image of simulator, a tool used for budget consultation and engagement
Delib’s prioritisation tool Simulator

“Using Simulator…we opened the biggest budget conversation the city has seen.”

– Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council

It may officially be Christmas Season now that Halloween is over, but that doesn’t mean that the arguably much more fun Local Authority Budget Season is done just yet.

Councils across the UK are running budget engagement activities and seeking public input on their financials for the year ahead, and members of the public are undoubtedly thrilled at the prospect of another Council Tax hike as cash-strapped local authorities work to balance the books for another year.

It’s not a fun position for either party. But what if there was a way to robustly illustrate the complexities of budget decisions without asking citizens to read a 60-page PDF report?

It’s why we made Simulator: a digital prioritisation tool that demonstrates the trade-offs involved in complex decision-making in a way that’s easy to understand. Here are three organisations who used it to transform their budget engagement:

  • Powys County Council have had their central funding slashed by 20%, which has put a strain on social services, particularly as they have a high percentage of rural residents. They’ve used Simulator three times, and most recently it was fully translated into both English and Cymraeg. Read their story.
  • Liverpool City Council had to make a whopping £90 million worth of savings over three years. They used Simulator to reach citizens on mobile as well as desktop. Cllr Patrick Hurley said of the exercise: ‘It builds solidarity with the public, because everyone can see just how difficult it will be to balance the books.’ Read about their experience.
  • Edinburgh City Council found that there was confusion in the public’s understanding of how a local authority spent money. So they needed a tool that educated as well as engaged. Read an interview with Strategy Manager David Porteous about Edinburgh’s experience with Simulator.

Check out the links above to read more about each council’s use of the tool. Or if you’re interested more in-depth info on Simulator, book a free demo and we’ll walk you through it.

More like this? A spotlight on Simulator; How South East Water used Simulator to understand consumer priorities