Tactical Group Meeting Minutes, 13th April 2022

Attendees

Jacqui Warren , Torbay Council 

Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency  

Emily Widdecombe, Devon Climate Emergency 

Jason Ball, Mid Devon District Council 

David Rose, South West Water 

Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust 

John Golding, East Devon District Council 

Catherine Causley, East Devon District Council 

Chris Greener, Devon County Council 

Alice Gent, Exeter City Council 

Donna Sibley, Torridge and North Devon District Councils 

Jo Pearce, Exeter City Council 

Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon Councils 

William Elliott, Teignbridge District Council 

Sara Gibbs, Public Health Devon 

Apologies

Doug Eltham, Devon County Council 

Lucinda Brook, Plymouth City Council 

Cara Stobart, DALC 

Hugh McCann, University of Exeter 

Julia Wordley, Devon and Cornwall Police 

Neil Hamlyn, Devon and Cornwall Police 

Louise Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police 

Iain Miller, University of Plymouth 

Emmanuelle Marshall, Plymouth City Council 

Andy Seaman, University of Exeter 

Alex Gandy, Dartmoor National Park Authority 

Victoria Hatfield, Exeter City Council 

John Amosford, Public Health Devon  

Jo Pearce introduced Alice Gent, one of two new officers at Exeter joining their climate team.  

1. Minutes of previous meeting

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

Update on actions from the previous meeting: 

Emily Widdecombe has circulated the communications strategy with a column for people to add comments, so that communications strategies can be aligned. 

Donna and Emily met to discuss the Food, Land and Sea chapter. 

Plymouth City Council has been invited to future meetings of the Climate Impacts Group. 

2. Project Progress Report

2.1 Project Communications

Emily Widdecombe 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

Emily Reed provided an update reflecting Section 2 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes. No further questions asked.   

ACTION: Donna and Emily R to meet to discuss the Food, Land and Sea redraft.  

2.3 Updates on the Climate Impacts Group

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

Harry Barton asked how the Adaptation Strategy will be linked with the work on the Land Use Framework (LUF). Emily Reed responded that the Climate Impacts Group was aware of the LUF and several members of the group are involved in the LUF. They will ensure that the appropriate links are made during stakeholder engagement for the development of the Adaptation Strategy. 

Jacqui Warren asked about how the role of Local Authorities will be covered in the Adaptation Strategy. Emily said that some actions for Local Authorities are likely to be outlined in the Action Plan and the broader role of Local Authorities in creating a culture of adaptation, and their responsibilities, will be discussed in the Adaptation Plan. 

William Elliot asked at what stage Local Authorities could feed into the strategy. Emily replied that they will be invited to engage in the stakeholder sessions once a consultant is appointed. 

3. Publication of the latest greenhouse gas time series

Emily Reed updated the group on the publication of the latest greenhouse gas time series for Devon. The latest available carbon footprint is 2019, for activities within Devon, Plymouth and Torbay’s boundaries. The calculation relies on national datasets that are published two years after the emissions have occurred. It has been produced by the University of Exeter’s Centre for Energy and Environment, following the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Inventories. 

In 2019 Devon’s carbon footprint was 7.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). This is a 2.6% drop on 2018 levels and an 18% reduction since 2010. Buildings continue to be the largest source of emissions, followed by transport and land use. 

ACTION: In response to a question from Jacqui Warren, Emily Reed to check where the waste data comes from. 

4. Retrofit in Devon Activity 

Chris Greener, South West Energy Unit Project Officer, gave a presentation on Retrofit in Devon activity. 

In collaboration with community energy organisations and local authorities, they are working to provide a full end-to-end retrofit and energy advice service for the public, including retrofit coordination, procurement assistance and quality control.  

They have sought the assistance of Carbon Co-op, to get their experience of setting up similar services outside of Devon.  

They will be developing a single retrofit brand and website under which the community energy groups will sit and will provide energy and retrofit advisors. The website will help to funnel customers to the schemes they are eligible for and have a “plan builder” facility, for homeowners to create an indicative plan and estimate. They hope that the website will be ready to promote by the end of July 2022. 

