Recommendations from Bristol’s first citizens’ assembly were presented at the event today (Friday, 12 March).
Leaders from the business, public and voluntary sectors were the first to hear the assembly’s recommendations on how Bristol recovers from COVID-19 and creates a better future for all.
The 60 assembly members – residents randomly selected to be reflective of Bristol’s population – met online over four weekends to discuss three main issues; climate change and housing, transport, and health inequalities and agree their recommendations.
The discussions were informed by talks from 55 speakers including community organisations, citizens, One City partners, academics and subject specialists and council officers.
The assembly has produced 17 recommendations to take forward. Each recommendation has a rationale and there are a total of 82 associated actions to:
- rapidly reduce the impact of our homes on climate change
- make changes to our neighbourhoods to make traveling easier, healthier and better for the environment
- tackle health inequalities in Bristol.
Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor said: “These recommendations will play a vital part in helping to plan Bristol’s long term future and will inform the strategy to recover from the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. I want to thank everyone who gave up their time to take part in the weekend sessions and highlight our commitment to review every one of them.”
Councillor Paula O’Rourke said: “Asher and I have been working together on this exciting initiative since 2019, so it’s very gratifying to know what citizens’ want to happen. The members have heard the background to problems, what’s possible and not possible, the financial limitations and different people’s views and priorities and reached a shared vision collaboratively. The recommendations include some fantastic ideas and actions which will help us shape and build a better future for our city.”
Assembly member Debbie Akinbo said: “It has been a great pleasure to be part of the Citizens’ Assembly which has worked really hard to reach lots of recommendations. We had a well worthy four weeks of meetings, deliberating and drawing up conclusive recommendations based on what we think and know will help reshape our beloved city. I hope all these recommendations will be thoroughly looked at, acted on and implemented“.
As a next step, the recommendations will be reviewed by the council’s Cabinet, Corporate Leadership Board and the relevant services to look at legal, resourcing and other considerations. One City Thematic Boards will also review them.
You can read more about Bristol’s Citizens’ Assembly on the Your City Our Future (YCOF) website.