July – September 2016
This has been a busy period for Allenton Big Local and the autumn starts with encouraging news about community hub developments and plans developing for the AGM in January.
The partnership meets each month and residents are welcome. The new plan is embedded and progress and finances are reviewed regularly. The spendometer on the website front page shows exactly what has been spent and committed to date. Reports of activity funded are received, reviewed and approved by the partnership, such as this recent one on tasty food and healthy eating. One development is to track added value partners bring to the work being funded by Allenton Big Local and quarterly reports now ask for reflections on this. The work club for example has a six monthly budget of £6k and it brought added value of £4.7k. And while partnership costs are budgeted for at £500 for six months the added value is already over £1k. Gradually the partnership will be able to build a picture to show how much is contributed in resources and volunteer hours by residents and partners for every pound of the £1 Million spent.
There has been interest from some residents and workers about attending and joining the partnership and these contacts are being followed up by the plan co-ordinator.
And connecting to the national programme, Edith Lang, resident and one of the two vice chairs, took part in the recruitment of Local Trust’s new chief executive, Matt Leach.
Local Trust and ABL teamed up to create a short film to show a Big Local area in action, including the youth club, parents’ group, allotments and older people’s group.
The architect’s plans for the community hub are nearly complete and once approved by the church committee could lead to building work starting early in the New Year.
The partnership looks to attend and have a profile at local events such as the OSCAR BMX track event. One concern was received about how ABL was under represented at another event just outside the ABL boundary and this was responded to swiftly and openly.
Reductions and cuts in local services are a deepening concern for residents. The Allenton Big Local partnership looks to pick up and respond to these and either raise issues with the council or support others in doing so, such as with the future of the library and the open market.
In November, there will be a review of the partnership and how Allenton Big Local is running things. In January it will host its AGM and share recent activity and encourage further residents to join the partnership. With the current three year plan firmly in place, the partnership has set itself the task over the coming year of taking stock, upping its community engagement, reviewing the changing landscape and looking closely at the challenges and opportunities it needs to rise to over this mid-term phase of the ten year programme. As part of this, looking up and looking around, this autumn Allenton Big Local is taking part in a Big Local event on health in Uttoxeter in October and contributing to one for Locally Trusted Organisations in Sheffield in December. And in a year’s time, Allenton Big Local will host an event for Big Local on involving young people in Big Local areas.
The partnership is working well and the plan is running smoothly. Finding ways to share what added value Allenton Big Local is bringing is a good initiative. Setting out a number of actions to review the landscape and gain insight into what other areas are doing will keep it alert to local changes and fresh to new ideas.