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What is Participatory Budgeting?

It is a process of democratic deliberation and decision-making, and a type of participatory democracy, in which ordinary people decide how to allocate part of a budget. Community members identify spending priorities.

What does that mean and how does it work in Pennard?

In Pennard, we are taking part in the Swansea Rural Community Voice Project. This is community engagement in a way that has never been done before. This project gives every resident the opportunity to have their say on facilities, amenities and ideas for positive change they'd like to see within their community.

The Project makes use of a digital platform, Here, residents who register are able to rate and debate suggested ideas for change in the community. The process is anonymous so it affords residents the opportunity to be honest and brave and anyone can add an idea for the rest of the community to decide if it's a priority or not. This provides a list of priorities for the community that in turn, informs elected representatives, such as the ward Councillor or Community Council, where there is a need. It also provides opportunities for members of the community to come together and bring about positive change themselves.

As a further commitment to this Project, Pennard Community Council have increased the Environmental Project fund to £5000 for the 2018/19 financial year. This is visible under the "Budgets" section of the VocalEyes platform. As ideas are rated, the top rated ones become priorities. Where appropriate, the Community Council will allocate funds to these priorities to help them become a reality. These transactions will also be visible to all on the platform. 

As you can see, your voice can really make a difference in Pennard. Don't let others direct where the money is spent, make sure you have your say on positive changes you'd like to see in your community.

posted on 27 Mar 2018

We have
had great success in Pennard Ward and have planted a beautiful Silver Birch to
commemorate 50 years since the passing of Vernon Watkins and 50 years since
Pennard Primary School and Library were opened.

Local company, Gower Unearthed, work tirelessly
raising awareness of Gower myths, legends and history. They have been
awarded funding to bring Vernon Watkins and his work to life for the 50th
anniversary and have run some great initiatives across Swansea and Gower.

I met with Charlotte and Helen of Gower
Unearthed to discuss the Swansea Rural Community Voice Project and how it could
work for them. We discussed their current and future projects and during our
conversations, one of us suggested that planting a tree for Vernon would be a
lovely way to mark this special anniversary.

 Without further discussions, the idea was
uploaded to VocalEyes into Pennard Ward, was rated and debated by Pennard
residents and by the end of the month was top of the list of priorities for the

 It was during this time, we spoke to
residents about the idea  of planting a tree and discovered the Primary School and Library were
both also celebrating a 50th anniversary. With all the crossover
links between Vernon’s poetry, children, learning, books and literacy, the idea
morphed into a joint celebration.


We approached the Primary school to find
out what they thought about a tree to celebrate their special anniversary, also
recognizing the Library and Vernon Watkins, and were delighted by the response.

Charlotte and Helen both wanted to help the
school give the children a better understanding of Vernon Watkins and so
organized sessions at the school; including poetry walks and sessions writing
poetry taking inspiration from nature and the Pennard area.

 The children have also worked with a local
artist to produce a “Poetry-Tree” to showcase their work. This will form part
of a display to be showcased around Swansea as a finale to the Vernon Watkins

The tree will be accompanied by a memorial
stone and information board in the coming months. These will be a fitting
memorial to Pennard’s most famous poet which we hope will eventually form part of
a Vernon Watkins Trail within the ward, encouraging residents to learn more
about Vernon and encouraging visitors from further afield who want to find out

The stone and board will be funded by donations
from a collaboration of different organizations including The Gower Landscape
Partnership, The Gower Society, Pennard Community Council, VocalEyes and
fundraising from the local community. This is an example of genuine community
collaboration, individuals and organizations working together to achieve a priority
idea that had come from the residents within the community.

This story has been shared by the South Wales Evening Post and is available on the Welsh Government website:

Looking forward to helping Pennard
residents achieve many more of their priorities in the coming months!


Categories: Featured, Ideas into Action, posted on 24 Jan 2018

What a lovely warm welcome we received from the lovely ladies at Pennard library, the tea and coffee were flowing, a most generous member of the community had donated a fabulous home made cake to the event and members of the community arrived to communicate - ticking all our boxes!

I was joined by members of the community who were already using, those who had been online and felt they wanted some support to use it and also people who were interested in finding out more - we also roped in unsuspecting visitors to the library. 

We had a great morning, with people registering for the first time and getting involved, rating and debating ideas already being discussed and inputting excellent ideas of their own. We also had very interesting conversations around the ideas on the platform and ways to make them become a reality.

Great stuff Penard! See you in Monday January 29th at 10am for our next Coffee, Cake & Communicate!

posted on 16 Dec 2017

Our first engagement event is coming to Pennard on Monday 27th at 10 am. Coffee and Tea will be provided by the lovely ladies at the Library and VocalEyes will provide the cake. All you need to bring is your voice! This is set to be a regular gathering at the library on a monthly basis. We will be skipping December as it's so busy but we will return in January and every month from then on! 
Looking forward to seeing you there!

posted on 18 Nov 2017

Well it's been a whirlwind couple of months but we are up and running with our Community Voice project! We have started in Pennard and have our first list of priorities for the ward.

We have so much support for the project it's really fantastic to be a part of it. Rebecca Evans AM and MP Tonia Antionazzi are thrilled to be involved in such an innovative and exciting project and have committed to help us out in any way they can.

Cllr. Lynda James, for Pennard, is also keen to engage with the community and will soon be adding her community budget to the process so we can all see where this funding is being prioritized in line with the community's needs.

We have a new Twitter account with frequent tweets about progress and groups we’re working with. Follow us @swanseavoice to keep up to date with developments.

 We are working in partnership with Friends of Pennard Library (FoPL) in Pennard and Gower Access Path (GAP) in Bishopston – where we’re heading to next with the project. We are also about to start discussions with AFC Pennard about their aspirations for women/girls sports teams in the ward and a fit-for-purpose Pavilion on the Playing Field.

You can make a difference to the community without leaving your armchair but if you're inspired by the project and want to be involved, we are recruiting teams of Community Organisers in all 8 wards.

We need diverse teams of people with many different skill sets so don't be shy or sit at home thinking there wouldn't be a place for you; contact me now at and help bring positive changes to your community!

There are very exciting times ahead - more and more people are registering with and having their say on what they want in their communities.

Coming soon is our first "Coffee, Cake and Communicate" event with plenty more to follow. We are also about to launch a very exciting competition for the younger members of the community with a fantastic £50 prize!

I’ll be back soon with more news on our progress – keep communicating!

Susan x

PS Here are Pennard's priorities for August:

posted on 8 Sep 2017