Mayor of Bydgoszcz Rafał Bruski, Source: City of Bydgoszcz

Facing financial dilemmas, Bydgoszcz turns to its citizens

Facing financial dilemmas, Bydgoszcz turns to its citizens

With tight municipal finances, hard choices must be made on how to spend public money

The Northern Polish city of Bydgoszcz is gearing up for tough financial years ahead. With legislative changes affecting local governments and the municipal budget seriously hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, the city is facing particularly hard choices about which investment projects to carry on with and which to postpone for better times. The solution: ask the local residents.

Reaching consensus on the hard choices

At the end of August, the Mayor of Bydgoszcz Rafał Bruski together with the Chair of the Council Monika Matowska-Gulczyńska initiated a discussion on the future municipal investments. They presented a list of proposals, which should be complemented by suggestions from local councillors. The idea is for the finalized list to be consulted with the residents who will decide on the final draft.

“I want to start the conversation about the future and development of our city with discussions with the councillors. Due to changes in the law that are unfavourable for local governments and the decline in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I invite all councillors to advise on the creation of the list of municipal investments. I know that there are many needs in the city, I would like to meet all of them, but a choice must be made, in which the councillors and then the residents of Bydgoszcz will help me” said Mayor Rafał Bruski, as quoted on the municipal portal.

This way, the councillors will be working together with the districts' inhabitants so that each addition to the list is proposed by the widest group of Bydgoszcz residents possible. The final say will be under the form of consultations with the citizens.

The city has already put forward a list of 12 investments ideas, some of which are planned tasks that did not fit into the budget due to changes to the national legislation. The list includes street reconstructions, an upgrade of the Polonia Stadium, construction of sports and rehabilitation facilities, revitalization of city parks and more.

At the end of 2020, public consultations will be held, in which the residents will say which investments they feel most strongly about. The consultation will result in the compilation of a list presenting the sequence of projects to be carried out in the coming years.

Consultations will be held in accordance with the established practice of the Bydgoszcz Civic Budget with voting cards sent to every resident. Residents who want to submit their proposals may already start discussions with their councillors and representatives of the Housing Estate Councils.



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