Residents make recommendations to tackle Bristol’s key challenges at citizens’ assembly: City Centre

05 Mar 2021

Residents make recommendations to tackle Bristol’s key challenges at citizens’ assembly

Recommendations on how Bristol recovers from COVID-19 and sees a better future created for all will be made this weekend, at the final session of Bristol’s first  Citizens’ Assembly.

The assembly has brought together 60 residents to learn about climate change, health, and transport and consider the following questions:

  • Climate change and housing - How do we rapidly reduce the impact of our homes on climate change?
  • Transport - What changes should we make to our neighbourhoods to make how we travel easier, healthier, and better for the environment?
  • Health and social care - How should we tackle health inequalities in Bristol?

The 60 members of the assembly were selected to reflect Bristol’s diversity in terms of age, sex, disability, ethnicity, geography, deprivation, and employment. The members have heard evidence from 55 speakers with a broad range of expertise and lived experience. Together they have discussed the issues in depth, listening to views both similar and different to their own, and will agree this weekend on recommendations to take forward.

Alfie Moss, assembly member said: “This has been an incredible and insightful experience to help bring the city toward a new direction for everyone to enjoy and prosper in post COVID-19. We have heard speakers from housing to green energy to transport, all the information that we could possibly need and the guidance to help us make an informed recommendation. As someone who has lived in different parts of the city, I feel I was able to voice opinions and share experiences that helped create a more balanced picture of Bristol as a whole, and keep equity in mind when making decisions as a group.”

The citizens’ assembly has taken place online over four weekends between January and early March. On the first weekend, the whole assembly met together for an introduction to the citizens’ assembly topics. In weekends two and three the assembly members met as topic specific groups to enable in-depth learning and discussion.

Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor said: “This has been an exciting opportunity for residents across our communities to help shape Bristol’s recovery following COVID-19. The level of engagement by the assembly members and the energy and commitment they have brought to the assembly has been incredible. I’m proud our assembly has sought the involvement of all communities and I look forward to hearing the recommendations.”

Councillor Paula O’Rourke said: “The Your City Our Future conversation and the citizens’ assembly has been about giving Bristolians a way to shape the future of our city. I am confident their recommendations will help us build back a better future for all in Bristol.”

The assembly’s recommendations will be shared at the One City Gathering next Friday, 12 March. Video footage of the speaker presentations and  further information about Bristol’s Citizens’ Assembly can be found at bristol.citizenspace.com/ycof/