Councils win Beacon status for quality of public spaces

Quality public spaces that help deliver the Government's Cleaner, Safer, Greener Communities agenda have been highlighted at an awards ceremony aimed at recognising local authority innovation.

Winning team: Sutton councillor Colin Hall celebrates with school pupils. Credit: Sutton Council
Winning team: Sutton councillor Colin Hall celebrates with school pupils. Credit: Sutton Council

A total of five local authorities were given Beacon status for Better Public Places at the Communities & Local Government-led event at the Royal Horticultural Halls, London, on 4 March.

The Beacon Scheme, launched in 1999, recognises excellence in local governments across 10 themes identified as key to improving quality of life for communities.

Darlington Borough Council, London Borough of Sutton, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Sheffield City Council and Tynedale District Council each received the Beacon status for Better Public Places this year.

Sheffield was chosen for its use of bold design in the public realm and high level of maintenance in the city centre, while Tynedale was recognised for responding to the challenges of a dispersed, rural community.

Rotherham's creation of Street Pride, incorporating all services responsible for the street scene, showed its dedication to public space. Meanwhile, Darlington focused on access to green space and improving public places, from pocket parks to the town centre.

The London Borough of Sutton launched a Take Pride, Take Part community-based theme.

Sutton council leader Councillor Sean Brennan said: "This award is a tribute to the park rangers, the street teams, the conservationists and our partners in the police service, who have worked together to ensure Sutton residents can enjoy clean streets, award-winning parks, green travel opportunities and low crime rates."

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