Data

General Issues
Economics
Specific Topics
Budget - Local
Location
Sunderland
United Kingdom
Scope of Influence
name:scope_of_influence-key:citytown
Links
https://goo.gl/kNJucr
Start Date
End Date
Ongoing
Yes
Facilitators
No
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Face-to-Face
Decision Methods
Voting
If Voting
Preferential Voting

CASE

The People's Fund in East End and Hendon, Sunderland, UK

January 13, 2019 Jaskiran Gakhal, Participedia Team
September 3, 2017 Jez Hall
General Issues
Economics
Specific Topics
Budget - Local
Location
Sunderland
United Kingdom
Scope of Influence
name:scope_of_influence-key:citytown
Links
https://goo.gl/kNJucr
Start Date
End Date
Ongoing
Yes
Facilitators
No
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Face-to-Face
Decision Methods
Voting
If Voting
Preferential Voting

As one of five pilot participatory budgeting projects using the community chest approach, the People's Fund in East End and Hendon, Sutherland, allowed local residents to have a say in how to allocate resources to address their concerns and improve relations with city council.

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Problems and Purpose

The People's Fund in Sutherland was one of the original 5 pilots that the then Office of the Deputy Prime Minister funded to trial PB as a new approach to community empowerment. They used a small community chest approach, with two events using PB to allocate £15,000 and £35,000 respectively. It was run by the local regeneneration programme known as Back on the Map, which was the public face of the Sunderland New Deal for Communities 10 year renewal initiative. 

The project went on to run for many years in different guises and with different funding sources. In 2013 the Peoples Fund name continues, but is now a community panel and more consultative than direct voting in the community.

Background History and Context 

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Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities

Sunderland New Deal for Communities with support from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Community Pride Initiative brought about the participatory budgeting process.

Participant Recruitment and Selection

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Methods and Tools Used

This initiative uses participatory budgeting, an increasingly common method of democratic innovation broadly described as "a decision-making process through which citizens deliberate and negotiate over the distribution of public resources." There are many benefits associated with participatory budgeting including increased civic and democratic education; increased government transparency; and an increased opportunity for participation by historically marginalized populations [1].    

What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation 

The NDC's management board employed the following process:

  • Recruited a group of residents to form a steering group
  • Trained the residents in budgets, priority setting and consultation
  • The steering group decded which priorities the fund should address through consultation with the community
  • Determined the most popular ideas from the consultation
  • Publicised the event, priorities and how to apply
  • Collated bid applications
  • Held a voting event for people to decide which projects would receive money

For the consultation, the steering group used a PB exercise to draw up a list of priorities for the People's Fund. The priorities identified were: crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour, provision for young people, transport, play areas, clean street and social and cultural events.

Through the priority setting exercise with the community, the steering group allocated out an amount of money against each priority.

At the voting event, 80 local residents attended and electronic voting pads were used to count the votes for each project. At the first event 12 projects were funded out of 15 applicants. 

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

Most residents were really positive about the event and how they were able to get involved. Some of the effects of the process included:

  • A good partnership working with the city council
  • Good training and learning for residents involved with steering group
  • A repeatable process which was repeated the following year
  • Development of community networks since local groups got to meet each other

Analysis and Lessons Learned

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See Also

Participatory Budgeting 

References

[1] Original Source: https://www.participatorybudgeting.org.uk/case-studies/the-peoples-fund-east-end-hendon-sunderland/ 

External Links

https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3516 

Evaluation of Participatory budgeting in the UK  

Sunderland East Area Committee 2011 

Notes

Lead Image: Sunderland Area Committee/Sunderland City Council https://goo.gl/nsRNKj

Secondary Image: Sunderland Community Centre https://goo.gl/tbVFN6

This case study was originally submitted to the Participatory Budgeting Unit by the organisers of the project, using a template supplied by the PB Unit.