Delivering transparent budgeting through local resident participation.

Wiltshire Council provides local government services to approx. 435,000 Wiltshire residents and is responsible for schools, social services, rubbish collection and disposal, planning and leisure services.


Local government budgeting is an increasingly difficult task. Spending must be more carefully planned than ever, and the real-world impact of decreased or increased funding for individual service areas can be dramatic. For the coming year, Wiltshire Council must find £15 million in savings.

Wiltshire Council were keen to make their budgeting plans transparent to local residents through participatory budgeting. This would offer residents the opportunity to view planned spending for the year ahead, create their own budget, and have visibility of the real-world impact of varying spending levels.


Cloud Systems created a platform for Wiltshire Council which clearly sets out the planned budget for the coming year showing income areas, service area expenditure and total spending levels. Users are then asked to adjust the budget, using a simple interface, to save the required £15 million. As users increase or decrease budgets, the impact is demonstrated via ‘breaking news’ reports specific to the service area they are altering.

Users can submit their budget, along with their rationale for setting spending levels as they have, for other visitors to the website to review.


The platform launched in early December 2019 and has been promoted heavily via the Council's social media accounts.

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