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A single version of the truth

Exemplar Award Winner- Runner Up NLPG NSG Exemplar Award ‘Citizen Award’ 2010: London Borough of Hackney

The London Borough of Hackney (LBH) has embarked upon an ambitious project to improve service delivery to its citizens.

The project aims to build a ‘single version of the truth’ or, in other words, a central repository of knowledge and data that provides the answer to two questions: firstly, ‘who does the council provide its services to?’ and, secondly, ‘where do they provide them?’

If a local authority wishes to have a better understanding of its customers, it first needs to understand where they live. This is why the foundation of service delivery to Hackney’s citizens is based upon its LLPG, whilst the overall emphasis remains citizen centric.

In this project, the LLPG has become the central address database for all the council’s service delivery systems. The process has taken a number of years to achieve, using the knowledge and experience of the different service teams to bring about a single database that serves everyone. Each system either holds a copy of the LLPG, which is updated daily, or looks up addresses dynamically using the LLPG web service.

LBH followed its LLPG integration with a staged implementation of the Hackney Service Centre and Call Centre, complete with a new CRM that uses the LLPG.

The third part of the project, to put the citizen at the heart of LBH service delivery, is the pioneering citizen index: ‘the who.’ The primary aim of the citizen index is to improve service delivery to citizens through a single point of contact regardless of the service area. By intelligently merging data from different council sources, including Revenue and Benefits, CRM, Housing, Parking and the LLPG, the citizen index provides a new, single view of the borough’s citizens that can be accessed and searched council wide. Additions and edits to this information are made in seconds and are immediately available to all council departments and systems, including the Call Centre where it is firmly embedded in the CRM.

Every system used by the council is now populated with the Unique Property Reference Number from the LLPG so each citizen reference is associated with an address and precise geographic location.


This innovative customer centric approach to the application architecture means that LBH is able to tailor the delivery of its services to suit its customers, rather than be restricted by the council’s own internal organisation and data locked up in multiple systems.

Moving from multiple call centres spread over different departments to one introduces further savings and operational efficiency. A 30% reduction in call times, due in large part to address accuracy, delivers additional savings of £35,000 per annum, based on SOCITM cost estimates of £4 per call.

The LLPG has been used as the integration model for multiple system data exchange throughout the council. This has culminated in the innovative ‘My Hackney’ web portal project. This will allow citizens to manage their business with the council in an authenticated manner. For citizens used to services such as online banking, this is not only convenient but often the preferred method of contact with the authority. It also has the added benefit of relieving pressure on the Call Centre, introducing further efficiencies and savings.

Elsewhere, partnership organisations such as the Learning Trust (education) and Hackney Homes (housing) are also benefiting from the use of the LLPG. It enables these organisations to share address related data seamlessly and benefit from not having to maintain their own address database.

This project has changed the way the citizens of Hackney interact with their local authority. Systems underpinned by the LLPG enable customer centric service delivery, and more reliable data make service delivery simpler and smoother, improving both customer experience and satisfaction.

Key benefits

  • LLPG underpins all service delivery systems
  • Realisation of cost savings of £35,000 per annum
  • One Call Centre now acts as the citizen’s single point of contact
  • ‘Citizen index’ linked to the LLPG provides a customer centric approach to service delivery
  • Address accuracy directly contributes to shorter call times in the Call Centre
  • Infrastructure will support new ‘My Hackney’ web portal, enabling citizens to self-serve
  • LLPG access for partnership organisations enables further data sharing and efficiency
  • Improved customer experience and satisfaction

View from the authority

“Every council is challenged by the sheer diversity of services it has to deliver. These then need to be accessible to every last person and business in the borough. By creating master datasets that underpin all back office systems, such as the LLPG and the citizen index, Hackney has been able to build up a customer centric architecture where systems are integrated. These integrated systems enable the council to deliver excellent services because they are based on data that are up-to-date and accurate.”

-Steve McArthur, Master Data Technical Manager, London Borough of Hackney

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