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Latest Round of Funding for Beacon Councils Announced

2 July 2003

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has today launched the latest round of funding for the Beacon Council Scheme, with some £5 million being made available to successful local authorities.

The fifth round of the scheme deals with issues key to improving the quality of life for citizens and the sustainability of local communities, such as public transport, social care and crime. The complete list of themes for round five is:

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

Beacon status can be sought by the full range of authorities: urban and rural, unitary and two-tier, single service, and from all parts of the country. Joint applications, from councils working in partnership, are very much encouraged.

Speaking at the launch of Round Five at the Local Government Association conference, Local Government Minister Nick Raynsford said: "In order to be able to learn from the best we must first identify the best. Many authorities continue to deliver first-rate services and we want to build on these positive achievements. I look forward to seeing another strong field of applications this year, including more applicants from non-council best value authorities."

Authorities wishing to apply for funding must do so by 10 September 2003, with the successful applicants expected to be announced in April next year.

The Beacon Council Scheme was launched in 1998 with the aim of identifying centres of excellence in local government from which other councils can learn.

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