Data

General Issues
Health
Social Welfare
Specific Topics
Climate Change
Energy Efficiency & Storage
Energy Conservation
Location
Kendal
England
LA9
United Kingdom
Scope of Influence
City/Town
Parent of this Case
Kendal Climate Change Citizens’ Jury
Links
Climate Jury Website
Start Date
End Date
Ongoing
No
Time Limited or Repeated?
A single, defined period of time
Purpose/Goal
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of government and public bodies
Develop the civic capacities of individuals, communities, and/or civil society organizations
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of private organizations
Total Number of Participants
20
Open to All or Limited to Some?
Limited to Only Some Groups or Individuals
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
Stratified Random Sample
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Facilitate dialogue, discussion, and/or deliberation
Facilitate decision-making
Recruit or select participants
Facilitators
Yes
Facilitator Training
Professional Facilitators
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Online
Types of Interaction Among Participants
Discussion, Dialogue, or Deliberation
Ask & Answer Questions
Communication of Insights & Outcomes
Public Report
Primary Organizer/Manager
Shared Future, A Community Interest Company
Type of Organizer/Manager
Local Government
Funder
Kendal Town Council with suport from the District and County council, as well as crowdfunding
Type of Funder
Local Government
Staff
Yes
Evidence of Impact
Yes
Implementers of Change
Elected Public Officials
Appointed Public Servants
Formal Evaluation
No

CASE

Kendal Climate Citizens' Jury

May 9, 2022 j.carrick
May 3, 2022 j.carrick
April 25, 2022 w1863629
General Issues
Health
Social Welfare
Specific Topics
Climate Change
Energy Efficiency & Storage
Energy Conservation
Location
Kendal
England
LA9
United Kingdom
Scope of Influence
City/Town
Parent of this Case
Kendal Climate Change Citizens’ Jury
Links
Climate Jury Website
Start Date
End Date
Ongoing
No
Time Limited or Repeated?
A single, defined period of time
Purpose/Goal
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of government and public bodies
Develop the civic capacities of individuals, communities, and/or civil society organizations
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of private organizations
Total Number of Participants
20
Open to All or Limited to Some?
Limited to Only Some Groups or Individuals
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
Stratified Random Sample
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Facilitate dialogue, discussion, and/or deliberation
Facilitate decision-making
Recruit or select participants
Facilitators
Yes
Facilitator Training
Professional Facilitators
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Online
Types of Interaction Among Participants
Discussion, Dialogue, or Deliberation
Ask & Answer Questions
Communication of Insights & Outcomes
Public Report
Primary Organizer/Manager
Shared Future, A Community Interest Company
Type of Organizer/Manager
Local Government
Funder
Kendal Town Council with suport from the District and County council, as well as crowdfunding
Type of Funder
Local Government
Staff
Yes
Evidence of Impact
Yes
Implementers of Change
Elected Public Officials
Appointed Public Servants
Formal Evaluation
No

20 residents of Kendal were selected to form a citizens jury. Over 9 sessions, they deliberated on "what should Kendal do about climate change?". Their recommendations were presented to the council and inform the work of Kendal Town Council’s Carbon Neutral Kendal Group.

Problems and Purpose

Kendal’s Climate Change Citizens Jury was set up to involve individual citizens residing in Kendal for the vision of carbon neutrality and to enable more deliberative citizen input into achieving that goal. 

The Jury addressed the following question set by an independent oversight panel: “What should Kendal do about the emergency of climate change?” 


Background History and Context

Kendal Town Council declared a Climate Emergency in April 2019. A motion agreed by the Council includes a promise to "make Kendal carbon neutral by 2030" as well as a promise to "commission a Citizen's Jury to provide views from residents on how to reach net-zero by 2030; with the Jury's findings forming the basis of a detailed action plan”. [1]

There is growing interest in the use of such processes across the country; for example, in 2020, six House of Commons Select Committees established a national climate assembly, Climate Assembly UK, which mirrors a similar process in France and Scotland, as well as local processes in Oxford, Camden, Newham, Adur, and Worthing, and others in Leeds, Lancaster, and Warwick.


Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities

The Kendal Climate Change Citizens Jury was commissioned by the Kendal Town Council in 2019, and was supported by organizations including Cumbria Action for Sustainability, Extinction Rebellion, James Cropper PLC., Kendal Activists Saving the Little Earth and The Frieda Scott Charitable Trust, as well as local MP, Tim Farron. 

