Data

General Issues
Environment
Governance & Political Institutions
Social Welfare
Specific Topics
Climate Change
Energy Conservation
Environmental Conservation
Location
44 Richmond Road
England
BN11 1HS
United Kingdom
Scope of Influence
Regional
Links
Adur and Worthing Climate Assembly Recommendations Report.
Time Limited or Repeated?
Repeated over time
Purpose/Goal
Research
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of government and public bodies
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of private organizations
Approach
Co-governance
Direct decision making
Research
Spectrum of Public Participation
Involve
Total Number of Participants
43
Open to All or Limited to Some?
Mixed
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
Random Sample
Targeted Demographics
Racial/Ethnic Groups
Men
Women
General Types of Methods
Collaborative approaches
Direct democracy
Participant-led meetings
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Facilitate decision-making
Propose and/or develop policies, ideas, and recommendations
Inform, educate and/or raise awareness
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Online

CASE

Adur & Worthing Climate Assembly

October 9, 2022 reneadebonojo
September 22, 2022 reneadebonojo
May 9, 2022 Nina Sartor
May 9, 2022 j.carrick
April 25, 2022 reneadebonojo
General Issues
Environment
Governance & Political Institutions
Social Welfare
Specific Topics
Climate Change
Energy Conservation
Environmental Conservation
Location
44 Richmond Road
England
BN11 1HS
United Kingdom
Scope of Influence
Regional
Links
Adur and Worthing Climate Assembly Recommendations Report.
Time Limited or Repeated?
Repeated over time
Purpose/Goal
Research
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of government and public bodies
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of private organizations
Approach
Co-governance
Direct decision making
Research
Spectrum of Public Participation
Involve
Total Number of Participants
43
Open to All or Limited to Some?
Mixed
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
Random Sample
Targeted Demographics
Racial/Ethnic Groups
Men
Women
General Types of Methods
Collaborative approaches
Direct democracy
Participant-led meetings
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Facilitate decision-making
Propose and/or develop policies, ideas, and recommendations
Inform, educate and/or raise awareness
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Online

Climate Assembly implemented by the Adur and Worthing councils in July 2019.

1.Problems and Purpose

Adur and Worthing Councils declared a climate emergency in July 2019. They implemented targets of carbon neutrality across Adur and Worthing by 2050 and across the council’s own buildings and operations by 2030. To help them achieve these targets the council decided to engage with the wider community, calling a climate assembly in July 2019 to address the following questions[1]: ‘’How can we in Adur and Worthing collectively tackle climate change and support our places to thrive?’’ and ‘’What does this mean for the way we live and for our local environment?’’ 


 

2.Background History and Context

Adur and Worthing Climate Assembly was called to demonstrate the council’s commitment and strengthen their response to the climate crisis[2].

The leaders of Worthing Borough Council and Adur District Council (Cllr. Daniel Humphreys Cllr. Neil Perkin, respectively) outlined the assembly’s roles and objectives. Both leaders wanted the climate assembly to acknowledge the importance of the local communities and businesses in making positive contributions to climate change policy-making.

 

3.Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities

Adur and Worthing Climate Assembly was set up jointly by the Worthing Borough Council and Adur District Council. They were supported by the Climate Advisory Group, the Democratic Society, the Sortition Foundation[3].

The Climate Advisory Group was an independent advisory group established to oversee the design and implementation of the Adur and Worthing Climate Assembly. Their role was to provide advice and oversight to ensure that the Adur and Worthing Climate Assembly’s plans, evidence and materials were accurate, balanced and not biased. 

The Democratic Society was commissioned to design and facilitate the Climate Assembly and the Sortition foundation was commissioned to recruit the assembly members. 


4.Participant Recruitment and Selection

The Sortition Foundation recruited the assembly members through a two-staged lottery. First, 8,000 invitations were given to randomly selected households in the areas of the Adur District and the Worthing Borough[4]. In response, over 400 individuals registered their interest in being an assembly member. 

