As Scotland goes to the polls to democratically elect our representatives for the next Holyrood Parliament we received some welcome news about another form of democracy. One perhaps just as important for local residents.
Last year, the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership, embarked on a unique pilot, in participatory democracy. £25,253 from the community grants fund was allocated not by a small grant panel largely made up of local councillors. Instead, the money was allocated after a vote that involved 350 local people in deciding which grant applications should receive funding.
The Leith Neighbourhood Partnership met last night to consider the evaluation report that we include below. We understand that the partnership members have decided that the event was a success and that one third of this years communtiy grant fund is to be allocated via a similar process this year.
Greener Leith has been a vocal supporter of this process, as it has helped to involve large numbers of local residents in the process of local democracy, and gives genuine power to people. We played a small role in helping to promote the Leith Decides process, and we look forward to doing so again this year.
In fact, you may remember that readers of this blog voted to award Maggie Chapman “Local politician of the year” in the first ever Greener Leith awards for her work to support this project, so the project clearly gained some local support. She received a marvelous golden rhino from a local charity shop as a consequence.