Tactical Group Meeting Minutes, 10th November

Attendees

Doug Eltham, Devon County Council
Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency
Louise Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police
Donna Sibley, Torridge and North Devon District Councils
Jason Ball, Mid Devon District Council
Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon Councils
John Golding, East Devon District Council
Catherine Causley, East Devon District Council
Emily Widdecombe, Devon Climate Emergency
Jacqui Warren,Torbay Council
William Elliott, Teignbridge District Council
John Amosford, Public Health Devon
Samantha Davies, University of Plymouth
Victoria Hatfield, Exeter City Council
Joel Smith, University of Exeter

Apologies

Andy Seaman, University of Exeter
Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust
Matthew Tosdevin, University of Plymouth
David Rose, South West Water
Emmanuelle Marshall, Plymouth City Council

 

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes were AGREED to be a true record of the discussion. One action was carried forward:

ACTION: Partners running COP26 events to sign and return the funding agreement to Doug Eltham

2. Project Progress Report

2.1 Project Communications 

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

Victoria Hatfield asked whether additional initiatives are planned to engage younger people. Emily said that social media takeovers are planned with University of Exeter students. Jacqui Warren advised that Torbay Council held its community climate conference last week and interviewed young people on film talking about their concerns and hopes – these will be used in communications material soon – and the authority is considering a youth debate in half-term in February 2022.

John Amosford suggested that the older generations also need engagement around changes that need to be made.

2.2 Update from the Net-Zero Task Force 

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

Emily advised that the timetable for partners to respond to the initial draft of actions responding to the resolutions from the Assembly has been extended to the 12th November.

2.3 Update on the Climate Impacts Group 

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

3. Revision to the Next Steps for the Interim Carbon Plan

Emily Reed presented a proposal not to produce an updated Interim Plan before producing the Final Plan. This is due to the resource available to the secretariat to progress this in a timely manner. Instead, the partnership will continue to implement the Interim Plan as it appears on the website and we’ll amend it in one go to incorporate the consultation updates and the actions arising from the Assembly.

The Group AGREED for this proposal to be put to the Response Group.

4. Monitoring the Food, Land and Sea Actions

Doug Eltham presented a proposal for the Devon Local Nature Partnership (LNP) to be considered to serve as the ‘Theme Board’ to oversee and report progress on the implementation of the actions in the Food, Land and Sea section of the Devon Carbon Plan. This is because a newly-created Theme Board would need representation from the LNP membership and so it does not seem a good use of resources to make a separate body, particularly when many of the Food, Land and Sea actions will be delivered by LNP member bodies.

John Amosford agreed this so long as the co-benefits for health were monitored through this arrangement. Doug said that Public Health Devon does sit on the Board and the Working Group of the Local Nature Partnership to help mitigate that risk.

Donna Sibley and Jason Ball expressed concern about a perceived lack of representation of farming interests in the LNP and how this would be received by farmers who are vital to many of the transitions required in the food, land and sea sector to get to net-zero. Doug noted that a north Devon farmer is one of the Board members of the LNP, and the National Farmers Union and Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group are part of the Working Group.

John Amosford suggested it would be helpful to check that the purpose of LNPs is compatible with this proposed role.

The Group took a vote. Eight of the 12 non-secretariat attendees agreed with the proposal. It was AGREED that the proposal will be presented to the Response Group at its November meeting and beforehand Doug will speak further with Donna and the secretariat of the LNP to see how concerns about farming representation can be addressed, and the purpose of LNPs will be checked.

5. Climate Literacy – Train the Trainer

Jacqui Warren and Adam Williams are collaborating on an initiative to train local authority staff to be able to deliver Climate Literacy workshops to further staff in their organisations and communities. The training involves 25 hours of learning, and learners will need a Climate Literacy Certificate themselves – which can be bolted on to the front-end of the training if an individual does not have this already.

ACTION: All to contact Jacqui for further details and to sign up by 6th December.

6. Employee and Community Behaviour Change

Doug Eltham reported that the attempt to understand the resources the partners already commit to engaging communities on issues closely related to the climate and ecological emergency – food, transport, waste, energy etc. – has not been successful as it’s proved difficult to separate that information from general service delivery.

