Oxford citizens’ jury helps to make residents heard on important issues

Ensuring Oxford residents can travel in ways that are good for their health and the climate was the key focus of a recent citizens’ jury.

The recommendations of the Street Voices Citizens’ Jury on transport, health and climate change was heard at Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet on 21 February.

Led by, and in collaboration with, colleagues at Oxford University, the jury brought together 16 people broadly who were representative of the population of Oxford to explore issues relating to the question “how can we travel where we need to in Oxford in ways that are good for health and the climate?”

The University identified Headington as their preferred locality as an area clearly with the city but not part of a pre-existing low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) pilot scheme. 

The jury met over four weekends in June and July 2022 and made 41 recommendations. Already 25 of these recommendations have work being undertaken or under consideration. Themes included public transport, active travel, private vehicles and congestion, education and public engagement, and infrastructure.

The list in full is available to read by going to the cabinet agenda webpage.

Councillor Duncan Enright, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Travel & Development Strategy, said: “We welcome the recommendations of the citizens’ jury. Travel, health and climate change are key issues for Oxford residents and will be for years. Many of the recommendations from this jury are already being acted upon and will provide us with crucial guidance to help us shape future policy in a way that reflects the needs of the wider population.” 

Councillor Glynis Phillips, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, said: “The citizens’ jury was an opportunity for a diverse group of local citizens from different backgrounds and circumstances, and with different viewpoints, to have an honest conversation and work together to find solutions to critical issues that impact everyone – in this case transport, health and climate change.

“By working with colleagues at Oxford University, the citizens’ jury is completely independent of the council, which we hope reassures those involved that the recommendations reflect the local population.”

The Citizens’ Jury was supported by an advisory group of practitioners and researchers in relevant fields, as well as local politicians and campaigners. This helped to oversee the legitimacy of the process.

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