Qualitative comments from U decide events November/December 2006 Liveabilty event 25 November 1. How involved have you felt in making a decision about how money is spent in your area? Positive comments • Very involved (or very good, or very much, or fully involved or 100%) x 25 • Loads (or lots) x 2 • Quite involved x 2 • Much more involved than I expected • We were informed of all the ideas very clearly and I felt totally involved • We were made very welcome and well informed of all the proposals. We were all involved • I am amazed at the variety of schemes put forward and feel privileged to be able to vote – especially as both young and old are involved • I feel happy and very involved • The money should be decided by those who use it. That’s a good thing • All areas need money • Very involved in way money is spent on varying projects • It’s nice to feel you can have a say on how the money is spent • Feel very much involved in the way money is being spent for our areas • Like to see it expand into something bigger • It has been a fantastic event. The people in the area have had a real say in how money has been spent • You have to let people know how you feel about your area and what needs doing • Really empowered and enthusiastic • Was allowed to feed some input into this • I am involved in it because I was in Beech Hill and places people are asking to help with are near where I live • I am involved in helping a local football team, and helping neighbours • It is an excellent way and with so many other projects it is a good way to pick out the important schemes which deserve it • By making a decision on how the money is spent in our area. It makes one feel part of the area • Very – we all came up with the ideas • It’s good to know your opinions are listened to and valued • Excellent process gives everyone a chance to vote. It is good for ordinary people to choose instead of councillors. Should be throughout Newcastle • It was a good process, to understand what all areas want • Very because us kids decided everything • I think it was fair for everybody • I looked forward to it and enjoyed it greatly Negative comments • Not a lot 2. What do you think about this as a way to spend public money? Do you think the council should consider using a PB approach to other council budgets? Positive comments • Yes (or great, fantastic, very good, 100%) x 26 • It’s an excellent way of engaging the community • Well organised • It’s a good idea, and we should tap into other budgets for more money • Very fair method to distribute funds – the answer is most definitely • I think it is a good way to spend money – yes I think it could be a good way for the council to go • It would be more than a good idea as it is very fair – the answer is yes • It seems a much fairer way of spending public money • It is a good idea. You can read about ventures, but until you get personally involved you don’t get a clear idea of the picture • A very good idea to get involved in all council budgets • Definitely – very fair and direct access to how money is spent • With being distributed amongst different projects the budgets are more or less worked out to the final amount the council has to give • I think it would be great to use PB approach to other council budgets • A great way of distributing money fairly, the councils should get more involved • Yes, but it would have to be well planned, like this one • It’s a good idea and others should be involved • If money is available for projects it is vital that the public should know and have their say as to how the money is allocated and spent Negative comments • No x 2 • No I don’t think this is a good idea. All departments should have separate budgets Neutral comments • Not convinced. Further discussion required before decisions reached • Some are asking too much, but for small amounts could do their own fundraising tombola • It is a good way to allocated money which can affect local neighbourhoods at a grass-roots level. I doubt whether it would work across all budgets • £30k won’t go far – need more money • I think the council should give us more money a year • 21 projects – too many to decide – should be no more than ten 3. How do you think people’s neighbourhoods will benefit if we do this again? Positive comments • Fantastic (or good, a lot, etc) x 14 • More people will come • By giving support to lesser-known projects • It will benefit because wherever you live it deserves to be nice. So if this happens again it will make the neighbourhood a happier place • People are the experts and know what will benefit their communities • It can do nothing but help in many ways x 2 • Everyone would have a say – a good thing • I think they will benefit greatly getting involved more • I think they will benefit a lot and get more recognised • There will be a lot more people • It will bring notice to ideas from the public which might otherwise not have been thought about or considered as appropriate • I cannot see them losing out if it is done fairly, not always for one area • People will understand a lot better what is happening in their area • Get more money • All people can get involved in all the activities and contribute their own ideas • We will learn more about how things are done • If we have some say in the spending of council funds it must be a benefit to the neighbourhood • If people talk, and introduce themselves, all will benefit • It has been a great way to hear about different projects in the area. Many are interlinked and a day like this gives people the chance to make connections • Every idea is a good idea • They will be more aware of what is happening in their