletter
  • A press release sent to media
  • Organic social media posts
  • Pop-up, in-person engagement events

Activity in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is at the discretion of partners in those areas. However, social media posts by the DCE and regional partners (e.g. Environment Agency and South West Water) are likely to be seen by residents in those areas, as will the Western Morning News advertisement and transmitter-spill from Greatest Hits Radio Devon.

4. Devolution Update

Further enhancements are being added to the Net-Zero and Environment ask about energy planning (incorporating retrofit and unlocking grid issues) and natural environment enhancement. Plymouth and Torbay along with DCC are expected to meet with DESNZ in the next month.

5. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Devon Carbon Plan, and support available to communities to act will increase soon through the CAG project.
  • The draft of the Adaptation Strategy is subject to public consultation. 
  • The establishment of new governance arrangements have been slower than anticipated but additional time is available for this now that the Adaptation Strategy consultation has launched.
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