Every three months as your Big Local Rep, 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

This has been a busy quarter reviewing the partnership, reviewing the background profile and the current plan, consulting with partners and building the third plan, aiming to go live in April 2019.

During this period, the partnership has been sad to lose the plan co-ordinator. Rachel Lauberts resigned in the autumn, having worked with Boston Big Local since the very beginning, combining her vision and passion for community led change with superb business management and organisational skills. Thank you Rachel.

The partnership continues to meet monthly with strong support from the Local Trusted Organisation, Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire. Reporting on activity is thorough and financial management is sound. The review of the partnership showed how it has developed this last year, with scope to extend its reach further. The current plan review demonstrated success across all main areas in promoting its vision and main objectives. Building the new plan is going well, holding onto activities which continue to demonstrate valuable impact for residents, withdrawing funding from those that have been less beneficial and bringing in new activities to respond to evolving need and priorities.

Community engagement and extensive communications remain at the heart of the partnership’s approach, holding an event in October to develop the new plan and sending out a newsletter to every household outlining the proposed central ideas in the new plan.

Amidst all this activity, three partnership members took part in the Big Local Leaders Assembly in late September.

Doing things

The excellent Spendometer on the front page of the website informs residents that of the £1M+ investment, Boston Big Local is in year 4 and has spent a bit over £300,000 to date. There is also a blog on the overall funding and what happens when the money runs out.

The partnership was sad to not gain funding through Creating Civic Change, but is keen to build on the interest generated by further funding for arts projects contributing to health and well-being in the new plan.

The partnership reviewed all reports from funded projects in October and approved these for payment, with special mention for the achievements of Boston in BloomArts for Dementia and the summer beach event.

Looking ahead

Boston Big Local is looking ahead to its new plan due to be in place in April 2019. It has already consulted on longer term legacy ideas and has met with partners in October to review needs and priorities and how best to meet these over the life span of the next plan. It has drafted the headlines of the plan and is sending out a newsletter to all residents in the New Year. It is holding a community consultation event on the draft plan in late January before finalising and submitting to Local Trust in February.