neighbourhood and understand things • I think it keeps every project and ideas up front, and gives everyone the same chance by voting • Anything that gives neighbourhoods the chance to vote is a good thing • Very much as other new ideas might happen • This can only benefit neighbourhoods in a positive way ie involving people and communities encourages ownership and a pride in their area • Make people more aware of what’s going on in their area and more will get done • Yes, good way of working together. There was a sense of togetherness at this event. It was good to learn about different project ideas from the actual community groups themselves • It keeps people busy and gets us out of trouble • People get what they want • If more people get involved ie more local groups and people are made aware how simple and effective the process is by more publicising and word of mouth from today’s attendees it could be the way forward for all government and public spending • It’ll give more chance for other people to get the money – more people could come along. • By using this year’s as an example, which will create ideas for the next time • They are all good causes and would bring benefits • More ideas will be approved • We will benefit no end if we do this again Negative comments • Not a great deal Neutral comments • Some people would vandalise the flower beds and that from these projects. But some would leave alone • Yes to some extent Feedback from conversations at liveability event Most of the following were one-off comments • The invitation card must have cost an absolute fortune – we would have been happy with just a letter. We’re supposed to be using money wisely. Some salesman with the gift of the gab will have sweet-talked someone at the council – I know how these things work. • The sound system wasn’t up to the job – you should have had speakers half way down the room • There is no need for background music – it’s difficult to hear what else is going on [comment from man with hearing aids] • All the technology should have been sorted out before we arrived • It should have started at 9.30, like you said • Too many people arrived all at once and it was too much for the people on the desk • I didn’t know about all these other groups doing things – isn’t it great to know we all want the best for our communities? I’m sure there must be things we can do together • It’s great because so much money usually gets wasted [repeated by several people] • The information is good • It’s marvellous to see what other people are doing • We found out about it because we got a thing through the letterbox – we understood all about it before we came • I’m most impressed with what the young people want to do for us [older person] • We want to talk to one of the other projects as we are keen to work with young people [Getting to know each other, talking about Bridging generations] • Bit of a waste of time really • It’s wonderful to see so many young people involved in their community • Getting young people involved – that’s what’s important Plus numerous examples of ‘good’, ‘excellent’, etc! Children and young people event 2 December 1. What do you think of U decide? Positive comments • Good • Having lots of fun • I think U decide is a brilliant idea as young people have a chance to say things for a change • I think it was good because it’s a good way to look at different people’s ideas • It was great • I think it was mint • We thought this wouldn’t be good, but we have enjoyed it – very relaxed – everyone very nice • It is cool • I think the U decide thing is the best event I’ve ever been to • Great fun Neutral comments • More cheese sandwiches! But great fun apart from that 2. How could we make U decide better? • More money x 3 • Hand the freebies out and get people to line up in a queue because I seen lots of people just taking loads and there wasn’t anything left • Food from Greggs • Water as well as pop please • Cheese sandwiches • Let different groups plan each time • Change the money – split it and give them some of their budget • I think the money that groups have requested should not have been revealed and that points would be allocated on the merit of the idea 3. Is this a good way for young people to make decisions? Positive comments • Yes x 10 Negative comments • No it’s not. You could have shared the money out better. It wsa disgraceful. We wasted our time coming here. • People were taking loads of freebies. I only got one • You should have shared the money or given us half Feedback from conversations at children and young people event Most of the following were one-off comments • The bingo game wasn’t fair • It wasn’t fair that one project could send in a video – or it should have been made clear to everyone that they could do that if they wanted to • The food had meat and veggie sandwiches together and there was no labelling about the fact that some food had nuts in it [mentioned by several people] • It’s great to give young people responsibility, and it helps people to interact • It’s a new experience • Nice cookies • It was a bit of an early start • We could have done with better materials • Some people brought photos, and we were told we couldn’t • It’s good to meet everyone else • There might be more interaction now we know who is out there • The food is nice – my compliments to the chef • There were no cheese sandwiches • Everyone gets the same chances • The materials were good Plus many comments on the lines of “great”, “I’m enjoying myself,” etc. Noticed at the end – Footy for all team approached Mini moto-ways to talk about how they could get involved in supporting their campaign.