Second, 45 assembly members were selected from those that registered an interest in participating, so that the assembly was diverse and represented the populations of Adur and Worthing in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, job and views of climate change. Altogether,  43 of the 45 selected assembly members participated in the assembly.

In recognition of the commitment and time they gave to participating, the members received a £300 thank you gift (as cash or vouchers). 


5.Methods and Tools Used

The assembly was held over five online sessions between September to December 2020, during which 43 assembly members met to listen to evidence from professional speakers, deliberate and agree recommendations. From this they made recommendations which were presented to the Adur and Worthing Councils on 12 January 2021. 

The Assembly was undertaken fully online, using software, including, Zoom, Miro, Google docs, Google sites, and SurveyMonkey. During the recruitment process, the members were asked about their confidence in using digital tools and their access to devices to ensure full and meaningful participation could be  implemented. Once selected, each member received a one-hour technology introduction session[5].

The Councils were keen to ensure that the participatory experience was comparable to an in-person assembly. The Climate Assembly was designed and facilitated to give the members opportunities to participate in the learning, deliberations and decision-making. The members of the assembly heard and discussed a range of evidence from other residents, community groups and many more before developing their recommendations for tackling climate change.

Five Micro Group sessions were used to facilitate smaller and less formal discussions between each assembly weekend in online breakout rooms, comprising 4 assembly members and a facilitator as meetings were in between each assembly weekend. Through these processes:

The assembly facilitated wider engagement with local residents via surveys to understand their views on climate change and what lifestyle changes they have made to incorporate sustainability. 


6.What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation

Five assembly sessions were undertaken between September and December 2020, were the 43 assembly members listened to evidence from expert speakers, deliberated, and made  recommendations. 

The sessions are outlined below:

Session 1 – 19th September 2020: Getting an understanding of the topic. The first Climate assembly meeting was about the assembly members getting to know each other and understand why the assembly has been called, the background, context and aspirations that are held by the Councils.

Session 2- 10th October 2020: Getting into detail of climate justice and systems.  Members watched a pre-recorded presentation from Judy Ling Wong an Environmental activist which explored the issues of fairness and justice in relation to tackling climate change. The assembly members started documenting their thoughts around the issues of climate change. They explored the symptoms and impacts of climate change and identified the underlying issues.

Session 3- 31st October 2020: Looking at Adur and Worthing – the challenges and opportunities. The assembly members received a presentation from Paul Brewer, Director for Digital, Sustainability and Resources and Francesca Iliffe, Strategic Sustainability Manager. After hearing about what the Councils were doing already in the context of tackling climate change, the members gave feedback on key points in plenary to reflect on what they learnt from the discussions.

Session 4- 21st November 2020: Translating ideas into actions. Assembly members voted on guiding principles via an online poll Zoom. Any draft principles that received less than 50% of support by the assembly were removed. Assembly members then went into breakout groups to start drafting their recommendation statements. The members were brought back together to vote on their top 10 recommendation statements using Slido (each member had 10 votes). 

The results were presented by the facilitator so that the assembly members could think about the actions required; 28 recommendations received 15% of votes or more; and six recommendations received less than 15% of votes and so were not progressed into the afternoon session. 

Session 5 – 5th December 2020: Redefining proposals and making recommendations. Assembly members were allocated to breakout groups continue working on developing their recommendations. They reviewed the feedback and comments by other members and by documented positive and negative impacts of each the recommendation. 

Afterwards there was a final vote on their recommendations where members voted to support or oppose each recommendation. All 19 recommendations received support (over 50% of votes cast), with 18 receiving strong support (over 75% of votes cast). 

The assembly members worked with the 18 recommendations which received strong support in break out groups, considering the importance of each recommendation.  Finally, the assembly members prepared short presentations about each of the recommendations ready for feedback and reflection from councillors of Adur and Worthing Councils.

