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Improving data, improving waste collection in North Somerset

Exemplar Award Winner- Integration Award Joint winner 2013: North Somerset Council

Like many other councils, North Somerset outsource the collection of residents’ waste. It is vital that the information to support this relationship, such as address data, is kept up to date. This case study explores how improvements were made in data flows in North Somerset which, in turn, improved service delivery.

The problem

A problem was identified in the data transfers between North Somerset and their waste contractor. The issue was in the coherence of data sharing and data transfer between both organisations, which, in turn, was affecting service delivery.

The lack of an accurate and comparable property list was leading to inaccurate occupation counts and affecting service delivery in some areas. The project was initiated to ensure one set of address information could be regularly and consistently shared between interested parties to assist communication and partnership working.

Solution

The Local Land and Property Gazetteer was identified as a crucial part of the solution to improved data sharing and coherence between the two organisations. More widely, the project aims were to

• provide consistent two way information flows between various internal systems (including council tax and the waste management team) and the waste contractor

• improve data quality

• establish information update mechanisms with the contractor

• improve monitoring and reporting of performance targets

• improve service delivery and improve customer satisfaction

• enable visibility of the above datasets in GIS

No capital investment or additional resource was required to deliver the project.

The project involved

• linking the LLPG to council tax records

• adding the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) from the LLPG to the council tax records

• ensuring automatic daily update data flows between the LLPG and council tax to ensure sustainability in the linkages

• the validated data were linked to existing systems

• the validated data were also provided to the contractor, with schedules put in place for daily automatic updates

• the data are also used to support internal systems and, in turn, support external systems, such as website information

Outcomes

The project was completed successfully and delivered the following outcomes:

• improved working relationships, communication and information flows

• accurate property count was created, resulting in an immediate cash saving of £20,000

• improved internal links between the LLPG and council tax, reducing requirements for staff to visit locations to verify records for example

• reporting and monitoring have become more consistent, and have provided numerous benefits, such as enabling targeted action in areas with low recycling rates

• increased self -service traffic through the website

• better, more effective, service delivery to members of the public.

There are numerous strands to this project that display best practice and innovation around usage of the LLPG and information management in general.

Authority view

“The successful delivery of this project has truly strengthened operational relationships between two of the council’s key partners, all because we are all now easily able to use the same information. Though a simple concept, the project has seen data quality and currency improve in the LLPG and business systems, as well as enabling the realisation of significant cashable savings. This project has firmly paved the way for more improvement and cost savings through smarter collaborative working.”

—David Burdge, Corporate Information Manager

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