Tactical Group Meeting Minutes, 16th February 2022

Attendees

Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency  

Emily Widdecombe, Devon Climate Emergency 

Doug Eltham, Devon County Council 

David Rose, South West Water 

Sara Gibbs, Public Health Devon 

Donna Sibley, Torridge and North Devon District Councils 

John Golding, East Devon District Council 

Catherine Causley, East Devon District Council 

Jo Pearce, Exeter City Council 

Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust 

Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon Councils 

William Elliott, Teignbridge District Council 

Jason Ball, Mid Devon District Council 

Lucinda Brook, Plymouth City Council 

Apologies

Alex Gandy, Dartmoor National Park Authority 

Louise Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police 

Andy Seaman, University of Exeter 

Jacqui Warren , Torbay Council 

Victoria Hatfield, Exeter City Council 

John Amosford, Public Health Devon  

Matthew Tosdevin, University of Plymouth 

1. Minutes of previous meeting

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

Actions carried forward: 

ACTION: Donna Sibley and Adam Williams to share their experience of implementing Carbon Savvy. This can be done via the community engagement sub-group.   

ACTION: Emily Widdecombe to schedule targeted social-media advertising of the COP26 top tips videos.   

ACTION: Doug to set up the community engagement sub-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.  

ACTION: All to share communications calendars with Emily W to ensure alignment of messaging.  

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. 

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. 

3. Consultation on our responses to the Climate Assembly

Emily R presented the draft consultation text that will be used to prepare the consultation material ready for the start of the consultation on the 17th March 2022.  

ACTION: All to send fundamental issues with the text to Doug by Friday 18th February.  

Harry suggested explaining more about how the three topics the Assembly discussed were arrived at.  

ACTION: Emily R to add explanation about the selection of the three topics to the consultation text.  

Jason noted that the link text needs correcting for the infographic. Lucinda spotted that the infographic is not rendering properly in Microsoft Edge browser.  

ACTION: Emily W to update link text and troubleshoot rendering in Microsoft Edge.  

Emily W added that a webinar is being planned for the 22nd March for the public to find out more about the consultation. 

The Group AGREED for the consultation text to be presented to the Response Group on the 24th February for sign-off, incorporating any updates necessary following any fundamental issues identified by Friday 18th February. 

4. Partner Updates

Jo reported that Exeter City Council is expanding their team with a Sustainability Officer and a Net-Zero Support Officer.  

Doug reported that Devon County Council has recruited a Climate and Ecological Emergency Officer who will initially review carbon offsetting solutions available for the authority to meet its net zero by 2030 target. Harry said links should be developed between this new officer and county partners, include Devon Wildlife Trust. Doug agreed.  

John said that East Devon District Council has been looking to buy land for tree planting but it’s proving very difficult.  

Donna said that North Devon District Council are extending a community woodland near Barnstaple and that both North Devon and Torridge have surveyed their corporate buildings for retrofit opportunities. 

Jason reported that a ‘State of the District’ debate is being prepared in Mid Devon for the 5th April that will debate what individuals and communities can do for net-zero. This will also look at sustainable farming.  

Catherine said East Devon is holding its Sustainability Month in June 2022. Community groups will be running their own events under this banner. 

Lucinda said Plymouth City Council is working to setup a Plymouth Climate Hub to aid communication and collaboration with communities on net-zero.  

David mentioned that via the Upstream Thinking project, South West Water has now engaged about 1,700 farm businesses across the south west on measures to help improve water and environmental quality.  

Sara (submitted by email after the meeting) added that the Devon Food Partnership is looking to develop its strategy. One strand is: tacking the climate and nature emergency through sustainable food and farming. This needs to tie into the review of farming advice services being undertaken by the Local Nature Partnership.  

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

Newsletters continue to be issued on schedule and social media followings are growing. Monthly growth continues to be about 2%. The most growth has been on the DCE Twitter account. With increased communications efforts during our upcoming public consultation, we are hoping to boost engagement significantly during the next month. 

1.1.2 Campaigns 

Current: 

  • Public Health Collaboration  
  • We are in the process of facilitating inter-departmental meetings to find commonality between the goals of DCE and relevant projects undertaken by Devon County Council. 
  • So far, we have met with staff from public health to lay the groundwork for long-term collaboration efforts. We intend to include more departments (e.g. transport planning) as time goes on. 
  • The first step will be sharing and aligning communications calendars to ensure that our comms link up successfully. 
  • Net-Zero Visions for Devon Climate Emergency 
  • First online workshop was held on January 27th to welcome participants and the public and to encourage community engagement 
  • Second workshop held on the 21st February.  
  • The Net Zero Visions webpages are live on the DCE website explaining the project and showcasing the work of each commissioned artist. 

1.1.3 COP Events

The final elements of the financial claims to the South West Energy Hub are being completed so that partners’ costs can be reimbursed.  

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: 

  • The Environment Agency trials low-carbon concrete in Flood Alleviation Scheme. This is a Net-Zero pilot project to trial low-carbon construction as part of the Environment Agency’s commitment to achieving net-zero by 2030. 
  • The North Devon Biosphere has won £1.4 million from the Community Renewal Fund to promote green growth and investment in the area, as well as raising wellbeing for local communities through nature-based solutions. 

2. Net Zero Task Force Updates

2.1 Interim Carbon Plan 🟢 [GREEN] 

Comments have been received from the partnership on the re-write of the Built Environment section. A work-experience volunteer is helping to rewrite the Economy and Resources section. The Food, Land and Sea section is expected to be redrafted by the end of February.  

2.2 Citizens’ Assembly Resolutions 🟢 [GREEN] 

Comments were received from most partners by the end of January about the response to the citizens’ assembly resolutions that will be advertised for consultation. Partners’ comments have been considered and incorporated into the consultation version where required.  

The Tactical Group has made final, essential amendments to the consultation document. This is now being presented to the Response Group at its meeting on the 24th February for sign-off before publishing on the 17th March.  

The web developer and the DCE secretariat have been designing and testing the consultation questionnaire and producing infographics, newspaper adverts and assets for social media. The campaign will include paid promotion on social media and a webinar. Hard copies will be available from libraries and from Devon County Council on request.  

We are on schedule to launch the consultation on the 17th March.  

3. Climate Impacts Group Update 🟠 [AMBER]

The group met on the 17th of January for a workshop to refresh and refine their collective vision for the Adaptation Plan. This was to ensure the group gets best value from the £25k Flood Defence Grant in Aid, awarded by the Environment Agency, towards the development of the Plan.  

A key message to come out of the workshop was that the DCIoS Adaptation Plan needs to strategically support the development of multiple other local Adaptation Plans at appropriate scales and scopes across the region, given the importance of local context for climate impacts. But it should identify key priority actions we should focus on collectively as a region.  

The brief for the Adaptation Plan has been revised to reflect the outcomes of the workshop. The Group has agreed to undertake an open market tender to award the work. This will be done in the next two months.  

4. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Interim Carbon Plan.  
  • The partnership is on schedule to launch the consultation on the responses to the Citizens’ Assembly resolutions on March 17th.   
  • The Adaptation Plan has been redesigned to ensure the outcomes are useful to regional partners. Its next stages will be awarded to a contractor in the next two months.