The 18 recommendations were grouped into six themes:

1.     Green spaces and Biodiversity: Support the restoration of natural kelp - promoting the positives and managing the negative effects on the environment and the local community. 

2.     Information and education: The Councils publish widely and acted upon their carbon audit, share learning, enabling local businesses and organizations to do the same so the whole community are more aware and are able to make informed choices. 

3.     Green finance and energy: Adur & Worthing Councils will  support the setup of a local community energy company for green and affordable energy which benefits everyone in our area and is well-promoted and advertised.

4.     Planning: Adur and Worthing Councils to encourage and promote planning and development that exceed national standards.  Must implement the highest standards of biodiversity and sustainability and protect environmental standards from compromise by other policy areas or changes. Using enforcements that do not meet those standards. 

5.     Transport: Promote more cycling by implementing clear and safe travel routes. Ensure cycle safety training for all ages and abilities and ensure legislative changes are pursued to promote access e.g. through parks

6.     Waste Reduction and Recycling: The Councils should set up, in cooperating  with the community, more projects like Repair Cafes. Introducing hubs for upcycling, repairing, art creation and deliver training to provide skills in repairing/recycling. 


7.Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

Impact on policy.

The climate Assembly has put in significant effort into developing a strong response to climate change as this can be seen through the recommendations that had been agreed on within the assembly. The councils set up the Joint Strategic committee to address the affairs and issues surrounding Adur and Worthing. Additionally, it was used as a direct response to the Adur and Worthing climate Assembly. All the recommendations were approved by the Adur and Worthing councils and its Joint Strategic committee. 18 of the recommendations were used to address the council’s place- based strategic framework of broadening SustainableAw. The recommendations were seen as instrumental to the councils as it was an important deliberative democracy process that the councils used to engage and understand the views of residents towards climate change and the specific actions needed.  [6]The action plan has heavily mentioned the recommendations proposed by the climate assembly such as biodiversity, transport, energy, environmental sustainability which essentially has given the councils a focus in positively impacting and changing the environment for the better.

 

Although there are positive signs in how the councils are creating a strong response to climate change to better the Adur and Worthing communities. [7] However, there are Assembly proposals that can be difficult to enact quickly due to complexity or cost. For example, the need to improve energy efficiency of homes across the area which includes those that are rented as well. It is highlighted that a council working group needs to be established to create an informative action plan from the recommendations in order to come up with the ideas that do not need funding. Not only that, but there is a need for communication towards the public revolving the recommendations and the work that the council and others are doing in order for there to be more awareness of the actions taking place.


Impact on Council.

The councils were heavily engaged and interested in terms of participatory engagement and addressing climate change. Those involved within the process described how it created a huge amount of energy , passion and interests from the Adur and Worthing councils. This can be seen through the examples of the councils having more ambitious commitments to climate targets such as 2045 Net zero in which they cooperated with councils under the UK100 Cities Network. [8] Additionally, the councils have been working their way through the recommendations as for example the restoration of the kelp forest off the shorelines of Adur and Worthing. Due to the partnership deals with the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, Help our kelp; the government has implemented a ban on trawling on the West Sussex coast. This additionally, helped Sussex kelp to regenerate and created diversity in more fish stock and marine life. Overall, with discussions with people involved within the process, the assembly was one of the greatest achievements from the Adur and Worthing councils as it helped the councils to demonstrate their strength of commitment in tackling climate change and biodiversity loss.



Impact on Participants.

[9]There is evidence that the assembly had an impact on participants as one participant stated how being an assembly member helped them to listen and learn more about climate change issues with their fellow assembly members. Additionally, believing that the Assembly will continue to have a lasting impact in helping Adur and Worthing councils to develop a tactic in approaching climate change and sustainability. Another interviewer describes how post climate assembly they had little disinterest and awareness surrounding climate change and how since being a member of the climate assembly, they have become more engaged in sustainability and climate change.

