Brighton and Hove City Council have launched a new web tool where citizens can tell the council how much importance – ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ – they attach to categories under the budget and the council has said it will take the data collected into account when setting next year’s budget.
“The online budget tool is another way we are being open about the budget setting process and listening to residents’ views about where they would like to see money spent in coming years,” said council leader Jason Kitcat.
The website, with the tagline ‘Your money, your services, your say’, is divided into three sections: Council Income tells users where the council’s money comes from; Council Services is where they can see the current budget for each category and tell the council which category – education, tourism, social care etc – is most important to them; and Overall results “reflects an average of the results of all the people using the tool so far. It is a real time snapshot of how people are rating the council’s services”.
The tool has been designed by Roughtype, a local graphic design agency, on an open source basis which means other councils or organisations can make a similar website for themselves if they want.