From the website:
Participatory Budgeting (PB) is one of the techniques which the government are encouraging local councils to use to pass more of their decision making powers to local communities.
In Newcastle, we call our PB programme ‘Udecide’ and a small team of staff from the City council have been working to develop Udecide since 2006. We have now worked in several wards in the City on topics from culture to crime and have also worked citywide with young people to allocate the city’s childrens fund.
Udecide is a process which encourages local people to get involved in shaping services where they live by giving them influence over how money is spent in their area. Typically, Udecide starts with a pot of money and issue or challenge to be addressed – the local knowledge and creativity of local people is harnessed through community development activities to generate ideas and priorities which can be turned into new projects or used to adjust or improve the way existing local services are delivered. Udecide brings frontline staff from the council and other agencies together with elected members and local people, it creates opportunities for working relationships to develop and helps communities to discuss, define and decide collectively on what they need and how their needs should be met.
This web based discussion site is one of the ways we hope to get residents talking to each other, to the staff who deliver services in your area and to the councillors who represent you. Please use it find out more about the project ideas suggested so far, and to make your own suggestions as well.