The Romsey Citizens’ Assembly was formed to discuss the future of Romsey Town Centre. Forty-two citizens broadly reflecting the population of Romsey and the surrounding parishes met over two weekends in November to discuss the issues and question experts before coming up with detailed recommendations to present to councillors. The above report contains the recommendations produced by the Citizens' Assembly members.
What is a Citizens' Assembly?
In a Citizens’ Assembly, members of the public are invited to join the assembly through a 'civic lottery' and are randomly selected to be invited to take part. Assembly members are brought together to consider a public issue and make a recommendation on what action should be taken on that issue.
Members of the Citizens’ Assembly learn in depth about an issue, hearing from expert witnesses and people with experience of the issue. Together, they then discuss the issue and reach a collective decision on what they think should be done. The discussions are supported by trained, neutral facilitators. Their role is to make sure everyone can be heard and feels comfortable. The Assembly’s recommendation is then given to decision makers who decide what will happen next.
Why did we have a Citizens' Assembly in Romsey?
The Romsey Future Partnership, through previous consultations, knows that improving the area around Crosfield Hall and the Bus Station is important to many local people. The Citizens’ Assembly brought together a diverse group of people, from across the area, to discuss and recommend ways to do that supported all the communities in and around Romsey. This included looking at how the area around the south of the town centre could be used as a place to live, work, and have fun. The question the Assembly will help to answer is:
How do we improve the area around Crosfield Hall and the Bus Station to deliver the maximum benefit to Romsey?
The recommendations from the Citizens' Assembly will be presented to the Romsey Future Partnership and Test Valley Borough Council and will help shape major planning documents for the area, which set out what we want to achieve and guide developers.
Test Valley Borough Council was awarded funding and support from the UK Government as part of the Innovation in Democracy Programme, announced as part of the UK Government's Civil Society Strategy in summer 2018. It was jointly commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
The programme was also supported by a team from Involve, The Democratic Society, mySociety and The RSA to deliver the deliberative processes and maximise the impact of the project.
If you have any further questions on the Citizens' Assembly, please don't hesitate to contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org