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TOP COUNCILS GET BEACON STATUS FOR QUALITY LOCAL SERVICES

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Local government minister Nick Raynsford today praised leading councils for the quality of some of the key public s...
Local government minister Nick Raynsford today praised leading councils for the quality of some of the key public services being delivered, as he announced the 46 councils awarded beacon status. The winning councils, recommended by an independent advisory panel, received awards for excellence and innovation under 11 themes, including neighbourhood renewal, promoting racial equality and crime reduction in rural areas.

The announcement of the 46 councils awarded beacon status in round three coincides with the revealing of themes for rounds four, five and six of the beacon council scheme.

Visiting Hammersmith and Fulham LBC, one of the councils awarded beacon status for its work on improving urban green spaces, Mr Raynsford said:

'The beacon councils selected today lead the way in delivering some of the key services that make a real difference to the quality of life in local communities. Gaining a beacon award is not just a way of marking the council's achievements; it is also a recognition of the hard work of all the staff who are at the front-line of

delivering services.

'Beacon status is much more than a trophy. Becoming a beacon is just the start - the new beacon councils will now help other councils learn from their experience. By sharing their best practice with others, beacon councils can help to raise standards of public services across the country.

'Today's announcement of 52 beacon awards to 46 councils is therefore an important part of our drive to deliver high quality public services everywhere. Nearly half of this year's beacon councils - 22 out of 46 councils - have never been beacon councils before and many of these are district councils. This shows the scheme is relevant to all councils - whatever their type, size or location.'

The objective of the scheme is to identify centres of excellence in local government from which other councils can learn. Each year, ministers from across government select themes in service areas that have a direct impact on the quality of life of local people. Councils are invited to apply, either individually or in partnership with other councils, under the themes where they can demonstrate that an excellent service is being provided.

The new beacon councils will work with the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) to share their best practice with councils all over the country. The process will start with a series of showcase events and will be followed by open days and other learning activities.

The full list of beacon councils is included in Annex A.

* See LGCnetfor 'BEACON COUNCIL THEMES ANNOUNCED'

NOTES

1. The beacon council scheme was established in 1999 by the government to select a number of councils to act as pace setters and centres of excellence. Last year 43 beacon awards were given to 39 councils. In this round of the scheme, 52 beacon awards have been given to 46 councils, from an original pool of 130 applications. The full list of beacon councils for each of the 11 themes is attached in Annex B.

2. The IDeA will now begin working with councils to organise a series of showcase events and other learning activities. A booklet listing the third round Beacons Where to Go and What to See has been published jointly by DTLR and the IDeA. The booklet, available from DTLR free literature, highlights some examples of the beacons' best practice and sets out how to obtain details of the events they will

be organising.

3. The government appointed an independent advisory panel to make recommendations to ministers on the selection of beacon councils in each round. The Report of the Advisory Panel on Beacon Councils: Recommendations to Ministers on Beacon Councils for Round Three is published today and is available here.

4. The panel made recommendations for 52 beacon awards to 46

councils. The government has accepted those recommendations.

5. The 11 service areas on which the beacon scheme is focusing in

round three are:

- Adoption

- Better Access and Mobility

- Community Legal Services

- Crime Reduction in Rural Areas

- Fostering Business Growth

- Improving Urban Green Spaces

- Libraries as a Community Resource

- Neighbourhood Renewal (in urban and rural areas)

- Promoting Racial Equality

- Tackling Fuel Poverty

- Transition in Education

The Beacon Councils Special Grant is available to each beacon to help

with their dissemination activities.£1.7m will be divided

equally between the new beacons.

