New People’s Jury selected to weigh in on climate change

Published Wednesday 21 September 2022 at 10:39

More than 30 residents from across Blackburn with Darwen have been chosen to form a brand new People’s Jury on climate change.

The jury will meet for over 30 hours between September and December 2022 with the task of forming a set of recommendations on what the Council, residents and others in the borough should be doing to help tackle the issue.

The chosen group will listen to talks from experts on climate change and local emissions – focussing on a variety of themes and issues to help them answer the question:

What do we need to do in our homes, in business and our local area to help tackle the climate change crisis?

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and has set a goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.

The new People’s Jury is part of the action plan with the aims that it will help drive local investment in the work and ensure residents are part of the journey.

The sessions are being facilitated and run by Shared Future CIC, one of the UK’s leading experts in organising People’s Juries.

Initially, more than 6000 letters were sent out to randomly-selected households in the borough inviting them to register to take part in the jury.

Those who applied were subject to a thorough selection process to ensure there’s a diverse range of people – reflecting the local population of Blackburn with Darwen in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, where people live and attitude to climate change.

Councillor Zainab Rawat, Assistant Executive Member for Growth and Development and lead for the work on Climate Change, said:

The stark reality is that we are facing a climate change emergency.

We know that there’s changes we can all be making and we want to do everything we can to support our residents, businesses and partners to think about what role they can all play to contribute.

We were really impressed with the interest received and how many people were willing to come forward to give their time to be part of this important project – I would like to personally thank everyone who registered.

For those who have been chosen to take part, the People’s Jury will be a really interesting experience and I can’t wait to read the recommendations that come from it.

Peter Bryant, Director of Shared Future CIC, added:

We’re very excited to be organising Blackburn with Darwen’s first-ever People’s Jury on the Climate Change Crisis.

The People’s Jury is an opportunity for a group of randomly selected local residents, who reflect the make-up of the Blackburn with Darwen population, to have their voices and opinions heard.

Any future local action plan to tackle climate change has to be driven by the local people it will affect.

In our experience, People’s Jury’s action plans are completely realistic for their community and well thought-through.

We look forward to working with the Blackburn with Darwen community and supporting them to shape these recommendations.

An Oversight Panel, made up of local stakeholders and partners, including organisations such as UCLan, Community CVS, Youth Zone and the Lancashire Council of Mosques, has also been assembled to ensure a fair and rigorous process is maintained throughout the Jury process.

You can view the full list of Oversight Panel members here.

Follow the latest updates from each session on the Council’s social media and via The Shuttle.

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