Headlines: June 11th, 1999

Beacon police forces will shortly join beacon health services, councils and schools.Home Secretary Jack Straw has invited police forces to bid for a one million pounds challenge fund. This will support up to 10 projects in the current year to champion change and identify innovative approaches to efficiency.

Awards for the successful projects will be made in August and beacon status will be given to the successful contenders in March 2000.

Beacon schemes across public service are designed to set the pace of change and encourage the rest to innovate and modernise. The ‘beacons’ become learning zones where success can be put on display and from which managers can be seconded to other bodies to spread good practice.

The additional attraction of becoming a ‘beacon’ is that next year they will be given, so far unspecified, freedoms and flexibilities.

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