12 Jan 2021

Residents take part in Bristol’s new citizens’ assembly

Bristol’s first citizen’s assembly, which will see a group of residents help shape the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, will take place this weekend.

The assembly is being created as a response to the city-wide conversation ‘Your City Our Future’ that took place last year, where more than 6,500 citizens gave their views on the future of the city.

Bristol City Council asked people about their experiences during lockdown as part of the conversation, also posing questions about what they wanted Bristol to be like in the future.

A number of valuable views and ideas were fed back, with the citizens’ assembly providing the mechanism for acting on them by giving members of the public the time and opportunity to learn about and discuss a topic, before reaching conclusions and then making recommendations to be taken forward.

Thousands of letters were sent to random households across the city in December, inviting people to register to take part on the 60-person panel. An independent organisation reviewed the responses to help create a group that reflects the diverse citizens of Bristol, so as many varied opinions as possible can feed into the discussion.

The first topics of discussion at the assembly will sit within the broad themes of the environment and climate change; transport; and health and social care.

Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor said: “This is such an exciting opportunity for residents across our communities to help shape Bristol’s recovery following COVID-19.

“Only through listening to the voices of residents, can we truly create a city that offers opportunity for all. I’m proud our assembly actively sought the involvement of all communities and reflects the rich diversity of people living in Bristol.”

Councillor Paula O’Rourke said: “The Your City Our Future conversation and the citizens’ assembly is about giving Bristolians a way to shape the future of our city. During the assembly experts and people with lived experience will present information on each of the key topics and members will then talk about what they have heard.

“I am confident that in this way their insights and priorities will help us plan the recovery and a better future for all in Bristol.”

The first citizens’ assembly will be held this Saturday 16 January and Sunday 17 January. The assembly will discuss and answer the important question ‘How do we recover from COVID-19 and create a better future for all in Bristol?’
Further information about Bristol’s Citizens’ Assembly can be found on bristol.citizenspace.com/ycof/

Interviews with media: Councillor Asher Craig and Councillor Paula O’Rourke will be available for interview. Requests can be made by contacting newsdesk@bristol.gov.uk.