Suc­cess of com­mu­nity vot­ing scheme praised

Macclesfield Express - - NOSTALGIA -

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.”

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