In the town of Luton in Bedfordshire, England, a participatory budgeting initiative known as "Your Say, Your Way" was used to allow local residents to engage in community decision-making regarding how funds would be allocated to address the most pressing area-specific issues.
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Problems and Purpose
Residents of central Luton have a variety of opportunities to influence how their areas are improved in the future thanks to participatory budgeting (PB). PB funding can be applied for by community groups who use it to benefit the local area.
Background History and Context
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Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
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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 .
Deliberation, Decisions, and Public Interaction
Once all applications are in, local community members come together at a ‘decision day’ and vote on the projects they think will meet local priorities and improve the area the most . Projects with the most votes are then awarded funding.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
Recently in Barnfield, Bushmead Residents Association secured funding to run a youth activity day to encourage healthy living. With the funding provided through PB, the group, with the help of a number of young people, organised and held a free event for 72 young people in the area, offering a variety of activities and sports as well as information and guidance. Bushmead Junior Youth Club also benefitted, using funding to improve the programme of activities they offer to 7 -11 year olds, including for the first time some outdoor activities such as horse riding.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
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 PB Network. (2016). Your say, your way in Luton funds £133,000 of community initiatives. PB Network. Retrieved from https://pbnetwork.org.uk/your-say-your-way-in-luton-funds-133000-of-comm...
Lead Image: Luton Participatory Budgeting/Twitter https://goo.gl/sEgBL3
Secondary Image: Luton Your Say Your Way https://goo.gl/Nvv1cK