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Improved understanding of residents in the London Borough of Newham

Exemplar Award Winner- Integration Award Joint winner 2013: Newham Council

Understanding residents is a vital element of improved and more efficient service delivery for all councils. This case study explores how the London Borough of Newham used the Local Land and Property Gazetteer to understand their residents better.

The issue

There are a number of benefits from having an accurate understanding of local residents. This can aid more efficient service delivery and also aid service planning, such as school place requirements and emergency planning. One aspect of this understanding can be gained through housing tenure.

It became clear that the London Borough of Newham did not have an accurate record of housing tenure.

Solution

A project was initiated to capture tenure information. This involved

1. recording systematically the tenure of dwellings

2. keeping records up to date and recording history of change

3. amalgamating data from existing council systems

4. adopting a system of classification of tenure that is consistent with best practice

5. agreeing governance arrangement for the integrity of the data.

A data mining exercise was carried out to examine the data already held by the council. A number of data sets were sourced which could prove valuable to the project. These included:

• benefits

• council tax

• customer relationship management system

• electoral register

• housing records

• waste/bin collection records

• and others

The Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) from the LLPG proved vital as the mechanism to link the disparate data sources together.

Outcomes

A property tenure database has been developed and is maintained. This is made available via the council’s intranet. A number of benefits have emerged from the initiative:

• supported work of the housing management services and private housing operations teams through more accurate data availability

• more accurate address data more generally available for use throughout the council

• supports wider improvement and performance work through having data linked and in one place

• furthermore, the project has led to a better understanding of the local residents.

Authority view

The project was initiated because no council system which used property data held definitive information regarding tenure. A number of benefits were realised as a result of integrating all tenure data: for example, we now have one place to look up the tenure of properties, and can identify instances of sub-letting within council properties; around 100 new properties have been identified, and a number of unlicensed privately rented properties have also been identified. The outcome of the project is a tenure database that can be viewed through the council’s intranet, leading to significant savings in officer time.

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