Press Release from Brent Council (unedited)
Brent residents have cast their votes to choose which projects should share a £500,000 funding pot that aims to reduce carbon emissions in the borough by at least 100 tonnes.
Voting from residents took place on Saturday 29 January. This is the first time that Brent has used this bold new Participatory Budgeting programme. The ‘You Decide’ programme has put the community in the driving seat from the start; the resident-led Planning Group (CO2GO) designed the funding criteria and powers were handed to residents to say which projects should be funded.
A diverse range of almost 250 residents attended the ‘Decision Day’ event, which was open to any Brent resident, and voted on the green projects that they felt would make a difference in their communities. The residents’ choices are subject to formal ratification from the council’s Cabinet.
The first pot of £400k was awarded to homes that will install energy efficiency measures to reduce their carbon emissions. The winning bids included a total of 37 flats, maisonettes and houses that will undergo sustainability works to reduce their carbon footprint. These properties have combined as a cluster to maximise the benefits of green measures. Two community buildings in Willesden were also selected for energy saving makeovers.
The second pot of £100k was awarded to community groups who will run educational projects to help residents reduce carbon emissions, save money, and make positive and healthier lifestyle changes.
The winning projects for pot two, all based in Brent, included: Brookway Biodiversity Project, Advice for Renters, Ultra Education CIC, Hill Top Circle, Diffusion Elite Security, Clube dos Brasileirinhos, Mums for Lungs and Young Brent Foundations.
These exciting community-based initiatives include:
• Planting fruit trees and extending wildflower meadows
• An Energy Advice Bus
• Teaching young entrepreneurs to think sustainably
• CO2 awareness sessions with Brent, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities
• Children’s art workshop to create single-use shopping bags
• A mural project with schools and educating children about air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions
• Training for youth workers on creating engaging sustainability projects with young people
Councillor Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council said:
“It was amazing to see so many people coming people coming forward for the first resident-led Decision Day in Brent. The quantity and quality of the submissions was brilliant; local people, local ideas for local change. Thank you to everyone who submitted a bid and congratulations to the winning projects. Our ambition is to support more activities that give residents the power to decide on local projects for their communities! Watch out for more community decision days and we want to see more amazing projects coming forward.”