Birmingham and Croydon councils were awarded Beacon status for their approach to increasing voluntary and community sector delivery of public services at a ceremony last night.
Judges for the Beacon scheme, which highlights best practice in local government, said the third sector had an active influence on priorities and had improves services in both areas.
Bolton, Bristol and Portsmouth councils were awarded Beacons for preventing and tackling antisocial behaviour, all three having programmes of diversionary activities which have successfully helped change behaviour.
And Leeds, Sheffield and South Tyneside councils were recognised for their work in promoting financial inclusion and tackling indebtedness.
Beacon councils are supposed to share best practice with other authorities through open days, and forge links with government to influence policy.