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Participatory Budgeting – Southampton’s experience. ‘Your Health, Your Community, Your Vote’ 28 th June 2008. The context. Southampton’s New Deal for Communities programme £48.7m to spend over 10 years Led by a partnership board Delivered according to themes .

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participatory budgeting southampton s experience

Participatory Budgeting – Southampton’s experience

‘Your Health, Your Community, Your Vote’

28th June 2008

the context
The context
  • Southampton’s New Deal for Communities programme
  • £48.7m to spend over 10 years
  • Led by a partnership board
  • Delivered according to themes
thornhill community health group funding
Thornhill Community Health Group funding
  • Joint initiative with Southampton City PCT to build a new health clinic in Thornhill
NDC return on funding for health clinic - £100,000 a year for 10 years
  • Overseen by Thornhill Community Health Group – PCT, Southampton City Council, Thornhill Plus You, residents
participatory budgeting timescales
Participatory budgeting - timescales
  • December 2006 – idea first discussed in Thornhill
  • February 2007 – agreement from Community Health Group to develop PB
  • June 2007 – PB planning day with representative from the PB Unit
January 2008 – Agreement from Southampton City Council and Southampton City PCT to go ahead
  • March 2008 – Southampton named as one of 10 pilots
  • June 28th, 2008 – ‘Your Health, Your Community, Your Vote’ event
  • SCC and local PCT, Thornhill Plus You, residents
  • Staff time, resources for the event, approval for spending money this way
  • Some suspicion at first
  • Public involvement agenda used as leverage
  • Named by Hazel Blears – no going back!
objectives for the pilot
Objectives for the pilot
  • Empower local groups to bid for money for and manage health related projects
  • Increase resident participation in decision making which should be both engaging and enjoyable
  • Establish processes and accountability lines that are clear, concise and productive
Develop effective support and project planning mechanisms (e.g. monitoring, establishment of criteria and use of qualitative feedback from residents)
  • Test new ways of involving communities in managing resources and transferring this knowledge to other neighbourhoods
the process
The process
  • Applications invited for projects bidding from £1,000-£10,000, which have health objectives
  • 22 applications received, totalling £134,168.00
  • Applications subject to a brief appraisal
the event
The event
  • 18 presentations, 3 minutes long
  • Projects on the day totalled £93,559
  • Transport and childcare provided
  • Lunch and entertainment
  • Prize draw linked to evaluation forms
  • 60 residents attended
  • Local dignitaries – Councillors, local Sergeant, John Denham MP
  • Media coverage
  • £10,000 provided to fund the event
  • Task group set up to oversee organisation of the day
  • Appraisal team
  • Support for applicants
  • Approximately 500 hours involved
evaluation residents responses
Evaluation – residents responses

‘I think it was good for the Thornhill community. I wish I had it when I was young, I have lived here for 44 years.’

‘well done, do it again’

‘ I think it’s important for the general public to have a say in these projects’

‘Big thanks for making my vote count’

resident s responses
Resident’s responses…

‘We need more of this type of event’

‘It was good to see the faces behind the projects’

‘A good day for everyone who attended’

‘More events like this please!’

‘Why has it taken us so long to hit on this way of doing things??!! Well done – a great success!!’

applicants responses
Applicants responses

‘It was a privilege to participate. We got to speak to real people. Now we know the community are keen on the idea, it has given us confidence.’

Action for Blind People

‘A very fair approach that fits into the NHS vision of people having a say. It was fair and transparent.’

Sun Safety

‘Not a fair way to allocate funding. Process is open to abuse, especially if large amounts of funding are at stake.’ Unsuccessful project

‘Really good fun, would definitely do it again. It was nerve-wracking but a very friendly atmosphere.’

Water Walkers

‘It was a remarkable experience, I enjoyed the challenge. I can’t express how impressed I was, this is the first time I’ve seen a community participation project that was successful.’


my evaluation of the day
My evaluation of the day
  • People are generally suspicious of this approach
  • Good organisation is crucial to the success of the day
  • Don’t forget about having fun!
  • Don’t get too bogged down with issues around representation – what is the alternative?
  • Transparency of the process