Taking stock and moving on
This has been a busy time for Allenton Big Local, moving on with funded activities, reviewing progress after the first year and setting sights for the second year.
Bill Badham, Local Rep
The partnership remains strong and continues to meet monthly. In the New Year it undertook a thorough review of progress and headlines were posted here on the website.
The partnership agreed that the vision is sound and a good strapline. The focus on a stronger community still applies.
The Allenton Big Local Profile remains a strong baseline document on which to base the existing themes and priorities and activities in the plan. The effects of recession and cuts to local services get tougher for local people, including new arrivals and young people.
The review that the partnership did also looked at the themes, priorities and activities undertaken this first year. These were seen to have been well received and to have made a significant difference to individuals, families and the wider community.
Under the theme of strengthening the community, the community chest and community celebration have been successful. Work to develop the shopping area through street arts has not been developed yet. The community hub is moving on, requiring time and care to get the right agreements in place. You can read a great article about this in the latest newsletter.
Under the theme of improving life skills, there has been strong progress in working with children, families and young people and a desire to link these together more for added value and impact.
Under the theme of creating opportunities for training and employment, the work club has been going very well, though it has been harder to assist local employers to employ local people.
And through communications, the website is up to date and lively, with strong ‘what’s changed’ stories, an excellent latest newsletter and a very useful of the perceptions survey from the summer event.
The first year plan was due to end in January but was actually concluded in April. The partnership is taking care to now review expenditure and make the best use of underspend. The partnership has agreed two main principles to guide this: if underspend can still be used effectively for the activity it was intended then it will stay put; and if it is not needed then it will go into a pot; decisions for its reallocation in year two will draw on knowledge of need in the area and any new issues emerging.
What’s working well
The partnership is working well, though it was sad to lose its Academy link which it hopes to replace. A new resident member has just joined. The plan has proved a good framework and though there is underspend, the partnership has in place a sound means of managing this. While progress on the community hub is slow, things are heading in the right direction and the end result could be a fantastic resource at the heart of the community.