At its agm Salisbury Compass agreed to campaign for a Citizens’ Assembly (or Jury).

I thought it would be a good idea to deepen our understanding of deliberative democracy and widen the appeal for comments.

This is a major project which will require significant input so my plea to everyone reading this is to comment if you can – it is, so to speak, an online deliberation about whether you back the idea for deliberative democracy in the city and if so how it is to be achieved.

In the first instance I thought it would be useful to include a number of informative websites to help our future deliberations. Beyond the ballot: 57 democratic innovations from around the world is by our resident expert Graham Smith and is a useful overview of a range of experiments including Citizens’ Juries, which is the one we are favouring at the moment.

A very useful website by Participation Compass gives an overview of all the various options including Conversation Cafés, of which Salisbury Democracy Café is an example. Another website relates to a jury in the Forest of Dean held recently.

Also the government has just published a new document called Civil Society Strategy which includes a passage about Citizens’ Juries.

But really this is over to you. What do you think? Do you back the idea, in which case would you like to get involved in the organisation? Or do you oppose it and, if so, why?


The next meeting of Salisbury Compass will be on Saturday 18 August between 11am and 1pm at The Yard café in Dews Road (entrance via West Street).


Best wishes,