30-strong Lancaster district ‘People’s Jury’ selected to develop climate change actions

Lancaster City Coun Kevin Frea and Pete Bryant, from Shared FutureLancaster City Coun Kevin Frea and Pete Bryant, from Shared Future
Lancaster City Coun Kevin Frea and Pete Bryant, from Shared Future
A People’s Jury of 30 people from across the Lancaster district has been selected to develop actions to tackle climate change.

Earlier this month, 4,000 people received letters asking them to take part in the project.

Of those, 237 expressed an interest in getting involved.

The final 30 have now been selected, representing a cross-section of ages, genders, locations, ability, social mobility, and attitude to climate change.

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The identities of the individuals involved have been kept private. The question they will be considering is: “What do we need in our houses, neighbourhoods and district to respond to the emergency of climate change?”

The first of eight evening sessions will be held on February 3, and the group will make their final recommendations to Lancaster City Council at the end of March.

Pete Bryant, from Shared Future, which is coordinating the People’s Jury on behalf of Lancaster City Council, recently carried out a similar project in Leeds.

He said that some of the recommendations that came out of the project were improvements to public transport, public ownership of buses, retrofitting of houses, and stopping the expansion of the airport. The Lancaster district group is made up of individuals aged 15 to 80, who will “spend a lot of time talking to eachother, hearing eachother’s positions, and what they think about the topic”.

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The group will also be given the opportunity to quiz independent experts, and will be able to issue “red cards” when they don’t understand what is being said. Once recommendations have been made, a presentation will be made to Lancaster City Council.

The council will then look to implement them, or on subjects such as transport, will take the recommendations to other decision making bodies.

The People’s Jury will be supported by an oversight panel which will include Erica Lewis, leader of Lancaster City Council, and representatives from Council for Voluntary Services (CVS), Stagecoach, EDF, Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria, Extinction Rebellion, the National Farmers Union (NFU), and Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group.