Glasgow's PB journey detailed in new report


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

Like all of Scotland’s local authorities, Glasgow City Council are working toward a commitment that by 2021 at least 1% of their budget will be subject to participatory budgeting; amounting to over £20m in the city.

The report details the innovative approach Glasgow has taken, by working with the assets within communities; Glaswegians. In four areas of the city community organisations with deep roots have been commissioned to support people to establish citizens panels charged with testing how PB should best work in their community. In addition, Glasgow Disability Alliance were asked to support disabled people from across the city to get involved in development and delivery of the PB process.

More communities of interest and organisations with expertise have worked with elected officials and city council staff to co-produce a framework which will act as a city-wide backdrop for how Glasgow can move toward participatory budgeting in a way that makes Glasgow a fairer and more equal city. 

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.