Chichester citizens’ jury on climate change to be set up

Chichester’s draft Climate Emergency Detailed Action Plan will be put out to public consultation from the end of this month.

Monday, 14th September 2020, 5:10 pm
Solar PV panels (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images) PNL-200427-113136003

The district council declared a climate emergency in July 2019 and its initial Action Plan was approved in January.

This latest plan builds on the last and lays out actions the council can realistically deliver, such as cutting its carbon emissions, setting a reduction target of 10 per cent each year until 2025.

At a meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday (September 8), Penny Plant, cabinet member for environment, told members that the second part of the plan centred around how the council could help the district as a whole to do the same.

She said: “These actions to reduce emissions will take place in people’s homes, their work places and will affect their leisure time. In short, just about every aspect of their lives.”

As part of their efforts to ensure the public is involved with the plan, the council intends to set up a Citizens’ Jury in 2021.

The jury will be made up of a dozen or so people from all walks of life who will debate the issues, hearing from experts in the field, before making informed recommendations to the council.

Some members of the committee raised concerns about the make-up of the jury, wanting assurances that it would not be dominated by people from pressure groups but would be a true representation of the district.

Alan Sutton, cabinet member for housing, said: “We have to get the right people and the right balance in there so all views are represented.”

Those concerns aside, there was unanimous support for the action plan.

Susan Taylor, cabinet member for planning, said: “It’s so easy to have idealistic targets which are difficult to achieve which, as a result, creates lack of engagement.

“Whereas this plan does have objectives which are realistic.”

Once the public consultation is over, an updated version of the plan will be put to the cabinet for final approval in January 2021.

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