For a Labour Government Quango to be passing judgment on others having too much bureaucracy does remind me a bit of the United Nations deciding the Cuba would be a suitable country to sit pontificating on its Human Rights Council.

Nevertheless I am pleased to see that three Conservative Councils – Bexley, Westminster and Cambridgeshire – have won a "Beacon Award for Cutting Red Tape" sponsored by the Local Better Regulation Office.

Clive Grace, the LBRO chair, said:

"The Beacons awards are often called the Oscars of local government and the parallels are clear – they are very difficult to win and they recognise outstanding work.

"The officers and members of these three councils deserve plaudits
for their inspirational and groundbreaking work. In the current economic climate, the support that local authority regulators can provide to business is more important than ever. Cutting red tape is an absolutely essential part of bringing Britain out of the recession."

Westminster achieved Beacons status in recognition of its efforts to
make sure that its regulatory services are delivered in a way that
reflects the needs of its local communities and businesses. The
successful application includes reference to its work in Chinatown,
where local restaurants were supported to improve compliance through a
‘masterchef’ competition.

Bexley’s involvement in the Retail Enforcement Pilot helped earn it
Beacon status. The pilot saw regulators join forces with police and
fire services to share intelligence about non-compliance and reduce the
number of inspections that law-abiding firms face. By better targeting
resources, action was focused on working with licensees to tackle
alcohol-related crime and disorder and underage sales – leading to a 20
per cent fall in crime and more than 1,000 fewer victims.

The Beacon award for Cambridgeshire was given after judges were
presented with evidence of a highly successful campaign to tackle
doorstep crime. Council regulators helped develop ‘no cold-calling’
zones and a registered traders scheme, which tackled the rogues and
criminals undermining honest competition, protected vulnerable people
from fraud and helped match accredited companies with local residents
needing work done.