The Communities Team recently undertook an evaluation of Your Community: Your Choice, our pilot approach to Participatory Budgeting within West Dunbartonshire Council.

Your Community: Your Choice was an ambitious project by West Dunbartonshire Council that resulted in hundreds of residents engaging in the process. The process allowed residents to support their communities by directing the funding allocations. It also addressed some of the main strategic priorities by empowering communities to influence the decision making process.

The pilot project also gave WDC the chance to improve and build on the relationship with its residents; communication channels have been opened up and the Communities' Team, along with other services, have been able to work closely with residents to allocate funding.
Learning and feedback from this pilot project will be helpful in refining the process as we move forward.

Some of the main actions and learning points for the next phase are;

  • We should aim to secure a higher budget from a different service area. The service area should be fully involved in the process from start to finish. This could include attending drop in sessions, providing tailored support to residents wishing to complete an Idea Form (colleagues from service areas are better placed to know what is and isn't realistic), working within timeframes that are already set and agreed upon
  • A named person from each service area is required so that timescales can be met efficiently and the process can continue to move forward
  • Design & roll out an iLearn module or training for all services across the Council to increase awareness of what PB is
  • Longer lead in times are required to allow for more engagement, both with the community and with partners and services. A more intensive marketing campaign should be taken forward to encourage better understanding of the process and participation
  • Services to make contact with those who are successful immediately after the process is complete to make them aware of next steps / timescales involved
Girls Football
Action By Whom Comment

1. Collate information on Service areas available PB budgets

PB team / service leads


2. Access named person to champion PB from each service area

PB team / service leads ongoing

3. Design and roll out an iLearn module or training for all services across the Council to increase awareness

PB team / OD and change

 In development

4. Increase lead times


PB team

Amend guidance

5. Improve marketing

PB team / Corporate Comms

MT/LC meeting to progress in line with agreed campaigns 22/23

6. Ensure services are aware of their PB responsibilities

PB team / service leads