Annex A - Alphabetical list of councils awarded beacon status

Council Name Theme

Babergh DC Neighbourhood Renewal

Barnet LBC Improving Urban Green Spaces

Libraries as a Community Resource

Barnsley MBC Community Legal Services

Bexley LBC Fostering Business Growth

Improving Urban Green Spaces

Blackburn with Darwen Council Fostering Business Growth

Libraries as a Community Resource

Blyth Valley BC Tackling Fuel Poverty

Brent LBC Improving Urban Green Spaces

Neighbourhood Renewal

Camden LBC Community Legal Services

Tackling Fuel Poverty

Darlington BC Community Legal Services

Derby City Council Community Legal Services

East Riding of Yorkshire Community Legal Services

Tackling Fuel Poverty

Eastleigh BC Fostering Business Growth

Enfield LBC Improving Urban Green Spaces

Essex CC Adoption

Gateshead MBC Adoption

Halton BC Improving Urban Green Spaces

Hambleton DC Crime Reduction in Rural Areas

Hammersmith and Fulham LBC, Improving Urban Green Spaces

Harrow LBC Promoting Racial Equality

Knowsley MBC Fostering Business Growth

Leeds City Council Libraries as a Community Resource

Leicester City Council Promoting Racial Equality

Lewisham LBC Better Access and Mobility

Liverpool City Council Community Legal Services

Libraries as a Community Resource

Luton BC Tackling Fuel Poverty

Manchester City Council Promoting Racial Equality

Medway Council Adoption

Middlesbrough Council Neighbourhood Renewal

Newark & Sherwood DC Tackling Fuel Poverty

North Lincolnshire Council Transition in Education

Northamptonshire CC Improving Urban Green Spaces

Nottinghamshire CC Better Access and Mobility

Portsmouth City Council Neighbourhood Renewal

Rotherham MBC Fostering Business Growth

Stevenage DC Neighbourhood Renewal

Stockton-on-Tees BC Libraries as a Community Resource

Stroud DC Crime Reduction in Rural Areas

with Forest of Dean DC

and Tewkesbury BC

Suffolk CC Libraries as a Community Resource

Transition in Education

Sunderland City Council Libraries as a Community Resource

Sutton LBC Libraries as a Community Resource

Tameside MBC Community Legal Services

Telford and Wrekin Council Better Access and Mobility

Wigan Metropolitan BC Neighbourhood Renewal

Wirral Metropolitan BC Community Legal Services

Annex B - Beacon Councils by theme

Adoption

Essex County Council

Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council

Medway Council

Better Access and Mobility

Lewisham, London Borough of

Nottinghamshire County Council

Telford and Wrekin Council

Community Legal Services

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Camden, London Borough of

Darlington Borough Council

Derby City Council

East Riding of Yorkshire

Liverpool City Council

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Crime Reduction in Rural Areas

Hambleton District Council

Stroud District Council

with Forest of Dean District Council & Tewkesbury Borough Council

Fostering Business Growth

Bexley, London Borough of

Blackburn with Darwen Council

Eastleigh Borough Council

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Improving Urban Green Spaces

Barnet, London Borough of

Bexley, London Borough of

Brent, London Borough of

Enfield, London Borough of

Halton Borough Council

Hammersmith and Fulham, London Borough of

Northamptonshire County Council

Libraries as a Community Resource

Barnet, London Borough of

Blackburn with Darwen Council

Leeds City Council

Liverpool City Council

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Suffolk County Council

Sunderland City Council

Sutton, London Borough of

Neighbourhood Renewal

Babergh District Council

Brent, London Borough of

Middlesbrough Council

Portsmouth City Council

Stevenage District Council

Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

Promoting Racial Equality

Harrow, London Borough of

Leicester City Council

Manchester City Council

Tackling Fuel Poverty

Blyth Valley Borough Council

Camden, London Borough of

East Riding of Yorkshire

Luton Borough Council

Newark & Sherwood District Council

Transition in Education

North Lincolnshire Council

Suffolk County Council

Annex C - Beacon Councils by Region

GOEM

Council Name Theme

Derby City Council Community legal services

Leicester City Council Promoting racial equality

Newark & Sherwood District Council Tackling fuel poverty

Northamptonshire County Council Improving urban green spaces

Nottinghamshire County Council Better access and mobility

GOER

Council Name Theme

Babergh District Council Neighbourhood renewal

Essex County Council Adoption

Luton Borough Council Tackling fuel poverty

Suffolk County Council Libraries as a community resource

Transition in education

Stevenage District Council Neighbourhood renewal

GOL

Council Name Theme

London Borough of Barnet Libraries as a community resource

Improving urban green spaces

London Borough of Bexley Fostering business growth

Improving urban green spaces

London Borough of Brent Improving urban green spaces

Neighbourhood renewal

London Borough of Camden Community legal services

Tackling fuel poverty

London Borough of Enfield Improving urban green spaces

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham Improving urban green spaces

London Borough of Harrow Promoting racial equality

London Borough of Lewisham Better access and mobility

London Borough of Sutton Libraries as a community resource

GONE

Council Name Theme

Blyth Valley Borough Council Tackling fuel poverty

Darlington Borough Council Community legal services

Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council Adoption

Middlesbrough Metropolitan Borough Council Neighbourhood renewal

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Libraries as a community resource

Sunderland City Council Libraries as a community resource

GONW

Council Name Theme

Blackburn with Darwen Council Fostering business growth

Libraries as a community resource

Liverpool City Council Community legal services

Libraries as a community resource

Halton Borough Council Improving urban green spaces

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council Fostering business growth

Manchester City Council Promoting racial equality

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council Community legal services

Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council Neighbourhood renewal

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council Community legal services

GOSE

Council Name Theme

Eastleigh Borough Council Fostering business growth

Medway Council Adoption

Portsmouth City Council Neighbourhood renewal

GOSW

Council Name Theme

Stroud District with Crime reduction in rural areas

Forest of Dean District Council and

Tewkesbury Borough Council

GOWM

Council Name Theme

Telford and Wrekin Council Better access and mobility

GOYH

Council Name Theme

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council Community legal services

East Riding of Yorkshire Council Community legal services

Tackling fuel poverty

Hambleton District Council Crime reduction in rural areas

Leeds City Council Libraries as a community resource

North Lincolnshire Council Transition in education

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council Fostering business growth

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