A retrofit guide is being developed, having done a literature review of existing guides which identified a gap in guides for small scale contractors and homeowners.  

There is currently a domestic retrofit pilot scheme to gauge how the service might be received, and the best way to market it. 

Catherine asked if homeowners know what measures they’d like to have installed would they have to follow the process of getting an assessment done. Chris said it would be advisable. He added that there is an approximate conversion rate of 30% in Carbon Coops experience of people who go through all stages to instalment.  

Chris clarified that, the retrofit coordinator will manage the relationship between the client and installers. 

Sara asked what provision there will be for the ‘not able to pay market‘ to get assessments. Chris responded that the sustainable warmth grant and eco funding will continue to fund these properties and the website will signpost to these.  

Sara asked if there will be the skills available. Chris said that they are working with local colleges and local authorities to try to build the skills base, including through the Community Renewal Fund.  

AOB and Partner Updates

Mid Devon held a District Debate on Climate Change which was positive. They’ve got some promising low carbon housing developments going through planning at present. 

Jo Pearce shared that the new net-zero team at Exeter is bedding in. Alice, their new Sustainability Officer, is working with colleagues to put forward a new Sustainable Travel Plan.  

ACTION: Jacqui to connect Alice with colleagues at Torbay who have worked on a green travel plan. Catherine also to share their plan. 

Torbay approved their council plan and £1 million of capital commitment for fleet approved on the 22nd of March. There was an earth hour celebration attended by 600 people with beach art and the sea front lights turned off. 

East Devon are about to launch their sustainability month – East Devon Together. There are 15 events planned so far. They are trialling a Co-Car and hoping to have 3 EVs by the end of May.  They have got a grant to decarbonise some of their housing stock, including a demonstration house. 

Teignbridge have agreed to do a two-part carbon action plan – first tackling their organisational plan and the second part their territorial estates.  

ACTION: Emily Reed to put will Elliot in touch with Dan Lash re the home working calculator.  

Appendix 1: Project Progress Report

Period: January to February 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

Our newsletter continues to be issued on time, and our monthly following continues to grow but this month has been particularly low, probably because our communications have been focused on directing people directly to the live consultation website rather than delivering content that would encourage people to ‘follow’. We are expecting a high proportion of the people who respond to the consultation to agree for their details to be added to the newsletter mailing list – these data will show next month.

 

1.1.2 Campaigns

Travel Devon Collaboration 

  • The campaign to promote Travel Devon Toolkits for businesses has now ended.  
  • We are waiting to hear about the uptake from local businesses/organisations 

Net Zero Visions 

  • Communities have finished developing their ‘visions’ and have now passed these on to the commissioned creatives to be realised in a range of media 
  • Later this year the artwork will be presented to local communities, and a book displaying the artwork will be produced for public libraries. 
1.1.3 Future Campaigns

‘The Big Fix’ this May 

  • Campaign focusing on reuse and upcycling run by Devon County Council’s waste team 
  • Opportunities for Devon Climate Emergency to help support communications 

‘Naturally Healthy Month’ 

  • This May, the Devon Local Nature Partnership and Active Devon are running ‘naturally healthy month’, encouraging people to get outside and explore the natural world 
  • Opportunity for DCE to highlight the health and wellbeing co-benefits of making sustainable choices (e.g encouraging active travel), as well as encouraging interest in and appreciation of nature. 

LovetoRide’s ‘Bike Month’ 

  • Opportunity to promote and encourage active travel in workplaces 

Devon-Wide Community Engagement 

The Community Engagement Sub-Group met for the first time on the 9th March. The Sub-Group is tasked with developing a project proposal for Devon-wide citizen engagement on climate and ecological emergency issues.  

Partners reviewed models that had previously been explored by the Tactical Group and heard from partners about additional models that are used in Devon.  

