From South America to South Coast - Participatory Budgeting arrives in Gosport!

PB brand

Participatory Budgeting (PB) was developed in Brazil in the 1980’s following decades of corruption and dictatorship to encourage citizen participation and democracy. There is now a growing number of other countries adopting different models of PB and since 2006, over 150 communities in the UK have used a number of these models. 

Gosport Community Safety Partnership was selected by the Home Office to take part in the Engaged Communities pilot in May 2009 and distributing £20,000 of Home Office funds to the community through a PB process was a compulsory part of the project. Following research and guidance from local PB projects in Southampton and Isle of Wight, the Community Grants model was selected to use in Gosport. An area based approach was also chosen to test out the model, with £10,000 being available for each area. These were based on Police Safer Neighbourhood areas and comprised of approximately 5,000 households. 

An essential part of the PB process is involving the community at all stages. In November 2009, the concept of PB was presented at Neighbourhood Action Groups, along with survey data and crime statistics, and the groups made key decisions including: 

  • The name and brand of the scheme
  • How it should be promoted - which included personally addressed letters
  • The criteria – this was kept as broad as possible with no limits on size of the bids
  • Scoring system for the Decision Day events

 All households in the areas received a letter telling them about YOUdecide fund and the application process took place in January & February 2010. Applications from both groups and individuals were received and summaries of the projects are below:

   Bridgemary Finalists [PDF, 123k]                        Town Finalists [PDF, 112k]

HAT vote          HAT vote box

These were checked by a working group made up of key community members to make sure the projects were feasible and did not form a pre-selection process in any way. The project representatives were invited to make a 3 minute, ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch at the Decision Day events held in March 2010 and all households received a letter inviting them to come along and vote. Both events were full of emotion and drama – tears, voting system failures and surprise results all featured!  It was an incredibly empowering experience; for the community who voted on which ideas deserved the money; the bidders who felt validated and supported by their community; and elected members and council representatives who relinquished control and placed the decision making directly into the hands of the community. Evaluations from these are in the attached document.

   2010 Evaluation [PDF, 127k]          Summary Evaluation 2010 [PDF, 36k]

 Elson PB

Due to the success and popularity of YOUdecide, Gosport Community Safety Partnership continued to use PB beyond the Home Office pilot and the scheme has gone from strength to strength.  Subsequent rounds of YOUdecide have been run in October & November 2010, June 2011, May and November 2012, October 2013 and most recently October 2014. These have been jointly funded by the Community Safety Partnership and Hampshire County Council. Following each of the Decision Days, feedback and evaluations have helped to improve the YOUdecide process for both bidders and voters.

Some videos from previous decision days are available on the following links: Bidders videos Pre/post event interviews

Also an article about the October 2013 event featured in Portsmouth News and you can read the ecstatic feedback from two of the winners here.

Please see listed below all previous YOUdecide winners:

11th March 2010 – Fort Brockhurst

Transformer - £500.00 - The funds applied for will be used venue hire costs and promotional material to extend the offer of support to those living with the addiction to or misuse of harmful substances

Gosport Children’s Contact Centre - £2217.00 - The funds applied for will be used venue hire costs and promotional material to extend the offer of support to those living with the addiction to or misuse of harmful substances.

Gosport Street Pastors - £1000.00 - The additional funding will train and equip four volunteers to become street pastors.

Muddy Boots Gardening Club - £800.00 - Funding is being sought for a secure storage facility for gardening tools for this volunteer run group for 4-11 year olds.

Gosport Youth Leaders - £2200.00 - The funding will be spent on purchasing a wide variety of items including training courses, hire of facilities and play equipment to provide qualifications to young people aged between 14-24 years old.

Free Access to citizenship and safety books - £300.00 - Funding is being sought by a volunteer to purchase educational books on Citizenship, Keeping Children Safe, Safety in the Community and other similarly themed titles.

Keep our bikes safe - £560.00 - Funding to purchase 40 heavy duty cycle locks which will provide security to Year 5 and 6 children from Newtown Primary School.

20th March 2010 – Bridgemary School

Safe, Fun and Employable - £1700.65 - The funding applied for will purchase places on courses and delivery of training.

Gosport Kickz - £8299.35 - Funding is being sought to continue the project until the end of 2010 and will cover the costs of facility hire, coach costs and equipment.

30th October 2010 – Explosion Museum

Children & Youth Project - £1200.00 - The funds will purchase equipment for the new and existing groups and replacement windows.

Young at Heart Club - £1000.00 - Funds are being sought for a portable skittle alley, which they would like to share with other groups such as the Pilots Group for 7-11 year olds.

Improve Security to GADSAD Building - £1500.00 - Funding secured will pay for security lighting and enhance security fencing.

5th Gosport Sea Scout Group Roof Fund - £6000.00 - Additional funds are required to make essential repairs to the roof.

6th November 2010 – Discovery Centre

White Lion Walk Youth Leaders Project - £1700.00 - Funding is required for equipment, venue hire, CRB checks, tutors and volunteer expenses.

