January – March 2017
As your Big Local Rep, every three months I share my thoughts on local area progress with you as residents and with the central team managing the national programme. Your comments and thoughts are always welcome.
The partnership meets each month and residents are welcome. With a second plan approved and in place and running smoothly, the partnership has focused on community connection and one of its major partner projects these last three months.
In January Allenton Big Local held a resident and partners event and Annual General Meeting. Two new members were welcomed and a summary of activity and spend shared with those present. Progress was applauded and future plans warmly greeted.
At the partnership’s first meeting after the AGM, a new chair, Edith Lang was elected and the serving vice-chair, Sue Davies, was re-elected. Edith and Sue have been on the partnership since the start and are well placed to lead Allenton Big Local through these crucial middle years of the Big Local programme, building on sound foundations and reliable partners. Allenton Big Local has been chaired till now by resident and the Enthusiasm Trust founder, Joe Russo, who has brought local resident passion and professional expertise to help Big Local get well established. Joe’s link as Local Trusted Organisation lead has been taken on by resident member and Enthusiasm employee, Rebecca Manship.
One recent resident concern included the need for improve information sharing which has been addressed by ensuring that newsletters are sent to each household at least once a year, supplementing others available at distribution points, news bulletins and the full and informative website.
The current three year plan is going well. The spendometer on the website shows exactly what has been spent and committed. Activity reports are received, reviewed and approved by the partnership. The website remains an excellent showcase for all that is happening through Allenton Big Local. Newsletters, partner agreements, activity reports, minutes of meetings and stories of action and change are all posted on the website. Social media following continues to grow.
The big news on plan activity has been dramatic progress on the St Martin’s community hall, as shared on the website: “The centre at St Martin’s Methodist Church will receive a transformational makeover through a DIY-SOS-style community project led by Hodgkinson Builders and supported by Allenton Big Local and Derby Homes.” “The church has agreed to the refurbishment of the building to develop it into an asset that will benefit the wider community. Hodgkinson Builders will provide vital expertise, resources and project management skills that will ensure the project’s success. Derby Homes will support the project and advise St Martin’s Methodist Church on managing and promoting the community centre effectively.” It is estimated that Allenton Big Local’s £70,000 contribution has levered in a total project value of £250,000.
The focus for the partnership these coming months is of course the Allenton Big Build, with work due to start in May and finish in late June or July. Allenton is looking forward to hosting a Big Local shared learning event about young people in October 2017 at the new community centre.