'Participatory budgeting' pilot planned for local community groups

The Big Society Network will work alongside local authorities to help community groups have more of a say in commissioning services

Oli Henman
Oli Henman

The Big Society Network, the project co-founded by the government's big society adviser Nat Wei, will work with local authorities to run pilot schemes in which local community groups have a bigger role in commissioning local services.

At a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Oli Henman, who has been seconded from the NCVO to run the network's Your Local Budget project, said he wanted to roll out "participatory budgeting" for local authorities.

"This will be complementary to local representative democracy," he said. "It's about innovative financing and involving citizens in deciding budgets."

He said the pilot projects could involve allowing community groups to provide the services themselves, rather than commissioning other organisations to provide them.

Henman was not yet able to provide further details on where the pilots would be and when they would be launched.

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