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Catching up and keeping abreast of change

NLPG Most Improved Award 2007: Salford City Council.

Salford is a fast-changing inner city area, which borders central Manchester and includes the rapidly developing Salford Quays. During 2007 Salford had one of the highest new build rates in the northwest, and this trend is likely to continue in the coming years.

When Salford City Council planners wanted to carry out an Employment Site Study to guide future development in the city, they found that the task was more difficult than anticipated. Precise business location information would be required to collect data such as the type of business, floor space information, the number of employees etc. In order to ensure that the study was comprehensive, an accurate property database was required and the council’s LLPG was the obvious candidate. Unfortunately the LLPG match with the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) listing at the time was only 54%.

Salford therefore embarked upon a comprehensive exercise to improve its commercial property data. The project took three months and involved the LLPG team working closely with planning staff. All commercial addresses that could be identified as being incorrect were taken from the LLPG and a separate comparison was carried out with the VOA commercial address listing to identify other candidates for inclusion in the LLPG. The addresses were then loaded onto GIS enabled laptops, and planners, working in pairs, were sent into the field to check and accurately position the addresses. Notes were taken to help the LLPG team refine the address entries. All NDR cross-references were added to the address entries in the LLPG at this time. At the end of the exercise the match rate with Valuation Office Agency Non-Domestic Rates had significantly improved to 97%.

Outcomes

As a result of this work, the planning department’s Employment Site Study went ahead as planned with much additional data being appended to LLPG records. Planners now have confidence in LLPG data and this has helped in its further adoption by other departments across the council. The effort now required to keep pace with change has been significantly reduced and the lessons learnt will help to inform new street naming and numbering processes.

Key benefits

  • There is increased confidence in the LLPG with a number of users noticing the improved quality of commercial property coverage.
  • Improved quality and profile will lead to the adoption of the LLPG as the central address database for other council systems such as Council Tax.
  • Maintaining the LLPG and the match rate with NDR has become easier and quicker.
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