Session three: People’s Jury select key themes for Climate Change in Blackburn with Darwen

Published Thursday 27 October 2022 at 14:39

Jury members have selected communication and education, transport and buildings as the topics for future sessions, helping to shape their final recommendations of what can be done across Blackburn with Darwen to tackle the climate change crisis.

The third session of the People’s Jury has led members to select three key themes for future sessions – after being prompted to think about how change happens by commentators from both the business and community sectors.

Stephen Sykes, project lead for the Chamber Low Carbon programme at East Lancs Chamber of Commerce and director of the world’s first UN-recognised 2030Hub, kicked off the commentator discussions. He offered a business-focussed perspective, explaining concepts such as carbon offsetting and delving into how businesses can prioritise both environment and economy – using local examples from the North West region.

This was followed by a chat from Stephanie Riches, senior network officer at New Local, an independent think-tank with a mission to transform public services and unlock community power. Stephanie discussed grassroots change and power at a local level, offering helpful advice on the fundamentals typically needed to make change – such as organisation, local support and time.

Following Q&A’s with the commentators, Jurors then moved on to group discussions around what they want the focus for future sessions should be. These sessions will be an opportunity to deep-dive into topics members collectively agree are of high importance regarding climate change in Blackburn with Darwen.

This will shape the Jury’s final report, producing a set of recommendations they feel can have the most impact for our borough.

The three themes selected are:

Communication and Education

  • Focussing on this at both an individual and organisational level. Jury members emphasised a want to not only look at the ‘usual’ methods of informing, such as websites, but thinking beyond this to drive sincere engagement and prolonged behaviour change.
  • Looking at examples of successes and failures elsewhere will help to understand what ‘good practice’ looks like and how it can be applied to Blackburn with Darwen.
  • Discussing how communications can be improved on what is currently happening in the borough, so fewer opportunities are missed.


  • Delving into what informs decision making when it comes to public transport, what the options are for active travel and how we can improve our current public transport offering and incentive people to use it.
  • Realistic expectations around what come be done and the time involved in these processes.
  • An update on what is already in place or planned locally.


  • Understand planning regulations locally – including carbon neutral and environmentally friendly requirements.
  • Positive examples of buildings and homes in other areas, and how these are achieved.
  • Looking at harmony between the need for affordable and efficient homes/infrastructure and green spaces.


The fourth session, looking at Communication and Education, will be held on Monday 31st October.

Jury members will meet for 30 hours between September and December 2022, with the task of forming a set of recommendations on what organisations and residents across the borough could be doing to help tackle the issue of climate change.

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 and that local partners have a role within this journey too. View all Oversight Panel members here.

The new People’s Jury is part of Blackburn with Darwen Council’s climate action plan, with the aims that it will drive local investment in the work and ensure residents and organisations are very much part of this 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 – with 32 members reflecting the local population of Blackburn with Darwen in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, where people live and attitude to climate change.

Follow the latest updates from each session on The Shuttle.

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