Participatory budgeting

Participatory Budgeting

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 obliges local authorities to ‘promote and facilitate’ public participation in their decisions and activities, including the allocation of resources through Participatory Budgeting (PB). 

This is a way for residents to have a direct say in how to spend part of a public budget. 

How it works

There are four simple steps to carrying out Participatory Budgeting:

  1. The public generate ideas on budget spending.
  2. Groups present their ideas at a public event: information stall, video or presentation.
  3. People vote for their priorities.
  4. Resources are directed to the ideas with the most votes.


By introducing participatory budgeting to mainstream council budgets, our goal is to:

  • Open up government by encouraging residents to play a greater role in spending decisions.
  • Improve services and service delivery by enabling residents to express what is important to them and how it can be achieved.
  • Widen engagement with the community by ensuring all members of our community have a voice.  We want to engage actively with those who may face barriers to having their voice heard.
  • Build community by inspiring residents to engage with each other within their communities and to create new networks, organisations, and opportunities.
  • Strengthen democracy by complementing representative democracy.

Past projects

Is this about saving money?

No. It is a new way to decide on how council budgets are spent. We want you to have a say.

We wish to develop active and stronger communities that are:

  • better informed about public budgets and decision-making
  • able to make informed decisions on how and where public funds are spent
  • more likely to confidently participate in community activities and decision making.