15-year-old Scott McArthur from Cornton is the youngest of 24 Budget Delegates who have helped verify the 770-plus community improvement ideas that have been submitted as part of Your Stirling: You Decide – Stirling’s take on Participatory Budgeting.
The Wallace High pupil has given up his Thursday nights for the past month to work with Stirling Council staff and other volunteers to ensure the ideas that progressed to the voting stage matched up to the published criteria.
Voting started online on Monday 27 May, and more than 3,000 votes have already been cast on the 193 ideas Scott and the team helped narrow down.
“There are lots of young people in my community so by doing something for my area I think I will maybe inspire them to come out and do something as well,” Scott said.
“I got involved in Your Stirling: You Decide to encourage other people to get involved as well and have a chance to get their projects done.
“I think it’s for the benefit of young people to get involved and the whole community can see the benefit of it. When they get older, their kids might also be involved in projects.”
Your Stirling: You Decide isn’t the first project of its kind that Scott has engaged with in Stirling.
The fourth-year pupil, who spends much of his time helping members of his community by taking care of their gardens when he’s not at school, successfully bid for funding as part of last year’s pilot project, and used the funding to transform youth space in his local community.
Work on that project was completed in April and seeing the direct impact of such positive engagement with local initiatives has inspired Scott to keep on track with any other similar projects.
He is now encouraging other young people in Stirling to do the same.
“I got involved to see people’s ideas change their community,” he added.
“I’m sure other young people will have stuff to say as well but may be too shy. I’m sure they would be fine and it could help boost their confidence and let them meet new people by getting involved.”
The voting stage of Your Stirling: You Decide is open now and will run until June 23. It will be up to the public to have their say on the 100s of ideas that have been submitted from across the Stirling community.
Voting takes place online via the Stirling Council website and Stirling Council Libraries will be able to help residents without internet access.
Scott added: “I’d say to people to try to get as many votes in as you can to help your projects get completed because it will certainly benefit people my age and other youngsters.”
For more information, visit: https://my.stirling.gov.uk/youdecide