SNP MSP Colin Beattie has urged community groups in Midlothian North and Musselburgh to apply for a new £2 million fund to help local communities have a greater say in decision-making.
The Scottish Government’s Community Choices Fund will allow community groups to organise participatory budgeting events. These events give communities the opportunity to make decisions on how and where investment is spent in their area.
Participatory budgeting is recognised internationally as a way for local people to have a direct say in how, and where, public funds can be used to address local needs.
The Community Choices Fund is the latest step in the Scottish Government’s roll-out of participatory budgeting across Scotland.
Commenting, Mr Beattie said:
“Every community in Scotland has different needs and challenges. We want to see more decision-making handed to local people – especially in choosing local spending priorities – and groups in the constituency shouldn’t miss out.
“The new Community Choices Fund is a real opportunity for communities to vote on investment, shape services and address the issues that are important in their area.
“Participatory budgeting is gaining real ground in Scotland with a large number of councils taking the lead to date and helping to organise over 50 events this year. These events have included decisions on housing revenue, roads capital spending, and the procurement of a bus service.
“However, it’s important that community organisations and community councils are also able to take the lead and reach out to people in communities across the constituency and throughout Scotland.
“The SNP want to give communities more control to shape their futures – and I hope there is a range of ideas and applications from organisations across Midlothian North and Musselburgh.”