Recruitment is underway for a new Citizens’ Jury which will shape action taken on climate change across Furness.
Barrow Borough Council unveiled its ambition for the borough to become carbon neutral by 2037 in its Climate Change Policy and Action Plan, published in 2020.
The authority is now to recruit 20 citizens to the new Furness Climate Change Citizens’ Jury who will consider ways of lowering carbon usage across the borough before making a series of recommendations on the next steps that should be taken by the council.
Their starting point will be to consider the question; “What should happen in the Furness area to address the emergency of climate change?”
They will hear a range of expert opinions before reaching a series of recommendations for the council.
Councillor Therese Assouad, Barrow Borough Council lead member for Climate Emergency, said: “It’s essential that we take action to stop the damage we are causing to the environment and to lead the planet towards climate repair.
“This is a vital issue and one that we need residents to take a lead role in. It’s not an issue the council can sort on its own – it needs to be a collective effort involving our entire community.”
The Furness Climate Change Citizens’ Jury will involve a range of people who may have different experiences or opinions on the issue of climate change.
Letters have now been 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 selection process will make sure there is a diverse range of people in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, where people live and attitude to climate change.
The Furness Climate Change Citizens’ Jury will meet for 10 Tuesday evening sessions over a three-month period starting on November 16 and finishing on February 8, 2022 with a 3 week break over the Christmas period. All participants will receive £250 in vouchers as a thank you for their time.
Shared Future, one of the UK’s leading experts in organising citizens’ juries, will be facilitating and running the sessions.
Only citizens who receive a letter from the council will be able to register to take part. The recipients of the letter can sign up using the link or by ringing the freephone number, both of which are provided in the letter.
Anyone who is aged 15 years of age or over in the household can register to be considered for the Furness Climate Change Citizens’ Jury.
The deadline for residents registering an interest in taking part is Monday 25th October 2021.
Other work to help lower carbon usage across the borough is already underway through Low Carbon Barrow – a programme of projects designed to engage local communities on climate issues and sustainability over the next two years.
Councillor Assouad added: “Every action we take to help tackle climate change, however small, will have an impact. It’s essential to take every opportunity to do all we can to help the planet, whether that’s reducing the amount of plastic we use or enjoying a walk instead of a short car journey.
“I hope those who receive a letter take the opportunity to apply to take part in the Citizens’ Jury. It’s a unique process that will be incredibly interesting and gives people the chance to shape real action to protect the borough now and for future generations.