Aberdeen youngsters have say in how council underspend is used

In what is a first for Aberdeen City Council, children and young people have been given a vote on how an underspend of £50,000 will be spent on activities in their local community.

Children and young people in the Northfield, Mastrick, Cummings Park and Middlefield areas of the city voted on how £30,000 should be spent on activities for the Over 12s and how £20,000 should be spent on activities for the Under 12s.

The initiative was delivered by Northfield Total Place, and took a “participatory budgeting” approach, where young people themselves “vote” on which activity they wish to see happening in the area.

Northfield Total Place sought applications widely from interested parties, and received a total of 20 bids, 10 in each category. 

Over 1740 children and young people watched a film (approximately 30 minutes) consisting of a video clip from each applicant organisation, after which they each cast their vote for their favourite “pitch” electronically.  Each P1 to S6 pupil was entitled to one vote.  

Winners of the Over 12s vote were:

  • AFC Community Trust: School of Football

  • Police Scotland & Youth Volunteers: Litter Reduction

  • Byron Boxing Club: Fitness Classes

  • SHMU: Young People Call the Shots

Winners of the Under 12s vote were:

  • Byron Boxing Club: Fitness Classes

  • GRA Design: Awesome Tech

  • Bramble Brae School: Cummings Park Gardening Project

  • Police Scotland & Youth Volunteers: Litter Reduction

  • Middlefield Community Project: iPad/Tablet Provision

  • The Kids of Northfield Community Learning Association: Playground Project

The next steps are to undertake an evaluation of the process before organising Participatory Budgeting events in other areas of the City in early 2016.

For more information on Northfield Total Place visit: