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All for one and one for all

Best Practice for Quality Process Improvement 2007: Caradon District Council.

Caradon District Council has created a unique map driven intranet application called ‘Gazetteer’ which brings together the council’s disparate systems using cross references underpinned by the LLPG. What makes the system unique is that it has been designed from the outset to enable anyone using the system to report anomalies, such as address mismatches or missing properties, direct to the LLPG team or to the personnel responsible for validation to investigate and resolve. As a result the system has raised the profile of both the LLPG and map based systems, improved workflows and greatly accelerated address cleansing.

When accessing the council’s intranet page, the user is presented with a number of controls, text boxes and a map. Users can search for a property by eastings and northings, part of an address or a UPRN. The map can also be used to pan and zoom to a particular point. Clicking on a property or a street will return the information held in the LLPG/LSG; including parish, ward, refuse collection details, garden waste collections, council tax information etc. A public facing web application is being planned.

At Caradon, gazetteer creation and maintenance is handled in a unique way encouraging everyone in the council to use and maintain it. A property lifecycle workflow underpins the process. A property starts life as a planning application in Development Control. Once building consent has been given, a UPRN is created and the workflow transfers to Building Control and then to Street Naming and Numbering. Using the workflow to build up property information in the gazetteer means that the LLPG custodian’s role at Caradon is slightly different, policing a process as well as carrying out routine data cleansing and maintenance.

Once a property is built, it is accessible by 9 other systems that now use the LLPG as their source of addresses; including Development Control, Building Control, Council Tax, Non-domestic rates (for commercial property), Electoral Roll, Refuse Collection and Recycling and CRM. More systems will start to use the LLPG in due course.

Users of Caradon’s system have the ability to report missing properties, incorrect locations, incorrect addresses, incorrect roads etc. For example if there is a missing property a user can click on the map where the property should be, enter the address and the system automatically emails the details plus a copy of the map to the appropriate LLPG team for further investigation. If a property does not have a cross reference to Council Tax or NNDR, the system will, at the user’s request attempt to match it to an existing address, offering suggestions to the user. The user can then select the match, which is sent to the LLPG team or alternatively click on ‘none of the above’, which sends an email to the LLPG team to investigate further. This is achieved through tight integration between Gazetteer and the Council Tax/NNDR system.

Outcomes

Caradon has used and developed its existing GIS and IT infrastructure to facilitate widespread use of the LLPG throughout the authority. Improved workflows mean that properties get added to the LLPG at the earliest opportunity and that the complete property lifecycle is tracked. Making the ‘Gazetteer’ system accessible to all via an easy to use intranet system has raised the profile of the LLPG. Enabling users across all departments to participate in its ongoing maintenance has promoted the concept of shared ownership in this valuable council asset.

Key benefits

  • The Gazetteer System is innovative. It utilises the power of multiple address-based systems and seamlessly links them together to provide a useful pot of property based information that can be used by any department or the public.
  • Recognition of the importance of the LLPG across the council.
  • Rigorous workflow, changes business processes and enables joined up government through seamless system-linking.
  • Accelerated cleansing of address data as a result of cross-council involvement with a simple reporting mechanism.
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