Gosport Street Pastors - £1200.00 - The funds will pay for training, CRB checks and uniform for four new street pastors.

Nicholson Pre-School - £1562.25 - Funding is required to pay for secure fencing and replace a missing gate.

Gosport Older Person’s Forum - £500.00 - Funding secured would pay for portable display equipment and promotional material

Hockey Skills Day/Young Leaders Course - £580.00 - Funds are sought to pay for pitch/room hire and coaches.

Gosport Substance Abuse Christmas Support Programme - £890.00 - The funds will pay for travel, room hire and Christmas lunch/cinema/pantomime trip.

Improving outcomes for families living in the Seafield area of Town - £3567.75 - The funds will pay for learning resources, education equipment, volunteer expenses and storage.

11th June 2011 – Nimrod Centre

Grange in Bloom/Grange Outdoors - £1231.00 - Funding will buy plants, seating and planters.

Transformers Substance Abuse Support Programme - £1466.00 - Money will cover venue hire, advertising and travel costs.

Evolve and Involve - £4069.80 - Funding would pay for 2 coach qualifications and BMX bikes to loan out.

Rowner Carnival Costume Workshops - £1078.00 - The money will pay for materials, venue hire and tutor costs.

Motiv8 Challenge Canal - £4155.20 - Funding is required for staffing, canal trip and accreditations.

19th May 2012 – Town Hall

Forton Footy Project - £1000.00 - Funds will pay for young people to attend coaching & other related courses.

Young, Homeless and Hungry - £900.00 - Funds are sought to provide food & travel for approximately 120 young people for a year.

Gosport & Lee-on-the-Solent Litteraction - £995.00 - The funds will pay for 100 litter pickers.

Gosport Street Pastors - £1300.00 - Funding will pay to train 5 more volunteers.

Dance Motiv8ation: Breakout - £3453.40 - Funds will cover staffing, administration & DVD production.

Rowner Music Night - £1500.00 - Funding will pay for tutors and administration costs to deliver 10 sessions.

Transformer Drug and Alcohol Support Service - £1170.00 - Funds are sought to cover a further years’ worth of venue hire.

Power to Change Programme -  £1681.60 - Money will pay for venue hire & costs to deliver 2 x 14 week programmes.

17th November 2012 – Thorngate Hall

6th Gosport Scout Group New Home - £3000.00 - A completely new building is required by this Rowner based scout group.  They have raised £12,000 through fundraising and seeking the remainder to implement the rebuild.

Momentum & Active8 Youth Clubs - £2439.90 - These two clubs are run by Gosport Family Church volunteers (for ages 12-18 and 7-12 respectively), funding is required to replace equipment and grow the lighting and music aspects of the groups.

Moving on Project - £900.00 - Volunteer counsellors provide 24 hours of counselling per week to young people in Gosport.  Funding is sought to pay for training of volunteers.

Aspiring Autism - £2000.00 - This voluntary run support group for families affected by Autistic Spectrum Disorder would like funds to purchase additional toys and equipment to run the group & costs for one-off special events like Christmas.

Forest School Leader - £800.00 - Provision of a trained Forest School Leader to run sessions for 3-5 year olds at Oxstall Meadow, Grange Farm over the academic year.

Gosport Street Pastors - £1650.00 - Train 10 volunteers; who every Saturday night & one Friday per month support and give a sense of peace & safety to the night-time community.

Fortonfest 2013 - £1210.10 - A free community event of live music and activities at Forton park, run by volunteers.  Money will pay for hire of fair, bands and event promotion/insurance.

19th October 2013 - Thorngate Hall

Autism Isolation No More - £1670.00 - Funding will pay for venue hire, promotion and administration costs for 1 year.

Gosport Boxing Club - £2000.00 - Funding will pay for safety equipment and uniforms.

Music Fusion - £1670.00 - Funding will pay for tutor costs, administration and hire of recording studio.

Fortonfest 2014 - £1698.00 - The funds will pay for essential events such as Portaloos, insurance and First Aid

Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful - £1000.00 - Money will pay for course materials, venue hire and administration.

Light up Leesland - £2601.66 - Money will pay for youth workers, graffiti artist, administration and equipment.

Street Pastors Gosport - £2700.00 - Funding will pay to train 10 more volunteers.

11th October 2014 - Town Hall

Young, Hungry & Homeless project - £1000.00 - Money will pay for food vouchers and travel costs.

Positive Family Development Initiative - £2200.00 - Money will pay for venue, administration and advisor costs.

Dustbusters - £2200.00 - Funding will contribute to administration and staff costs.

Heart for the Homeless - £1500.00 - Funds are sought to pay for equipment and severe weather emergency provision.

Leesland Park Soundseat - £640.00 - Funding will pay for materials to replace bench.

Refurbishment of Church Hall - £2460.00 - Funds are sought to pay for essential repairs to the roof.


For further details about YOUdecide, please e-mail Sam Mitchell on or telephone 02392 545232 or 07985 234367.