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Citizens' Assembly 2024

Welcome to the Citizens’ Assembly 2024 page. We have commissioned independent facilitators Thinks Insight and Strategy and PlusFour Market Research to deliver a citizens' assembly with the residents of Romsey to get further views on the delivery of the aspirations contained in the South of Town Centre Masterplan for improved community facilities in the town.

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A number of pre-engagement workshops have taken place this year with community groups from across Romsey and the surrounding parishes about their future community facility needs and requirements.

The outcomes of these workshops will feed into the citizens’ assembly and make recommendations for the specification of any new facilities and their location, or how to improve current ones.

Similar to the previous citizens’ assembly, which took place in 2019, PlusFour will be recruiting potential participants for the citizens assembly by a range of methods, including telephone, on street and social media. Interested participants will be randomly selected to fill a range of quotas to ensure the final group of people is demographically representative of Romsey.

The sessions will be taking place in the evening on Thursday 18 July 2024 and during the day on Saturday 20 July. The September assembly is currently planned to take place on Thursday 26 September and Saturday 28 September.

To register your interest for the citizens' assembly, click the button below. Please note this will not guarantee your attendance.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a citizens’ assembly?

• A citizens’ assembly is a group of the public who are brought together to consider a public issue in depth over multiple days and meetings. Assembly members hear evidence, question experts and deliberate with one another, before reaching recommendations on what they think should be done. Citizens’ assemblies put the trade-offs faced by decision-makers in front of members of the public and ask them to arrive at workable recommendations. The people who take part are randomly selected so they reflect the wider population – in terms of demographics (e.g. age, gender, ethnicity, social class). (Source: Involve Foundation)

2. How do citizens’ assemblies work?

• There are five steps in each assembly: Decision-makers identify an issue to put forward to an assembly. They agree a remit and set the question to be addressed; People are randomly selected to be invited to take part. From those who agree, a group is selected that matches some of the characteristics of the wider community; The group of participants hears from experts, interest groups and people with lived experience of the issue; Neutral facilitators support the group to deliberate on what they’ve heard, considering the different evidence, arguments and options; The group agrees a collective recommendation (or set of recommendations) that it puts to decision-makers.

3. How are participants selected?

• A pool of potential assembly members is created through random selection, using a recognised market research methodology. Assembly members are then selected from this pool using random stratified sampling based on demographic criteria to ensure that they are broadly representative of the wider population.

4. Why are you doing another citizens’ assembly?

• To help understand the best approach for future community facilities in the town, comprising of different people to those who took part in the 2019 assembly. This will help in the understanding of the different views and ideas that will inform the provision of future community facilities and how best these can be accommodated. The conclusions of the assembly will be written up as a report that will be presented to decision-makers to inform the next steps in deciding upon community facility provision in Romsey.

5. How can you make sure citizens’ assembly members get balanced and fair evidence to consider?

• Typically, speakers that present to an assembly and the learning materials that they are given are selected by an independent facilitator, which vets the accuracy of the information and ensures that all perspectives on an issue are equally represented. The facilitators will be made up of experts on the chosen topic, including those working in the field.

6. What will the outcomes of the citizens’ assembly be?

• The conclusions of the assembly will be presented to decision-makers to inform the next steps in future community facility provision in Romsey, particularly in the south of town centre.

7. Will I be compensated for my time if I take part?

• Yes, the costs of members attending are covered in full, including providing travel and meals. In addition, members of the assembly are given a small monetary gift to encourage and support participation. This recognises the time that you give up to take part and ensures that a diverse range of participants (e.g. including those on low-incomes, unemployed, with caring responsibilities, etc.) can participate.

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