This primer is intended to help you convince the local Liberal Democrat politicians that we should have a much greater say over local public budgets. Choose which of the 7 points you think will work best for the person you are talking to. Please tell us what you think of these buttons to push.
1. There are plenty of decisions that can be appropriately devolved to local people. This is taking the principle of subsidiarity seriously.
2. The transparency involved exposes excessive duplication in public services and empower citizens to put things right. It ensures public services and budgets are conducted openly and in a way which local people understand.
3. In fragmented and segregated societies Participatory Budgeting brings communities together to understand more about each other. It helps to build more cohesive communities. A Bigger Society, if you like.
4. Now more than ever, when massive cuts are being made, ordinary people should be involved in deciding how our money should be spent.
5. Participatory Budgeting improves our understanding of what makes a fair democracy and builds trust in local politics, local public organisations, and how they work.
6. Participatory Budgeting can play a central role in establishing a more participatory form of democracy, one which will help engage the disconnected, disempowered sections of society. This could be a big idea in any manifesto!
7. Liberal Democrats have long championed “localism”; something as radical as 1% idea would enable them to distance themselves from coalition partners in any future election campaign.