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January 2017

1)GeoPlace annual conference open for exhibitor bookings

Now in its 12th year, GeoPlace's annual conference and exhibition takes place at Elland Road, home to Leeds United Football Club 0n Thursday 11th May.

The opportunity to be an exhibitor at the event is now available. Full exhibitor information, including benefits and pricing is available at

This following four companies are so far signed up as exhibitors – thank you, we appreciate your support, with six others signalling intent to do so.

  • Aligned Assets

  • Cadcorp

  • GGP Systems

  • Symology

2)GeoPlace annual conference theme

The theme for this year's conference is ‘Everything Happens Somewhere - – Connecting Data For Better Outcomes'.  The conference is free to attend for its core target audience of local authority address, street and geographic information experts in the UK.

It is this type of geographic information that is increasingly being used by councils to facilitate data analytics and generate strategic insights with the view to targeting resources more efficiently and affecting service transformation. The conference programme will feature examples of this, together with a major announcement of a new ‘Development Fund', so we also expect to attract Business Intelligence and Analytics Officers, Policy and Research Officers and Chief Information Officers   

Further details about the conference, including registration, will be made available shortly.

3)Feedback from [email protected]

Feedback from [email protected] Day 16 has been collated and is available here.

The day gets bigger and better every year and the feedback is well worth reading to show the impact that day makes for the Custodian community.

4)LGA points councils towards revenues from 5G

UK Authority reports that draft procurement report highlights ability to rent existing assets for infrastructure development

Local authorities should look at the potential to raise revenue from utilising their assets in digital development, especially with the approach of 5G networks, according to a draft report on procurement strategy from the Local Government Association (LGA).

Wireless logoThe recently published National Technological and Digital Category Procurement Strategy, currently going through consultation, includes the recommendation as part of a series in which revenue generation is taken as seriously as the potential for savings and to improve services through digital technology.

Its section on concession contracts points out that some councils are already obtaining incoming from allowing mobile network operators to place masts on the roofs of their buildings, and says the opportunities should increase when 5G becomes available.

Councils can make money from leasing space for wireless equipment, and use it to support their regeneration efforts through subsidised arrangements for residents and small businesses.

Read more

Read about the work undertaken by Northumberland County Council who used their LLPG to aid the planning and procurement processes to help deliver superfast broadband to all residences and businesses here and on page 18/19 here.

5)The Truth and Nothing but the Truth in Addressing at British Transport Police

Aligned Assets discuss how AddressBase sits at the centre of British Transport Police's plan for integrated systems.

Read more

6)Watchdog will 'name and shame' boroughs over pavement hazards

London's transport watchdog has called on the capital's boroughs to follow Transport for London's lead and take tougher action to clear pavements of unlawful obstructions.

London TravelWatch said boroughs should ‘make it their new year's resolution' to clear pavements of items such as business signs and deliveries, which can make streets become ‘dangerous obstacle courses for pedestrians' and act as a deterrent for older and disabled people getting out.

Although every London council has a duty under Section 130 of the Highways Act 1980 to keep their pavements clear of obstructions and councils have various powers to enforce against non-compliance, the watchdog said only a handful do this properly.

The group has said it will be naming and shaming the boroughs that won't take their legal duties seriously over the coming months.

Stephen Locke, chair of London TravelWatch, said: 'This is not acceptable in London, a city with such busy pavements and where public policy is to get more of us walking more often. We are really proud of our role in changing Transport for London's stance on unlawful obstructions and it has been great to see them start to enforce a zero policy regime in this area.'

7)Bin lorries go on front line in battle to beat potholes

The Times Newspaper has reported that Councils are about to introduce a new weapon in the never-ending battle to keep roads free of potholes: the trusty bin lorry.

These will be fitted with cameras that can detect cracks in the road surface before potholes actually appear.

The Times reports that two councils have experimented with the technology so far as part of a £183,000 trial funded by the Department for Transport (DfT), and it is hoped that the system will help to prevent damage to thousands of cars, and the resulting costly compensation claims.

The announcement was made a week after the Local Government Association revealed that the cost of repairing all potholes in England and Wales stood at £12 billion and could reach £14 billion within the next two years. At the present rate of repair it is thought that it could take more than a decade to fill all the holes in local roads.

See also in: and also in

8)DfT announces £1.2bn for local authority roads in 2017/18

Ministers have announced over £1.2bn of funding for English local authority roads in 2017/18, including individual councils' share of the pothole fund, £185m of new funding announced in the Autumn Statement and the Local Highways Maintenance Funding Needs Element.

The new funds also include the the Local Highways Maintenance Incentive/Efficiency Element, worth £75m next year, with councils given until 4 February to complete self-assessment questionnaires.

Transport Network sources close to the process say there have been no changes in the self-assessment system since last year.

The Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund would be worth £75m during 2017/18, to be allocated through a competitive bidding process.

A DfT spokesperson told Transport Network: 'A competitive bidding round will follow during 2017 for the Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund Tranche 2. The first step is for local authorities to confirm whether they can spend in 17/18. Those which confirm that they can will be invited to bid. We will announce relevant dates in due course.'

For full story see:

A ‘Roads information funding pack' has also been made available on the DfT website:

9)£4.5m for new ambulance dispatch technology

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething has agreed funding of £4.48m this year for a new computer dispatch system for ambulances in Wales.

This funding will enable the Welsh Ambulance Service to replace their existing computer aided dispatch system with a modern state of the art system which will further improve ambulance response times.  The new system will ensure:

  • Faster response times to the highest priority immediately life threatening calls

  • Improved efficiency in the identification and dispatch of the most appropriate resource

  • Improved co-ordination of large-scale events, major incidents and capacity management across NHS Wales.

MAIT and the UPRN are key to sharing and underpin this initiative.

Read more about the Welsh Government announcement here and about MAIT here.

10)End of 'the' road: Council to vote on scrapping 'the' in new street names

The BBC reports that street names beginning with "The" could be scrapped.

When the three-letter word is included in an address, such as The Walk, valuable time can be lost when clarifying and responding, a report said.

Breckland Council in Norfolk is looking at whether it should change its street naming and numbering policy.

The recommendation is for new street or building names only and the council is not recommending retrospective changes.

Read the report from the BBC a:

11)From Balloon Street to Museum Street - where do Manchester's street names actually come from?

The Manchester Evening News reports that walking around the streets of Manchester, you'd be forgiven for not giving a second thought to their names.

Minshull Street, Balloon Street, Tib Street ... where do they come from?

See more at

12)Regional Meetings

1st March – West Midlands Regional Street Meeting – Solihull

8th March – East of England Regional Street Meeting – London

14th March – Yorkshire & Humber Regional Street Meeting – Hull

15th March – North East Regional Street Meeting - Darlington

4th April – West Midlands Regional Address Meeting – Codsall

6th April – Wales Regional Street Meeting – Llandrindod Wells

19th April – South West Joint Regional Meeting - Taunton

3RD May – North East Regional Address Meeting - Seaham

23rd May – East Midlands Regional Street Meeting – Nottingham

24th May – East Midlands Regional Address Meeting – Grantham

1st June – South East Regional Street Meeting – London

6th June – South East Regional Address Meeting – London

8th June – Wales Regional Address Meeting – Llandrindod Wells

14th June – East of England Regional Address Meeting – TBA

11th July – Yorkshire & Humber Regional Address Meeting – TBA

12th July – North West Regional Address Meeting - Lancaster