The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) has established an Oversight Panel to assist the Citizens’ Assembly on climate change.

Comprised of key stakeholders and independent experts the Oversight Panel will decide on the question that the Citizens’ Assembly will consider and approve the list of commentators that participants will hear from.

Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor, said: “The climate emergency is real and urgent. But we need to take people with us if we are to tackle it effectively. The Oversight Panel helps us to do this. We’ve got a broad mix of people on board: academics, activists, business, unions, volunteers, and our local authorities are all represented. We’re asking them to make our North of Tyne Citizens’ Assembly as good as it can be.”

Image of Jamie Driscoll.

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll

The membership of the Oversight Panel is:

  1. Independent Chair: Olivia Grant
  2. Officer (technical expert) from the North of Tyne Combined Authority: Dr Leanne Wilson (Policy & Economy Advisor – Climate Change)
  3. Officer (technical expert) from Newcastle City Council: Adrian McLoughlin (Climate Change Advisor)
  4. Officer (technical expert) from North Tyneside Council: Paul Nelson (Environmental Sustainability & Street Lighting Manager)
  5. Officer (technical expert) from Northumberland County Council: Mark Roberts (Commercial Team Manager)
  6. Academic expert on Citizens’ Assembly methodology: Dr Stephen Elstub (Newcastle University – Dept of Politics)
  7. Academic expert on climate science/practical implications: Dr Sara Walker (Newcastle University – Director of Centre for Energy)
  8. Representative from business community: Marianne O’Sullivan (North East Chamber of Commerce)
  9. Representative from unions: Sarah Kilpatrick (National Education Union)
  10. Representative from voluntary sector: Adrienne Attorp (Tyne & Wear Citizens)
  11. Representative from environmental groups: Dr Meryl Batchelder (UN-accredited climate change teacher / Extinction Rebellion)
  12. Secretariat provided by North of Tyne Combined Authority: Fraser Serle (Engagement Officer)

Olivia Grant, Chair of the Oversight Panel, said: “I’m honoured to have been asked to Chair the Oversight Panel for the North of Tyne Citizens’ Assembly on climate change. It will play a vital role in bringing diverse stakeholders together and enhancing the credibility of the Citizens’ Assembly process.”

Citizens’ Assemblies differ from other forms of public engagement because their members are randomly-selected to form a representative sample of the population. They are becoming increasingly popular methods for public authorities to engage communities on action to tackle the climate emergency. 50 members of the public from Newcastle, North Tyneside, and Northumberland will be chosen to hear from expert witnesses and make policy recommendations for tackling climate change in the region.

The Citizens’ Assembly will meet and work for about 30 hours, spread over several weeks. The Oversight Panel is scheduled to hold its first meeting online before the end of this month.

Further information: