Participatory Budgeting

Participatory budgeting is a process which allows members of a community to participate in making spending decisions about local things that affect them.

It originated in Brazil in the late 1980s as a device to instill communities’ confidence in the democratic processes.

In Great Britain PB is used as a method for securing public engagement in local decision making and demonstrates the importance of community involvement in new development or in regeneration if the potential benefits to communities are to be realised and their needs met.

Participatory Budgeting can:
·         Encourage people to bring forward ideas for ideas for their community
·         Foster a greater understanding of local community issues
·         Get people involved in their community and in voluntary activity
·         Make sure that what gets done is what the community most wants
·         Helps the community understand how parish business affects them
·         Helps people see how their council tax is being used
·         Encourage new people to stand for election as parish councillors
 

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The National Association of Local Councils (NALC), which represents the interests of town, parish and community councils, is hosting a one-day conference on how local councils can help the lives and well-being of communities through leadership and service delivery. Entitled Putting Communities First: Connecting Power to Local People, the conference aims to explore the role that local councils can play in making the delivery of services and activities more relevant to their local commmunities.

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC), which represents the interests of town, parish and community councils, is hosting a one-day conference on how local councils can help the lives and well-being of communities through leadership and service delivery. There will be plenary speakers and 8 topical workshops to choose from during the day.

For groups in the rural parts of Sheffield, participatory budgeting (PB) is proving a huge success. Under the slightly friendlier title ‘You Choose’, groups in each Council Ward can bid for up to £2,000 for their activities. With a total of around £10,000 available, this is serious money to support local community action.
 
Participatory budgeting is a process which allows members of a community to participate in making spending decisions about local things that affect them.  Parish councils are local authorities and generally have a much closer relationship with the community than do the larger principal authorities.  They should be an ideal basis for participatory budgetingand Rural Action Yorkshire’s project set out to test this idea.