Every quarter I write a short update from my perspective as the Big Local Rep, which I post here and also send to Local Trust which manages the whole national programme. I hope you find it useful and I am always happy to hear from residents and local organisations about your views about how Boston Big Local is going.

Big Local is run and supported by local people getting on with wanting to help make their area a better place. Every area suffers loss. In September, the death of Robert Lauberts was keenly felt by many people, appreciating his big contribution to the area, to Boston Big Local and to Boosting the Local Economy. Members of the partnership were able to thank him sincerely before he died and BBL is looking at how best to commemorate his valued volunteering.

Running things

The partnership consists of nine members, six of whom are residents. It meets monthly to review progress on the plan and respond to new opportunities and requests. Two residents withdrew from the partnership over the summer. The position of one other remains uncertain and needs clarifying. The partnership is looking at ways to help make involvement in the partnership more flexible than monthly meeting attendance.

The partnership negotiated the move of Local Trusted Organisation to Age UK Boston and South Holland and is grateful for the support of its trustees and chief executive, who has now joined the board as a non-voting member. Financial matters have been transferred and all those working to an existing service level agreement will be contacted to introduce the new arrangements.

Doing things

Despite focus on transferring Local Trusted Organisation and the absence of the plan co-ordinator due to her bereavement, activities continue well. With strong partners working to clear SLAs on plan delivery. The summer beach event, activity across the ages and environmental improvements are all going well.

What next

The partnership will make the move to its new Local Trusted Organisation, Age UK Boston and South Holland. It will see the setting up of financial systems and the updating of partners regarding their contractual obligations under their existing Service Level Agreements. A fuller appraisal of activity undertaken will take place. Communications will be boosted by additional capacity from Guidemark Publishing, the website will go back live and a backlog of material will be updated and new blogs posted.

What’s working well

The partnership remains led by local residents giving time and commitment, energy and focus. The limited availability during evenings means the partnership is finding ways to keep members who can’t make all meetings in the loop, informed and part of the decision making. The move to the new Local Trusted Organisation went well and relations are sound and support forthcoming. There is some great news coverage and press clippings are kept most carefully by the chair.