Local government

What should the future of Romsey town centre look like?

Romsey Future Citizens' Assembly
Test Valley Borough Council, The Romsey Future Partnership, The Democratic Society, mySociety, RSA, DCMS, MHCLG, Renaisi
Two weekends in November 2019

The Romsey Future Citizens’ Assembly was formed to discuss the future of Romsey Town Centre. It brought together 42 residents - broadly reflecting the population of Romsey and the surrounding Parishes - over two weekends in November to develop recommendations for the Council and master planners.

The Citizens' Assembly was asked to consider and provide recommendations on the question:

How do we improve the area around crosfield hall and the bus station to deliver the maximum benefit to romsey?

Across two weekends, participants considered a variety of options for the future of the town centre and weighed up the benefits of different options for the community, local economy and environment. The citizens' assembly was asked to particularly consider the impact on:

  • Accessibility to the town centre;
  • The appearance of the town centre;
  • How the area is used as a place to live, work and enjoy.


During 2018 and 2019, the Romsey Future Partnership consulted with residents on the creation of a masterplan for the area south of Romsey town centre. The findings from the Romsey Future Citizens' Assembly informed the next stage of the preparation of the masterplan, which will guide the future re-development of this area of the town centre. 

This citizens' assembly formed part of the Innovation in Democracy Programme (IiDP), which was jointly established by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). IiDP is trialling the involvement of citizens in decision-making at a local government level through innovative models of deliberative democracy.

Each participating local authority was supported by a team made up of Involve, The Democratic Society, mySociety and the RSA, as being given up to £60,000 to cover the costs of implementing the citizens' assembly. The programme is being independently evaluated by Renaisi.

Recommendations and response

The recommendations of the citizens’ assembly helped to inform the development of the Romsey Master Plan, which was unveiled in August 2020. Both were presented to the full council in September 2020, with the council approving the Masterplan and endorsing the recommendations of the citizens’ assembly. Council Members also resolved that, in addition to the Masterplan, the citizens’ assembly recommendations should be used to help shape the next Local Plan and refresh of the Romsey Future Vision.


You can find the final report here:

Test Valley Borough Council Citizens' Assembly Final Report 2019

Accessible Test Valley Borough Council Citizens' Assembly Final Report 2019