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Data linking improves efficiency and collaboration in Lewisham Council

Lewisham Council has received a Highly Commended award at this year’s GeoPlace Exemplar Awards for its work around improving cross-council collaboration and/or delivering savings, while meeting a clear user need.

Lewisham Council’s asset management's data was being managed independently of the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG). This created issues with changes to property type and size, ownership types and transfers and relationships with other property teams. The council's GIS team worked closely with vendors, ensuring well-specified user requirements to create a user friendly system that has delivered welcome improvements to the ways in which Lewisham Assets are now being managed and maintained.

The Pepys Estate at Deptford, in the London Borough of Lewisham

The Challenge

Managed by the Property and Programme Delivery Department, the Lewisham Asset Management team’s data was managed standalone. This meant that multiple communications were needed from the Legal dept, plus information from Housing and records from Accounts to a) plan the sale or purchase of assets b) review the condition of existing assets c) update information about those assets d) reference against Land Registry data, and e) locate any assets via a Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN). This created issues from delays in transactions, to boundary issues, confirmation of property status, existing tenants etc.

The Solution

The team created a system that now enables the Lewisham Asset Management team to view all of its assets using GIS, while making sure its underlying data is linked to the LLPG. When an asset's condition changes, that data updates Lewisham's base Land Registry Dataset. Records can be updated and viewed easily by appropriate persons with the right permissions, and Lewisham's base Land Registry Dataset is now linked to Live LLPG. Search queries can locate assets using UPRNs and USRNs, and therefore show within a GIS as the data is now georeferenced.

Communication was well embraced throughout, as discovery sessions were arranged with existing staff and potential users, to understand their full current and potential future requirements.

The Results

Data linking certificate

Users connected to the system can now enter, update and manage information about any asset, with the confidence that underlying data represents a single instance of the truth regarding locations defined by LLPG data.

This approach has ensured long-term savings for the authority, not only in terms of off the shelf solutions that might not work with the LLPG, but also in terms of time spent sifting through emails and documents, to communicate about assets with other teams. In addition, customer queries are now handled more efficiently regarding boundaries, ownership and plans for assets.

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