Participatory budgeting, community engagement and impact on public services in Scotland

O’Hagan, Angela and MacRae, Claire and Hill O'Connor, Clementine and Teedon, Paul (2019) Participatory budgeting, community engagement and impact on public services in Scotland. Public Money and Management. ISSN 0954-0962

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    Abstract

    The institutional engagement and analysis needed to effectively integrate the requirements of equality legislation into participatory budgeting (PB) processes requires a transformational approach. Equality processes appear to exist in parallel with PB activity, rather than being operationalized as integral to the objectives and character of PB activity at local level. This paper proposes that PB and the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) in the Equality Act 2010 share a transformative intent and potential, but that this is undermined by siloed thinking on equalities and enduring discriminatory behaviour and practices. The paper concludes with propositions for aligning the conceptual links between equality and community empowerment and, thereby, participation in local financial decision-making in practice.