Local Innovation Awards Scheme Home

Now more than ever in today's economic climate we need our councils, and their partners, to be innovative and efficient in the way they procure and provide local services.

Every taxpayer pound needs to work as hard as it can to deliver what local people need and it's important to recognise the best and brightest ideas different areas are coming up with. It's equally important that our best areas are sharing their skill and ideas with other local service providers.

These awards are a great opportunity to recognise the ingenuity and achievements of councils and their partners and to teach every area across the country just how innovative local service providers can be.

Rosie Winterton MP, Local Government Minister, Department for Communities and Local Government

The Local Innovation Awards (LIA) Scheme was jointly established in September 2009, by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) and the Local Government Association (LGA) as a successor to the Beacon Scheme. The Scheme is chaired by Dame Denise Platt and successful applicants will be rewarded a share of £3 million direct grant.

GovToday was granted exclusive access to the prestigious award ceremony on the 2nd March 2010, at No.11 Downing Street, held by kind permission of Alistair Darling MP, the results are now showcased on this site.

The principle behind the LIA Scheme is that solutions to seemingly intractable social and service challenges can come from the sector and its public, through 'people powered public services', co-production and frontline staff who are close to their communities.

It 'does what it says on the tin' - the Scheme recognises excellence and innovation in local authorities, public bodies, and local strategic partnerships. The Awards will celebrate the achievements of local councils, working together with police forces, fire services, schools, primary care trusts and other community partners.

Moreover, the Government has set councils a target for £5.5 million efficiency savings by 2011, and they are rethinking how important services are provided and working out how to make the most of every pound spent.

Evaluation of shortlisted applicants took place from November 2009 and concluded in January 2010, with 106 applications received and 23 applications shortlisted from six categories.

The process for application and evaluation of the LIA Scheme is much shorter, reducing cost and opportunity burdens on both applicants and scheme providers, and it is designed to be 'easy to enter, a challenge to win'.

An exciting new feature of the LIA scheme is the professional filming of the 'peer challenge panel' and 'dragon's-den' events, with the footage from the events providing an insight into the tough scrutiny applicants undergo in front of the challenging panel.

Award holders will agree an improvement remit for the sector, working with the LIA scheme team, and also working alongside LGA Group improvement and policy leads.

I am very pleased by the number and quality of applications in this the first year of the Local Innovation Awards scheme. We have seen such a diverse, creative range of innovative work from all over the country.

For the first time we have introduced an award for innovative ideas from frontline staff, this is an award we hope to promote further in our second year. Councils, police and fire services and their partners are delivering real benefits for local people, communities and economies in such challenging times. Our motto was 'easy to enter but a challenge to win' and people have risen to the challenge!

Dame Denise Platt, Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel for the Awards