Simon Cameron

Simon Cameron

Participatory Budgeting Development Manager | Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)

Simon has worked in Scottish Local Government for over 14 years and started by developing one of Scotland’s largest vocational development programmes for young people to experience the world of work. He then moved on to work directly with communities to help shape and deliver meaningful and effective services that met their needs. When chair of groups such as the Scottish Councils Equality Network and the Local Authority Complaints Handler Network, Simon has was involved and advised on a range of national policy areas aimed at improving the life outcomes of individuals and communities across Scotland. As Participatory Budgeting Development Manager for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), he is tasked with mainstreaming participatory budgeting into the day to day practice of all 32 local authorities. COSLA and Scottish Government recently announced their agreement that by 2021 1% (£100m) of all local authority budgets would be subject to PB.

Why do you believe innovations in participatory democracy are important?

Innovations in PB are important if we are to truly improve the life outcomes of the most vulnerable in our communities. We must ensure that people have a voice and are able to engage in shaping services that actually meet their needs and not the needs of an organisation.

What do you hope to see at the 2018 Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference?

I look forward to hearing the experiences of colleagues around the world and engaging in discussion about how we use PB as a mechanism to strengthen local democracy for future generations.