Kendal Town Council funded the Citizens' Jury, with support from South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria County Council. It also received donations, through organizing a Crowdfunder, from Kendal residents, as well as some local organizations and businesses. The crowdfunding campaign was launched in February 2020 and a total of £6,000 was raised thanks to 181 donations from individuals and organisations. In October 2020, a second crowdfunder was created to sponsor the making of a short promotional film; 59 supporters helped to accomplish the £2,000 goal. [2]

The jury was organised, designed and facilitated by Shared Futures, and overseen by an Oversight Panel made up of a diverse group of local stakeholders. The Oversight Panel was formed to ensure the Jury was fair and impartial and comprising 18 representatives from the public, corporate, and non-profit sectors including National Farmers Union, Extinction Rebellion South Lakes, Kendal Town Council, South Lakeland District Council, Cumbria Action for Sustainability, Lancaster Environment Centre, South Cumbria Flood Partnership and Cumbria County Council.


Participant Recruitment and Selection

Shared Futures collaborated with the Sortition Foundation to establish the recruitment process with the approval of the Oversight Panel.

In total, 4,000 Kendal households received a recruitment letter in June describing the Citizens' Jury and urging individuals who are interested to fill out a short online form or call a toll-free number to register their interest. The 4,000 addresses were chosen at random from the Royal Mail's address database by the Sortition Foundation. A total of 250 people applied to serve on the jury. Of those who expressed an interest, 20 people, representative of the local population in terms of gender, age, location, deprivation, and climate change attitudes, were enlisted. [1]

Methods and Tools Used

The Kendal Climate Change Jury was the UK's first ever citizens jury or assembly that was held and completed entirely online [2]. The 20-member jury participated in nine online sessions during which they would hear from and ask a panel of experts to assist them answer the question, "What should Kendal do about climate change?" They exchanged thoughts and perspectives before coming up with a set of recommendations for the town. A team of facilitators from Shared Future was on hand to help with the sessions. There was a predetermined agenda and a commentator for the first four sessions. After that, the Jury decided the themes they wanted to explore more deeply. With some input from the Citizens Jury, the oversight panel selected the appropriate commenters. As a deliberative process, the jury were encouraged to listen to one another and share their experiences and viewpoints, putting each other to the test and learning from each other. The jury was given presentations from seventeen commentators who they questioned or cross-examined to assist them with their assignment. Each commentator was given a briefing before their appearance before the jury and given guidelines to ensure their evidence was accessible. 

What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation

Participants heard from a variety of commentators ('expert witnesses') throughout the course of ten sessions between July and October 2020, as well as offering their own thoughts, experiences, and ideas. Participants had the opportunity to question the commentators, think, confront one another, and eventually come up with a list of recommendations on how Kendal can best solve the climate issue throughout the sessions. 


According to the report [1], the nine sessions comprised:

Session 1: Welcome 

(Thursday, 2 July: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.) 

The first session provided an opportunity for jury members to learn more about the process and get to know one another. After giving an overview of the Citizens' Jury, the Jurors were then split into four groups, each led by a facilitator, and asked to introduce themselves 

Members were also invited to consider what they would like us to do as a group to make jury sessions more convenient for them. After that, the participants were instructed to form a new small group to share their thoughts. The session's final activity was a mild attempt to get participants to share their views on climate change. 


Session 2: An introduction to climate change 

(Thursday, 16 July: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.) 

Commentator: Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change. 

Jury members were urged to think about "how we make sure the jury sessions work for us all" and "what they are most and least looking forward to in the process" at the last session. At the outset of the session, facilitators presented some choices for how the process could respond to these viewpoints to participants in small groups and sought their approval. 

The following sub-themes were explored by Chris Stark: So, what is climate change, exactly? (a brief scientific review) What are the current and future implications of climate change?. After that, the jury was to discuss what they had heard and write down any questions they wanted the commentators to answer. 

 

Session 3: Contribution of the Kendal to climate change. 

(Thursday, 30 July: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.) 

Commentator: Mike Berners-Lee, Professor and fellow of the Institute for Social Futures at Lancaster University. 

Participants were encouraged to contribute any comments or observations from the previous meeting, as well as anything they'd like to learn more about during this session. 

