PB UNIT NEWS
to the Participatory Budgeting e-bulletin
The PB Unit works to empower communities through the development of
UK models of participatory budgeting
1) Policy news and announcements
2) PB Unit News
3) News from pilot PB programmes
4) New resources on PB
5) Events and seminars
news and announcements
Launch of the Community
Empowerment Action Plan
Hazel Blears launched the action plan on the 19th October in a speech
to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NVCO) Conference.
In her address she commented "I see no reason why, in five years'
time, there shouldn't be a community kitty in every local authority.
We're supporting the work of the independent "Participatory Budgeting
Unit" - who help local authorities understand what they can do,
how they can do it, and what the benefits could be.
See the full text at
Download the action plan at
Idea undertaking research
into current practise of PB
Communities and Local Government has asked the Improvement and Development
Agency (IDeA) to build up a picture of what is already happening in
councils throughout England.
If you have already tried participatory budgeting (PB), we want to
hear about your experiences with it. What service areas did you use
it for? How did local people respond? Would you do it again, and if
you did, what might you do differently next time?
Negotiating New Local
Published on the 18th September 2007 this document is the first part
of two-stage guidance on the negotiation process for negotiating a
new LAA. This first part tells the 'narrative' of each level of government
with respect to the LAA process. It also incorporates the lessons
learnt from feasibility testing, helps to 'de-mystify' the negotiation
process and helps to set expectations that each can have of each other.
Consultation on third
The Dept for Communities & Local Government has just published
the attached consultation document, "Principles of representation:
A framework for effective third sector representation in Local Strategic
Closing date for comment: 12 February 2008.
More info at:
Hazel Blears outlined
her support for PB at a conference co-presented by Opinion Leader
and The PB Unit on 25 Oct in London. The Secretary of State repeated
her commitment to working towards every local authority in England
doing some form of PB in 5 years time.
The National Association
for Local Councillors used its annual conference to explore PB
and how it relates to the role of local councillors. The conference
was on 17 Nov in Belfast.
and Young People
On the 1st October around 20 experienced youth empowerment professionals
met in Manchester to consider opportunities for children and young
people to benefit from using PB ideas. Save the Children is, for example,
actively seeking funding to accompany new PB work, with the intention
that PB can help reduce child poverty by giving children and young
people a voice in decision making. Contact details were exchanged
at the meeting and the intention is to develop a body of resources
on the topic, initially through setting up a discussion forum.
If you are interested in pursuing this topic further please get in
touch with email@example.com
, or Imogen at firstname.lastname@example.org
New staff at PB Unit
Alan Budge from Bradford Vision is now working on secondment with
the PB Unit. Alan brings considerable practical experience from his
work for the Keighley PB pilot.
Lorraine Shaw has also joined the Unit, providing administrative support.
Jobs advertised working
for the PB Unit
Details of two new posts working at the PB Unit are available at http://www.church-poverty.org.uk/news-items/jobs-available-in-caps-pb-unit.
Closing dates for applications are the 10th December 2007
from pilot PB programmes
Lewisham small grants
£51,000 of NR funds were allocated at a decision day in September,
held across two wards in the Borough of Lewisham. Projects were invited
from community organisations in the Evelyn and Bellingham wards, and
resources were decided through a 'peer voting' system. This was the
first PB event in London, and was particularly significant in terms
of mainstream political support: the mayor and deputy mayor were both
in attendance, the latter commenting ' this sort of afternoon makes
me very proud to be a local ward councillor.'
Lancaster City Council
supports pilot in Poulton area of Morecambe
A £20,000 small grants PB process is developing in the neighbourhood
management area of Poulton. It is hoped to hold the decision making
event in mid February 2008. A learning group drawn from the Poulton
Neighbourhood Management Board will work with council staff to design
and deliver a process aiming to encourage those not generally involved
in community affairs to apply for £2000 grants. The programme
will be called 'In your hands', a name proposed by pupils from a local
PB Unit compiling list
of new pilots
Around 14 new pilot programmes for PB have been identified by the
PB Unit. If you are planning a PB event or activity, make sure you
let us know. In future issues of this newsletter we hope to be able
to signpost people to all the new work as it develops.
resources on PB
Government Backs website
on people and participation
People and Participation.net, a new resource to help people across
the country influence Government decision-making, has been launched
by Involve. The interactive website was built by citizen empowerment
group Involve and e-democracy pioneers Headshift. The site is supported
by the Department of Communities and Local Government, the Ministry
of Justice and the Sustainable Development Commission.
For further details see:
IDeA adds resources
on PB to its website
IDeA(the Improvement and Development Agency) has created a new section
on PB, giving an overview of best practice and recent experiences,
including case studies and links.
It draws on the experiences of six councils involved in piloting participatory
budgeting in their area, and considers what councils need to do to
make it a success.
Information on Cordoba's innovative PB programme, (in Spanish only)
is available at http://participacionciudadana.ayuncordoba.es
Elke Loeffler, from Governance International recently presented a
case study on Cordoba to the UK National Reference group for PB. Cordoba
was the longest standing experience with PB in Europe (running since
2000). A mix of territorial bottom-up approach and sectoral approach
is used. Elected citizen PB delegates play an important role in defining
the methodology (in particular the indicators used in the budget matrix)
and by monitoring the implementation of approved proposals. Final
selection of proposals is made by City Council with local councillors,
citizen delegates and representatives of local associations. In 2006
the proposals covered 3.6 percent of the budget.
A number of projects in Scotland connected to a programme of community
budgeting have done interested work relevant to England and Wales
on coordinating multiple service budgets, particularly in rural areas.
Fife's community budgeting pilot is reported at:
Contact PB Unit for information on other pilots in Scotland
Toronto Community Housing
Toronto Community Housing (the city's public housing authority) recently
posted on its website a new overview of its participatory budgeting
process. This is probably the clearest description of a PB experience
in North America, and of PB in public housing. See http://www.torontohousing.ca/key_initiatives/community_planning
US forum on PB launched.
As a result of two sessions on participatory budgeting at the US Social
Forum, a new United States PB Network is forming. At the meeting at
the Social forum a shortlist of useful international websites was
produced. Our own PB Unit (http://www.participatorybudgeting.org.uk)
Italy's Cooperativa Mesaverde (http://www.mesaverde.it
Spain's Cooperativa ETC (http://www.cooperativaetcs.org
and Brazil's CIDADE (http://www.ongcidade.org
To be involved in the US
discussion group, please join the network's listserv at
OECD/World Bank paper with PB case studies
The OECD / World Bank paper "Beyond Public Scrutiny: a stocktaking
of social accountability initiatives in OECD countries" profiles
40 government accountability programs, including interesting examples
of participatory budgeting in Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Spain, France,
the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the UK.
The Participatory Budgeting
This international forum of PB experts has a considerable archive
of messages, and links to events overseas.
You can join the listserv
Or view the resource Site at: http://www.ParticipatoryBudgeting.org
Here, the People Decide?
New forms of participation in the city.
31st January 2008, Bradford University.
For two years Bradford University has been researching participatory
engagement with activists and practitioners into how they are able
to use new spaces for involvement in local decision-making: exploring
Manchester, Bradford and Salford in the UK, Porto Alegre in Brazil,
Medellin in Colombia and Caracas in Venezuela. They are holding a
one-day conference to discuss their findings. To book a place, contact
Heather Blakey: 01274 236044, email email@example.com
For more information:
Our Contact details:
Tel: 0161 236 9321
Fax: 0161 237 5359
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