Proposals have been made within Glasgow City Council to commit £1m per council ward to participatory budgeting. SNP councillors proposed the motion at the last meeting of the Council and Susan Aitken, leader of the SNP group within the council has committed to making this a priority if the SNP is able to form a new city government in next year's council elections.
In a piece for the Glasgow Herald, she said:
"if the SNP is elected to form a new city government in Glasgow next year, we’ll make it a priority to put that £1m out to strengthened and expanded local partnership structures in every council ward. We’ll also ensure that the vast majority of decisions about planning and licensing issues (ridiculously centralised in Glasgow) will be taken in the places affected by them. This will be potentially transformative spending and decision-making power, devolved to communities and giving local people the ability to effect change where they live."
Fiona Garven, director Scottish Community Development Centre, also welcomed the proposals.
"Up until now participatory budgeting in Scotland has mainly been small scale and used as a way to open up local decision making on grant funds to community organisations.
"Glasgow’s plans to allocate 1% of its council budget through PB are ambitious and welcome. Local people have the most stake in how public funds are spent, and the most to lose if they are not applied where they can have most effect – especially in a time of austerity. Learning from other countries using PB as a way to allocate mainstream funds shows that local citizens know best what is needed in their areas and how services should be delivered, and that their involvement in making decisions on public spend leads to better outcomes all round."
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