Food Glorious Food-  PB in Midlothian 

The focus and interest in Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a great opportunity to build a more co-productive relationship between public bodies and communities, with communities taking the power to make decisions about their priorities. Good PB enables the ideas, skills and knowledge of communities to be respected and developed, encouraging equality of power and responsibility.

Whe done well, PB is a fantastic way of respecting and building on the skills, assets and talents in our communities while working on the basis of equality and transparency.

Here, Paul Johnson from Midlothian Council tell us about their PB activity so far.

Between January to May 2017, Midlothian Council Communities Team, working alongside NHS Lothian and local steering groups, developed and ran 3 innovative participatory budgeting projects called ‘Food, Glorious Food’.  The projects were based in the Gorebridge, Woodburn/Dalkeith and Mayfield and Easthouses areas with £16,000 being made available in each area for local people to improve health through promoting healthy eating, supporting community-growing schemes, and other food related activities.

The aim of this initiative is to close the outcome gap in health, learning, and economic circumstances, and enables residents to have direct involvement in the allocation of resources within their own community.

An estimated 650 people attended the events with 473 residents voting on their preferred projects. Participants were encouraged to support a broad range of groups by being required to vote for three separate projects.

Across the three areas, 34 groups received funding of sums ranging from £230 to £3,000. 

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For further information about these projects, go to www.midlothian.gov.uk or the PB Scotland website  You can also view short videos shot at the three events at this location here