Residents to have more say on some spending

Communities to have more say in how some budget is spent

Communities are to have a direct say in how some of the council’s budget is to be spent. For many years each councillor has been allocated £10,000 to spend on environmental projects in their wards.

Councillors approved a participatory budgeting model

Councillors agreed at a full council meeting on Tuesday to adopt a participatory budgeting model when deciding how that money should be spent, and not just on environmental projects.

This is a way for local people to have more say in spending public funds

Recognised internationally, participatory budgeting (PB) is a way for local people to have a direct say in how, and where, public funds can be used to address local needs.

It's a great way of empowering communities

Councillor Kelly Parry, the cabinet member for finance, said: “We’ve used PB before, very successfully, to fund projects in Mayfield and Easthouses to help families struggling financially.

“PB is a great way of empowering communities to take important decisions affecting their areas and take an active interest in what are often difficult financial choices.”

Our officers will be working with communities

The council’s communities team will be working with local people to support the PB programmes. By adopting a PB approach, communities can then also apply for external funding and support for disadvantaged groups.

Different PB models exist, although it normally involves members of the community deciding through a voting process how to spend part of the budget of a public agency such as a local authority.





20 Dec 2016