Resources outlining the importance of the Authority Address Custodian

The importance of the LLPG Custodian role

The role of an Authority Address Custodian and Street Naming & Numbering Officers

Local authorities are in many cases having to consider and implement significant budgetary restraint and make very hard decisions about the allocation of resources. As a consequence many LLPG functions and where appropriate Street Naming Numbering Officers' roles are often being put at risk.

The purpose of the information in these web pages is to provide a resource for LLPG functions and SNN Officers to use to demonstrate to their Managers the value of the LLPG function and SNN role and the work that they do within an address contributing authority. These pages reference key quotes, relevant facts and figures and also signposts to various resources which can be used to create a locally relevant evidence base.

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Terminology surrounding the role

These pages, and also the supporting documents signposted within them, often refer to the LLPG but also may refer to authority address updates. Similarly, the pages will refer to an authority address Custodian, but at times you may see LLPG Custodian as a term.

The Data Co-operation Agreement (the agreement that underpins the relationship between GeoPlace and local authorities) states that "the Local Land and Property Gazetteer is maintained by the Authority for the purpose of providing Authority address updates".

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What is the Authority Address Custodian role?

The Authority Address Custodian is the nominated officer responsible for the maintenance of the LLPG function. This person and where appropriate their assistants and Street Naming Numbering Officers will also be the point of contact for all addressing matters within and external to the authority responsible for the address data.

What is the importance of the role and function of an LLPG?

Many LLPGs have been in existence in contributing authorities for over ten years. Over that time their role has been more and more recognised as being the central corporate database for all addressing used throughout the authority particularly with respect to customer contact functions and services.

The advantages of having a central corporate LLPG of all addresses used for the authority means only that one address is used for each property. This avoids confusion and waste throughout the authority because variations of an address such as whether it's '1a' or 'the ground floor flat' are all recorded in one place using a unique reference property number (UPRN) and accessed by everybody throughout the council. This reduces the need for interpretation and discussion about what is the actual address that should be used by the council, its partners and the citizen.

Over the years this important point has been recognised by other address users, particularly emergency services and county councils who have decided to start using the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG), which is a compilation of LLPGs to run their businesses on the basis that they too will be able to identify which property the citizen is referring to plus their partners.

The importance of this data sharing aspect through the use of a UPRN has also been recognised by central government. Through the Public Service Mapping Agreement (PSMA), Government was instrumental in requesting that a single address dataset was established for all to use as a member of the PSMA.

This objective recently came to fruition with the establishment of GeoPlace and the release of the AddressBase™ range of products by Ordnance Survey.

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The importance of the role of the Custodian

The Custodian role and function is vital both at a local level but also at a national level. The role includes the creation, maintenance upkeep and delivery of all LLPG data, which is a skilled and detailed job.

On average depending upon the size of the contributing authority and the number of address objects within the contributing authority area, the function can be expected to process between 30 and over 200 address objects a day. The smallest gazetteer in England and Wales has at least 60,000 objects recorded, while the largest has over 200,000 addressable objects recorded.

There are over 31million objects in AddressBase of which around 3% are maintained and updated by Ordnance Survey. The range of address data object classifications is not just residential, which represents about 80%, it also includes all commercial, agricultural, industrial, land and many other objects of interest to local and central government, emergency services and other address users associated with the use of Ordnance Survey large scale mapping. A total of 559 address object classifications are included in the AddressBase products of which 459 address object classifications or over 30million objects of address data are the direct responsibility of the Custodian in terms of the input, maintenance, upkeep and regular delivery to GeoPlace.

The role also involves liaising closely with the street naming and numbering officer function, where it is a different role, and also with the Authority Street Custodian who in many cases may reside in a different function or council. The function of the address Custodian also includes acting as the point of contact within the contributing authority regarding all types of query concerning the use of address data. The function also involves championing the use of the single source of the data, ideally underpinned by appropriate corporate wide policies, ensuring contributing authorities gain the best possible value for money from the utilisation of this single definitive source of address data across the council and with its partners. Examples of this include ensuring different systems are linked and use one definitive address feed, thereby gaining efficiency savings and more effective working. This work is vitally important at a national level because the work that a Custodian does in creating, maintaining, up keeping and delivering an LLPG then forms part of the nationally significant resource - the AddressBase range of products, more details of which are included within this document.

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Further resources and references

This page has a wide range of resources that demonstrate the value of the address Custodian, including case studies, facts and figures, contractual requirements, technical documents and more.

View the resources page