Next Steps for Participatory Budgeting in Scotland

By 2021 at least 1% of local government budgets will be subject to participatory budgeting.

The context

Participatory budgeting (PB) is recognised as a tool for community empowerment and fits with the Scottish Government’s overall goal for local governance and public service reform.

Since 2014 the Scottish Government has invested over £4.7 million in a range of measures to support the introduction and development of PB in Scotland. Subsequently, in 2015, the Community Choices Fund was introduced to provide financial support for PB across Scotland.

PB is considered to have important potential in helping individuals feel connected to each other and to their communities, overall instilling a sense of ownership, trust and connectivity. However, a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges conferred by PB are required to ensure that the process meets local priorities effectively now and in the future.

The event

Attend this timely Holyrood briefing on 27 March to understand how to effectively facilitate PB in your service. We will bring together expert speakers and delegates from community development, engagement and planning backgrounds to understand the opportunities and challenges presented through the process of PB, and how to effectively manage them. Key organisations will share learning for best practice, and examine how to ensure that people are given an equal opportunity to participate and have their voice heard in local priorities.

Confirmed speakers

  • Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government and Housing, Scottish Government
  • Simon Cameron, Development Manager - Participatory Budgeting, COSLA
  • Evelyn O'Donnell, Community Engagement Officer, Glasgow City Council
  • Kevin Sayer, Community Manager (Cowdenbeath), Fife Council 
  • David Reilly,  PB Scotland Network 
  • Pam Crosthwaite, Participatory Budgeting Development Officer, North Ayrshire Council
  • Ruchir Shah, Policy Manager, SCVO

Who should attend?

This briefing will be of most benefit to those working in community planning and engagement and local government financing:

  • Community engagement, development and planning officers
  • Area or regional managers
  • Business improvement and development teams
  • Local advocacy and outreach personnel working in charities and third sector organisations
  • Finance, accounting and facilities management
  • Councillors

Key issues to be addressed

  • Current policy landscape and next steps for PB
  • Examining how to utilise the Community Choices Fund
  • Understanding the impact of PB on local services and local communities
  • Building capacity and competence for meaningful and sustainable participation within communities, local authorities and partnerships
  • Strategic engagement within 1%
  • Tackling inequalities through PB to ensure that all voices within a given community are represented
  • Learning from and sharing good practice of PB from across Scotland



09:30    Registration and Refreshments

10:00    Welcome and Introduction from Chair

              Professor Alan Alexander OBE, Emeritus Professor of Public Sector Management, University of Strathclyde

10:05   Session 1: Policy and Overview

10.05   Opening Keynote Address 

             Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government and Housing, Scottish Government 

10:20   Questions to the Minister 

10:30  Mainstreaming PB

  • The presentation will cover where we have been, where we are and where we are going.

           Simon Cameron, Development Manager - Participatory Budgeting, COSLA

The remainder of the session will cover... 

  • Understanding the practicalities for taking forward a PB; how to execute and getting to grips with the finances

11:05    Questions and Discussion

11:20    Refreshments and Networking

11:40   Session 2: Inclusion in Participatory Budgets

11:40    Implementing Participatory Budgeting in Communities

  • Implementation of PB in communities 
  • Learning and lessons so far, and the resources and support available from the PB Scotland Network 
  • Importance of  a bottom-up community-led approach to strengthening PB

           David Reilly,  PB Scotland Network 

12:20   Questions and Discussion

12:50   Lunch and Networking

13:45   Session 3: Learning from and Sharing Good Practice

 A series of case studies will share learning and experience of executing the PB process and success criteria.

13:45   Implementing PB in Fife Council

            Kevin Sayer, Community Manager (Cowdenbeath), Fife Council 

14:05   Moving Towards Mainstreaming PB in Glasgow

            Evelyn O'Donnell, Community Engagement Officer, Glasgow City Council 

14:25   North Ayrshire Council's PB Journey 

  • North Ayrshire's PB journey
  • Getting the youth involved in the PB journey 
  • Locality PB and moving towards locality plannins via the Ground Maintenance Budget

            Pam Crosthwaite, Participatory Budgeting Development Officer, North Ayrshire Council

14:50   Questions and Discussion

15:20   Closing Remarks from Chair

15:30    Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change 


NASUWT, 35 Young Street North Lane, Edinburgh EH2 4JD | Map


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Discounted rate: 1 place £145 + VAT (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For all event enquiries please email or call 0131 285 1635.

27 March 2018



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