Local authorities set the standard

Two local authorities have been awarded beacon status by the Improvement and Development Agency for their efforts in supporting the work of local voluntary and community sector organisations.

Birmingham City and Croydon councils received the awards at a ceremony yesterday that recognised their work in the Increasing Voluntary and Community Sector Service Delivery category.

The award is designed to reward and highlight councils' good practice in working with voluntary organisations.

Birmingham Council's work in helping establish the Rover Community Action Trust, launched in the wake of the thousands of redundancies at the car manufacturer's Longbridge plant in April 2005, was held up as one example.

The councils, chosen from a shortlist of four, will be handed part of a £3m pot to enable all successful councils across this year's 10 beacon categories to share good practice with other local authorities.

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