Street Voice: Draft Terms of Reference

 

** NB this is a ‘live’ document and will be updated as further details are finalised.

Aims and objectives of Street Voice

Street Voice is a deliberative process using Citizens’ Jury methods. It is intended to provide residents with an opportunity to participate actively in developing ideas and policies, and to enable people to move around Oxford safely and conveniently, while improving the impact of traffic on air quality, health and climate change in ways that are effective and fair. It will focus on Headington and surrounding area [precise boundaries TBC] as a neighbourhood within Oxford, where there are plans to consult on the introduction of new traffic schemes, which are aimed at addressing these issues in the near future.

The Citizens’ Jury will be an impartial advisory body charged with providing detailed recommendations, and representing a broad consensus concerning proposed interventions designed to influence how people travel in Oxford. Following a well-established method, Street Voice will work to represent all residents, and to exemplify high standards of transparency, accountability and robust civic participation.

Street Voice has three objectives:

  • To learn about the shared and contrasting values, concerns and needs of the residents of Headington and surrounding areas regarding travel, safety, air quality, climate, and health.
  • To better understand residents’ visions for the future of mobility in their community.
  • To provide local residents with an opportunity to shape travel planning in Oxford for the coming years.

Guiding principles of Street Voice

  • Openness and Transparency – Street Voice will regularly share its learning and deliberations with the public through the project’s website.
  • Accountability and Legitimacy – The Jury will work within a defined mandate on behalf of all citizens of Oxford. The Jury will deliver its Final Report to Oxfordshire County Council.
  • Effective Representation – The Citizens’ Jury members will be charged with the responsibility of representing the needs and interests of all citizens of Oxford. Jury members will be selected to represent the demographics of Oxford.
  • Accessibility – The Street Voice project team will provide reasonable support to address barriers that may prevent a Jury member from participating successfully.
  • Independence – The Citizens’ Jury will have full independence to determine how best to fulfil its mandate.
  • Well-informed – The Citizens’ Jury will deliver sound recommendations in its Final Report. The Jury’s recommendations will be informed by a range of perspectives and sources of expertise, provided by a series of Expert Witnesses and advocates.
  • Balance – The Citizens’ Jury will consider a diversity of voices and perspectives in its deliberations.
  • Collaborative decision-making – Citizens’ Jury members will work towards consensus when drafting their recommendations, while also respecting and documenting differing perspectives among its members.
  • Respect – Citizens’ Jury members will strive to be conscientious and fair-minded in their deliberations.

These principles will be reinforced by an Advisory Group which will be convened to ensure the legitimacy of the process, i.e. that the Jury members and Expert Witnesses are selected without bias, and the overarching question to be addressed is worded in a neutral way.

Mandate of the Jury

Street Voice, funded by the University of Oxford, is tasked to learn about the needs and interests of local residents, examine the implications of introducing interventions designed to influence how people travel, and advise local councillors and their administrations on the conditions under which interventions might be introduced.

Specifically, the Citizens’ Jury will develop:

  • A set of values which describe their vision and aspirations for fair transport/health/climate policy;
  • A list of issues which they believe need to be satisfactorily resolved for interventions to merit consideration;
  • A detailed set of recommendations concerning interventions to facilitate healthy, fair and climate-friendly travel, including any conditions which would need to be satisfied if interventions were to be introduced.

To assist the members of the Jury with their task, a learning program will provide them with the opportunity:

  • To examine the current situation with regards to travel, accessibility, inequalities, air pollution, climate and health in Oxford
  • To be informed of and review information about recent, current and planned interventions to address issues related to travel, accessibility, inequalities, air pollution, climate and health
  • To learn from relevant case studies concerning prior, similar interventions in Oxford and beyond
  • To consult with and learn from independent experts as well as local residents.

Constraints on the Citizens’ Jury

The Jury will enjoy wide latitude in its ability to make recommendations concerning changes in how people move around Headington and Oxford, and how improvements to access, health and traffic emissions are made. However, for recommendations to be incorporated into Oxfordshire County Council’s policies, they will be broadly consistent with the Council’s planning principles, as well as sound professional planning practices. Recommendations will also take care not to contravene established Council policies, or place an undue fiscal burden on the Council or area residents. Oxfordshire County Council will have the final authority to accept, modify, or reject specific recommendations from the Jury at its discretion.

Schedule of the Jury

The Jury will meet over 21 hours split over four sessions in June-July 2022.

