Glasgow's PB journey detailed in new report

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Glasgow City Council has published a report which outlines the work they’ve been doing around participatory budgeting (PB) across the city.

The report details the journey they’ve taken from 2016, where PB has developed from initial events to the current £1 million pilots across four council wards and a community of interest via Glasgow Disability Alliance.

The report talks about what work well and what could have been better. Learning from their first PB work showed that:

“Although this experience had positive outcomes and tested out the viability of PB in Glasgow, key issues emerged. Despite publicity and Council support, the number of local people and organisations involved were relatively modest. Although many funded agencies proposed work with hard to reach populations, and 17% had never previously applied for such funding before, established organisations tended to get more votes at community meetings, perhaps sidelining new ideas about how best to address local issues.”

As the council develops its latest PB work, the report offers some learning about what needs to done to remove barriers to getting people involved in PB:

“Whilst the process to inform the still embryonic Citizen’s Panels develops, GCC is working with the anchor organisations to identify any outstanding issues and to assess impact and outcome. Feedback from meetings organised across the four Wards and with the GDA has helped GCC refine plans and ensure that as few barriers as possible remain. Issues raised have included how Panels will represent full Council Wards and their liability for decisions made; ensuring language is inclusive, not off-putting; the sustainability of projects funded through PB after the funding period; how to ensure Panels are diverse and representative; how PB fits with current Council funding plans and how the allocation of budgets by the Panels relates to democratically elected Community Councils. Ideas for services and activities needed in each Ward are also being raised which will help shape the criteria for deciding on PB funding when the time comes.”

You can download the full report here.