The importance and value of good quality definitive addressing to local authorities has been well documented through publications such as:
'Working together across the public sector; 2011 Exemplar Award case studies'
'Save money and deliver better services to citizens'
'Underpinning Transformational Government; celebrating 10 years of the NLPG'
'Underpinning Transformational Government; everything happens somewhere'
'The value of geospatial information in local public services' (the recent LGA report)
Local authorities are required to do more but with less resources. Citizens have high expectations of services, but no desire to see increases in Council Tax. With responsibility for delivering over 700 services, from the cradle to the grave, local authorities need to make the most of their information to deal with these challenges. One common key theme through nearly all these services is 'where' they are delivered.
Every local authority holds local address information in the form of the local land and property gazetteer (LLPG) and a Custodian which looks after that asset. However, not every local authority is exploiting the potential of its LLPG to save money and deliver better services to citizens.
With different departments delivering different services to the same address it makes sense to ensure that everyone is sharing the same location intelligence through the LLPG, maintained by a core team, with address intelligence passing from the whole of the authority down to one central repository.
Back office improvements are rarely exciting or newsworthy, but they enable improvements in service delivery and increased efficiencies. A key area relates to the potential for greater linkages between different databases, for example, from Council Tax, to Electoral Roll, to Adult Services to Refuse Collection to the Corporate CRM as key efficiencies can be made in this area.
Benefits can be quickly accrued. One example comes from Barnsley Council. In a project lasting under a year and completed by two members of staff, the council took the LLPG off the desktop and made it widely available across the organisation, leading to immediate significant savings:
Government has recognised the importance of addressing data through the inclusion of local authority address data within the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA). This is enabled by the front line role that local authorities have under their statutory duty to name and number streets and properties.
- Waste Management: key component of wholesale service transformation:
– implementation of new database linked to CRM enabled transfer of call handling from back office saving approximately £40,000
– addition of e-forms for service requests resulted in 25% channel shift in three months – estimated saving £9,745
– the 'Big One' – Route Optimisation for waste collection projected to save £1 million over 4 years
- Benefits and Taxation: £21,145 recovered and £26,625 annual increase in revenue (and rising)
- De-duplication of data entry resulted in staff savings valued at £12,300 in first year (on-going)
Under the PSMA, the whole of the public sector has access to this information. This means that a local authority’s address information will be used, for example, by the blue light services for emergency response, by HMRC to collect taxes, by DWP to pay benefits and by the Environment Agency to produced detailed flood maps.