[10]A survey took place and recorded the assembly members' response to the Assembly process. The impact of the assembly process was largely positive as the assembly members had more confidence in talking about climate change with others. It gave them a sense of place within the community and a sense of new hope for its future and gave them plenty of opportunities to express their opinions and views on climate change.

8.Analysis and Lessons learned.

Although the process was described as one of the first climate assemblies to be transferred online due to Covid 19. However the Adur and Worthing councils learnt that the aftermath of the assembly being online was just as successful as other climate assemblies that were face to face. This can be seen through different counterparts from various countries such as Italy and Scotland intrigued to find out how the Adur and Worthing climate Assembly was so successful. Despite the challenges of Covid 19, it made the Adur and Worthing councils more determined to not delay important discussions surrounding climate change. [11] With the Democratic society facilitating the delivery, design of the climate assembly. This helped in providing new opportunities such as engaged learning . Being online also helped to remove the barrier of participants being more involved.  [12]As one interviewer states that Covid 19 helped the Adur and Worthing councils in prioritising people's wellbeing by providing training and practice for participants in using digital tools and adapting the structure to make participants have shorter working days.


One interviewer explains that the lessons they have learnt within running the Adur and Worthing climate Assembly is that there needs to be more citizen involvement within regards to helping and advising the climate assembly as there are groups such as Friends of the Brookland Park who disagree with the way the Adur and Worthing councils have managed Green planning. Additionally, the interviewer mentions that although politicians are in favour of the recommendations, aims and missions that the councils strive to achieve. However, the council's aim is to change the political infrastructure around climate change, for example building more forums and gatherings in order for the community to work together for sustainability, change and include more political awareness.



 


See Also

https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/media/Media,159368,smxx.pdf

https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/climate-assembly/

References

[1] Adur-worthing.gov.uk. 2020.(online) Available at: https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/media/Media,159368,smxx.pdf

 [2] Adur-worthing.gov.uk. 2020. (online) Available at: https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/media/Media,159368,smxx.pdf

 [3] Adur-worthing.gov.uk. 2020. (online) Available at: https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/media/Media,159368,smxx.pdf

[4] Adur-worthing.gov.uk. 2020. Adur & Worthing Climate Assembly - Adur & Worthing Councils. (online) Available at: https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/climate-assembly/

 [5] Adur-worthing.gov.uk. 2020. (online) Available at: https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/media/Media,159368,smxx.pdf

[6] Issuu. 2020. SustainableAW - Summer 2020. [online] Available at: https://issuu.com/adurworthingcouncils/docs/sustainableaw-summer-2020

[7] Democracy.adur-worthing.gov.uk. 2021. [online] Available at: https://democracy.adur-worthing.gov.uk/documents/s4414/Item%205%20-%20Combined.pdf

[8]  Democracy.adur-worthing.gov.uk. 2021. [online] Available at: https://democracy.adur-worthing.gov.uk/documents/s4414/Item%205%20-%20Combined.pdf

[9] Issuu. 2021. SustainableAW - Spring 2021. [online] Available at: https://issuu.com/adurworthingcouncils/docs/sustainableaw-spring-2021

[10] Democracy.adur-worthing.gov.uk. 2021. [online] Available at: https://democracy.adur-worthing.gov.uk/documents/s4414/Item%205%20-%20Combined.pdf

[11] Stevens, M., 2020. Adur & Worthing Climate Assembly Concludes - Initial Reflections. [online] Adur & Worthing: A Climate Assembly Delivered Entirely Online Concludes. Available at: https://www.demsoc.org/blog/adur-worthing-a-climate-assembly-delivered-entirely-online-concludes

[12]  Issuu. 2021. SustainableAW - Spring 2021. [online] Available at: https://issuu.com/adurworthingcouncils/docs/sustainableaw-spring-2021

 


  

External Links


Notes