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.

Looking back

Running things

The partnership continues to meet monthly with the strong support of the Local Trusted Organisation, Age UK Boston and South Holland.

The focus these last three months has been on consulting residents and partners on the draft plan to submit in early April and on strengthening the partnership to lead on plan implementation after its approval.

A special edition of the newsletter went to every home. Two resident events were held in February. The second doubled as the Annual General Meeting at which recent and future proposed activity and spend were shared. Three new partnership members have been recently elected and their story is on the website.

The website remains an excellent showcase for all that is happening through Boston Big Local. Newsletters, partner agreements, reports on activities, minutes of meetings and stories of action and change are all posted on the website. Social media following continues to grow.

The partnership is well connected to the wider Big Local programme and valued partners are running a workshop at the Spring event in May.

Doing things

The first plan is nearing its end having run from April 2015 for two years. Many final reports and invoices have been coming in to ensure sound recording and reporting as the basis for telling the story of action and local change. All reports are read by the partnership before funding is released and these are placed on the website, followed often with a short story about what’s changed.

Recent activity includes £3,000 of grants to seven community chest applicants; Kuk Sool Wan martial arts school, the Butterfly Hospice Trust, the Bears Coaching, Boston Bridge Club, Boston in Bloom, Age UK and Your Day Your Say – a day service for adults with learning difficulties.

Looking ahead

The new two year plan was submitted in early April. This was followed by an assessor visit reporting to Local Trust whose decision was to endorse the plan and the full financial budget. Action is now in hand to set up the required Service Level Agreements with partner agencies. In June the partnership will take the chance to look more widely at what sustainability and a lasting legacy might mean and whether the partnership should begin to explore any opportunities for investment that could be linked to a continuing return beyond the ten years of the programme.

Bill Badham, Big Local Rep