£eith Chooses 2018-2019 has now been officially launched! (20.11.18)
There is £44,000 of City of Edinburgh Community Grants Fund money available for community projects. Groups can apply for one project, up to a maximum of £5,000 (bids for lesser sums are also warmly welcomed). NOW is the time to apply!
Project bids should be for community projects that will be delivered in Leith and benefit the community in Leith, and that tie in with one or other of this year’s key themes.
Tuesday 11 December – Support Session at McDonald Road Library (drop in any time between 3pm – 8pm, in Business Meeting Room, downstairs from main library)
If you want to talk through your ideas and possible application, please come along to this session and meet members of the £eith Chooses Steering Group, who will advise you.
If you can’t make the 11th December, please get in touch, and we will make another arrangement to meet with you.
21 January 2019 – Applications close
23 February 2019 – Voting Day, Leith Community Education Centre, Kirkgate
Evaluations from 2017/2018 have been ongoing since April, as has forward planning. And at last we have news!
£eith Chooses will take place once more. There is £44,000 of City of Edinburgh Community Grants Fund money available for community projects. Groups can apply for one project, up to a maximum of £5,000 (bids for less also warmly welcomed).
20th November 2018 – £eith Chooses 2018/2019 launches and application open . Please do come along and hear about the plans for this year: 6pm, Tuesday 20th Nov., Leith Community Centre, New Kirkgate.
21 January 2019 – Applications close
23 February 2019 – Voting Day, Leith Community Centre, New Kirkgate.
Another great £eith Chooses project takes shape. You voted for ‘Art on the Police Box’ and here it is!
Police Box owner Monty Roy writes: Our first artworks have been installed on Leith walk policebox with the help of Edinburgh Tool Library (ETL) who made the weatherproof panels and fixings. (Don’t panic, the wonderful Stewart Bremner art deco illustrations are still safely preserved underneath.) We are hoping to have an official launch in October.
Aptly, since 2018 is designated the Year of Young People, young artists is residence at ETL have been involved. Below are photos of the current artworks.
New artworks are being worked on by Stafford Centre Mental Health project and by students at Leith Academy for installation late 2018 early 2019.
Police Box No. 1 is by Page Hardie, who uses salvaged household paint to create abstract patterns that are free flowing and unique.
Urban Constellation is by Vivienne Kelly. Vivienne is inspired by urban animals and the patterns and invisible ‘pathways’ they (like us) carve through our neighbourhoods. She wants us to see the magic in the mundane. (Hard to show on this photo- you’ll have to get up close to investigate, like Monty and Leith Walk Councillor Susan Rae, shown here.)
It is great to see that £eith Chooses projects funded by the votes of the local community back in March are now taking shape, for the benefit of the community. Leith Primary School sent a photo of the ‘Trim Trail’ recently installed outside the school on Leith Links, with the following ‘Thank You’ message:
Thought I’d drop you a note to say thank you on behalf of Leith Primary Parent Council, staff and pupils for the funding we received from £eith Chooses. As you can see from the photo below our wooden obstacle course is now complete and the children love it. The contribution from £eith Chooses, along with over £3,000 we fundraised, has allowed us to greatly improve the outdoor space. Not having had a gym hall for four years, and a large temporary unit housing the nursery in our playground has been very frustrating. Having this obstacle course completed will mean the first stage in improving the outside space for the pupils even further.
Participatory budgeting (PB) is a way for people to have a direct say in how public money is spent. Up until now, PB across Scotland has typically taken the form of a small grants model, where pots of money are voted on and distributed at local events or online. Leith was an early pioneer of this, and the recent £eith Chooses event was a classic example.
A new short film has been produced that looks at moving towards using PB to distribute public funds from much bigger mainstream Council budgets (not just small grants).
Click here to view the film
What do you think? Are we ready for this, in Leith / Edinburgh?
Following distribution of £44,000 (City of Edinburgh Council, Community Grants Fund) to community projects through participatory budgeting, via the £eith Chooses process, the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership made the following report (14 June 2018).
Read the report here: Leith Neighbourhood Partnership Report June 2018
We have been carrying out a series of evaluation exercises:
- survey of all project applicants (closed 20 May)
- survey open to the whole community (closed 20 May)
- open face to face discussion session (15 May)
We have also received feedback by email, and will be meeting for private feedback discussions with project groups over the next week or so.
Thank you very much to all those who took the trouble to give their time and thought to responding; all of the feedback is interesting and useful.
If you have any further feedback that you wish the £eith Chooses organisers to be aware of, please send it in NOW / asap, or it will be too late to be included in the reports and recommendations.
The next phase of the project is to analyse all the feedback and write up reports (to Scottish Government and to City of Edinburgh Council), with recommendations for the future. These reports should be available by June, at the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership meeting, and online. Watch this space!
As advertised, online voting for £eith Chooses projects has closed, at 5pm Saturday 17th March 2018.A huge THANK YOU to everyone who applied for project funding, who attended the Project Day on 3rd March, who volunteered and helped on the organising team, and also to everyone who has voted.
All votes – from card vote ‘posted’ in the ballot boxes on the day and online since then – will now be counted up. The projects that received the highest number of votes overall, in each of the three ‘grant pots’, will be offered a funding award.
The results will be made public later this coming week – watch this space…!
You can vote if you are over 8 years old and you live, work, study or volunteer in Leith.
You can only vote once online (whether or not you voted in person). Click the blue text below to link to the voting site.
You get 4 votes in each of the three pots (small, medium, large). You can only vote once for any particular project. You must use all 4 votes, and hit to CONFIRM each or none of them will count. (You can choose VOTE on projects and then unclick those again if you change your mind, as often as you like, but once you’ve clicked CONFIRM, there’s no going back and undoing votes.)
Online Voting was ‘switched off’ at 5 pm on Saturday 17th March.
The Steering Group (the Community Councils and City of Edinburgh Council, jointly) took a really hard decision today, to carry on with the voting event tomorrow, 3rd March.
Health and safety are top priorities, and we do understand that this will mean that some people – whether applicants or voters – just won’t be able to make it because of adverse weather conditions. This is a matter of the deepest regret. We know that the event will be smaller and more muted than we all would have hoped. We are aware that some people feel disadvantaged, which is a terrible thing for us to have to accept responsibility for, in a process that is meant above all to be inclusive and participatory.
To try to counterbalance, we are extending the online voting by an extra week (to 17th March) and will put as much support as possible into helping people to vote in libraries and in the Community Centre during those two weeks. Please get in touch if you require support to vote and we will do what we can to help you.
For a number of reasons, there just is not the capacity to extend the £eith Chooses process indefinitely. We also know the community has expressed a wish to maintain in-person voting if possible and not just take the easy route and go over to online voting only. We don’t think Leith wants to go back to decisions being made by a funding panel behind closed doors. We can’t believe that people want to see the event cancelled completely and the money returned to Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council.
So it’s up to the great community of Leith to make the best we can out of this.
Certainly, it provides a salutary case example for anybody in Government or Council who might think that participatory budgeting is an option that can be implemented easily or without significant resources.