I WRITE in response to the letter from Christopher Bailey in the February 24, edition of your paper.


The process applied was that Sortition Foundation contacted 14,400 homes in the county (out of a total of about 85,000).

520 residents responded. 48 were selected. Sortition used randomisation of sampling in recruiting members based on age, gender, ethnicity, urban/rural, socio-economic background, attitude to climate change and disability.

As recorded in a published Council Decision Report of January 14, 2022 the total budget cost of the Assembly was £70,000.

Costs incurred are within that figure.


Sortition’s fee was £8,456 plus VAT. They were not selected due to any particular position they take on politics.

They were selected because they are leaders in this field with considerable experience, especially of working with local authorities.

Impact Consultancy and Research, charged a fixed fee of £30,000.

Had they charged by the hour the fee would have been

considerably higher.

In agreeing a fixed sum, they knew this was likely to be a

loss leader for them.

Their commitment and professionalism was outstanding and I commend them as a local supplier.

Many others gave their time for free.

Thankfully we live in a country with a democratic system. I do not consider that it is perfect.

Too few people do not exercise their democratic right to vote, and the elected are not even close to being a cross section of our society by age or socio-economic groupings.

For this reason consultation in decision making is especially important.

My hope is that more people in Herefordshire will respond to our consultations, and also decide to vote at the next election in response to the way in which this administration has gone about discharging the faith placed in us at the last election.


Leader of Herefordshire Council

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