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Second PB round in Tower Hamlets a success!

Tower Hamlets have just completed their second round of PB voting events across the whole of the borough.

Second PB round in Tower Hamlets a success!

Participants using electronic voting

Through January, February and March nearly 800 citizens from Tower Hamlets came along to local public meetings as part of the 'You Decide!' process to discuss and decide how to spend £2.4million on key additional local public services. 

Residents voted for more police officers, handyperson services for older people, youth projects, street lights, park improvements and many other items.

Each project or service on offer was allocated a number between 1 and 45 and residents used electronic voting pads to vote for the services they wanted. The results were shown live on the screens as they happened and residents left each meeting knowing exactly what had been voted for.

At an event in March, Council Leader, Councillor Lutfur Rahman, said: “Overall, You Decide! has been another great success in 2010. Now we’ll be Working closely with residents and wards councillors to ensure that the services purchased are delivered and meet the needs of the local community.”

The service providers will now discuss with citizens at ongoing Local Area Partnership meetings, how they would like to see the chosen services implemented in their areas, before implementing them over the course of the year. 

Glen Ocsko, Consultation and Involvement Team Leader at Tower Hamlets Council, commented: “The handsets made a real difference to how people saw their engagement; seeing the results come in live and displayed on a big screen before their eyes ensured they left knowing exactly what was purchased.  [Electronic voting] really helped promote trust in the process.”

The Tower Hamlets PB process is innovative in the UK context because it's one of the few areas to use mainstream public sector funding to be allocated to services in local areas, which is quite a different approach to the more typical community grants pot allocations and a more similar approach to the original Brazilian model.  The level of funding allocated by the people of Tower Hamlets is also more significant than in other PB processes in the UK.  

To read the Tower Hamlets case study based on their first year's experience click here.  An updated case study will be available soon.

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