Jury Sessions Overview

The 20 person jury will attend nine online sessions where they will hear from and question a series of expert commentators to help them answer the question “What should Kendal do about climate change?” They will share ideas and opinions with each other and ultimately draw up a set of recommendations for the town.

The sessions will be supported by our team of expert facilitators from Shared Future. The first four sessions have a set agenda and commentator (the first session being an introduction). After that, it’s over to the Jury to select the topics they want to explore in more depth. The oversight panel, with some input from the Citizens Jury, choose suitable commentators.

The Oversight Panel has been established to oversee the process to ensure it is fair and balanced.

Select the tabs below for details of each online meeting. We’ll be uploading video footage of commentator presentations and interviews over the coming weeks.

Session 1 (2nd July) – Introduction

All twenty jury members met for the first time on the 2nd of July. The participants, ranging in age from our youngest aged 17 to our oldest in their late eighties, were supported by a team of four facilitators from Shared Future.

After some words of welcome from Kendal Town Council’s Councillor Chris Rowley, the jury members started to get to know each other before working in small groups to talk through how best to work together in the future sessions.

For some of the group zoom has become a familiar way of communicating while for others this was new territory. The facilitators have been coaching some of the participants in advance of the first session to try to make sure this is not a daunting experience for anyone.

The jury finished their first session using a series of photographs of Kendal to spark conversations on ‘what is helpful and not helpful in trying to tackle climate change?’

Session 2 (16th July) – An introduction to Climate Change

The session focused on developing a greater understanding of what climate change is and its impact, both now and in the future.

Commentator – Chris Stark

Chris-StarkChris Stark is the Chief Executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the public body tasked by the Climate Change Act to be the independent authority on tackling climate change. Chris leads a team of analysts and specialists, offering expert insight into the challenges of reducing UK emissions and adapting to the changing climate.

Chris led the CCC’s work in 2019 to recommend a new ‘Net Zero’ target for the UK – now brought into law. He speaks regularly on the transition to a zero carbon economy and the need to confront climate change with urgency.

Chris has wide experience in government. He has designed economic policy in Whitehall, including in HM Treasury and the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He was previously Director of Energy and Climate Change in the Scottish Government, leading the development of the Scottish energy and climate strategies.

Watch the presentations.

Session 3 (30th July) – The Contribution of Kendal to Climate Change

Commentator – Mike Berners-Lee

Mike_Berners-LeeMike Berners-Lee is an English researcher and leading expert in carbon footprinting. He is a professor and fellow of the Institute for Social Futures at Lancaster University and director and principal consultant of Small World Consulting, based in the Lancaster Environment Centre at the university.

Mike has written and published How Bad are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything, The Burning Question and There Is No Planet B. He has worked with Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership to prepare a baseline carbon audit for Cumbria and is a patron of Cumbria Action for Sustainability.

Watch the presentations.

Session 4 (13th August) - How to make change happen?

By the end of this session all participants should have a clear understanding of what options exist in trying to effect change.

Commentator – Rebecca Willis

Rebecca Willis is a Professor in Practice at Lancaster Environment Centre, where she holds a Fellowship in energy and climate governance. She is an Expert Lead for Climate Assembly UK, the Citizens’ Assembly established by the UK Parliament. Previously, she was a research fellow for the IGov project at the University of Exeter,investigating energy governance. In 2009 Rebecca founded Green Alliance’s Climate Leadership Programme, an initiative to support Members of the UK Parliament. Rebecca is a Trustee of the New Economics Foundation and an adviser to the National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund. Her book, Too Hot to Handle? The democratic challenge of climate change  was published by Bristol University Press in 2020.

Rebecca’s presentation to the jurors answered two critical questions around making change happen when tackling climate change: Who needs to be involved and what different ways can bring about change?

Watch the presentations.

Sessions 5 (27th August) - Energy: How can Kendal generate its own green/renewable energy?

By the end of the fourth session, the jury agreed energy as one of their preferred themes to explore further. They posed the question, how can Kendal generate its own green/renewable energy? The oversight panel identified two key commentators to speak to the jury at this session.

Commentator 1 – Gill Fenna

Gill Fenna shared the big picture of sustainable energy production using examples from across the UK.

Gill Fenna is a director of Quantum Strategy and Technology, an experienced business consultancy helping people and organisations understand, deliver and have a positive impact on a wide range of sustainability areas including climate change and climate resilience.

Gill has 20 years consultancy experience covering resource efficiency, sustainable energy, sustainable construction and community involvement. She is a skilled trainer and facilitator and has delivered low carbon and sustainability training for planners and authored a low carbon support pack. Gill is a director of Morecambe Bay Community Renewables, has a degree in engineering from Cambridge University and has industrial experience with British Rail and Proctor & Gamble.

Commentator 2 – Kevin Frea

Kevin shared his experience of involving local communities and securing change.

Kevin Frea is a Lancaster City Council Councillor involved in a range of sustainable energy initiatives. For the last ten years, he has established and worked with a number of community energy projects, and helped set up Community Energy England.

