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March 2017

1)Govt gives councils £16.5m to help plan 800,000 new homes

A £16.5m fund to speed up house building on large sites and deliver thousands of new homes has been allocated to local councils.

In all, 98 English local authorities will receive funding to fast track the build out of large sites and housing zones. Communities department DCLG said the schemes could deliver up to 800,000 new homes and provide supporting infrastructure.

The £18m ‘capacity fund', launched in November, aims to equip councils with the resources and expertise to deliver large-scale housing projects and resolve planning issues that can delay builders getting on site.

Housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell said: ‘To fix our broken housing market, we need to speed up building more homes in the places people want to live.

‘Through this multi-million-pound investment, we're giving councils the tools they need to tackle delays and get builders on site much faster.'

For full story see:

2)Home truths revealed in damning roads report

A major report into the impact of road building has found evidence schemes increase congestion, fail to provide economic benefits and lead to car dependent developments as well as damaging the environment.

Commissioned by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), The end of the road research looked at over 80 official evaluations of road schemes, as well as carrying out four detailed case studies of older road schemes. The report's research and findings focused on the national strategic road network.

As well as drawing damaging conclusions about the economic and social value of road schemes, the report heavily criticises the official process for appraising road schemes before they are built – and evaluating them after they open – labelling it ‘seriously flawed and in need of far-reaching reform'.

The report cites evidence from 13 cases analysed in detail for traffic impact and concluded that on average, traffic grew 47% more than background levels after new road schemes, with one scheme more than doubling traffic within 20 years.


See full story at:

3)Christchurch to hold referendum on Dorset's local gov ‘overhaul'

Christchurch councillors have voted in support of a referendum on plans to create two new unitary authorities in Dorset after receiving ‘mixed results' from previous consultations.

At an Extraordinary Full Council meeting on Tuesday Christchurch Borough councillors voted 13 – 9 in favour of conducting a referendum to clarify the position of their residents on local government reorganisation.

Dorset councils are considering an overhaul of their local government arrangements after a financial review suggested they could collectively save £108m over six years by reducing the number of authorities.

See full story at:

4)Estimating population between censuses

Leeds City Council was faced with a need to provide small area population estimates for its council and planning departments. This includes providing services for schools, housing, health, and transport.  In addition, small area population statistics are necessary for spending allocations across a national and local level.

To provide this, Leeds City Council chose to use the Housing Unit Method, underpinned by the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) and the 2011 census.

To see how Leeds undertook this work see

Leeds City Council also won the 2016 GeoPlace Exemplar Award for this work.

5)Exemplar Awards now open for entry and nominations!

It is that time of year again – demonstrate your innovation and use of gazetteer data within your council by entering the 2017 Exemplar Awards. Categories for this year are:

6)Exemplar Award 2017

The Exemplar Award 2017 will be for the best example or demonstration of local address and/or street datasets providing quantifiable benefit to the citizen/authority/region/nation.

A key focus of the judges for this award will be demonstration of both savings delivered and/or collaboration across services and/ or organisations for service delivery whilst meeting a clear user need.

7)Peer Award 2017

Nominated by their fellow Authority Address and/or Street Custodians in England and Wales, this Award aims to reward contribution to the community, or achievement within an authority.

This could include contribution to the overall DCA governance process, participation at a national or regional or county level, contributing to Technical Working Parties, working with other Custodians to resolve a local issue such as partnership with the emergency services, or synchronisation of gazetteers, raising awareness of the benefits of address and/or street information within the authority leading to improvements in data quality.

Awards will also be given for Data Quality and Improvement in the following categories:

  • Data Quality and Improvement Award for Addresses

  • Data Quality and Improvement Award for Streets

  • Best Address Data in Region

  • Best Street Data in Region

  • Gold Achievement Award for Address Data

  • Gold Achievement Award for Street Data

  • Performance Award for Address Data

  • Gold Performance Award for Street Data

The Awards will be presented at the GeoPlace annual conference on 11th May.

The closing date for entries and nominations is Monday 24th April.  For more information on the Awards see


8)GeoPlace annual conference now open for registration

The conference takes place on 11th May at Elland Road, the home of Leeds United Football Club.