The Group was unable to agree on whether an app-based engagement approach was appropriate. However the aspiration for joint-campaigns by partnership members still exists. Next month we will hear from Mukti Mitchell and the Carbon Savvy campaign to inform thinking on this.

APPENDIX 1 – PROJECT PROGRESS REPORT

Period: October to November 2021

Status Indicator key:

Red = Serious issues 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 continues to be about 2%. We hope that with the increased availability of video content due to the COP26 Green Zone events, traffic to our YouTube channel will increase throughout the month. 

Figure 1.1: Online Communications Following

1.1.2 Campaigns 

Current
  • Push for greater youth involvement throughout November to take advantage of the momentum of COP26. This will involve representing voices of youth activists/young people in Devon both through social media and our website, and will involve increased collaboration with local schools.
  • Sustainable travel campaign: collaborating with Travel Devon to promote active/sustainable travel opportunities in the Southwest. We are uplifting the ‘Winter Wheelers’ campaign run by Love To Ride, and promoting other Devon County Council sustainable travel initiatives, highlighting health co-benefits.
Upcoming

Low-Carbon Christmas campaign: Pulling together advice from campaigns such as ‘shop4good’ that have been running during COP26, this campaign will focus on encouraging sustainable shopping, travelling and eating habits this Christmas. We will also be linking this to sustainable travel by reminding people to take part in the Winter Wheelers campaign.

1.1.3 Youth Engagement 

The leaders of Torbay Council and Devon County Council participated in a Young People Climate Debate with the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This was hosted by Exeter College and BBC Radio Devon, and broadcast on the 5th November. This can be listened to again on BBC Sounds.

Devon Climate Emergency will also be recording an interview with a University of Exeter student who represented Devon’s Student Guild at COP26, and who will be discussing the importance of the conference for young people in Devon and writing content for our website. We also have plans to catch up with Jessie Stevens, the Devon-based youth activist who recently cycled all the way to COP26, to discuss her journey and the significance of green transport solutions in Devon.

1.1.4 COP26 Events

Throughout the present fortnight Devon is hosting a consortium of events taking as part of the COP26 domestic campaign. Four in-person events are taking place, as well as the production and release of several video case studies for online sharing. So far, hosting a county-wide initiative has boosted a sense of collaboration around the Climate Emergency, which is highly encouraging. Currently, the DCE video has received 279 views, with two more videos to share this week. It is our hope that producing these assets will raise the profile of the Devon Climate Emergency project, as they continue to be shared alongside the work of other local authorities.

We have also recorded a video interview with Peter Lefort, who represented the Local Authority Climate Adaptation Tool at COP26 this year. The video will be available to watch on our YouTube channel and website.

1.2. Partners’ Notable Activity 

Activity is recorded centrally on the Taking Action pages of the Devon Climate Emergency website. Notable activity this month is:

Net-Zero Task Force Update

2.1 Interim Carbon Plan [AMBER]

Amendments continue to be made to the Interim Devon Carbon Plan by the secretariat, however this remains behind schedule. The impact of this is not significant as the Plan is being implemented and funding opportunities are being seized by partners to deliver the Plan as they arise.

2.2 Citizens’ Assembly [GREEN]

The secretariat ran a public webinar with Involve on the evening of the 20th October to mark the launch of the Citizens’ Assembly report.

Draft actions have been developed by the secretariat and the Tactical Group has had the opportunity to comment. Not all have commented so the deadline for this will be extended to the12th November. Updated draft actions will then be taken to the Response Group for sign-off before inviting comments from Members and boards.

The Net-Zero Task Force has drafted a response to the partnership about the Assembly’s recommendations which has been considered by the secretariat in the drafting of the actions.

3. Climate Impacts Group [AMBER]

The Secretariat has submitted the second stage of obtaining funding from the Flood Defence Grant in Aid fund to provide a 6-month resource to accelerate the preparation of the Adaptation Plan. A decision is expected in mid November. Subsequently, WSP consultants will be engaged to take forward the next stages of the Adaptation Plan.

4. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Interim Devon Carbon Plan while partnership procedures are ongoing
  • The revisions to the Interim Carbon Plan continue to make progress but are behind schedule.
  • The partnership is developing actions to implement the resolutions from the Citizens’ Assembly.
  • The funding application for additional resource for the Climate Impacts Group has been submitted and a decision is imminent.