Your Say, Your way is Luton Councils long running Participatory Budgeting initiative.
It’s all about the council, police, Luton Clinical Commissioning Group, fire service and voluntary and community groups working together in a joined up, cost effective and supportive way to involve all citizens and respond to local issues by listening to your views. As a key part of realising this vision, the ‘Your Say, Your Way’ programme is currently running in the whole of Luton.
Councillor Rachel Hopkins, Executive Portfolio Holder says "I am delighted to confirm that £133,000 has been made available for organisations, community groups and individuals across Luton to apply for small grants (up to £1,250) through the Council’s Participatory Budgeting scheme."
Applications are invited for this year’s Participatory Budgeting programme under the following priorities and themes:
- Supporting safe, strong and cohesive communities
- Improving health and wellbeing
- Enhancing skills and education
Once all of the applications are in there will be a series of ‘decision day’ events where local residents will get the chance to vote for the projects they would like to see funded in their neighbourhoods. Local community and voluntary groups can bid for resources to improve the local area and local citizens can decide which ones get funding.
In just one example, reported in the Luton Advertiser, a litter pick in Luton’s Vestry Close and a cultural awareness project at Hilltop Court are two projects that have been given the go ahead, thanks to the efforts of Aldwyck Housing Group youth worker Nazia Haque, who was successful in obtaining £2,500 in community grants through the council’s Your Say Your Way campaign.
Nazia, 21 – now in her third year studying youth and community at the University of Bedfordshire – said: “It’s been really exciting for me to apply for my first community grants and secure funding for both projects. The money we receive will help not only to educate our young people, but also to look at bringing the people of Vestry Close together to help make the streets a cleaner place.”
Aldwyck Housing Group’s youth and ASB interventions officer, Hafi Rahman, said: “It’s superb to see Nazia leading and securing community grants for the people of Luton. She has built fantastic relationships with the communities she works in and that is testament to her hard work and passion for really making a difference.”