The conference will give you information on a number of new national projects that are reliant on local government address and street data.

With the main theme ‘Connecting data for better outcomes', attendees will hear and discuss how the UPRN and the USRN are the lynchpin in bringing council datasets together.

The conference features plenary sessions, roundtable discussions and parallel sessions which take a closer look at Street data and Street Naming and Numbering as well as plenty of opportunity to listen and participate in panel discussion sessions.

The conference is for Authority Address and Street Custodians; Street Naming and Numbering Officers; Streetworks managers; team colleagues; GIS officers and anyone else in your authority that you think would benefit from greater insight on how your data is being used.

It's free to attend. It's your day - your opportunity to focus completely on address and street data, and SNN with other people who absolutely understand what you do, and the importance of your work, from right across the county.

Please see the conference pages on the GeoPlace website for more information and to register. Download the conference brochure here

9)Socitm Location Intelligence videos

Socitm has produced a series of five videos explaining how new location data sources and big data analysis are key to digital transformation in local government and the public sector.

The videos were produced for Socitm Insight members. However, as GeoPlace collaborated with Socitm on producing videos 3 and 5, Socitm have kindly given GeoPlace permission to share all five videos with our community.

  1. An introduction to Location Intelligence, a new dimension in predictive analysis

  1. Enabling Technology, the technology that's enabling location intelligence

  2. Case Studies, where location intelligence is transforming public services (in association with GeoPlace)

  3. The Business Case, how you can make your case for location intelligence

  4. Realising the benefits of Location Intelligence, next Steps – (in association with GeoPlace)

Links to the videos, a commentary and the case studies highlighted can be seen at


10)New guidance released on highway authority liabilities

New guidance on managing highways liability risk has been released by the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) - titled Well Managed Highway Liability Risk - providing a comprehensive framework for authorities across the UK.

The guidance discusses the crucial elements to consider when implementing the risk-based approach advised under the new code of practice, Well-Managed Highway Infrastructure, which officially supersedes the old guidance in October 2018.

UK highways authorities defend around 78% of the 30,000 claims a year they receive – mostly for personal injury or vehicle damage - however for those they do pay out on the cost to the public purse is at least £40m, insurance providers claim.

IHE experts suggest the new risk-based approach and the liability risk guidance offers highways authorities the opportunity to develop a more sophisticated understanding of spending priorities and to defend more claims in court.

The guidance covers:

Risk-Based Approach and highway liability risk management

The law on highway liability

Claims management

Training and assessment of competence

Information management and record keeping


See full story:

11)Grayling gives TfN green light on road to become statutory body

The transport secretary has given a positive response to a proposal from Transport for the North (TfN) to become England's first statutory sub-national transport body (STB).

Chris Grayling invited TfN to submit a plan to secure statutory status, which is expected to be granted by the end of the year.

In consultation with its partners, TfN will now draw up the details of its operation as a statutory body, including roles, responsibilities and powers, which then will be put to Mr Grayling for approval.

In his formal response to the proposal that TfN submitted in the autumn, Mr Grayling commented favourably about Transport for the North's proposal, and its plans to transform the North's transport infrastructure and boost its economy.

12)A simple address unlocks new life for Indian slum dwellers

It's not easy giving directions when you live in a slum.

All his life, Dipak Roy had identified his home as the one on the corner, down the third by-lane, near the hospital on the main road in the Panchanantala slum in Kolkata.

Then a year ago, that changed.

Roy received something he had always thought impossible: an address, which has helped his family access social benefits and open a bank account, previously out of reach.


13)Regional Meetings

4th April – West Midlands Address – Codsall

6th April – Wales Street – Llandrindod Wells

13th April – North West Street – Crewe

19th April – South West Street/Address – Cancelled and to be re-arranged.

3rd May – North East Address – Seaham

23rd May – East Midlands Street – Nottingham

24th May – East Midlands Address – Grantham

31st May – London Street – Islington

1st June – South East Street – London

6th June – South East Address – London

8th June – Wales Address – Llandrindod Wells

14th June – East of England Address – TBA

20th June - London Address – Islington

11th July – Yorkshire & Humber Address – Wakefield

12th July – North West Address – Lancaster