A citizens' assembly brings together a randomly selected group of people who broadly represent the entire community. The people who attend learn about issues, discuss them with one another, and then make recommendations about what should happen and how things should change.
Herefordshire Citizens' Climate Assembly
In January 2022, the Herefordshire Citizens' Climate Assembly was held to discuss:
'How should Herefordshire meet the challenges of climate change?'
The assembly heard from expert speakers, discussed the issues involved and decided what steps should be taken. Recommendations were developed within the themes of buildings; transport; and food, farming and land-use. These are being used to influence council policy and spending priorities to help Herefordshire become a zero-carbon, nature-rich county by 2030.
Illustrations by Sandra Howgate
To address the priorities identified by Assembly members, there are currently 13 projects planned and due to start early in 2023.
- Active Travel – Walking- To promote and support increased walking activities
- Development of decarbonisation plan for all corporate buildings- To develop a decarbonisation plan and capital business case for all council corporate buildings by undertaking energy efficiency assessments
- Home energy efficiency audits - A three year pilot providing 320 properties with energy efficiency audits and retrofit plans and grants of up to £2000 to address the measures outlined in the assessments.
- Greener Footprints Conference- To enable the Herefordshire Climate and Nature Partnership Board to host an annual climate conference with a focus on sustainable food, tree planting and waste reduction.
- School Travel Plan Support- Dedicated full time officer on a fixed term contract to support schools in the implementation of their travel plans, supporting active travel initiatives, contributing to delivery of the Sustainable Modes of Travel Strategy (SMOTS)
- Farm Carbon Audits- Farm carbon assessments produced for 30 farms within the County
- Renewables Survey - To create a live and dynamic map of renewable energy potential across Herefordshire available freely for all, hosted on Herefordshire Councils website.
- Business Energy Audits (30 for 2030) - To procure external consultancy to support members of the 30 for 2030 by undertaking energy audits, support to develop their Carbon Management Plans, calculating their carbon footprint, developing performance measures and plans, help them to engage their employees, help them to consider funding opportunities to support delivery of plan
- Decarbonising / Electrifying the school transport fleet- A feasibility study on decarbonising and electrifying the school transport vehicle fleet
- Taxi and private hire low carbon strategy - Feasibility study to develop a combined electric vehicle strategy covering the use of taxi and private hire vehicles, and a low cost lease scheme to support vehicle proprietors to reduce costs and emissions by switching to electric vehicles.
- Updating the Local Climate Impacts Profile (LCIP) for Herefordshire - Procure external consultants to update Updating the Local Climate Impacts Profile (LCLIP) and to develop a new adaptation / climate resilience strategy.
- On Street Residential Charge Points Scheme (ORCS)- The installation of 40 on street residential charge points at locations already identified
- Supporting the development of the retrofit supply chain through PAS 2035 skills training - To upskill the local supply chain to retrofit domestic buildings to high environmental standards
More about the Citizens' Climate Assembly
Participants were chosen from 14,400 households invited to register their interest. From those, 48 people were selected by an independent organisation called The Sortition Foundation, who made sure the final group represented the diversity of Herefordshire's population. A full report on the selection process is available on the Sortition Foundation website.
You can watch the recordings of the sessions.
In total, 35 recommendations were developed within the themes of buildings; transport; and food, farming and land-use. Individual assembly members then voted on the recommendations to form a priority ranking.