On your marks, get set…Vote
Posted on 29 Jan 2018
This week, North Ayrshire Council will launch an online participatory budgeting (PB) exercise exclusively for young people.
From 9am on Friday, February 2, around 14,500 young people in North Ayrshire will be able to use Young Scot’s online voting platform to allocate £50,000 to youth projects in their local area.
The exercise forms part of the Council’s plans to celebrate the ‘Year of Young People’ (YoYP) 2018 by giving young people the power to decide on how thousands of pounds will be spent on activities and events that celebrate one of the YoYP’s six key themes of:
- Culture – share and celebrate young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts;
- Education – allow young people to have more say in their education and learning;
- Enterprise and Regeneration – celebrate young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live;
- Equality and Discrimination – recognise the positive impact of young people in Scotland and encourage them to take the lead in challenging all forms of prejudice and discrimination;
- Health and Wellbeing – make sure young people have the chance to lead healthy, active lives and understand the importance of mental health and resilience; and
- Participation– give young people the chance to influence decisions that affect their lives.
The available funding will be split between multiple projects across the six localities, based on the number of votes cast by young people themselves.
All young people aged 8 to 25 from North Ayrshire will be eligible to vote using the single transferable vote method. Access to the online voting platform will be granted using their Young Scot National Entitlement Card – or they can obtain a temporary number to vote if they don’t have a card by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
They’ll also have the opportunity to vote in schools, community facilities and at the Ayrshire College in Kilwinning.
Voting closes at midday on Friday 9 February with results being announced later that day on the Council’s Twitter account (@north_ayrshire).
Applications for Youth PB funding were received from youth groups, community organisations and individuals across North Ayrshire. All projects in the running for a share of the funding will benefit those aged 8-25 and will be delivered during 2018.
North Ayrshire’s Youth Champion, Councillor Shaun Macaulay, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our young people to shape the delivery of the Year of Young People programme here in North Ayrshire.
“It lets our young people decide on the activities and events that they want to get involved in this year – with many of them being delivered by young people themselves.
“I’d encourage all those aged 8-25 to go online and check out the projects hoping for their vote and have their selection ready for the voting opening on Friday.”
Councillor Louise McPhater, Cabinet Member for Communities, said:
“Participatory Budgeting forms an important part of our Council’s approach to put our communities at the heart of decision making.
“Given that this year is all about young people, we felt it was only right to expand our usual PB programme and provide those aged 8-25 with their very own PB event tailored to the Year of Young People’s six key themes.
“This means that young people themselves will decide on how £50,000 is spent on activities and events that will benefit them and their communities.”
The initiative is being developed in partnership with Young Scot – the national information and citizenship organisation for young people in Scotland – who is providing the online voting platform for youngsters to make their decisions.
Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said, “It’s fantastic to see North Ayrshire put young people at the heart of decision making in the Year of Young People 2018. Participatory budgeting gives young people the power to make meaningful decisions in their local communities and Young Scot is very excited to be working with North Ayrshire on such a brilliant project.”
More information on each project in the running for a share of the funding along with details on how to vote, is available on the Young Scot website.