Kevin is a director of Halton Lune Hydro and was responsible for raising £1.3 million in community shares to finance the hydro, which now produces both clean energy and much needed funds for worthwhile projects in the Parish. He is also a director of LESS (Lancaster) CIC, which supports local food growing and energy saving; of Lancaster Community Car Club CIC and of Lancaster Cohousing.

Watch the presentations.

Sessions 6 (10th Sept) - Transport: How do we reduce car usage, encourage cycling and walking and have an affordable public transport system?

The jury has agreed transport as their second theme to explore further. They have posed the question, how do we reduce car usage, encourage cycling and walking and have an affordable public transport system?

Commentator 1 – Lisa Hopkinson

Lisa Hopkinson is an environmental researcher with more than 30 years experience in Hong Kong and the UK in the charitable, educational and private sectors. She has co-authored a number of publications relating to sustainable transport, air pollution and climate change, including the Centre for Alternative Technology’s Zero Carbon Britain – Making it Happen and a series of reports for Friends of the Earth on decarbonising transport. Lisa is an associate for Transport for Quality of Life and has worked with them on the evaluation of the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, Cycling Cities Ambition programme and Transforming Cities Fund. She is a regular columnist for the journal Smart Transport and is actively involved in local campaigns and projects to promote active and sustainable travel.

Lisa’s presentation shares her ideas for reducing car usage, encouraging walking and cycling and managing an affordable public transport service.

Watch the presentations.

Commentator 2 – Alistair Kirkbride 

Alistair Kirkbride was awarded a Foundation of Integrated Transport fellowship in 2020 to develop the case for the Lake District and Peak District National Park Authorities to take on transport powers. He has worked in transport demand management in the public, private and voluntary sectors for 20 years. His particular interests are in new approaches to creating resilient, fair and low-impact access and transport in rural communities and national parks. This work relates to a conviction that there is benefit to blurring the boundaries between how people travel and explore and the visitor experience.

Alistair was sustainable transport adviser at Lake District National Park between 2010 and 2014. He also has a long-standing interest in shared transport and was executive director at CoMoUK, and is a long-standing advocate of shared cars “vaccinating” people against car dependency, and of the (as yet) unrealised potential of shared ebikes – all as part of integrated transport solutions for modern low impact mobility lifestyles.

Alistair’s presentation puts Lisa’s suggestions and experiences into a local context, asking ‘what does this mean for Kendal?’

Watch the presentations.

Session 7 (24th Sept) - Food and Farming: How do we make sure locally produced food is available, that we use waste food well and that food is grown locally?

The third theme the jury chose to explore is Food and Farming. Jurors posed the question ‘How do we make sure locally produced food is available, that we use waste food well and that food is grown locally?’

Commentator 1 – Tim Lang

Tim Lang has been Professor of Food Policy at City University London’s Centre for Food Policy since 2002. He founded the Centre in 1994. After a PhD in social psychology at Leeds University, he became a hill farmer in the 1970s in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire which shifted his attention to food policy, where it has been ever since. For years, he’s engaged in academic and public research and debate about its direction, locally to globally. His abiding interest is how policy addresses the mixed challenge of being food for the environment, health, social justice, and citizens.

Commentator 2 – Adam Briggs

Adam Briggs is North West Environment Advisor for National Farmers Union which champions British agriculture and horticulture, campaigns for a stable and sustainable future for British farmers and works to secure the best possible deal for its members.

Commentator 3 – Richard Geldard

Richard Geldard is a local farmer from Low Foulshaw at Levens on the outskirts of Kendal. He and his business partner run a family farm business which produces beef, lamb and eggs which are sold to a range customers from food service businesses, retailers and into the food manufacturing sector.

Commentator 4 – Paul Allen

Paul Allen is a member of the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), an educational charity dedicated to researching and communicating positive solutions for environmental change. Paul is the head of CAT’s Zero Carbon Britain project.

Commentator 5 – Amy Hardy

Amy is a volunteer for Waste to Wellbeing, a volunteer led, social project at the heart of Kendal’s Food Community. Food from local supermarkets, shops and bakeries which would otherwise be destined for landfill is turned into nourishing meals, provided on a pay what you can basis, or is distributed to residents in need and community groups who support them.

Watch the presentations.

Session 8 (8th October) - 3 tiers of local government

In this session, Jury members requested to find out more about the responsibilities and powers of the three tiers of local government, and what their plans were for tackling climate change.

1. An introduction to local government: Elisabeth Skinner MBE, Academic Leader – Society of Local Council Clerks

2. Councillor Jon Owen – Kendal Town Council

3. Councillor Dyan Jones, Climate Emergency and Localism Portfolio Holder – South Lakeland District Council

4. Paul Haggin, Manager, Development Control and Tim Gale, Senior Policy & Scrutiny Project Officer – Cumbria County Council

Watch the presentations.

Session 9 (11th October) - Drafting recommendations

Participants draft and prioritise their recommendations

Session 10 (22nd October) - Final review

Participants write and agree their final recommendations.

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