American cities aren’t the only ones facing major budget woes.
Facing reduced government funding budget in the next few years, cities across England have also had to shave dollars off their books.
But unlike most American cities I’ve seen, many of the cities are using an interactive website to get residents to show how they would fix the budget gap.
The so-called “You Choose” tool was originally developed by the London Borough of Redbridge, http://www.redbridge.gov.uk/cms/redbridge_conversation_2010.aspx , but has since spread to dozens of agencies across the country.
One of the most recent cities to unveil the site is the city of Lincoln, England, which is looking to shave nearly 3 million pounds from the city’s annual budget of roughly 28 million pounds.
Check out their page here. https://youchoose.yougov.com/LincolnCity
This isn’t an entirely novel concept. Many U.S. newspapers have created similar tools to help readers understand the budget process. (I wrote about the LA Times budget tool here).
But it’s encouraging to see municipalities to be the one devoting the time and resources to generating residential input. They are the ones that will be most affected by the cuts after all.