Awards 2018

The following projects successfully won a funding award in £eith Chooses 2018, having received the highest number of votes from members of the Leith community:

SMALL GRANTS (up to £500) The sum awarded is what the project group applied for
Leithers Don’t Litter – Good Clean Fun – £500
CLASP Seniors Tea Party – £500
Cleaning Up Restalrig Road – £500
Help Scouts go Camping – £500
Art Outside the Police Box – £500
The Big Brunch – towards a shared vision of Childcare – £500
Family Fun Street Games and Dance – £500
See Me Portrait Project – £485
Taobh Na Pairce Film Making Workshop – £500
Choose Happiness – £475
Leith Fort Residents Community Group – £500

MEDIUM GRANTS (up to £5,000) The sum awarded is what the project group applied for
Hidden Door Festival – involving the local community – £4,515
Tailor Ed Foundation – £1,959
Leith Primary Parent Council – Trim Trail – £5,000
All Together Charity Shop – Skills Training – £4,450
Leith Community Cinema – accessible screenings – £3,000
Invisible Cities – Street Barber project – £1,255
Mustard Seed – Soul Food Easter Road – £4,475
Leith Late – A Wall is a Screen – £3,500
Dr. Bells Family Centre – Summer Programme – £5,000
St. Mary’s Primary – Bike Shelter & Scooter Rack – £2,152
Leith FAB Cricket Club – all weather artificial pitch – £4,656
Beyond Gender – LGBT+ Creative Writing  – £4,038 (partial funding)

LARGE GRANTS (up to £10,000)
Leith DIY Skateparks – extending skateboarding facilities for all – £9,000
Leith Theatre Trust – Thomas Morton Hall equipment – £10,000
The Edinburgh Tool Library – accessible Leith – £9,690
Creative Electric – art and performance with various groups – £10,000
Projekt 42 – yoga, youth fitness, summer bootcamp – £9,994
Citadel Youth Centre – Citadel Connect – £8,980
Out of the Blue – Meanwhile…in Leith Hub – £9,613
Scottish Historic Buildings / Leith Heritage Trail Group – £1,223 (partial funding)

These awards add up to a total of £118,000 that will go to the community in Leith in many and varied ways, through the energy, work and commitment of all the great project teams taking part.

Projects and groups whose names do not appear above were, sadly, unsuccessful on this occasion and did not win funding. This is not a reflection on the quality of their projects, which were all excellent, but a sad fact that there just is never quite enough money to go all the way round….

Any project applicants who wish feedback on their application, or on the exact number of votes received, and where their vote totals rank alongside those of other projects, are most welcome to email in for this information, or to request a private discussion. Email: leithchooses @edinburgh.gov.uk

The voting system was as follows:

At the Voting Day event, on 3rd March 2018, visitors to the Leith Community Centre were able to meet the project applicants and learn about all the projects. There were 963 registered voters (people who live, work, study or volunteer in Leith) at the event and each was able to cast 12 votes (4 for small grants, 4 for medium and 4 for large grants) by means of cards into a ballot box (monitored at all times).

Online voting was then open from 3-17 March, and similarly, each online voter could cast 12 votes (4 in each of the three ‘grant pots’). The only difference between online and in-person voting was that if a voter did not cast all four votes in a pot, then none of their votes counted. (But they could choose to vote in one or two pots only, they did not have to vote in all three.)

The card votes were all counted and that total was added to the total of the online votes, giving the results listed above.

We are still looking at what further analysis of the voting results can take place (mathematical and interpretive). Mathematical breakdowns can be made of various aspects, but there could be a danger of ‘over-interpreting’ the numbers on the basis of speculation.

We do know that some people did not cast all their 12 votes, and this occurred with both in-person and online voting (but the effect of this was more serious online, if they failed to cast 4 votes in a pot, as then all their votes in that pot were discounted). What we don’t really know is why they didn’t – and what we can do about it on a future occasion.

In the past, voters had to rate every single project on a scale of 1-5, which was a long and cumbersome procedure (which some people also failed to complete). This year we tried to make voting simpler, while still holding out for the principle of asking people to vote for a range of projects to benefit the community in Leith (rather than just for their own one ‘pet’ project). We did also try to make the online voting as simple as possible, within the limits of what could be changed in the software, but of course improvements are always possible. We are very aware that there were so many great projects this year that choosing between them was a mammoth task – maybe some people just ran out of time and energy to complete the voting process.

Anyway, this was a minority of voters only, and we are happy that the majority did make the effort to spread their votes across 12 projects.

We would welcome feedback from voters, part-voters and non-voters –  in general, and on the specific issue of the voting system.

The biggest variable to account for the vote numbers for each project is possibly nothing to do with the voting system as such, but to do with the level of ‘reach’ each group has, and also the publicity/sharing that different project groups were able to carry out before and during the voting period, on their own behalf. Some groups are larger, longer established and better publicised than others; some groups are particularly adept at social media use; some groups simply have a much larger number of ‘constituents’. Other groups may be smaller, newer or less well known, and / or perhaps working with groups and individuals who for various reasons are not so comfortable with large social events, or with online activity.

These are issues inherent within ‘Participatory Budgeting’, and as a community we need to keep trying to work out how to address them in as fair and equitable a way as possible.