Participatory democracy: Scotland at the cutting edge of community engagement

13 June 2012, 10.15-15.45

Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline


  • Welcoming Remarks
  • Participatory Budgeting Stories: Eastfield and Fife Reactions (at discussion tables)
  • Welcome to Fife and Introduction of Keynote Speaker: Ronnie Hinds CEO Fife Council
  • Keynote Speaker: Derek Mackay, Minister for Local Government and Planning
  • Participatory Budgeting Stories: Manton and Leith Facilitated Questions & Answers – Audience and
  • StoryTellers
  • Live Participatory Budgeting
  • Lunch    PB Stalls
  • Voting time Jez Hall – Participatory Budgeting on an International Scale
  • Workshops
  • Reverse Panel
  • Closing RemarkS


1. Community Empowerment Renewal Bill -Alasdair McKinlay
This workshop will centre on discussion on the recently launched consultation on the Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill, focusing on the main elements of the Bill and looking at ways communities can be more involved in deciding how local budgets are spent.

2.    Building services around people and communities – Katriona Carmichael Policy Advisor, Scottish Government Public Services Reform Unit and Oliver Escobar Project Officer, Public Policy Network
This workshop will give participants the opportunity to discuss Scotland’s ambitions for delivering services around people and communities and to hear about, and discuss, innovate and creative methods used elsewhere.

3. “Communities r Us” (community assets and participation) – Richard Edwards
A Human Asset Approach – a practical tool designed to stimulate participatory democracy, grow social action and provide valuable local intelligence that often is just not available. Communities R Us is about acknowledging skills, experiences and levels of commitment to a civic activity in a neighbourhood, rather than just seeing a neighbourhood as a problem.

4. The People’s Budget – Alan Thornton Do you want more of a say on how your taxes are spent locally? Billions of pounds of our money are being used by public bodies without any involvement of local people. The People’s Budget campaign is helping communities understand how to persuade local councils, housing providers and the police to give us a significant say. Ultimately residents should be trusted with 1% of local public budgets.

5. Engagement in challenging communities -John Carnochan
What are the barriers to participation? How would you support local people develop their skills and confidence? How do you combat institutionalised disappointment? Participants will explore how the PB process has been used to help people in one of Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities engage with each other and improve community cohesion,

6. Representative and participatory democracy -Cllr Maggie Chapman
Maggie Chapman is a councillor for the Leith ward of Edinburgh. They recently had 724 (!) people talking part in their second PB project. Maggie is interested in campaigning for 1% of the city’s budget being made available for PB. Participants will explore the possibilities which that 1% could unlock.

More info HERE

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