A total of 119 community based groups and projects from across the city have benefitted from £210,000 as part of Glasgow's first community budgeting process.
From buying much needed resources including sports, audio visual and IT equipment and play and gardening tools, to holding community events and delivering specialist training, a wide variety of requests for funding were fulfilled through the first ever Glasgow Decides scheme.
Facilitated by Glasgow Community Planning Partnership (GCPP), 21 community budgeting events were held in April, one for each of the city's Area Partnerships, with local people hearing presentations on the different funding applications and voting on which ones they thought were needed and of benefit to their community.
Glasgow Decides is part of the council's commitment to increasing community or participatory budgeting. It involves getting residents, community and voluntary groups that are based in or have an interest in a particular local area, to make decisions on the spending priorities as part of a public budget.
Each of the Area Partnerships (that have boundaries in line with electoral wards) had access to up to £5,000 in grant funding from Glasgow City Council and this was match funded by Scottish Government. Support and training was also offered to all applicants to help them with the community budgeting process and with their presentations.
A few of the larger awards from the £10,000 pots included; £5045 as a contribution towards the refurbishment of Carnwadric Community Hall, £3250 to buy laptops, training books and stationary for the 400 users of the Pollokshaws Job Club, £2850 awarded to Langside, Battlefield and Camphill Community Council to regenerate a neglected piece of land behind Landside Library as part of its centenary celebrations and £2839 given to Budhill Football Academy to deliver a futsal (five aside indoor football) programme in Eastbank Academy.
Councillor Soryia Siddique saw for herself recently how the £2500 given to community group Possobilites was put to good use in creating a sensory garden.
Possobilities, a support project serving the North West Glasgow with more than 400 members, many of them with some form of disability including downs syndrome, autism, cerybl palsy and vision impairment, sought the money to create a garden behind their premises that their members, families and volunteers could enjoy. This was borne out of a feeling raised by most members who felt that there was nowhere for them to go in the summer months.
The garden's designed to stimulate senses through the types of plants and herbs they are growing and limestone patio; incorporating sight, touch, smell, movement, colour and hearing, with a water feature.
Jim McCabe, Manager at Possobilites, said: "This garden has already made a tremendous difference within our group over the past couple of months. It's given us a little oasis of tranquillity and provided an area that our members can enjoy and more importantly feel safe. It also has given us a focus to some of our members who are part of a working group established to maintain the upkeep of the garden and grow plants suited to the different seasons so that the garden can be used all year round."
Councillor Soryia Siddique, executive member for communities and citizenship, said: "I'm delighted to see this funding go to such an array of worthwhile community projects that really improve not only neighbourhoods but people's lives, both in the short and longer term.
"We saw from the 217 applications received and the great attendance at the community events that there is definitely an appetite for community budgeting in the city and I'm pleased to see that many of the area partnerships have also acknowledged this too by committing to using a portion of their future funding in this way.
"This was a pilot scheme towards a broader commitment from Glasgow City Council to maximise the opportunity for residents to participate in decisions that impact on them. We will be looking at how we can improve the process and increase our reach and engagement with more local people to empower them and enable them to decide what is best for their local communities."
Not all the awards were for big sums with one of the smallest awards, £375, sought by Govan High School to buy homework diaries for S1 to S3 to address the recent decline in pupils retuning homework and encourage them to organise and prioritise this outside of school.
Monies were also used towards holding celebratory community events including Castlemilk Fun day, Partick Fayre, Govan Stones Community Fund Day, a gala day run by Milnbank Social Club and an event run by West and Central Integration Network.
By being successful in a number of areas Glasgow Council for Alcohol were able to put on several roadshows across the city. The drop-in events' aimed to promote health and wellbeing in local communities through a number of information stalls with informal clinics, taster workshops and activities.
Full details of all proposals and successful applications is available here https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=19305
If you were in receipt of community budgeting money please send us some pictures to show us and share with others how the money was put to good use in your community
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