Is PB fair? One of the tough aspects of PB is that there are inevitably some losers as well as winners. However worthwhile all the projects, some will win more votes from the community than others, and not all projects that apply will get funding.
Sometimes people complain that the PB system seems to favour groups that are well known and that already have a large existing network of supporters, over new or small groups. But this is not always true – in past years, there has been a spread of both large and small ‘winners’).
How can we ensure that smaller or unknown groups with less resources and less backing get a fair chance of winning funds? The truth is – as organisers, we actually can’t. The power lies purely in the hands (or rather, the votes) of the local community.
All we can do is try to widely publicise the £EITH CHOOSES event, in order to attract as many voters as possible. And we do appeal to voters to carefully consider each proposed project, and to spread their votes as fairly as possible.
We also urge all applicants to do everything they can to ‘advertise’ their own project positively before the vote, in order to make sure people HAVE heard of them, and know what the proposed project is about. As with any voting situation, it is not ‘cheating’ to put out publicity, promote your cause and canvas for votes – using various methods of community engagement, speaking to people and via social media. (And of course, applicants should try to present their project as attractively as possible, ‘on the day’ at the voting event.)