At a recent meeting of South Dublin County Council, Mayor Vicki Casserly randomly selected the Firhouse Bohernabreena local electoral area to be the next setting for the Council’s landmark participatory budgeting initiative, €300k Have Your Say. €300K Have Your Say is a local democratic process, which facilitates citizens in a local community to directly decide how to spend a portion of the public budget in their area. It gives people the direct power to determine how to spend up to €300,000 to improve their community by asking them to suggest projects and then vote on which ones they would like to see funded through a public ballot. In 2017, South Dublin County Council became the first local authority in the state to adopt participatory budgeting through its pilot programme in the Lucan Electoral Area.
This was followed up with the 2018 version in the Clondalkin Electoral Area. €300k Have Your Say was also shortlisted at the Europe wide ‘Innovation in Politics’ award ceremony in Vienna, Austria in 2018. To date, 390 project submissions have been entered through the process with 23 winning through public ballot to be funded through €300k Have You Say. These include a wide range of ideas, from the planting of native apple trees to a WiFi activated heritage trail in Clondalkin village, the restoration of the historic King John’s Bridge in Lucan and a safety and inclusivity study of public spaces.