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Investing to create a corporate infrastructure

NLPG Most Improved 2007: Thurrock Council.

At the beginning of 2006, Thurrock Council’s LLPG and LSG had stagnated due to a lack of strategic vision. This all changed in July 2006 when a high level plan was put in place along with a significant financial investment to build a spatial information infrastructure – with the LLPG and the LSG at its heart. This would support Thurrock’s key business activities, helping departments to communicate and share information with one another. Importantly the council created permanent staff positions in order to both create and maintain the databases and systems that underpinned the planned business transformation.

Thurrock recruited a new GIS team from scratch and appointed a full time LLPG and LSG custodian with previous experience gained with another council. Working with an external consultant to help create and drive the strategy, Thurrock was able to transform the quality of its LSG and LLPG and begin to submit regular updates to the NSG and NLPG hubs.

During this process over 70 new streets were added to the LSG; over 5000 duplicate records were removed from the LLPG and 3000 new ones created from change intelligence gleaned from street naming and numbering. At the same time 2000 street polygons and 70,000 BLPU polygons were captured. Fresh address matching exercises with Council Tax, NNDR and Electoral Roll ‘re-synchronised’ the LLPG with these key systems.

Thurrock put new workflow procedures in place to ensure synchronisation between the LLPG, LSG and street naming and numbering. It upgraded its technical systems to facilitate this and enable the LLPG to be used as the central address dataset for Planning, Building Control, Environmental Health, Licensing and Local Land Charges. By August 2007, the Thurrock LLPG was considered fit for purpose and now underpins the council’s new intranet map browser which went live in October 2007.

This business transformation was carried out within a year of funding becoming available. Effective project management has ensured the delivery of the project within a very tight timescale ensuring that the systems, people and skills are in place to enable Thurrock to realise its strategic aims, transform its business processes and improve its service delivery.

Outcomes

Thurrock now possesses a modern spatially enabled IT infrastructure and continues to improve its LLPG and LSG in line with best practice elsewhere. This has enabled a complete review of business processes, data sharing and improved inter departmental communications which will begin to deliver efficiencies as change plans are put in place. The council now make regular updates to both the NLPG and LSG hubs and can expect to benefit from these key datasets for many years to come.

Key benefits

  • The hugely improved LLPG and LSG are now in place, trusted and used on a daily basis across the council.
  • The improved gazetteers and new IT infrastructure have enabled business process reviews which will deliver efficiencies and improved service delivery.
  • The council is now in a strong position to benefit from its strategic vision and investment.
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