Participatory Budgeting - Questions and Answers

1.       What does PB stand for?

PB is an abbreviation for Participatory Budgeting.


2.       What is Participatory Budgeting?

Participatory Budgeting is a way of involving communities in decisions about public finance.


3.       What is the purpose of this site/pilot?

Participatory Budgeting traditionally involves bringing people together to vote on projects – the geography in Argyll and Bute presents a challenge to this model and this pilot project is a way of testing whether digital voting can be a successful way for Argyll and Bute to increase participation of people in decision making.


4.       Does PB only have a Gaelic Purpose?

The pilot is being supported by Scottish Government funding and is specifically related to Gaelic funding. However Participatory Budgeting has been used to help communities get involved in a wide variety of projects across Scotland e.g. youth work, environmental improvements and service delivery.


5.       Can you vote if you don’t speak/know Gaelic

All information on the voting site will be in English and anyone aged 16 or over who lives in Argyll and Bute is eligible to vote.


6.       Do I have to allocate the full £15,000?

You can vote for as many projects as you would like to fund up to the allocation of £15,000 but you don’t have to allocate the full amount.


7.       Can you vote for projects across Argyll and Bute?

Of course!  You can vote on which ever projects you think are the best, it doesn’t matter where they are.


8.       Can you vote for just one project?

It is possible, although we encourage you to vote for as many projects as possible within the allocated £15,000.


9.       Can you vote for more than one project?

Yes, we encourage you to vote for as many projects as you like within the £15,000.


10.   Why should I be involved in voting if I’m not involved in Gaelic in general?


There are a number of ways that PB could develop in the future and this project will measure whether online voting is a good way to increase the number of people who can get involved.  The more people who participate, the better idea we will have of which parts of the system worked and which would need to change.


Although you may not be involved in Gaelic you may find the projects of interest – you may even want to get involved in one! You can make an informed choice on your vote by reading the project descriptions and following the discussion threads (or post a question on the ideas site if you feel you need more information).


11.   Won’t it just be the usual groups/organisations that receive the money?

It is the local community who decides which projects will be funded. Every person aged 16 or over who lives in Argyll and Bute is entitled to vote. The names of the organisations and groups applying for the funding are not provided to ensure people are voting for the project and not the organisation.

All votes are encrypted and stored until voting ends on 6th May.  Neither Argyll and Bute Council, nor the Democratic Society, who are hosting the voting, are able to access the votes until the “counting ceremony” which will be held after the 6th May.  Each party will have an encryption key and it is only when they are brought together that the votes can be accessed and counted.  The count is carried out electronically.


12.   Can I change my vote if I change my mind?

Yes, you can change your vote as many times as you like, however it is only the last vote that you submit that will count.