Newham will be holding its first Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change starting in January 2020. This follows on directly from the council declaring a Climate Emergency earlier this year and introducing a raft of measures to tackle global warming, poor air quality and waste.
What is a citizen’s assembly?
A citizen’s assembly is a group of local people who are brought together to discuss an issue and reach a conclusion about what they think should happen. The people who take part are chosen at random to reflect the demographics of the borough.
How has the Assembly been set up?
This Citizens’ Assembly will be different to the previous Community Neighbourhood citizens’ assemblies.
It will take place over several sessions and participants will be selected randomly and reimbursed for their time.
Around 8,000 randomly selected residents will be sent an invitation letter at the beginning of January. From those that respond, a final group of around 40 local residents will be selected to represent the borough’s diverse population. This whole democratic recruitment process will be carried out by a professional organisation called the Sortition Foundation.
The selected assembly members will come together for several sessions over January and February. They will work on a question that has been shaped by a meeting of diverse local stakeholders.
They will listen to evidence, consider and discuss what they hear and reach conclusions about what steps we should and can take together locally to tackle Climate Change. On the final day of the assembly, recommendations will be made to the Council to respond to and to incorporate into its plans for dealing with global warming.
The Assembly will be set up and facilitated by MutualGain, an expert independent organisation in participatory democracy. Councillor Mas Patel, Commissioner for Air Quality and Climate Emergency, has said: “We have to listen to the voices of our residents about how we deal with the climate emergency that confronts us.”
Dates of Sessions
The Newham Citizens Assembly on Climate Change will be held over the following dates:
- Information Session: 30 January 2020
- First Expert Session: 6 February 2020
- Second Expert Session: 13 February 2020
- Deliberation Weekend: 22 – 23 February 2020
I want to contribute to this discussion but I haven’t been selected
Even if you haven’t been selected to attend this assembly you can still contribute.
We have an online space where you can share your thoughts and ideas on the issue of Climate Change and what needs to be done in Newham. Results of this will be shared with the council and will input directly into the information considered by the Citizens’ Assembly.
The three ways in which you can get involved are:
- Vote: Vote on other people’s statements (select agree, disagree or pass/unsure).
- Join in: If you want to add to the conversation, submit your opinion for others to vote on it.
- Share: Share the link to this virtual conversation with friends and neighbours in Newham.
Link to Newham Website