Nine out of ten local councils have applied for Beacon Status since its inception in 1999. Applications for the 2007-08 Beacon scheme have now closed and the Improvement and Development Agency says they include many shining examples of best practice.
A total 132 authorities have put forward more than 140 applications for this latest round, including some councils who are applying for the status for the first time. Beacon themes of excellence for this year – which sees round nine of the scheme – include better brighter futures, better public places, care matters, improving the outcomes for children in care, dignity in care and improving accessibility as well as reducing health inequalities and re-offending and tackling climate change.
A breakdown of the applications show that those under the Better Public Places theme out numbered all others. The high level of submissions comes, IDeA says, after the release the Local Government White Paper recommendations, which focused on creating sustainable communities and better public places.
Marianne Hood, who chairs the Advisory Panel for the Beacon Scheme said she was looking forward to another successful Beacon year. “It’s an exciting year for the Beacon Scheme with climate change on the global political agenda, the panel is delighted to have Tackling Climate Change as a key theme this year. Local authorities have a crucial part to play in addressing this key issue for their local communities. We are pleased to see that authorities recognise their part and are proactively seeking solutions,” she added.