The meeting held on 9 July 2022 aimed to bring members of the community together to present the findings from an engagement process that started in November 2021, followed by a series of stakeholder workshops held in May which identified a range of recommendations for actions that should form part of Torbay’s Climate Strategy.

Participants were asked to review these findings and agree a set of urgent and Important recommendations from four keys areas, Nature based solutions, waste and food, Decarbonizing homes and Transport and mobility.

Following some presentations about the challenge and some potential solutions.  The participants working in groups were asked to review the key recommendations from the previous workshops and see if they could agree one key recommendation for each theme.

It was apparent from the discussion in small groups that the there was a strong desire to put community activity and engagement front and centre in all recommended actions for the Torbay Climate strategy. 

This short report is a transcription of notes taken during the meeting on flipcharts. 



  • The challenge
  • Some solutions

Working session

  • Group prioritisation


  • To agree urgent and important priorities for Torbay Climate Strategy

Q: Are we able to quantify the Carbon produced from the products we buy that come into Torbay? 

A: This is a real challenge, issues like construction are highly carbon intensive.

Q: Are you able to do an emissions breakdown for different forms of road Vehicle?

A: Van and lorries are tiny compared to domestic vehicles in torbay.

Q: what is your definition of net zero?

A: Over the period of a year, has the fossil fuels reached zero or been offset.

Q: if we move to electric cars, does that not just mean the electricity produced elsewhere is not carbon zero.

A: If the targets for zero carbon electricity generation is reached by 2030 then emissions from cars will reach net zero. 

Q: how do we reach out to others within Torbay, e.g engaging with neighbours

A: This is one of the things that Community Action Groups are aiming to do, for example, if a neighbour is struggling with a broken lawnmower, they could be directed to a repair café.

Q: Do you go into schools?

A: Devon Waste Educators run workshops for primary schools, there is lots of potential for community fridges@ schools.  

It was noted by the facilitator that everyone in the room agreed that their name and email address can be passed to Devon CAG, Prospect Brixham and Torbay Climate Action so that these organisations could include them on their mailing lists for newsletters.

The following section is the result of discussions held at table groups to prioritise each of the four themes agreed at previous workshops.

Waste Minimisation and Food priorities

Better data on waste, particularly business waste who don’t currently have to report. This is important because

  • Making things transparent is important for people to trust activities
  • By gamifying information, people can see where we are, where we need to get to and how
    well we are doing on the journey
  • Some business waste can become another business’s raw material. If we know what and where waste is arising, we can build opportunities for secondary raw materials.

Community Repair Cafés

  • Activities that enable far more community involvement

Set up CAG Torbay.  At least three of the table groups identified as a key priority

  • With emphasis on schools education

Net Working and working together across different community interests.

  • Its not about What but How?
  • Community engagement is key

Transport Priorities

Rail and public transport improvement.  Most of the tables stressed that this must come first.

  • For the local community and for visitors.
  • We won’t be able to get people to move from the private car unless we have good public transport in place.
  • Edginswell new railway station – visitors to the hospital
  • Develop a network of small buses that serve people all over the region.
  • Stress the importance of affordability
  • E-bike trials and clubs are a great way to get people out of cars, make train stations transport
  • Safety is paramount, people need to feel secure on cycle paths and car free routes.
  • Support for the railway line being turned into a walking and cycling trail.
  • Take a neighbourhood approach, gather data, see how new habits can make a difference.

Decarbonizing home  

Grow the workforce

  • The importance of impact data and effect of retrofitting. South Devon College already dong a build and grow work
  • Work with T-Level providers (South Devon College and Exeter college). Build skills that can be used in Torbay and keep young people in the area.
  • The repair discussion above is also an overlap in terms of building skills.

Retrofit. Develop very local projects, injecting skilled inputs to help communities at the scale of a single street.

  • Pathway to grants
  • Train champions in the community
  • Build confidence and trust in retrofit providers
  • Access for lower income households.
  • Provision of energy efficient homes for lower income households must the most urgent activity to help people out of fuel poverty.


  • New builds should all be 0 carbon
  • Allow PV’s without having to get planning permission and include commercial buildings.

Nature based solutions

Promoting small scale initiatives  such as local growing, regenerative community based growing

Sea grass projects  must be supported a massive USP (unique selling point) for Torbay, build on a support existing work

Green awards –

  • offer these across lots of sectors, get people to sign up, capture data and who achievements. Also a good way to share best practice.

Making Torbay a Climate friendly resort. 

  • This links to awards.
  • Building on existing offers, Geopark, sustainable food etc
  • This needs to be supported by funding and staff.
  • Build all this with the emphasis on marine protection – all the rest will stem from this.

There was an additional discussion about the Torbay council website

  • Adding a Climate change link from the home page and making access to information on community action and other schemes really easy to find.
  • Including good news stories, some upbeat info on biodiversity and successes.


  • Jane Hickling
  • Jordan Pierson
  • Rae Stanton-Smithson (Torbay Climate Action)
  • David Durant (Torbay Climate Action)
  • Jenny Hourigan (Torbay Climate Action)
  • Rosemary Clarke
  • Elaine Shurben
  • Kim Marchant
  • Lynn Murphy
  • Rosie Coulton
  • David Edmondson (Torbay Council)
  • Jennifer Stoneman
  • Wendy Spindlow
  • Lisa Ward
  • Tara Bowers (Exeter Community Energy)
  • Nick Walter
  • Ian Smith
  • Chris Gunson (Local Spark)
  • Mike Jordan
  • Jan Denham
  • Andrew Findell
  • Steven Ivey
  • Lynda Newman-Miller
  • Pamela Charlick
  • John Gunson
  • Councillor Steve Darling
  • Tracy Brooks (Torbay Council)
  • Jacqui Warren (Torbay Council, Climate Officer)
  • Tony Norton (University of Exeter)
  • Helen Vines (Community Action Groups Devon)
  • Chris Gomm (Torbay Council)
  • Pippa Hyam
  • Annagail Leaman