Cash injection brings ‘people power’ to local communities

Communities in Aberdeen are to be given the opportunity to decide how a pot of cash will be spent in their local area.

Councillors backed proposals at yesterday’s (Thurs 25 Aug) Communities, Housing and Infrastructure committee to allocate £210,000 for participatory budgeting projects, where residents directly decide how to spend part of a public budget to help improve their community.

Councillors agreed that £150,000 of this money will be used for local priorities which are to be identified by members of the public at three locality events and the balance of £60,357 should be allocated for future participatory budgeting activity.

The first locality event is for residents living in Northfield, Middlefield, Cummings Park, Heathryfold and Mastrick; the second is for Torry and the third is for Tillydrone, Seaton, and Woodside.

Aberdeen City Council Regeneration and Transport spokesman Councillor Ross Grant said: “Participatory budgeting is an important element of locality planning as it enables residents to have a direct say in how we can make their area even better – it’s bringing people power to local communities.

“I hope that as many residents as possible can make it along to our locality planning events so that we can work together to identify what is most needed in their community.”

The three locality events which are to be held next month (Sept) and October are:

Northfield, Middlefield, Cummings Park, Heathryfold and Mastrick

Saturday 3 September 2016, 9.30am – 1pm

Sunnybank Football Club


Saturday 17 September, 9.30am – 1pm

Torry Academy

Tillydrone, Seaton and Woodside

Saturday 8 October, 9.30am – 1pm

St Machar Academy

On the day, there will be a discussion about the city vision of ‘a place where all people can prosper’ and what this means for the local area. There will also be workshops structured around the themes of our people, our place, our economy and our technology.

Several participatory budgeting projects are already happening across the city including £30,000 in Torry to upgrade and improve unused green space and £25,000 to go to projects to benefit residents in Froghall, Powis and Sunnybank through the Fairer Aberdeen Fund and the Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership. Another project is where residents of three multi-storeys - Linksfield, Promenade and Regent Courts - have been suggesting ideas how £100,000 can be used to improve their buildings and surrounding area.

Last year, pupils in Northfield voted to spend £50,000 on various projects including a digital project looking at building small computers, robots and Minecraft games, football sessions with tea time treats as well as opportunities to take part in music and media projects in the local area.