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Beacon Council Scheme

Volume 408: debated on Tuesday 1 July 2003

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The Minister for Local Government, Regional Governance and Fire
(Mr. Nick Raynsford)

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is launching the fifth round of the Beacon Council Scheme on Wednesday 2 July with the publication of the Application Brochure setting out instructions on how to apply, the detailed criteria that will be used to assess applications, and what being a Beacon will mean. Copies of the brochure will be placed in the Library of the House.The Beacon Council Scheme provides a successful, positive way of recognising achievement and spreading best practice. It enables authorities to learn from each other to improve the services they deliver. In the first four rounds of the scheme, 186 Beacon awards have been made in 39 service themes. Nearly all councils in England have attended at least one learning event. Independent research has shown that real improvements are taking place as a result of this learning and that the scheme is really having an effect in raising achievement.The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is inviting all councils and best value authorities that believe they have achieved excellence in one or more of this year's Beacon themes to apply for Beacon status. This round's themes for which we are now inviting applications are:

  • Benefits Administration
  • Better Local Public Transport
  • Crime and Disorder Partnerships
  • Early Years + Childcare: the Sure Start Agenda
  • Housing Renewal
  • Services for Older People
  • Supporting People
  • Transforming the School Workforce
  • Promoting Sustainable Tourism
  • Supporting Social Care Workers

Applications are invited by 10 September 2003. Successful applicants will be announced in April 2004 and hold Beacon status until the end of June 2005.