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AbstractThis study reports the impact of the requirement to consult with citizens on budgeting decisions through Participatory Budgeting. The Duty to Involve agenda was imposed as a legal duty in April 2009 on all local authorities set out by the Labour administration. A number of key strategies support the Duty to Involve agenda in which Participatory Budgeting was one with the aim to increase engagement with citizens in decision making. The Participatory Budgeting national strategy was launched in 2008 with its key objective to ensure all authorities utilise its use by 2012. The increase in engagement initiatives over the past 10 years has increased the level of direct democracy to which Local Government managers have to comply and as a consequence has an impact on their role. Empirically the specific research question identifies the impact of the requirement to involve citizens in budgetary decisions by local government Neighbourhood Managers. Theories in relation to citizen engagement and participation in democracy and specifically in the UK are described and elaborated. The research considers the successes of the Participatory Budgeting originally practised in Brazil, it’s use to date in the UK and the pilots carried out in the Neighbourhood Management Areas in Liverpool City Council. The paper also considers the budgeting process in Local Government to assess the impact on budgets, if any. The main contribution of the study is the finding that the use of Participatory Budgeting has had a minimal impact on a manager’s role. Research identified that the PB pilot in Liverpool delivered a more transparent process to deciding how to spend an allocated pot of money but participation was area dependent and some bias was evident in the process by localities. The impact on budgets was not seen as a concern due to limited amount of funding available for participation however the application of Participatory Budgeting to larger budgets and service areas would require dedicated administrative support and education in communities to ensure decisions take account of all contingent factors about where funding should be prioritised.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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