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Tactical Group Meeting Minutes, 7th July 2022


Doug Eltham, Devon County Council

Andy Seaman, University of Exeter

Charlotte Brown, Devon Climate Emergency

Louise Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police

William Elliott, Teignbridge District Council

Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency

Lucinda Brook, Plymouth City Council

David Rose, South West Water

Alice Gent, Exeter City Council

Freya Branley, Exeter City Council

Donna Sibley, Torridge and North Devon District Councils

Jason Ball, Mid Devon District Council


Iain Miller, University of Plymouth

Catherine Causley, East Devon District Council

Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon Councils

Jacqui Warren , Torbay Council

Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust

Sara Gibbs, Public Health Devon

Emmanuelle Marshall, Plymouth City Council

Alex Gandy, Dartmoor National Park Authority

Victoria Hatfield, Exeter City Council

John Golding, East Devon District Council

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

Charlotte provided an update reflecting Section 1 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.  

Andy reported that a new communications person has joined the sustainability team the University of Exeter and he’ll ensure they meet with Charlotte.

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. No further questions asked.

2.3 Updates on the Climate Impacts Group

Emily Reed provided an update reflecting Section 3 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes. No further questions asked.

3. Partner Updates

Will reported that Teignbridge District Council has prepared a draft Carbon Plan focussing on its own carbon footprint and areas of community influence.

Donna advised that Torridge District Council has prepared its first annual update to its Climate, Environment and Biodiversity Plan, and that North Devon District Council has now prepared its first plan.

Lucinda said that the Local Government Association funding for the Devon consortium to look at behaviour change with respect to domestic energy efficiency has begun. Also that Chelston Meadow solar farm has got planning permission.

David told the group about a new partnership between South West Water and the University of Exeter with a focus on nitrous oxide and methane fugitive emissions from wastewater treatment. David also noted that the water treatment network in northern Devon is looking to be restructured with possible pumping of water into Wessex. Bristol Water is now part of the Pennon Group.

Alice reported that three electric refuse collection vehicles are now in operation in Exeter.

Andy said the University of Exeter has received funding to make the new CREWW building net-zero. They are also looking at biodiversity net-gain on their land holdings, and have agreed funding to continue providing bus travel to the campus.

Appendix 1: Project Progress Report

Period: June to July 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

Growth returned to 2% over the past month. Charlotte Brown, the project’s new Climate Engagement Officer, will be developing content to get the following increasing at a faster rate. Additionally, our newsletter open rate is 42%, which is significantly higher than the average of roughly 20%.

A graph to show the increase in DCE's social media following
Figure 1.1. DCE Social Media Following

1.1.2 Campaigns

County Show

  • The County Show was successful, and social media posts were received well alongside posts from Recycle Devon, Suez and Devon County Council. We showcased displays highlighting community action in Devon such as Repair Cafes, Libraries of Things, Share Sheds and Clothes Swaps, and junk funk band Weapons of Sound did a series of performances on the final day. Below are some photos of the event:

Cycling campaign in September

  • Collaboration with Active Devon, Travel Devon & Devon CC’s Environment Group to deliver a month-long campaign around cycling this September
  • There will be community rides lead by community cycling groups, development of re-usable assets and opportunities for cycle confidence training
  • Further work on this campaign is expected to take place over the coming month, including contacting more community cycling groups to raise awareness for the campaign and to encourage them to take part

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. The latest meeting between Devon and Plymouth to progress this proposal occurred on the 27th June. 

1.2 Partners’ Notable Activity

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

  • among four regions awarded funding to support supplying sustainable local food to public institutions
  • 68 farmhouses currently being retrofitted by Devon County Council, which will reduce farmhouse carbon emissions by up to 70%
  • Environment Agency launches roadmap for practical actions against flooding and coastal erosion

2. Net Zero Task Force Updates

2.1 Devon Carbon Plan 🟢 [GREEN] 

Final amendments continue to be made to individual chapters of the Devon Carbon Plan. This includes incorporating the partnership’s responses to the Devon Climate Assembly.

The Centre for Energy and Environment at the University of Exeter continues to re-model the Action Diagrams that show the duration of each action.

We remain on schedule to have the Devon Carbon Plan available for organisations to consider adopting from the end of August 2022. 

3. Climate Impacts Group Update 🟠 [AMBER]

The evaluation of the tender to recruit a consultant to help prepare the Adaptation Plan has completed. Standstill period ends midnight on the 8th July.

The Adaptation Strategy is expected to be completed within 6 months of awarding the tender.

4. Devolution Update

We continue to wait for a response from government on the first application stage. Doug Eltham has been asked by Team Devon to develop the ideas submitted in the application into fuller proposals. This is going to need external support for which WSP has been approached.

Doug will keep partners up to date as this develops.

5. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Interim Carbon Plan.
  • The final version of the Devon Carbon Plan continues to be prepared for its August deadline.
  • The tender to recruit a contractor to assist with the Adaptation Plan is in its standstill period.
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