Mike's 20-minute presentation explained what a carbon footprint is and how Kendal affects carbon emissions. After the lecture, the audience was divided into small groups to discuss what they had heard and to jot down any questions they had for the commentator. 

Participants were broken into small groups and asked to reflect on their emotions using a "mood tree" diagram in the session's final activity. The game was chosen to assist facilitators in better understanding how jury members felt about the process while also allowing players to express emotion in their talks. 

 

Session 4: How do we affect change? 

(Thursday, 13 August: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.) 

Commentator: Professor Rebecca Willis, Professor in Practice: Lancaster University. 

In the fourth session, Rebecca Willis discussed the varied roles of central and local government, corporations, communities, and individuals. She then displayed five different props that these groups may use to promote change. Participants were given the opportunity to submit questions in small groups before a 25-minute question and answer session, as is normal. 

'How can we communicate about the Citizens' Jury with the rest of Kendal and beyond?' the jurors discuss. Members of the jury discussed how they might wish to volunteer, such as talking to family or friends, writing something lengthy or short for the jury website (anonymously if desired), recording some of your ideas (anonymously), or being interviewed. 

 

Session 5: Energy production: how can Kendal generate its own green/renewable energy? 

(Thursday, 27 August: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.) 

Commentators: Gill Fenna, Director of Quantum Strategy and Technology and Morecambe Bay Community Renewables and Kevin Frea, Director of Halton Lune Hydro and LESS (Lancaster) CIC. Deputy Leader, Lancaster City Council 

In the fifth session, the jury heard from a variety of analysts on the first of their chosen themes, energy generation. Participants were asked to explain "which weather sign best sums up how you feel at this moment in the process?" throughout this session. using a depiction of a variety of weather symbols (delivered in the mail the week before). 

 

Session 6: Transport: how do we reduce car usage, encourage cycling and walking and have an affordable public transport system? 

(Thursday, 10 September: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.) 

Commentators: Alistair Kirkbride: Sustainable Transport consultant (locally based) and Lisa Hopkinson: Transport for Quality of Life. 

Following the presentation of the transportation commentators, jury members participated in small group discussions and a question-and-answer session to determine what their third priority theme for future investigation should be. They decided upon food and farming, specifically: how can we ensure that locally produced food is available, that waste food is properly utilized, and that food is grown locally? 


Session 7: 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? 

(Thursday, 24 September: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.) 

Commentators: Tim Lang: Professor of Food Policy, City University of London (author of ‘Feeding Britain: Our Food Problems and How to Fix Them’); Adam Briggs: NW Environment Advisor: National Farmers Union; Richard Geldard, farmer; Amy Hardy: South Lakes Action on Climate Change project: Waste into Wellbeing; Paul Allen: Centre for Alternative Technology (project coordinator/author: Zero Carbon Britain). 

For this session, the Oversight Panel sought a large number of commenters to represent the need to hear from a variety of viewpoints. Each commentator gave the jury a 5- to 10-minute presentation. Jurors were then asked to choose which commentator they wanted to spend more time with and to join a facilitated small group with that person. 


Session 8: Local Government (3-Tiers) 

(Thursday, 8 October: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.) 

Commentators: Elisabeth Skinner MBE: Academic Leader, Society of Local Council Clerks; Councillor Jon Owen: Kendal Town Council; Councilor Dyan Jones: Climate Emergency and Localism Portfolio Holder. South Lakeland District Council; Paul Haggin: Manager, Development Control; Tim Gale: Senior Policy & Scrutiny Project Officer: Cumbria County Council. 

The jurors heard about local government (including the three levels, the distinction between officers and members, duties, powers, and taxes, among other things) and then worked in small groups to compose questions for the experts, followed by a plenary question and answer session. 


Session 9: Reflection and Recommendation Writing 

(Sunday, 11 October: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.) 

Jurors discussed "what values should we consider when deciding how we respond to climate change?". 


Session 10: Final Review 

(Thursday, 22 October: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.) 

Jurors conducted three rounds of small group discussions to check the proposed recommendations and suggest adjustments and new proposals. 

A final large group discussion allowed facilitators or participants to bring anything that had been discussed in the small groups back to the larger group for discussion. The draught jury statement was also presented to the rest of the group for review and approval. 


Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

The Kendal Climate Change Citizens Jury decided on 27 recommendations in October 2021 to answer the issue "What Should Kendal Do About Climate Change?" [1]:

  • Food and Farming 
  1. Allotments: we need more space for people to grow their own food. 
  2. Reducing Food Waste: develop their educational work aimed at enabling them to make good food choices, teach cookery skills and how to avoid food waste. 
  3. Increase the opportunities for local farmers/producers to sell their products. 
  4. Work with local farmers to look at land use and involve local farmers in the decision-making process to ensure that land is put to the best use from a climate and biodiversity perspective. 
  5. Implement a new labelling system for UK produced food. 
  6. Encourage the sale of loose products to prevent packaging and food waste. 
  7. Lobby for the development of a country wide food and farming strategy to make the UK more self-sufficient, so reducing the need for imports. 
  8. Promote a plant-based diet. 
  • Housing and Energy 
  1. High energy efficiency in all new housing. 
  2. waste less energy through heat loss from existing homes and other buildings. 
  3. Energy production: We ask that local councils do an assessment of the resources available in the area to generate our own renewable energy. 
  • Promoting Action and Raising Awareness 
  1. All levels of local government must: do a follow-up to our recommendations every 6 months for the next three years to report back to this jury and the town on what has been completed to sustain momentum and to keep pressure on. 
  2. A clear political leadership from our local councils with a coordinated and consistent approach. Such leadership must ensure we have accountable strategic planning on climate change across every level of local government. 
  3. Provide accessible information to make it easier for individuals to make informed decisions. 
  4. Educate/raise awareness at community level about future consequences to motivate individuals, schools and businesses to act- through a pledge/commitment to take climate action. 
  5. The public and other stakeholders need to have the opportunity to build a collective vision of what the future might look like and develop a strategy that will continue to engage the public and individuals. 
  6. Educate and influence local businesses and their consumers through a local kitemark scheme which rates local companies according to their local carbon footprint, like the hygiene rating. 
  • Transport 
  1. Improve the local public transport system, in particular – buses, ensuring bus travel is affordable, frequent and reliable for all users. 
  2. Improved cycling provision. 
  3. Traffic reduction: We must further reduce the volume of traffic in the town and the surrounding area. 
  4. Electric Cars: Kendal should promote the use of electric cars by facilitating the installation of more charging points on the street, in public car parks and car parks owned by local businesses. 
  • Other Actions 
  1. Protect existing trees and plant more. 
  2. Kendal is to be promoted as a single-use plastic free town and work to be initiated towards ways of achieving that. 
  3. Promote and support local independent businesses so offering Kendal residents the chance to support local supply chains with a lower carbon footprint and so reduce food miles. 
  4. Local and district planning departments refuse planning permission for building on any land that forms part of a flood plain or could form part of the flood defenses. 
  5. Investigation into sources of funding including the role of a tourist tax, increased council funding or an extra council tax charge, as these are ambitious recommendations and would need funds to address climate change. 
  6. The coal mining judgement to be rejected by this citizens' jury. Cumbria County Council's decision to permit coal mining threatens the legitimacy and principles of this citizens jury. The rationale for this decision must be made public by the County Council. 

 

Analysis and Lessons Learned

Town councillors were involved in the Jury from its inception, and committed to implementing its recommendations. Early involvement of local decision-makers therefore improved the Jury's impact.

Implementation of the recommendations has been determined, and somewhat limited, by the extent of the Town Council's power and influence. For example, the Town Council manages the local allotments, so the recommendation to expand allotments was within their power and was quickly acted on. Other recommendations have been slower to implement. For example, the recommendation to establish a local climate change hub has been hampered by high rents in the town centre. To overcome these challenges, the Council are exploring other ways to set up a hub, including partnering with local organisations and creating pop-up events.

Kendal's Climate Change Citizens' Jury was partly funded by crowdfunding; the success of the two crowdfunding appeals demonstrates the potential for this type of source of funding for other deliberative processes.

 The jury provided the residents of Kendal a platform to express their views. The representative and fair recruitment process encourages local residents to have faith in the process, as well as encouraging wider public deliberation on climate change and future public engagement. 


See Also

References

[1] Kendal Climate Change Citizens' Jury 2020. Shared Futures. Available at: https://www.kendalclimatejury.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Shared-Futures-Final-Report.pdf

[2] Kendal Climate Change Citizens' Jury (2022) [Online] Available at: https://www.kendalclimatejury.org/

External Links

Notes