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Improved access to council services via digital TV

NLPG Exemplar Award: Winner – ‘Most Creative Use’ 2006: London Borough of Brent.

At the London Borough of Brent, the LLPG has been firmly established for a number of years and has become the central data store for the electoral roll, housing tenant records, council tax records, non-domestic rates records, housing association records amongst other datasets. Brent has already received recognition for the way in which it has made its services available online. Property searches use the LLPG to provide seamless access to information and services. A simple address search reveals a page of relevant information split into five categories, local services, property information, development and regulation, election and representation and geographic information. SOCITM has described Brent’s online property search as ‘a compelling user experience’.

To improve access even further, Brent has extended access to information and services by making use of the Directgov Digital TV channel making it possible for those without computers or access to the Internet to search and view property based information from the comfort of their homes

Brent developed a special plug-in for its digital TV site 13 which allowed web services to be run on digital TV, as a result address searches are now available for the following:

  • Premises use
  • Council tax band.
  • Telephone numbers of the relevant planning and building control teams
  • Location map showing the property
  • Ward & relevant councillors with contact details
  • Polling districts & location map showing polling booths
  • Refuse & Greenbox collection days
  • Street cleansing days
  • ‘Find my Nearest’ searches for doctors, dentists etc
  • Road adoption status
  • Control parking zones
  • Conservation Areas and listed buildings
  • Unitary Development Plan showing site-specific proposals and a variety of constraints information

Digital customers are also able to post requests for services.

Outcomes

Across the council, systems such as corporate complaints, enquiry, Freedom of Information, CRM, Council Tax, Electoral Register, Libraries, Planning, Building Regulations, Environmental Health, Health Safety and Licensing, Adopted Roads, Refuse Collection and related services utilise the efficiency of LLPG to log service requests or applications. Local Land Charges use the LLPG to extract data from different service systems to provide an improved one-stop property information service.

The LLPG is the now the key to linking different datasets across all departments. A council officer can use the LLPG as a property reference and then access other systems to check for ownership details, regulatory constraints, and any other datasets for additional information if required.

The LLPG is also pivotal to the success of electronic forms on the web site to enable the public to report problems such as faulty streetlights, road potholes or abandoned vehicles.

The LLPG has enabled Brent to challenge the Office of National Statistics estimates for population. This has been taken further with a breakdown by age and gender across output areas and electoral wards to aid service planning and analysis.

‘...providing joined-up services designed around the needs of the citizen or business will yield efficiency savings by reducing duplication across the public sector.’ Sir David Varney (Dec 2006); Service Transformation

Key benefits

  • Wholesale use of the LLPG across the council as the key property and address dataset has led to improved efficiencies across the board.
  • Public service delivery has improved through innovative use of the council’s website and the Directgov Digital TV channel.
  • The LLPG is enabling a host of new applications for example informing citizens within a specified area about ‘event day parking restriction’ for the new Wembley Stadium.
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