The scheme to spread good practice across local authorities has shortlisted more than sixty councils for beacon status. In all, 130 applications were received from 94 councils.The service areas focussed on in this, the third round of beacon awards, include excellence or innovation in provision of community legal services, ability to foster business growth, use of libraries as a community resource and tackling fuel poverty.
Those councils finally selected as beacons will hear the decision in April. They can then look forward to a share in 1.7 million pounds with which to hold open days and otherwise publicise their work during summer 2003.
The beacon scheme was established by the Government. The selection was undertaken by the Advisory Panel on Beacon Councils, an independent body established to provide advice and recommendations to Ministers on the selection of Beacon Councils each year.
Bob Clarke is the acting Chair of the Advisory Panel on Beacon Councils and Managing Director of the Babtie Group Ltd. He was nominated to the Panel by the Confederation of British Industry. Lord Filkin, the previous chair, stood down from this role in June 2001 on his acceptance of a government post. Bob Clarke, previously the Deputy Chair, will act as Chair until a permanent appointment is made.