BIRN Serbia held the Local Budget Forum last week in the town of Leskovac as a part of its “Participatory Budgeting” project. During this public debate residents of Leskovac had an opportunity to discuss the 2013 budget and the town’s priorities in the forthcoming period.
Before the debate the citizens of Leskovac had the chance to have their say about the municipal priorities by filling in questionnaire at a street event. They were asked to select 3 out of 6 projects which they think are the most important for the development of their town.
More than 80 people took part in the debate which presents the final activity in budgeting process. The Mayor of Leskovac, Goran Cvetanovic, expressed his satisfaction with the turnout, stressing the importance of public participation in decision making processes.
He also invited everyone present to take part in the future local government activities.
Dalibor Trickovic, the heads of the finance department, presented the draft budget for the next fiscal year explaining budget incomes and outgoings in the “citizen budget” format.
The participants used the opportunity to comment on the draft budget and get their questions answered by the top local government officials.
The conclusions reached during the local budget forum and the questionnaire results will be presented to the members of the Leskovac municipality council.
BIRN has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the mayor confirming further cooperation in this field.
The project of implementing the practice of participatory budgeting at the local level through the European Partnership Programme with EU PROGRES municipalities in 25 municipalities in the south and southwest Serbia is supported by the European Union, the Swiss and the Serbian government.