Social isolation is a key requirement towards promoting wellbeing and preventing undue pressure on public services, such as costly hospital admissions. With an elderly mother of my own who is increasingly needing care at home it’s a subject close to my heart. Not least because of my passion for Participatory Budgeting (PB), that aims to include citizen voice, and can reduce social isolation whenever and wherever public money is being spent.
If two heads are better than one… what about 10 heads, or 100, or 67,000. Could Universities spearhead a new form of more open democratic accountability in educational Institutions? Would your school or college trust its learners, and use Participatory Budgeting to set just some of its budget? Or do we continue to believe the Vice-Chancellor always knows best?
I can hardly believe it is only two weeks since I was on a small Danish island, in the midst of the Baltic sea, taking part in the Danish Folkemoedet, or People’s Meeting. Sharing big ideas, rubbing up against national politicians (in their ill fitting jeans and over shined shoes) and celebrating the fact that every one — young, old, rich, homeless, black or white — had a valid opinion and something of value to add.
Over the last year, PB Partners has worked with the Scottish Government and its partners to develop significant new community engagement programmes.
Watch a video of a Participatory Budgeting (PB) event held in Blaenau Gwent.