Community representatives handed a final recommendation to Council on Saturday 16 March, concluding their deliberations on the 2019/20 Operating Budget. The panel of more than 30 randomly selected City of Bayswater residents represented their community in the most comprehensive participatory budgeting project ever run by a metropolitan council.
City of Bayswater Mayor Dan Bull thanked the panel for their commitment.
"This is the first time we, or any metropolitan council, have laid out the entire operating budget for the community to view and recommend changes.
"Panellists worked tirelessly over three in-depth workshops. They heard from City staff, analysed a huge amount of data, and took part in a robust discussion about how they think services should be prioritised.
"We're fortunate to have proactive residents who are keen to step forward and represent their community."
The City's Participatory Budgeting process started in November 2018 with an Online Budget Allocator Tool. Residents were invited to prioritise spend across the City's service areas, and balance the cost implications of each decision. The tool was available on the City's Engage Bayswater portal until the end of January. A panel of randomly selected community representatives was then formed to deliberate on the budget in more detail.
"Delivering a budget that provides great outcomes for the community while keeping rates as low as possible is the biggest challenge Councils face. It's a balancing act that takes months of planning and deliberation to get right.
"This year, we're armed with a deeper understanding of community priorities as we plan the draft 2019/20 Budget."