Category Archives: Partnership Group

Doing the right thing right

How things are run in Big Kirk Hallam – Big Local rep, Bill Badham, reflects

Occasionally questions arise about how the Big Local resident-led programmed is managed and overseen. Residents on the local partnership put themselves forward to support the community, giving of their time and expertise. They do an amazing job in identifying and responding to its priorities. They can face many challenges, along with the rewards of helping make their area an even better place to live. They open themselves up to comment and, just occasionally, this can become quite personal and hurtful.This blog sets out how Big Local is run and the checks in place to make sure there is maximum benefit to residents, minimum bureaucracy and sound scrutiny to make sure things are run right.

Back in 2010, the National Lottery set up Big Local as a community-led programme to reach 150 areas in England, with at least £1m to spend over about 10 years. By 2012, all areas had got underway. Each area must follow a required pathway, including setting up a local residents’ group, choosing a local trusted organisation to be the legally accountable body, connecting with the wider community, researching local needs and building, implementing and reviewing a plan that responds to local priorities.

Local Trust (http://www.localtrust.org.uk/) manages the whole programme and holds and invests unspent money until needed. Return on that investment is distributed locally to add to the £1m for each area. Each area must have a Big Local rep to oversee progress and support the local area, also paid for centrally and managed through Local Trust.

Each Big Local area is run by a local partnership which must include at least five residents, making up at least 51% of the partnership with at least 51% of voting rights. The make-up and functioning of the partnership is reviewed annually to check that it is in good health and remains relevant and responsive to local needs, with clear policies and procedures to guide its work and respond to concerns and complaints.

The Local Trusted Organisation is chosen by the local partnership as one that can be accountable, support the partnership and keep to the vision and values of Big Local. It is vetted by Local Trust and must keep all relevant records, submit its accounts and be open to spot checks from Local Trust. It signs a legal contract with Local Trust to ensure it keeps to the ethical and financial requirements of Big Local. In this area, it is paid no more than 5% of local spend and this payment is paid centrally, not from local funds.

The partnership is responsible for the development of the local plan and to make sure it is delivered with partners working toward the shared vision and objectives. This plan is checked thoroughly by Local Trust before approval. Subsequent spend is reviewed every six months by the partnership and Local Trust. There are Service Level Agreements between the Local Trusted Organisation and partner organisations to monitor progress. Reports from delivery partners need approval from the partnership before funding is released. The Big Local rep also submits a quarterly report to Local Trust on progress, successes and any areas of concern locally.

Each area is part of the wider Big Local community. Support, learning and sharing opportunities are available to make the most of Big Local as a powerful, resident-led, community focused programme to help make the 150 areas even better places to live.

Bill Badham

Big Local Rep

September 2018

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Big Local Rep’s quarterly report

April – June 2018

As your Big Local Rep, about 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

Big Kirk Hallam’s next plan to run from the summer of 2018 to the summer of 2020 has been approved by Local Trust. This was after a thorough review of current activity and submission and assessment of the new plan.

The assessment by Margaret Jackson commented that the partnership is “a welcoming group of residents who are dedicated to making a difference and achieving the Big Local outcomes within their area. They have made substantial progress to date in running projects which reach to all sectors of their community…. They [see] that relationships are key [and] have learnt that the best projects are those delivered by local people and organisations who are committed to the community in Kirk Hallam…. This plan should help the partnership move towards their legacy aims of residents with improved aspirations and a more confident community.”

The partnership continues to meet monthly and partner agreements, reports on activities, minutes of meetings and stories of action and change are posted on the website. Financial recording and reporting are sound, giving the partnership a secure basis for its decision making. The partnership is in good shape and running things well, with vision, energy and application. Representatives took part in Big Local Connects in London at the end of June and partnership members are completing the partnership survey.

Doing things

Activity remains vibrant and focused on the needs and priorities of residents across the ages, as illustrated by a number of recent what’s changed stories and in the latest ‎May newsletter sent to all residents.

Knit and natter continues to grow: “Coming to the group has made me feel great and I have 3 or 4 projects already planned for the next few months. I like the company and look forward to coming each week. The sense of achievement is amazing.” Monkey trouble toddler groupis also making a positive difference. The children get to play together and the parents get to take a breather and get to know other local parents. The social aspect of the group is huge with new friends being made all the time. Community chest continues to thrive as a way of reaching a wide range of local groups and projects.

Stay and Play continues successfully in its aim to have regular stay and play sessions on a weekly basis in the school holidays to meet, share, play, cook and provide lunch bags, reducing isolation and offering practical support to families. “It’s brilliant – it helps that it is free because money is tight and you can spend a fortune keeping the kids entertained.” (Parent)

 

Looking ahead

Big Kirk Hallam is set to conclude this second year of its current plan and to launch the next two year plan to run through to summer 2020. With the current Local Trusted Organisation now merging with the Academy group, NOVA, processes are in place to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities. The plan co-ordinator has met the new lead who is delighted at the opportunity to continue to support residents through being the trusted organisation for Big Kirk Hallam.