Seven East Midlands Authorities Shine Out in Beacon Awards

Innovation by local authorities in delivering quality public services was recognised today at the seventh annual Beacon Scheme awards ceremony. The Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, and Local Government Minister, Phil Woolas, were present to congratulate winning authorities on their achievements.

The successful authorities will receive a share of Government funding worth £3m to enhance their work in sharing best practice and drive forward further innovation across local government. This year’s event saw the highest number of awards yet, with a total of 61 Beacon presented to 85 authorities across the country.

The awards were made across 10 themes including Waste and Recycling, Positive Youth Engagement, Improving Rural Services and Transforming the Delivery of Services Through Partnerships.

In the East Midlands the following local authorities were announced as Beacons. For work in Culture and Sport for Hard to Reach Groups – Leicester City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council. In road safety – Lincolnshire County Council, Northamptonshire County Council, Nottingham City Council. In Waste and Recycling – Daventry District Council & Rushcliffe Borough Council.

Commenting on the award ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott said: “I would like to congratulate all authorities who have achieved Beacon status this year. Beacon authorities help to create sustainable communities by embedding good practice across local government for the delivery of high quality public services. I hope that other authorities will be encouraged to look at what they can learn from these Beacons.” {mospagebreak}

Phil Woolas, Minister for Local Government said: “The fact is that the best of local government rivals, and sometimes beats, the best of business. We are on the edge of a technology-led revolution in local services. These awards shine a light on the coming changes. The Beacon Scheme continues to provide a highly effective way of both celebrating and sharing excellence and the Beacons announced today will be a valuable force in helping to improve public services across the country.

“Beacons encourage strong, efficient local leadership which is essential if local government is to continue delivering successfully services for our communities. Today’s event offers a real opportunity for local authorities to share best practice and inspire one another to continually strive for excellence. I would encourage local authorities who are innovating and providing exemplary services for their communities to apply for Beacon status in round eight.”

In addition to presenting the awards, The Deputy Prime Minister also launched round eight of the scheme. Best Value Authorities will be able to apply for beacon status in 10 new themes. These are:

* Delivering Cleaner Air

* Electoral Services

* Emergency Planning

* Healthy Schools

* Increasing Voluntary and Community Sector Service Delivery

* Neighbourhood and Community Champions: The Role of Elected Members

* Preventing and Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour

* Promoting Financial Inclusion and Tackling Over-indebtedness

* Promoting Sustainable Communities through the Planning Process

* School Improvement

The full list of Beacon authorities announced today can be viewed at