I HAVE just learned of a group named the Herefordshire Citizens’ Climate Assembly, convened by Herefordshire Council (HCC) to advise on council action with regard to climate change.

Members of this group were neither self-selected volunteers nor elected local councillors.

To quote from the HCC website: “In January 2022 the Herefordshire Citizens’ Climate Assembly was held to discuss: ‘How should Herefordshire meet the challenges of climate change?’”


Participants were chosen from 14,400 households invited to register their interest.

From those, 48 people were selected by an independent organisation called the Sortition Foundation, who made sure the final group represented the diversity of Herefordshire’s population.

The recommendations will be used to influence council policy and spending priorities to help Herefordshire become a zero-carbon, nature-rich county by 2030.

Since they were each paid £300 for taking part in this short-term project, whereas parish councillors commit to five years and don’t get paid at all, it can be argued they were ranked as more important than parish councils.

Herefordshire Council’s welcome certainly suggests this.

It is therefore reasonable that we should be told who these people are and that they should each be required to file a declaration of interests, as all parish councillors are mandated to do.

This would be in keeping with the spirit of openness and accountability professed by the current administration.

The link on the council website leads only to the relevant councillors and specialist speakers.

Needless to say, perhaps, the Citizens’ Assembly’s “virtual” meetings were not open to the public.



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