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Loulé to spend €500,000 on projects voted for by locals

louleLoulé council is to spend €500,000, but only on projects that have been voted in by locals.

All Loulé's citizens can review the various project proposals and choose which ones they want, all as part of the first Participatory Budgeting scheme being run by the municipality.

Loulé's local parishes have 33 proposals to choose from, three per area, which were presented publicly on Wednesday evening.

Voting starts next Monday and by the end of September the residents will have selected their favourite projects and designs either by post, phone or text.

The vice president of the municipality Hugo Nunes explained that the results of the voting should be known in October, so that the winning projects can be incorporated in the 2015 municipal budget, with the actual work starting in January 2015.

Options include the creation of sports facilities, picnic and recreation areas, the resurfacing of roads and paths in public gardens and garden renovation.

Nunes highlighted the significant amount involved, and the fact that the project is fun and inclusive with locals getting involved in defining priorities and preferences.

"All citizens are guaranteed that at least one of the projects in their area will be done," added Nunes, noting that there may be parishes that get more than one project, provided that the amount does not exceed the total budget.

The minimum spend per parish is €22,000 and the council hopes to spend the total budget of €500,000 on things that people want.

Electronic voting is by sending a free text message to 4400 with the code of the preferred project. Residents can vote on projects other than those in their own parish.

How refreshing to read of this sort of inclusive, engaging and open style of local government in Loulé, unlike many other councils that go to extraordinary lengths to ensure the public are not involved in anything local that might enable them the great unwashed to express their opinions.

A current example of closed local government is the proposed destruction of parts of Olhão’s historic centre as part of a planned €12 million modernisation, the details of which have been presented in camera to the council which will vote on the plan before the public has had a chance to comment.


SEe: http://www.cm-loule.pt/menu/827/orcamento-participativo.aspx

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+1 #3 Geoffrey Williams 2014-08-29 08:57
This is surely nearly 3 decades late. Who has been coming up with the 'public space' ideas up till now ? Often Brussels via Lisbon - saying to each Freguesia - you will have a Parque das Merendas (picnic area) or to each Municipal - you will have Gym stations around the town.

Also - and this is not aimed at this initiative - it would be better to strip out the european community contribution that is paying for this. Not just on the signboard afterwards.

As in the UK - make it a real struggle to justify why this money must be spend in this way. In preference to another.

Also repeatedly making clear to the Portuguese that community money assumes Portugal is actually helping grow its economy - with SME foreigners included - so as to help grow the European Community itself.

Not just continuing the usual horseplay to get votes ... but now calling it 'new initiatives'.
0 #2 Ed 2014-08-29 07:45
Loule taxpayers are still waiting for their free coffees and cake at the Cafe Calchina now that all are part owners...
+2 #1 Ana Perreira 2014-08-29 07:36
Is this to make up for the glitch of purchasing Café Calcinha (Euro 182.000,--)

Besides that, it's a good and refreshing initiative. Too bad Olhão’s historic centre gets ruined!

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