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Tactical Group Meeting Minutes, 6th October 2022

Attendees

Doug Eltham, Devon County Council

John Golding, East Devon District Council

Louise Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police

David Rose, South West Water

Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon Councils

Archie Lawrence, South Hams and West Devon Councils

Catherine Causley, East Devon District Council

Lucinda Brook, Plymouth City Council

William Elliott, Teignbridge District Council

Jason Ball, Mid Devon District Council

Iain Miller, University of Plymouth

Donna Sibley, Torridge and North Devon District Councils

Apologies

Charlotte Brown, Devon Climate Emergency

Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency

Jacqui Warren , Torbay Council

Alice Gent, Exeter City Council

Andy Seaman, University of Exeter

John Amosford, Public Health Devon

Sara Gibbs, Public Health Devon

Emmanuelle Marshall, Plymouth City Council

Alex Gandy, Dartmoor National Park Authority

Victoria Hatfield, Exeter City Council

Freya Branley, Exeter City Council

Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust

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

Doug provided an update reflecting Section 1 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.  No further questions asked.

2.2 Updates from the Net Zero Task Force

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

John asked what the timetable is for transitioning the governance structure of the partnership to the new setup. Doug said it is February.

ACTION: Doug to circulate the timetable for the transition to the Group.

2.3 Updates on the Climate Impacts Group

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

3. Attracting Finance for Net-Zero

Doug set the context for a discussion about how the partnership can develop commercial opportunities for the private sector to invest in. This followed a speculative conversation with the South West Net-Zero Hub about how they can assist the partnership with next steps around energy now that the Devon Carbon Plan is published. Retrofit opportunities and skills opportunities for the private sector are being developed by the Retrofit in Devon project so this discussion is more about energy supply.

David said that Pennon Group has experience of using green bonds and could probably share that experience.

ACTION: Doug to catchup with David about green bonds.

Lucinda suggested that the Devon Energy Plan would be the first step to start developing commercial opportunities for energy. Will agreed and added that we would then need to identify which projects would have too much risk to get private sector interest – those would be the focus of limited public sector resources to reduce the risk for the private sector.

Doug is interested in how the mechanisms of attracting investment work once an investable proposition has been developed. The university business schools may be able to help explain this. John added that the Economy teams in local authorities could help, too.

ACTION: Doug to speak to Peter Lefort and Paul Hardman about any guidance Exeter and Plymouth universities could provide the partnership.  

ACTION: Doug to speak to Devon County Council’s Economy and Enterprise team.

4. Indicators for Monitoring Delivery of the Carbon Plan

The Group looked at the monitoring indicators in Section 12 of the Carbon Plan. Doug drew the attention of the Group to these and suggested it could minimise effort across the partnership if local area climate plans use similar indicators.

Will said that the five-year carbon budget will be the headline indicator but that the activity-based indicators will be useful for monitoring progress between the 5-year periods.

ACTION: Emily to circulate carbon budgets for each district and unitary area.

5. Partner Updates

Donna reported that the North Devon and Torridge Climate Forum is holding its next meeting on Saturday 8th October at which the Devon Carbon Plan will be presented. Donna also delivered a few events for Big Green Week.

Jason said that 70 new council houses in Mid Devon are to be Passivhaus, and planning permission has been granted.

Iain advised that Plymouth University is looking at how it can minimise energy consumption over the Christmas period by using building shutdowns to limit heating use.

Appendix 1: Project Progress Report

Period: September to October 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

The growth rate across all channels has roughly doubled to around 3.5%, which is presumed to be due to activity around the launch of the Devon Carbon Plan in September 2022. All channels apart from YouTube have grown in following, with the newsletter seeing the greatest increase of around 200 followers, exceeding our December target for total newsletter subscribers. 

A line graph showing the Devon Climate Emergency Online Communications Following. All lines apart from YouTube are increasing, with Newsletter showing the biggest increase. Total followers just exceed 9000.
Figure 1.1. DCE Social Media Following

1.1.2 Campaigns

Launching the Devon Carbon Plan

  • The Devon Carbon Plan was launched and made available to the public via our website on Tuesday 27th September. 
  • Communications around this included a launch toolkit shared with partners and other interested parties, a webinar, features on BBC Radio Devon, BBC Spotlight and social media Q&As. 
  • The Plan has been presented at the Exeter Science Park Net-Zero Regional Conference on the 29th September, the Act on Climate Teignbridge community event on the 1st October and the Devon Association of Local Councils conference on the 5th October. An event by Sustainable South Hams on the 8th October will also hear about the Plan.  
  • The Plan was well received on social media and saw a significant amount of engagement from partners and the public. 

Business Engagement

  • DCE are now looking to do more work around business engagement. 
  • Initially, this will consist of putting together a slide pack with actions for organisations sourced from the Devon Carbon Plan Quick Read slides, which can be distributed via the South West Business Council. These will encourage businesses to endorse the Devon Climate Declaration. We will also be reviewing and updating the resources for business available on the DCE website and asking businesses to put forward case studies that we can showcase as part of a longer campaign. 

Challenge-setters for the University of Exeter

  • DCE are acting as one of several challenge-setters for the University of Exeter’s second year Thinktank module. 
  • DCE will be presenting to and interacting with the students from September to December. The students will be researching the question, “What is required to enable and encourage young people, including university students, to adopt more net-zero habits and lifestyles?” on behalf of DCE. 
  • The challenge set by DCE is proving popular with students. DCE will be attending a virtual Q&A with the students this month to answer any questions they have. 

Devon-Wide Community Engagement

  • The Community Engagement Sub-Group nominated Devon County Council and Plymouth City Council to bring a proposal back to them to enhance the Community Action Group activity across Devon. This has yet to happen. However, this will be progressed in October.

1.2 Partners’ Notable Activity

This month there have not been many Taking Action posts due to the official mourning period for the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  

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

  • Carlton Power is set to start work on a 10MW hydrogen hub project, which will provide local companies in Devon and Cornwall with easy access to hydrogen fuel. 
  • Councillors have discussed the creation of a new wildlife haven at the former Northbrook golf course in Exeter 

2. Net Zero Task Force Updates 🟢 [GREEN] 

The Devon Carbon Plan was published on the 27th September.    

Partners, as well as organisations beyond the partnership, are now encouraged to endorse the Plan through their governance arrangements during the autumn. Plymouth City Council and Mid Devon District Council have endorsed already.  

The theme boards that will oversee the delivery of the Plan are now being established. Specifications for the skills and experience needed on each board are being developed that will be used to advertise the opportunity. The boards are expected to be operational by February 2023. The specifications will be shared with the Tactical Group in draft in the next couple of weeks.  

3. Climate Impacts Group Update 🟢 [GREEN] 

RSK has completed its first draft of the climate risk register and has shared this with the Climate Impacts Group for comment. Sub-groups are now being scheduled over the next month for colleagues to meet in four themed groups to discuss magnitude and urgency scoring. The groups are natural environment (occurred 4th October), infrastructure, health & built environment, and business, industry & international dimensions.  

If partners would like to participate in these groups, let Emily know.   

The Adaptation Strategy is expected to be completed by January 2023.

4. Devolution Update

We continue to wait for a response from government on the first application stage. Current proposals are with Team Devon for refinement.

5. Summary Comments

  • The Devon Carbon Plan has launched and partners continue to implement it.   
  • The continuation of the preparation of the Adaptation Plan is now underway. 
  • New governance arrangements are being prepared. 
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