Hi there David, good to hear from you!
I’m down the road from you in Cambridge. There’s a few of us here, as it happens. We’re not actually involved in the Oxford assembly.
I’m both excited that you’re talking about wanting more deliberative democracy to happen in your area, and also wondering how much it would cost for all the councils in Norfolk to hold a citizens’ assembly. There’s a substantial cost involved in bringing 50+ people together for 2+ days, and if that money is going to be spent, it’s good to make sure that it’s happening in the right way from concept through to implementation of findings after the event.
I wonder if XR’s initial demand was to have one at a national level in order to aggregate the costs, at a political level where there are definitely resources to both pay for the assembly, and implement the outcomes.
Did you see the XR webinar yesterday which I think was discussing the cost issue and the potential for e.g. using citizen juries as a smaller alternative if the cost is too high? I was working so didn’t see it.
It’s also important to think about the whole process and whether it’s set up to succeed. Involve - https://www.involve.org.uk/ - who have run a number of assemblies around the UK, some of which we have been part of, recently created some thoughts on key aspects of a citizens’ assembly. You can find a copy of that here - https://drive.google.com/open?id=13VtAJTfTqS5phZmDgJ23AAXTeZX7rWTb - maybe one thing to add to this presentation is that people need to be compensated for attending, to make the process as accessible as possible.
We’re hoping to use this new forum and other online resources to bring together information and case studies around citizens’ assemblies, which I imagine you’d be interested in. Thanks for your patience!
all the best,