The Furness Citizens’ Jury on Climate Change

Barrow Borough Council launched the recruitment process for the Jury in October 2021.

Letters were sent to 4,000 households randomly selected from the Royal Mail’s address database by the Sortition Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit organisation that promotes the use of stratified, random selection in decision-making.

The jury saw 25 citizens come together to consider the question:

“What should happen in the Furness area to address the emergency of climate change?”

Only citizens who received a letter from the council could register to take part. The recipients of the letter signed up using the link or by ringing the freephone number, both of which were provided in the letter. Anyone aged 15 years of age or over in the household could register to be considered for the jury.

The jury met for ten Tuesday evening sessions over a three-month period starting on 16 November, 2021, and finishing on 8 February, 2022, with a three week break over the Christmas period. The jury heard from a range of expert opinions before reaching a series of recommendations for the council.

Jury members, selected to reflect the diversity of the population, listened to and questioned a range of expert commentators. Then they shared their ideas, deliberated on the issues, before creating a set of recommendations to be taken to Barrow Borough Council to consider.