This letter is coming to you from the New Deal Partnership Board. We are very conscious that people need to hear from us how the programme has ended up in the position it is.
First and foremost, we really want to take this opportunity of saying how sorry we are about the situation and the shock and distress it has caused in our community. We’re particularly sorry about not being able to give more notice of the need to stop funding projects.
As a Board we’ve spent some time analysing our situation and we feel we’ve arrived in this situation through a mixture of circumstances, namely:
Our internal record keeping not being as good as it could have been
Relying too much on the prospect of additional funding from Government
A collective failure with our accountable body, Government Office and Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to regularly reconcile programme expenditure and
Us, as a Board, not demanding enough information from officers.
In our defence, we have taken consolation from the fact that:
In 2006/7 we were rated as excellent in terms of performance by DCLG
When BNDfC took over management of the programme we were being encouraged to spend to make sure Burngreave kept the NDC grant and
Other NDCs besides us also expected additional funding based on ongoing discussions with DCLG
We offer these issues as an explanation not as excuses. It is a really difficult situation for all of us and we want to go forward in as open and professional a manner as possible.
We are now going to be concentrating our efforts on making our three main buildings (Sorby House, Vestry Hall and Forum House) as profitable as possible so that any surpluses can be reinvested in the community. Securing the future of the buildings will be a very visible feature of the BNDfC legacy but we are also extremely keen that we don’t forget what has been achieved in Burngreave through the work of our projects over the last eight years. We are also continuing to support projects as much as we can to secure some sort of future.
We will be producing an evaluation of the programme, we will continue to publish good news stories and we will, time and money allowing, be aiming to put on a feedback event to celebrate the most important legacy of Burngreave – its people and their achievements.
We hope that this letter helps residents to understand how we have arrived where we have. If you do want to discuss the matter in more detail please do come along to our monthly Board meetings held on the last Wednesday of every month at the Vestry Hall or contact any of the Board Members or our Executive Manager, Ann Allen. We can all be contacted by phoning 279 6932 in the first instance.
We’d like to end our letter by reassuring you that we have learned some invaluable lessons from this situation and we will be sharing our experience with other voluntary and community sector groups to help prevent them getting into similar situations.
We also want to reassure you that we all remain committed to improving the quality of life for people in Burngreave.
Burngreave New Deal for Communities Partnership Board.