Due North: The report of the Inquiry on Health Equity for the North, published last year, makes a number of important recommendations for reducing health inequalities base don expert witnesses and background research. The Inquiry was commissioned by Public Health England (PHE) and led by an independent panel of leading academics, policy makers and practitioners.
Among it’s innovative ideas, under recommendation 3:"Share power over resources and increase the influence that the public has on how resources are used to improve the determinants of health" it cites the opportunity for Participatory Budgeting to engage local people in co-designing health interventions. Among the ‘how to’ ideas under this recommendation the report says:
"Expand the involvement of citizens in shaping how local budgets are used: Use participatory budgeting processes to involve citizens in influencing how public resources are used so that these inform the use of a significant proportion of the total public sector investment in each area. This should involve the widespread participation of citizens in each area alongside elected representatives in the deliberation and agreement of local budgets. It should support rather than undermine the role of councilors in ensuring that public services within an area meet the needs of all citizens." (see Page 83 of the report)