Community budgeting for #OurBalbriggan

Many people are skeptical about government, politicians and it is almost like people do not believe a word that comes out of a politician’s mouth. No doubt some are making their own interpretations of the announcement of €20m for Balbriggan and going on previous record wondering, after consultants, reports etc, how much will there really be for improving Balbriggan?

I empathise strongly with theses skeptical sentiments. People’s patience has been sorely tested to such an extent, that many are now disillusioned with politics and government. At the same time, there are things that can be done that will make a difference.

My proposal around ‘community budgeting’ could be a great aspect of the OurBalbriggan plan. Let’s give the community an allocation of that €20m and let the community develop project ideas, share information and then decide which projects get delivered. Community budgeting is a participatory process where ideas are developed, shared and short listed. You can read more information on the link below, where it was tried in South Dublin.

Community budgeting is an international concept, that has been trialled and run in numerous countries. What I like about it is that it will help communities understand politics, process, budgeting and in general the work of government. In turn, it can help councils understand communities, their make up, desires, hopes, fears and expectations. I would love to see this practice develop in Fingal County Council.

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