What would you do if you controlled your UBS budget?

We know there are thousands of community organisations already delivering UBS-like services across the UK. If you are one of those organisations we want to hear from you and we want to showcase the work you are already doing and how much more you could do if you had access to the UBS budgets we have proposed.

Win a chance to present your ideas to Mayors and local governments for how best to spend the budgets assigned to Universal Basic Services in your local community.

  • One entry in each Service (Housing, Food, Transport, Information) will be selected for an expenses paid trip for the team to come and present their idea at a meeting of Mayors and local government.
  • Winning entries will have a video produced by the IGP to showcase their ideas.
London Cooking Project video
An example idea in action

Imagine you are in control of the budget for your local community’s basic services. How would you spend the money to deliver safety, opportunity and enable the participation of everyone in your community?
You can spend it any way you like, as long as you spend it on creating services that people in your community can access easily and without charge.

ParticipationYour objective is to have the maximum impact on improving the lives of people in your community, especially the people struggling to make the most of their lives in difficult circumstances.

Think about how your service will improve everyone’s

  • safety
  • opportunity
  • participation

Your idea can cover all of the services, or just the ones you choose. If you just want to submit an idea about food in your area, that’s OK. Quite often the services work together, so for example you might want to refer to the Transport budget to help people get to your Food service. Maybe there are other groups in your area that would like to work with you to submit a joint entry that covers multiple Services?

Competition Budgets

Yearly Budgets

Per Person

Per Household













These budgets are calculated for your whole community using the total number of people or households living in the area where your service can be accessed. All numbers are for a whole year and your budget plan should cover one year.

So if your community has 10,000 people living in it you will have £2.57 million to spend on shelter and housing as needed, £600,000 to spend on food programs, £780,000 for local transport a year, and £1.05 million for Internet access.

You can find the population for your area here: http://www.nomisweb.co.uk/census/2011/ks101ew

Email: census.customerservices@ons.gsi.gov.uk
or tel: +44 (0)1329 444972

or post to Census Customer Services: ONS, Titchfield, Fareham, Hants, PO15 5RR

Capital v Expenses

Some services, like building new houses, cost a lot of money but will last a long time. We have provided budget numbers which you can use for some of the services, but you may have other ideas for things you would invest in.
For this competition you can use an annual budget of £20 for every £100 you spend on things that will last longer than a year. So if you want to build a community kitchen and that will cost roughly £50,000 for equipment and labour to build, you should add £10,000 a year to your budget.
To add a new community centre you can use a budget of £50,000 a year.

See the examples below for guidelines on costs.


Submit your entry as a PDF file attached to an email to info@ubs-hub.org.

Your submission must include the following information:

  1. Name of your group
  2. Your name
  3. The area of the community you are considering, and the total population of the area. You can use town or borough names, or postcodes.
  4. The Basic Services included in your idea.
  5. A description of the services you would deliver. If you already offer similar services, tell us what would change if you had the UBS budgets.
  6. Your budget costings.
  7. Who you would expect to access the services.
  8. How you would expect people to access the services.
  9. How you would involve local people in the development, design and delivery of the services.
  10. What impact would your idea have on the community? What difference would it make to people’s lives?

Examples and ideas


Food_Ricon4 million people have difficulty putting food on the table for their family each year. What would you do to improve access to healthy and nutritious food for everyone in your community?
Maybe you would open a community kitchen where anyone could come and cook for themselves. Or maybe you would deliver more meals to people who cannot get out, or use the Transport budget to get more people to be able to come to a community centre for a meal.
The food cost of each meal is £1.87.


Shelter_RiconHousing is a problem in many parts of the UK, and the problems are different in every community.
Think about who has problems accessing decent housing in your area. It might be homeless people, or it might be the quality of housing available for the elderly, or young families.
Then think about what kind of housing you think would help, where you might build it, and what kinds of facilities would be available. Would some facilities be shared?
Each new housing unit will cost £10,000 a year, including utilities.


Transport_RiconGetting to work, to school, or to the doctor is expensive and difficult in many parts of the country. What would you do to improve transport in your area? It might be more bus services, or it might be a public bicycle scheme, or even self-driving electric cars!
Focus on transport that would be free for residents in your area and think about how your service might allow people to stop using their private cars. Would access to the Internet improve the way services respond to peoples’ needs?


Info_RiconBeing connected to the Internet is so important in our modern society, to access other services, to get information, and to participate in our society.
What would you do to make sure that everyone in your community had free access to the Internet? Perhaps a community wi-fi network could reach everybody, or a community broadband service? Would classes on how to use technology be useful? Where you hold the classes? How would people get to the classes? You can use the budgets from other services to help.
Each Internet connection point costs £260 a year.