The conclusion was that initiatives that listen to what communities want to do and then provide support to facilitate and guide local activity are the kinds we should be developing together. 

A subsequent meeting will be planned for May at which Devon Communities Together will be invited to share its Asset-Based Community Development model. Partners have been encouraged to have discussions within their organisations about budgets they could offer for a join-initiative in 2022/23.  

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: 

  • A series of upgrades are being made to the superfast broadband network on Dartmoor and Exmoor. 
  • Devon County Council and Exeter City Council are trialling a new method of treating cycle paths in order to make them safe to use during cold weather 
  • 400 trees have been planted in Dartmouth to commemorate the Queen’s platinum jubilee  

2. Net Zero Task Force Updates

2.1 Interim Carbon Plan 🟢 [GREEN] 

The window for receiving comments back on the redraft of the Food, Land and Sea section has closed. These will now be reviewed and incorporated as appropriate.  

Work is continuing with redrafting the remaining sections – Economy and Resources, Introduction and Making it Happen. These will be circulated for comment within the next month.  

The Centre for Energy and Environment at the University of Exeter is standing-by to re-model the Action Diagrams in May and June.  

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

2.2 Citizens’ Assembly Resolutions 🟢 [GREEN] 

The consultation launched on schedule on the 17th March.  

Communications 

  • Print copies of the consultation text, the Climate Assembly Report and the questionnaire are available in public libraries 
  • Comms strategy for paid promotion on DCE socials has been designed and is now in operation. 
  • University of Exeter comms team organised Patrick Devine-Wright to be interviewed on BBC Radio Devon 
  • Paid advertising has appeared in regional newspapers.  
  • Paid advertising on Instagram and Facebook targeting audiences less likely to engage with the consultation.  
  • Webinar on the evening of 22nd March gave an opportunity for the public to find out more about the consultation.  

Submissions 

154 submissions have been made at the time of writing (6th April). Most of these are using the short version of the questionnaire rather than the long version. The conversion rate of page landings to submitted questionnaires is 43% – this is very high and is most likely an indication that that it is people who are extremely interested in the topic who are taking part in the consultation.  Three of the 154 submissions are from organisations and the remainder are individuals.  

3. Devolution Update 🟠 [AMBER]

All of the ideas on net-zero were reviewed by Doug Eltham and a shortlist submitted to the Devon County Council Economy and Enterprise team who are leading the process. These were considered by Team Devon and a final application has been submitted to government.  The only idea on the shortlist not included was the concept of redesigning the planning system to be led by the Land Use Framework.  

We now wait for a response from government on this first application stage. A timetable has not been disclosed but its likely to be a couple of months.  

4. Climate Impacts Group Update 🟠 [AMBER]

The scope of the Adaptation Plan has been revised to reflect the outcomes of the Group’s workshop in December. This revised scope is being used to design the specification to recruit a contractor to help prepare it.  

The Adaptation Strategy will comprise three sections: 

  1. A Climate Risk and Opportunity Assessment for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (DCIoS) 
  1. The Adaptation Plan: Creating the conditions for everyone to act on adapting to climate change together – How adaptation planning will take place and be monitored across DCIoS 
  1. An Action Plan: Priority actions for regional collaboration over the next 5 years 

The resulting Adaptation Strategy will inform a programme of regional interventions to adapt to climate change, as well as catalysing place-based, grass roots and organisational action on climate adaptation.  

Emily Reed will be launching an open market tender to recruit a consultant to progress this work by the 15th April. The work is expected to be completed within 6 months of awarding the tender, depending upon how much of the Strategy can be developed for the available budget. We will keep the partnership updated on this. 

5. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Interim Carbon Plan.  
  • The partnership launched the consultation on the responses to the Citizens’ Assembly resolutions on schedule on March 17th.  Promotion continues to encourage people to respond.  
  • The final version of the Devon Carbon Plan continues to be prepared.  
  • The Adaptation Plan has been redesigned to ensure the outcomes are useful to regional partners. The launch of the tender to recruit a contractor to assist with this is imminent.