In 2013, Durham County Council initiated a project known as "It's Up 2 U £500K", giving local residents the opportunity to collaborate and decide where to direct the funds in their budget, hoping to allow them a say over local issues and increase their democratic engagement.
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Problems and Purpose
Durham County Council, in partnership with 3 Towns Partnership, set aside £500,000 of capital funding for projects within 1.5 miles of Crook town centre. Durham County Council asked not-for-profit organisations for capital project ideas that would improve community facilities in the area, such as community facility improvements/refurbishments, extensions or community land improvements, such as playgrounds, parks and sporting facilities.
‘It’s Up 2 U £500K’ gave local people the chance to vote on a range of projects to decide, which should receive funding. The aim was to help people to have control over what happens in their area and give them a say on the things that matter.
Background History and Context
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
Participant Recruitment and Selection
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 .
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
Analysis and Lessons Learned
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