In early 20203, GAVO were asked by the Caerphilly Integrated Wellbeing Network (Part of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board) to help them deliver two rounds of Participatory Budgeting in the Neighbourhood Care Network areas of the Caerphilly County Borough.
Participatory Budgeting is a mechanism for facilitating direct community engagement in deciding how public money is spent in a particular area. It was pioneered in Brazil in the late 1980s as a means of promoting local democracy and tackling poverty by enabling people to identify the key issues facing their communities, and then deciding how money will be spent to solve those issues.
Participatory Budgeting has now arrived in the Caerphilly County Borough and in September 2003, GAVO employed Geraint Jones as the dedicated Participatory Budgeting Officer to work with communities in the Upper Rhymney Valley, Greater Bargoed, Van in Caerphilly and Risca.
A key priority for the participatory budgeting (PB) process is listening to what local people feel are the key wellbeing issues facing them and their community, and as of 15th January 2024 Geraint has had a good response to the initial PB consultation process from local people, with many providing their contact details to be involved in the process.
Following the end of this fact-finding phase, Geraint will organise a public meeting so that residents can prioritise the well-being issues they have identified in the consultation and elect a panel of residents to take PB forward.
From this point on, the residents panel, as representatives of the community area, will make all the key decision regarding which well-being projects will be funded and whether or not they will be refunded in round two (depending on how successful they are at improving community well-being)
Participatory budgeting is a real opportunity for local people to have meaningful say in how public money should be used to improve community well-being.
To find out more, please contact Geraint Jones – firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07483128090