Sunday 12th June (afternoon): 1.30pm - 5.00pm

Saturday 18th June: 10.00am - 5.00pm

Sunday 26th June: 10.00am - 5.00pm

Sunday 3rd July (afternoon): 1.30pm - 5.00pm

Reporting and Communications

General Reporting

The project team will develop a webpage for the project that will display a detailed agenda including all speakers and resources, and the project’s Terms of Reference.

Following each Jury meeting, a brief summary of its activities and progress will be posted.

Communications

The Street Voice project team will appoint a Lead Moderator who will act as facilitator for the Jury.

Interim Directions Document

Following its first two meetings, the Jury will issue a brief directions document drafted by the Jury and project team, listing its draft values, and the issues or questions that the Jury believes deserve further study and consideration. This document will be considered by the project team for the purpose of shaping the activities of the subsequent Jury sessions.

Final Report

The Jury will deliver its Final Report to Oxfordshire County Council on Friday 8th July. The report will be drafted by the project team and Lead Moderator, with recommendations agreed by all Jury members. It will include an overview of the process, and the proposed values, identified issues and final recommendations of the Jury. It will also include an appendix that contains copies of all materials considered by the Jury, and a ‘minority report’ written by Jury members that documents any dissenting perspectives.

Composition of the Citizens’ Jury

Recruitment Process

Members of the Jury will be randomly selected by a mechanism that ensures that a broad, representative cross-section of local residents are selected to participate. A stratified sampling system will select members of the Jury from the pool of registered volunteers.

Criteria for Membership

The Citizens’ Jury will consist of 16 members. In order to be eligible to serve on this Citizens’ Jury, an applicant must:

  • Reside within Headington [boundary TBC], and
  • Be at least 18 years old at the time of volunteering

Jury Composition

The Jury will be composed of:

  • At least n men and n women
  • A proportionate number of members from five age cohorts: 18-21, 22-29, 30-44, 45-64 and 65+
  • A proportionate spread of members across the indices of multiple deprivation
  • A proportionate number of people from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds
  • People who differ on their concern about climate change

Demographic proportions will be established based on the 2011 [or 2021 if available] census profile of the neighbourhood.

To assist the Jury members in participating, their time will be remunerated at a rate of £70 per day. The venue will be accessible and mobility and other assistance will be provided to those members with different physical or learning abilities. The project team will do their best to provide any form of additional support to enable Jurors to participate. The working language of the Jury is English. Translation services will not be available.

Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and Responsibilities of Jury Members

Members of the Jury are expected to fulfil their duties and agree to:

  • Attend all sessions of the Jury;
  • Work to understand and represent the varied perspectives on travel issues of all residents;
  • Treat each other with respect and take an active role in the work of the Jury;
  • Work collaboratively to achieve a strong consensus concerning the Jury’s recommendations.

If a member of the Jury withdraws owing to illness, or unexpected events prior to the third meeting of the Jury, a new member will be appointed from the pool of volunteers who registered their interest. Members who withdraw following the third meeting will not be replaced unless decided otherwise by the project team.

Roles and Responsibilities of the project team

The project team is responsible for organising the Jury and is tasked to:

  • Convene an Advisory Group to oversee a fair and representative selection process to agree the Jury’s overarching question, to appoint members of the Jury, and to appoint ‘Expert Witnesses’;
  • Develop and execute a sound deliberative process that upholds high democratic standards and that yields clear recommendations for consideration by Oxfordshire County Council;
  • Develop and execute a balanced curriculum that will ensure that members of the Jury are adequately and appropriately informed and able to fulfil their mandate;
  • To appoint a Lead Moderator to support respectful dialogue and deliberation amongst members;
  • Ensure that regular updates concerning the Jury’s proceedings are made publicly available via the website;
  • Produce and deliver a Final Report concerning the Jury’s activities and recommendations before 31st October 2022;
  • Exercise discretion in ensuring and safeguarding the integrity and sound conduct of the Jury.

Roles and Responsibilities of Oxfordshire County Council

  • Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) will work to support the Jury and ensure its success. They will endeavour to:
  1. Provide expertise and access to relevant perspectives, documents and other materials;
  2. Support the Advisory Group
  3. Give careful and timely consideration to the Jury’s Final Report, responding publicly and in detail to the Jury’s recommendations.
  • OCC will support the Jury in its deliberations by providing impartial expertise.
  • OCC agrees to respect and support the independence and integrity of the Jury.

This document has been prepared by the project team, made up of the following staff from the University of Oxford: Dr David Howard, Dr Juliet Carpenter, Robert Weavers (Global Centre on Healthcare and Urbanisation, Kellogg College), Prof Catherine Pope and Dr Alison Chisholm (Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences)