Sessions seven and eight: Bringing it all together

Published Monday 19 December 2022 at 14:11

At the final two meetings the People’s Jury discussed and deliberated all they had learnt over the previous weeks, before translating their findings into a set of 15 climate change recommendations for Blackburn with Darwen.

There was plenty of constructive conversation centred around each of the three key themes: Housing and Buildings, Transport, and Communication and Education, with each initial suggestion becoming subject to hours of healthy debate between Jury members – constantly returning to the initial question that was posed to them at the first ever session:

What do we need to do in our homes, in businesses and in our local area to respond to the climate change crisis?

The Jury were successfully able to agree on a final set of 15 considered recommendations to help shape a greener, healthier future for Blackburn with Darwen.

As discussions around the recommendations came to an end, the Jury took some time to reflect on their experience and the impact it’s had on them personally.

Some comments they shared include…

“I joined the group not quite knowing what to expect, but I found that people from all kinds of backgrounds can work together to bring about change – and that can only be a good thing.”

 “I have a better understanding on how our little changes can make a big difference to the larger issue.”

“This has given me more awareness to the local challenges in climate change, rather than looking at it from a more worldly perspective. This adds to the possible constraints, but also solutions, at community level.”

 “I have a sense of belonging to get to a better place, together.”

 “This climate change jury has been insightful and inspiring. I’ve enjoyed learning lots and coming to decisions with other individuals who listen and care.”

The Jury’s recommendations are now being devised into a final report by facilitators Shared Future, pulling them together in order of importance as judged by the Jury themselves, along with an introduction from leader of the Council, Cllr Phil Riley, and more information on the process.

This report will be shared publicly at a launch event at King George’s Hall in Blackburn at the end of January 2023, to which local stakeholders have been invited to listen to the Jury present their findings and suggestions.

This will hopefully lead to positive community, business and stakeholder partnerships to continue the important work the Jury have set the foundations for.

Once the report has been launched it will then be presented to Council Forum, where all councillors will discuss the finding and recommendations outlined too, in both practical and financial terms – solidifying the Council’s commitment to addressing the climate emergency by working collaboratively alongside local partners and community to embed real change.

The People’s Jury met 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, was also assembled to ensure a fair and rigorous process was 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 were 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 the People’s Jury on The Shuttle.

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