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Stroud DC a Beacon - For The Third Time
Stroud District Council has been awarded the coveted Beacon status for a third time. The award is again independent proof that the Council is one of the best in the country.
The Department for Communities and Local Government made the award to Gloucestershire's seven councils in recognition of the way they plan for major emergencies. Gloucestershire County Council led the bid.
The Beacon scheme recognises excellence and innovation in local government and is run by the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA). Each year, ministers set ten themes relevant to issues faced by authorities every day. Beacon Councils are expected to set up ways of passing on their experience to other councils and receive a Government grant to help them do so.
Local Government Minister Angela Smith said: "I would like to congratulate all the authorities that have been awarded Beacon status this year. You really are our local champions who have demonstrated service excellence, innovation and determination to share your expertise and act as a catalyst for improvements in other authorities too. The real prize of the Beacon scheme is the improvements to public services that everyone relies on day-by-day."
Stroud District Council previously earned Beacon status in 2002 for its work to reduce crime in rural areas and again in 2004 for its services to older people.
Councillor Chas Fellows, Leader of Stroud District Council, a Member of Gloucestershire County Council and Chairman of the Bid Panel, [M1] said: "This is fantastic news for Gloucestershire. The county is now recognised as a centre of excellence when it comes to civil protection and a model of best practice for other councils. We can all be very proud of the hard work carried out by the county council and the district councils in Gloucestershire. The community can rest assured that we are in safe hands."
Factors in the successful bid were partnership working and community involvement. County and district council representatives meet regularly to share information and carry out planning exercises. Gloucestershire also has a well-established unique volunteers accreditation scheme The scheme ensures that suitably trained volunteers are able to assist the local authorities in caring for those affected by a major emergency at any time and place within the county.
The judges were particularly impressed with the active involvement of councillors and officers in emergency planning and the way the authorities work closely with outside partner agencies.
: 28/03/2007 00:59:04
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