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Why do PB?

There are many reasons to be involved in PB. Here are just some of the benefits.

 Who benefits from Participatory Budgeting?

 

School project at Poulton eventLocal government, citizens, voluntary organisations and the private sector all benefit but in different ways from the PB process.

 






Benefits to Local Government
  • PB increases legitimacy by increasing dialogue, enabling better communication. When elected councillors seek citizen input in budget matters, their legitimacy increased.
  • PB Improves budget targeting through citizen participation in allocating public resources. The PB rules are set in such a way that they encourage the redistribution of spending in favour of less well-off neighbourhoods;
  • PB builds consensus. PB can build consensus within and across neighbourhoods on the budget plan.
  • PB can promote good governance: When local government share public expenditure information citizens gain a greater understanding of the council’s work. Open government also reveals to citizens the limitations and constraints faced by councils. The process also provides oppportunities for councils to be more accountable.
  • PB supports the ‘duty to involve’. PB enables councils to comply with the provisions of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 in providing a process of citizen engagement.
  • PB encourages community cohesion. PB brings people together from different ethnic and faith communities to make decisions about their neighbourhoods. This provides an opportunity for everyone to meet and discuss the needs and aspirations of the community as a whole.
  • PB help to develop the role of ward councillors. PB can assist in the development of the role of ward councillors as “community champions”. They can support specific events in the PB cycle which promotes political trust. PB will provide councillors with a greater understanding of the priority needs of their constituents.
  • PB increases transparency and respect. Many citizens have limited knowledge of how local government works or how their council taxes are spent. Through the financial transparency of PB, citizens gain a greater understanding of how services are paid for and delivered. This can increase respect for for the work of both council officers and elected members.

 

Benefits to citizens include:

 

  • PB provides citizens with access to local government information such as the amount of taxes collected, budgetary expenditure and budget forecasts.
  • PB increases the voice of citizens in local decision making.
  • PB provides an opportunity to deepen citizenship and democracy.
  • PB allows citizens to engage in the development and renewal of their neighbourhoods.
  • PB increases understanding of the different people in their neighbourhood
  • PB allows greater influence and say over services delivered in local areas
  • PB increases social cohesion in communities

 

Benefits to community & voluntary sector:

  • PB provides greater access to public budgets and how they are spent in local areas
  • Increases legitimacy for local projects through community grant-giving PB projects
  • Increases social cohesion within communities
  • Gets people more involved in their communities and connected to those people already involved
  • Creates a more mature dialogue between public sector, community & voluntary sector and citizens

 

Benefits to Private Sector:

 

Transparency

: The business community often supports PB because it promotes transparency and provides them with greater information on how business tax is allocated and spent.

 

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Copyright 2007, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource. admin. (2008, April 16). Why do PB?. Retrieved August 26, 2011, from Participatory Budgeting Unit Web site: http://www.participatorybudgeting.org.uk/about/why-do-pb. All Rights Reserved.
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You can write to the
Participatory Budgeting Unit
through our Manchester Office.

Participatory Budgeting Unit
C/o Church Action on Poverty
3rd Floor
35 Dale St
Manchester M1 2HF
UK

Office Tel: 0161 236 9321
Fax: 0161 237 5359

The PB Unit is a project of Church Action on Poverty, a charity (charity no. 1079986) and company limited by guarantee (company no.3780243)

 

 

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