“We’ve seen the success of the X-Factor and the Eurovision in terms of engaging people by giving them a vote. Community Budgeting can do the same and bring real tangible benefits to local communities in Dublin City Council and all around the country.”

The Social Democrats have called for an award-winning Council project, Community Budgeting, to be expanded into every local Council in Ireland.

The idea behind Community Budgeting, or Participatory Budgeting as it is often called, is that local residents get a direct say on which local projects are funded by the Council.

An award-winning project in South Dublin Co. Council has led the way in Ireland. In that Council, €300,000 was set aside, and locals were invited to submit proposals on how it should be spent.

Once the proposals were collated, residents were given 17 projects to choose from and there was a public vote on which projects would receive the funding. Everyone in a given area had a vote, including children.

The winning projects included a multi-games wall, a playground, Christmas lights, free library book banks, a public piano, an urban orchard, and new recycling facilities.

Patricia Roe, the Social Democrats candidate for Artane-Whitehall on Dublin City Council said:

“The project in South Dublin was a resounding success and has been highly acclaimed in an independent review. Every community in Ireland should have the chance to have their say on how their taxes are spent locally. It puts the community in control and promotes very significant community buy-in to local projects.”

Mary Callaghan, candidate for Ballymun Finglas ward on Dublin City Council added:

“There are so many great possibilities with Community Budgeting. It could fund improvements to community centres, youth cafes, sports facilities, older persons facilities or simply improve the local environment in terms of biodiversity, safe school routes, tree and flower planting etc.“

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said:

“We’ve seen the success of the X-Factor and the Eurovision in terms of engaging people by giving them a vote. Community Budgeting can do the same and bring real tangible benefits to local communities in Dublin City Council and all around the country.”

“Nationally, the Social Democrats are proposing a Community Budgeting Fund for local authorities to support these schemes. This could draw on dormant accounts funding and National Lottery funding.”

ENDS

21st May 2019

Note for Editors:

Community Budgeting: The Social Democrats Participatory Budgeting Manifesto for Local Government is available to download here

Details of Implemented Projects in South Dublin Co. Council: https://haveyoursay.southdublin.ie/Home/Implementation

Link to the IPA Review: https://www.ipa.ie/_fileUpload/Documents/SDCC_300k_REPORT2017.pdf