Plans for a North of Tyne Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change have been refreshed following the Coronavirus pandemic.
In February the North of Tyne Cabinet approved proposals that would see the region become the first Mayoral Combined Authority in the UK to consult the public on its response to the climate emergency in this way.
When the country was moved to lockdown as a result of Coronavirus the plans were put on hold as large gatherings were no longer deemed safe.
As the UK is now gradually is moving out of lockdown the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NYCA) is procuring an external organisation to design and facilitate the Citizens’ Assembly when it is safe to do so.
Organisations bidding for the contract are expected to outline different options for delivering the Citizens’ Assembly, including a flexible mixture of online and traditional meetings.
North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “The climate emergency hasn’t gone away. Coronavirus has shown us how vulnerable we are to global events.
“Coronavirus stopped us getting local people involved in our plans to tackle the climate emergency.
“But we are now looking to run a Citizens’ Assembly as soon as we can and as safely as possible.”
The tender can be found on the Government’s Contracts Finder website and applications are welcomed from any organisation that believes it fits the bill.
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:
- The national Climate Assembly commissioned by the House of Commons considered how the UK should meet the Government’s net zero target.
- The London Borough of Camden and Oxford City Council were among the first local authorities to use Citizens’ Assemblies to advise on local climate action when they took place last year.
- The Greater Cambridge Partnership used a Citizens’ Assembly to test public appetite for stronger action to tackle congestion and air quality in the area.
The North of Tyne plan involves commissioning an external organisation to design and facilitate the Citizens’ Assembly and to recruit participants.
Recommendations produced by the Citizens’ Assembly will be presented to the North of Tyne Cabinet for consideration. It is hoped that the North of Tyne Citizens’ Assembly can meet for the first time this Autumn and complete its work by the end of the year.
Details of the tender to design and facilitate the North of Tyne Citizens’ Assembly on climate change can be found here: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/c20ff329-bc09-4b20-adcb-ca7d4376f9af