Participatory budgeting (PB) is recognised internationally as a way for people to have a direct say in how local money is spent.
We support PB as a tool for community engagement and as a resource to build on the wider development of participatory democracy in Scotland. PB can:
- support the principle of Public Service Reform that says people should have equal opportunity to participate in decisions shaping their local community and society
- complement aspirations in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 to give communities more powers to achieve their own ambitions
- help deliver the Public Sector Equality Duty by advancing equality of opportunity and fostering good relations between different groups
- help deliver on outcomes in Scotland’s National Performance Framework that 'we live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe' and 'we tackle poverty by sharing opportunities, wealth and power more equally'
National support programme: Community Choices Fund
Since 2014, we support and promote PB nationally through our Community Choices Fund. The fund is delivered in partnership with local authorities, communities and third sector organisations, and implemented across policy areas from policing to health and social care, transport and education.
In 2018 to 2019, the funding of £750,000 was made available for applications from community organisations and community councils. The applications closed in June 2018.
In 2019 to 2020 the Community Choice Fund was included as part of the £11.5 million Investing in Communities Fund which is part of the Empowering Communities Programme.
PB Scotland website provides more information about community choices events, policy and resources in Scotland, and profiles examples, pictures and videos of participatory budgeting in action.