Here is an update from our Big Local rep, Bill Badham, on the latest developments in Allenton Big Local.
The partnership consists of 10 people, six of whom are residents. It meets monthly to review progress on the plan and respond to new opportunities and requests. All minutes are put on line as soon as possible.
The partnership reviewed the end of year one budget and agreed the second year budget, what to carry over and what new projects to fund.
One new resident member has recently been welcomed and there has been a change in representative from Derby Homes. A resident partnership member summarised that the group had grown stronger through facing some specific challenges relating to areas of delivery in the plan. Issues included how best to lead and manage the partnership’s side of developing a local facility, reconciling different perceptions of the annual big event and considering and seeking clarification on proposals for use of year 1 underspend. The partnership has begun to think about the second plan, reviewing the profile, principles and vision and agreeing they remain accurate and fit for purpose.
Activity has continued successfully across all three priorities, with the second big event being well attended and enabling the completion of the second annual survey of resident perceptions. The trend is of views indicating that things are getting better, with less crime and low level nuisance and more pride in the area. Progress toward the community hub may seem slow but it is steady and on course. Work with children, families and young people progresses well with quarterly reports indicating valued support and positive outcomes. First year underspend has been allocated by the partnership toward a healthy eating project run by NACRO, a mentoring project with young people through Enthusiasm and a bursary scheme relating to reducing barriers to training and employment. The work club is going well. A course in IT skills for older people is being considered as an activity. Work relating to Street Performers has been picked up and will be developed by Enthusiasm. A joint funded bid for a local community notice board has been agreed. Community Chest has had frustratingly low take up.
On running things, the partnership has planned an event in October to develop the outline of the new plan, reviewing existing activities and agreeing what is most likely to stay. It is also joining two other areas to consider in more detail how progress is evaluated across themes and across the years. It is setting up a number of meetings with local groups to review progress and the draft ideas for the new plan.
The partnership is working very well, demonstrated by taking on and resolving a number of thorny issues relating to working with partner agencies and seeking to improve communications. The annual survey is an excellent model and other local areas are seeking to copy this. The work club is an example of practical action that can help raise people’s confidence in helping get into training and jobs. Communications keep people in touch and help embed accountability and openness. Regular reports keep activity open to wider scrutiny.