Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find answers to a selection of frequently asked questions. If you have a specific question that isn’t answered below, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to answer it.
What is a Citizens’ Jury?
A Citizens’ Jury is a way of involving members of the public to help make important decisions, it brings together a group of 20 members of the public who are chosen to reflect the make-up of the community. They talk about the issue, share ideas and eventually come up with a set of recommendations. They are helped by experienced facilitators who make sure everyone has a fair say and that the task is achieved. During the sessions the facilitators will help to make people feel relaxed and able to take part.
Why is Kendal Citizens’ Jury being organised?
Many people are switched off from politics today. But, when people are given the time, space and information (from a variety of sources) through the use of Citizens’ Juries or Citizens’ Assemblies, experience shows that members of the public will develop sensible and well-informed recommendations. This is what we aim to do for Kendal. Most people accept climate change is real but are unsure what it means for them and what impacts it will have on where they live.
In April 2019, Kendal Town Council declared a climate emergency. The Kendal Climate Change Citizens’ Jury is one of several ways that Kendal residents can share their views on how people and organisations of the area could take action to respond to the emergency of climate change. In deciding how we in Kendal best address this enormous problem it is essential that we hear directly from the residents of the town. Through the Citizens’ Jury we aim to recruit a diverse, broadly representative group of local residents who reflect the local population to discuss and make recommendations on how we best address the emergency of climate change.
Who are the organisers of the Kendal Climate Change Citizens’ Jury?
The Citizens’ Jury is funded by Kendal Town Council with additional funding from South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria County Council. It has also received donations (through Crowdfunder) from residents plus some organisations and local businesses in Kendal. To make sure that the Citizens’ Jury is in no way biased and unfair, a Citizens’ Jury Oversight Panel has been set up. Senior representatives from the following organisations (in alphabetical order) have agreed to attend meetings of the panel: Cumbria Action for Sustainability, Cumbria County Council, Extinction Rebellion, James Cropper PLC. Kendal Activists Saving the Little Earth (KASTLE) (youth climate change activists), Kendal BID (Business Improvement District), Kendal Futures, Kendal Town Council, Lancaster University, National Farmers Union, South Cumbria Flood Partnership, South Lakeland District Council, The Frieda Scott Charitable Trust, Tim Farron M.P.
When will the Citizens’ Jury take place?
The Citizens’ Jury will take place over eight evenings on alternate weeks and an all-day Sunday session, between the 2nd July and the 11th October.
What will happen during the Citizens’ Jury?
The first few sessions will start with an opportunity for people to work in small groups to think through what climate change means to Kendal and what steps are being taken to address the problem.
Throughout the process the group will be joined by a series of expert ‘commentators’ who will talk about the science of climate change and other related topics. A question and answer session will follow their presentations and afterwards the group will talk about what they heard. Finally, the Citizens’ Jury will discuss and write their own set of recommendations on the last day.
Who will run the Citizens’ Jury?
The local facilitators (Pete Bryant and Jenny Willis) are from the not for profit organisation, Shared Future who have organised several Citizens’ Juries across the UK
The Shared Future website has lots of information on previous Citizens’ Juries.
Are Jury members being paid for taking part?
No. However, we recognise that this is a big commitment so everyone that attends every session will get a total of £200 in ‘High Street Vouchers’, for use in a large number of stores and online shopping.
What will happen after the Citizens’ Jury?
The recommendations will be written by the Citizens’ Jury members in their own words. The recommendations will be presented to a meeting of the full Town Council who will then, within three months, explain exactly how they will respond to each point. The recommendations will feed directly into the future work of the Town Council’s Carbon Neutral Kendal commissioning group.
Those recommendations that the Council doesn’t have direct responsibility for will be presented to the appropriate organisation with a recommendation from the Town Council for them to consider. The Jury’s Oversight Panel includes representatives from all three levels of local government as well as the local MP.