The Local Innovation Awards Scheme (LIA scheme) is a prestigious scheme that recognises excellence in local government. It was set up to disseminate best practice in service delivery throughout local government.
Themes are selected for each round of the scheme by government ministers, representing issues of importance in the day-to-day lives of the public and reflecting government priorities. Themes are announced one or two years in advance and some will be repeated in future rounds.
Awards are granted to those councils that can demonstrate a clear vision, excellent services and a willingness to innovate within a theme. Awards are made by government ministers based on recommendations made by an independent advisory panel.
Culture and sport has been specifically covered under the following themes:
- Regeneration through culture, sport and tourism
- Improving urban green spaces
- Libraries as a community resource
- Promoting sustainable tourism
- Culture and sport for hard-to-reach groups
- Culture and sport for hard-to-reach groups: case studies.
Getting councils fit for the 2012 Games
It is just over three years until the opening ceremony for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In truth, the clock has been ticking since the bid was approved in 2005. A number of councils have already been using that time to excellent effect. But many others could do more to derive real and lasting benefit from the Games.
The latest Beacon round included the theme 'Olympic Games and Paralympics Games legacy: using the opportunity of hosting the Games to encourage communities to be more active'.
The theme examined how councils throughout the country are using the 2012 Games to increase participation in activities promoting wellbeing and regeneration for local communities. It has resulted in six councils being awarded Beacon Status.