Robin Hood: Melville Council’s community development participatory budget

community development participatory budget

The Robin Hood project was a participatory budgeting process that helped Council to choose between several dozen proposed community development projects

The City of Melville sits on the southern shores of the Swan River, Perth, Western Australia. Council has been engaging its community online for many years via its permanent community engagement web-portal, We’re Listening Melville.

In 2013 Council established the Robin Hood Project Budget Allocator to help work out how to spend $100,000. In Council’s own words:

In 2013, the City of Melville provided $100,000 to be distributed amongst a number of small grants ($1,000 – $20,000) for projects presented by community groups, not-for-profit organisations, businesses and individuals. Unlike traditional funding programs, approval of the grants was conducted by the community through an online (and offline) voting process. All project applications were open to the public for voting on which projects they wanted to implement in their community. The project was facilitated by the City of Melville’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC).

Council also held an online discussion and Q&A session as well as a series of face-to-face events with young people to help inform the decision-making process.

The consultation process was an outstanding success:

Over the past couple of weeks we have been letting the computers crunch the numbers, and we are now very excited to release the results. All up we received half a million dollars worth of applications across 54 projects, and almost 1,400 people got involved with the voting. The feedback has been amazing.

The selected projects created through the community development participatory budget process were:

  • The Cultiv8 Community Deck
  • The Murdoch Community Garden
  • Converting a stormwater drain to a beautiful community garden
  • Riseley Centre welcomes cyclists and bikes
  • Riseley Centre, a place for friends to meet
  • Riseley Centre, creating attractive public spaces – vertical garden
  • Nature based adventure park (Webber Reserve)
  • Plant nurture, enjoy trees (Roy Neal Reserve)
  • Flying Fox for Roy Neal Reserve
  • Nature based play in Roy Neal Reserve
  • Community use tables for Roy Neal Reserve
  • Thirsty work in Roy Neal Reserve

Council were so happy with the results that they wrote a book about it!

Posted on September 26, 2014 in Success Stories

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