Leith-Factor to decide funding for local groups

by Robert McTighe

The people of Leith are being given the chance to choose where local government money ends up under an exciting new plan. The scheme called “£eith Decides” will give people in the community the power to decide exactly where their money is going. Run by the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership, the scheme has around £16,000 available for local groups.

Members of the public who live in Leith have been invited to an event on Saturday 27 November  at the Leith Academy School at 1.00pm where they can vote where they want the money to go. Results will be announced at the end of the da

Leith Academy where votes will be cast

y. Many local groups, residents associations, environmental projects, lunch clubs, schools and parent councils have sent in applications over the last several weeks making themselves candidates for votes.

The public will then vote for which groups they feel are worthy enough for funding at the £eith Decides event.  Advertised in an ‘X-factor’ style by organisers, there are 29 groups vying for votes, and each group will be scored out of five. The winners can receive funding of between £400 to £1,000 each. People from behind each proposal will be given just 3 minutes to explain to the audience why they should receive funding.

The scheme takes much inspiration from a similar plan called the “Participatory Budgeting model” used by Brazil in the 1980s that was created to help develop democracy and participation between people in areas throughout the country.

Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, Councillor Jenny Dawe said, “This is a worthwhile project focusing on the local groups in Leith and is good example of empowering communities by devolving funding decisions to a local level. The method of voting should ensure participants are full involved in assessing the worth of the applications in Leith”.