Participatory Budgeting – Voting Opens Later This Week

Dumfries and Galloway Council and the Participatory Budgeting Steering Group want to invite you to vote on a choice of 68 Projects spread throughout our region this year which are all aiming to tackle poverty within their local area. It’s your community, your money so you can decide which projects will go forward to receive funding.

Participatory Budgeting is a method of allocating funding which has been successfully completed over the last two years in our region to specifically tackle poverty in all of its forms. It involves the decision making in which groups will be allocated funding by votes by members of the public – anyone over the age of 12 can vote either online or in person at a range of public voting events which will be held from Stranraer to Sanquhar.

For this year, the Participatory Budgeting Steering Group agreed that this third phase of funding would tackle a new range of projects which will ease the burden which poverty places on everyone that it touches.

A total of 68 projects have progressed to the public voting stage and can be voted on in-person and online. The Projects this year have been specifically selected to tackle the following poverty related outcomes;

• Rural isolation, particularly rural transport
• Fuel Poverty
• Food and Eating
• Financial Planning and Wellbeing Courses
• Developing hands on experience and new life skills through employment, peer group engagement and volunteering

A total of £200,000 split between the four areas is available for distribution and as always in every Election, every vote counts so please either registered to vote online through the link below when our website becomes live later this week or call along to any of our Voting Events which are taking place throughout our Region at the following locations;

Wigtownshire Voting Venues
Date Time Location
29.02.2020 11:00am to 2:30pm Stranraer Academy, Stranraer
07.03.2020 11:00am to 2:30pm Douglas Ewart High School, Newton Stewart

Stewarty Voting Venues
Date Time Location
29.02.2020 11:00am to 2:30pm Kirkcudbright Academy, Kirkcudbright
07.03.2020 11:00am to 2:30pm Castle Douglas Primary School, Castle Douglas
14.03.2020 11:00am to 2:30pm Dalbeattie Learning Campus, Dalbeattie

Nithsdale Voting Venues
Date Time Location
14.03.2020 11:00am to 2:30pm Sanquhar Academy, Sanquhar
21.03.2020 11:00am to 2:30pm North West Community Campus, Dumfries
21.03.2020 11:00am to 2:30pm St. Joseph’s College, Dumfries

Annandale and Eskdale Voting Venues
Date Time Location
28.03.2020 11:00am to 2:30pm Annan Academy, Annan
28.03.2020 11:00am to 2:30pm Lockerbie Academy, Lockerbie
04.04.2020 11:00am to 2:30pm Langholm Academy, Langholm

You can vote for your favourite projects at each of locations above by attending in person. You simply choose which date and time to call along from the choice above for the area in which you live.

Online Voting will be available on our PB Phase 3 Website which you can reach through the following link from 9am on Saturday 29 February until midnight on Saturday 4 April. Our website will be open later this week and full details of how to register will be available online through https://dga.communitychoices.scot/

Councillor Andy Ferguson, Chair of the Council’s Communities Committee said;
“It is vital that we work together with local Groups to tackle poverty in our local communities and give people a say in how we choose which projects will be awarded funding. The two rounds of Participatory Budgeting Funding which have been allocated to date have proven to deliver high levels of support exactly where it is needed and we know that this round of funding will continue to get to the heart of helping our most vulnerable individuals and families.”
Councillor John Martin, Vice Chair of the Communities Committee went on to say;
Tackling poverty is one of our Council’s main priorities and we have used key learning points from our first two rounds of funding to improve our processes to ensure that more people than ever can vote on who they feel most deserves to receive this grant funding. We have Voting Events in eleven towns this year to make it easy as possible for everyone to go along and the improved online voting will also be easier for voters to navigate and to cast their votes.”
Jeanette Byers, Chair of the Regions Tackling Poverty Reference Group said;
It’s great that we can get more people involved with tackling poverty and Participatory Budgeting with this online system. This means that where rurality and transport are barriers, people can participate digitally and still have their voices heard. Please come along to vote or log on during this process. We want you to engage with us to show us which projects you know will make that crucial difference to people’s lives.”

The results of all of the In Person Voting Events and the online voting process will be announced during April.

For more information on any aspects of the PB Phase 3 Voting Process, log onto https://dga.communitychoices.scot/

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