Passionate residents will be paid £75 to share their aspirations for the city as part of an ‘exciting’ conference that will shape the future of Portsmouth.
The city council is offering the cash sum to 100 entrants to share what matters most to them and consider topics such as health, transport, culture and the environment.
It will form part of the Imagine Portsmouth project – a collaboration between the council and organisations across the city.
Councillor Steve Pitt, deputy leader of Portsmouth City Council and culture boss, said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for people who care passionately about Portsmouth to make their voices heard.
‘I was part of the group that helped create Portsmouth’s last vision in 2008 – and the beginning of a new decade feels like the right time to come together as a city and talk about our shared aspirations for the future.
‘Portsmouth has a vibrant, thriving economy and cultural scene. It is a city that inspires great passion and great pride – and we want to create a shared vision that reflects that.’
Imagine Portsmouth started running workshops for city organisations in October last year with around 60 groups involved. And more than 22 focus groups with businesses and residents have also been held.
However, Tory boss and former council leader, Cllr Donna Jones, had concerns about the cost. She said: ‘The Lib Dems have carried out many consultations like this before that go nowhere and are nothing more than a talking shop.
‘The fact they are going to spend £7,500 of public money is totally irresponsible and looks to me like an election wheeze in the lead up to May, especially as this conference is taking place immediately before the council moves into purdah the official period before an election.’
Cllr Pitt added: ‘I never think it’s a waste of money finding out what people actually want for the city.’
Residents have until Sunday, February 16 to apply apply via portsmouth.gov.uk/citizensconference or by calling 023 9268 8073.
The conference will take place in the glasshouse in the Pyramids in Southsea, on Saturday, March 14 from 12pm – 5pm.
News from The News, Portsmouth