Blackburn with Darwen council create a brand new ‘People’s Jury’ on Climate Change

We’re really excited to share we’re launching a new People’s Jury on Climate Change, on behalf of Blackburn with Darwen Council. The role of the new ‘People’s Jury’ on Climate Change is so residents can have their say on how to tackle the issues in their borough. Shared Future will be supporting the council at all stages of the project, which started this autumn.

32 residents from across Blackburn with Darwen have been chosen and are ready to start the process next week.

The Jury will meet for over 30 hours from September to December at a series of workshops that we, Shared Future CIC will facilitate.

Members of the Jury will be supported by the Oversight Panel, and commentators/experts will provide essential information to help residents create a set of recommendations that Blackburn with Darwen council and others can utilise to help shape future policy for their people: the residents that live and work in the borough.

The 32 residents on the Jury begin this deliberative process by hearing from a variety of experts on climate change and local emissions – focussing on a number of the problems that will 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?”

Why run a People’s Jury?

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and has set its goal to be carbon neutral by 2030. The People’s Jury forms an integral piece of their “Action Plan”.

Not only is it essential that local residents have a formal opportunity to have their voices and opinions heard – we hope this collaborative process will kick-start a drive towards local investment, engagement and understanding from stakeholders and residents alike, with everyone able to play an active role in our collective challenge.  

We’ll be facilitating and running each of the sessions over the next 12 weeks and will try and ensure every single one of the 32 residents can put their voice and opinion forward.

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

Once people applied, they were subject to a thorough selection process that ensured our ‘mini public’ reflect the diversity of the local population in Blackburn and Darwen, in terms of age, ethnicity, disability, gender and attitude to climate change.  

The project is being lead by Pete Bryant, one of Shared Future’s directors.

Peter Bryant, Director at Shared Future CIC, says:
 “We’re excited to be organising Blackburn with Darwen’s first-ever People’s Jury on the Climate Change Crisis“.

Building on many years experience of running similar processes, Pete says:

“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, a People’s Jury’s action plans are completely realistic for their community and well thought-through.

We’re really looking forward to working with the Blackburn with Darwen community and supporting them to shape these important recommendations.”

Councillor Zainab Rawat is the council’s lead on the project

Councillor Zainab Rawat

B&D’s Assistant Executive Member for Growth & Development and the council’s Lead for the work on Climate Change, Councillor Zainab Rawat, says:

“the stark reality is that we’re facing a climate change emergency. We know there are changes we can all make and we want to do everything we can to support our residents, businesses and partners to think about what role they can play to contribute.

We’re really impressed with just how many people were willing to come forward and 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 see not only the recommendations that come from it but the impact of them too.”

We couldn’t agree more.

To bring added impact 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 been assembled. Their job is to ensure a fair and rigorous process is maintained throughout the jury process.

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

Want to follow this process?

You can keep up to date with the commentator presentations and eventually the recommendations, by following us on our social media channels and keeping an eye on our website for new content.

Also take a look at Blackburn & Darwen’s the Shuttle website for more local news and updates on this project.