Zero Carbon Cumbria - Carbon reduction action across the county.

A roomful of people at desks during a citizens' jury event

Citizens' juries

Involving Cumbrians in deciding on climate action

 Residents of Cumbria have been at the forefront of planning climate action through citizens’ juries around the county.

Cutting Cumbria’s carbon emissions to help tackle climate change means making changes to different aspects of life. That includes the bigger policies across our districts and the county as a whole, from economic development to public transport. It’s crucial that local people have a part in deciding what action happens in their area, and citizens’ juries are one of the ways Cumbrians have been doing that.

What is a citizens’ jury?

Citizens’ juries are panels of people brought together to consider a specific topic and give their recommendations. The members are selected at random while making sure they reflect the diversity of the local population. Juries around the UK have looked at all sorts of topics, usually around public services and other policies in their area, from mental health services and social care to fracking and climate change.

Citizens’ juries have proven to be a very powerful way of bringing people into the heart of decision making on important topics in their area. The juries’ recommendations should be taken into account in the climate action plans of local councils, and other organisations.

Juries in Cumbria

Next Steps

Citizens’ juries have been held for two out of the six districts of Cumbria. Due to the current reorganisation of local government in the county, some options are now being explored for future citizens’ juries (or wider assemblies). This page will be kept updated as decisions are made.

If you have questions in the meantime about citizens’ juries, please contact Natalie Naisbitt, the local authority climate coordinator for the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership

About the juries and what they said

Find out more about the citizens’ juries that have already happened in Cumbria.

The jury recommendations touched on lots of different aspects of life in Cumbria, from jobs to renewable energy. The recommendations from the different juries that have happened in Cumbria, along with young people’s panels, have been brought together in the document below, organised into themes.

How the jury recommendations have been used

The ultimate goal of the citizens’ juries in Cumbria is for their recommendations to be woven through the plans of their local councils and also used to inform the plans of other organisations. In short, they’re intended to drive change and shape climate action. The recommendations are also publicly available for any organisation to view and consider.

In Copeland, for example, the council reviewed its action plan entirely, to incorporate some of their jury’s recommendations.

Within the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership, there are plans to consider recommendations from all the juries, particularly within the sub-groups that are forming to focus on specific sectors, such as transport, waste housing and energy. Many of the jury recommendations fell into these same themes.

Implementing the recommendations is an ongoing process but work is under way. Watch this space for updates.

Could your organisation take forward any of the jury recommendations?

The jury recommendations touch on a broad range of themes, from businesses to schools, from jobs to houses, from community energy to green spaces and transport. Whatever walk of life your organisation is in, there are almost certainly recommendations that touch on your work.

Perhaps you could weave them into your existing business plans, or your climate action plan if you have one. Or you could use the recommendations if you’re starting work on new plans?

If you are able to take account of any of the recommendations in your work, please do let the ZCC team know. We’d love to feature it here on the website to inspire others.