Citizens’ Assembly for Yorkshire?

According to Involve, the public participation charity, a citizens’ assembly is a group of people who are brought together to discuss an issue or issues and reach a conclusion about what should happen. The people who take part are chosen so that they reflect the wider population, in terms of demographics and sometimes relevant attitudes.

Citizens’ assemblies give members of the public the time and opportunity to learn about and discuss a topic, before reaching conclusions. Assembly participants are asked to make trade-offs and arrive at workable recommendations.

Citizens’ assemblies often adopt a three-step process of learning, deliberation and decision making. This is supported by a team of impartial facilitators who guide the participants through the processes, ensuring that everyone is heard and comfortable participating.

More on citizens’ assemblies can be found at:-

https://www.involve.org.uk/resources/methods/citizens-assembly

A question for us is whether a citizens’ assembly might be useful in solving the impasse around the One Yorkshire devolution proposal. It could be used to come up with proposals for the future governance of the region. It would certainly widen the debate and promote interest in a topic which could potentially have a positive impact on the lives of all living within the region. This form of deliberative democracy has been used successfully in several countries, perhaps most notably in Ireland but it has so far gained limited traction in the UK.

We believe that a citizens’ assembly should certainly be worth consideration in establishing a way forward for devolution in Yorkshire.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *