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BEST PRACTICE - THE KNOWLEDGE

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A round-up of good practice and useful information...
A round-up of good practice and useful information

Bright ideas

Westminster City Council is offering£1,000 to anyone working or living in the borough who comes up with a winning idea to improve the way the council works. Last year's winning idea led to the creation of the Westminster Languages Service - a centralised translation service for council staff.

For more information go to www.myidea.org.uk

Get fit

Ealing LBC is giving away£200 worth of vouchers for local sports and leisure centres as part of its New year - New you campaign. The vouchers are part of the borough's kickstart fitness packs allow free or discounted entry to fitness classes, lifestyle consultations and gym inductions. The council is also giving advice on how to maintain those good intentions throughout the coming year.

For more information go to www.ealing.gov.uk and follow the links to the sports and leisure pages

Fairtrade zone

Torbay Council has committed to becoming a fairtrade zone. To win this title, awarded by the Fairtrade Foundation, the council has to meet the following targets: a range of at least two fairtrade products are available in all shops and cafes; workplaces use fairtrade products; attract media coverage and popular support of the campaign; set up a steering group to ensure progress and continued commitment.

To find out if the council meets these targets go to www.torbay.gov.uk/index/living/environmentpolicy/fairtrade.htm or e-mail fairtrade@torbay.gov.uk

Cash for trash

Residents in Sefton are being offered£5 if they leave household waste at a local recycling centre. Homes within a 2.5 mile radius of the centre will receive a leaflet containing a voucher worth£5. The voucher will be validated after residents visit the centre and recycle their waste. They can either take the£5 or donate it to charity. All validated vouchers will be entered into a£500 cash draw next month.

For more information go to www.sefton.gov.uk

Graduate recruitment

Kingston upon Hull City Council has launched a two-year graduate recruitment programme. Successful candidates, who will be offered a salary of£20,000, will work in different areas throughout the council and undertake a diploma in local government. At the end of the programme the council expects graduates to be ready for a management role.

For more information go to www.hullcc.gov.uk/graduate_recruitment.php

Emergency planning

Nottinghamshire CC claims it is one of the first councils in the country to launch an emergency planning guide for councillors. After an emergency services information day for councillors last June, members asked what they could do to support communities in times of crisis. The plan outlines the roles and responsibilities for the emergency services, local authorities as well as local councillors during an emergency. The council is also keen that councillors do not spread misinformation during an emergency.

Learning Matters

Oxfordshire CC has launched a year-long programme of eventsto improve the potential of young people through learning and education. It is encouraging local residents to inspire young people by becoming a school governor or mentor, helping with after-school clubs or taking part in family learning activities.

Go to www.oxfordshire.gov.uk or e-mail learningmatters@oxfordshire.gov.uk

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