Success of community voting scheme praised
CHESHIRE East Council has hailed the success of participatory budgeting.
This involves community groups pitching their ideas to their own communities in a Dragons Den style format, before those communities cast votes to decide who receives funding.
The ‘You Decide’ event in Macclesfield saw 35 different community groups appeal for a share of £100,000 funding pot and was described as one of the best by Susan Ritchie, chair of the UK Participatory Budgeting network.
Susan said: “The event in Macclesfield was quite possibly the best participatory budgeting grant funding event that I have seen – and I have seen hundreds.
“It had high energy, ideas from a diverse group of residents, political connectivity, organisational commitment and a meaningful pot of money.”
Charities which successfully applied for funding via the public forum were were: Cheshire Streetwise; MAC Multi Activity Centre; Carers Trust 4 All; the CBT Self-Help Support Group by HOPE; Tiny Tearaways; Space4Autism; Mayfield Garden Group; Gawsworth Group; Cheshire East Citizens Advice Bureau North; The Green In The Corner Cafe; Alzheimer’s Society; Disability Information Bureau; Edge Inclusion Partners; Macclesfield Community Artspace; S: Park South Park CIC; Just Drop-In; The Moss Allotment Garden Project.
Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for communities and health, said: “One of the most impressive benefits of engaging with our communities through participatory budgeting has been that residents have fed back to us that they now feel far more informed and connected to the places where they live.
“We have all been able to strengthen our networks, connections and partnerships.”