Participatory Budgeting in Guelph Janette Loveys Manager of Community Development City of Guelph City of Guelph’s & Community Development Background Information Municipal Staff’s role Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition Participatory Budget Process Outcomes Lessons Learned Background Information Momentum comes from grass roots neighbourhood groups. Neighbourhoods becomes part of the solution. Becomes a more cost effective service delivery model. Municipal Staff’s Role Non-traditional role of municipal staff. Less control of decisions and outcomes. Municipal staff become facilitators and enablers. Assisting in creating an environment for change and collaboration. The Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition The Coalition is made up of community members who represent their neighbourhood group, agency partners and sponsoring agencies who have a vested interest in building communities. Sponsoring Agencies; Family and Children Services of Guelph Wellington, Guelph Community Health Centre, and the City of Guelph. Participatory Budgeting Participatory process was introduced three years ago by City staff. Utilizing the existing framework of the Coalition Neighbourhood appointed rep’s and sponsoring agency rep’s only – otherwise the meeting is closed. Funds come from various sources including; municipal, regional and provincial governments. NSC core budget funding has 3 stages; local groups determine priorities; rep’s bring requests to Coalition; NSC Board approves recommendation. Removing barriers is very important. Outcomes Democracy, Equity, Community Involvement, Transparency and Efficiency. Local groups represents over 1100 residents on average. 460 different programs offered in previous fiscal year. Process is getting better with time. Lessons Learned Municipal staff’s in a facilitator’s role Community access to decision makers The creation of policies and procedures Neighbourhood leaders speak first The use of language “This is the hardest thing to do; there are a lot of emotions here at the table” Waverley Neighbourhood Rep. “Each group is individual but yet when we come to this table, we need to advocate and make decisions based on the good of the whole” Two Rivers Rep.