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Why local authorities work together to create address data

The work towards creating a standardised, national address and street record started over 15 years ago and developed because local authorities did not hold a unified and consistent list of streets and addresses within their administrative areas.  This led to various services within individual local authorities maintaining several incompatible street and address databases. 

It was quite normal to find that across a local authority, a single property address had many different variants in numerous databases and be referred to in many different ways.  The aim was to provide a dataset which was:

  • accurate and reliable

  • consistent

  • of the highest level of currency.

Over 200 local authorities held a series of meetings where they called upon the central bodies (IDeA, LGA and LGIH) of local government to lead them in this work to define the specification of national address data.

It was recognised that developing the infrastructure for electronic service delivery was essential to fulfilling the Government's commitment, outlined in the Modernising Government White Paper, to establish integrated electronic services moving Government away from services based on traditional functional divisions to a citizen centred view.  A target date of 2005 was provided by the then Prime Minister for this agenda to be in place.

Central and local government signed the Information Age Government Concordat (21 July 1999) committing themselves to working together to achieve the 2005 target.

The Concordat, signed by the Deputy Prime Minister and the Chair of the LGA, tasked the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) with assisting local authorities to develop the infrastructure needed to support the e-government agenda.  The LGA identified 3 national infrastructure projects under the Concordat to which it agreed all local authorities should commit. The development of the NLPG (LGA Circular 484/99) was the first of the 3 projects.