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Joining it all up in North Somerset

Exemplar Award Winner- Innovation in Delivery Award Runner-up 2013: North Somerset Council

North Somerset Council, like many other councils, outsource waste contract work to a third party. However, it was becoming apparent that service delivery was being affected by the lack of common, accurate address information being shared between the two organisations.

The issue

The lack of an accurate and comparable property list was leading to inaccurate occupation counts and affecting service delivery in some areas.

Solution

A 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. The Local Land and Property Gazetteer was identified as the primary address list.

The project aims were to

• develop data flow processes to share information between the contractor and the council to maintain up to date data

• improve data quality

• ensure consistency in the data across all sources of data for all 93,000 properties

• improve monitoring and reporting of performance targets

• enable visibility of the above datasets in GIS

The LLPG was crucial as it provided the basis with which to match existing data sources together and, in turn, enhance those data sources, such as council tax which now contains the Unique Property Reference Number from the LLPG. The knock on effect has been there is a greater awareness of the LLPG and the benefits it can bring for the council.

Outcomes

The project was completed successfully and delivered the following outcomes:

• improved working relationships, communication and information flow between all parties

• improved data flows – no more ‘lost’ properties and accurate accountability from all parties

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

• the 93,000 residential LLPG addresses have been linked to council tax, Waste Management and shared with the contractor for the first time, with enhancements made to the overall process to provide sustainability going forward

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

• the contractor is now able to monitor collection routes more closely to keep operating costs low

• an unexpected benefit was the tie in the distribution of the waste calendar with a mail out to residents of their Council Tax records, saving £20,000 in distribution and printing costs

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

To summarise, this project required no capital investment or additional revenue costs. It required approximately twenty days data matching time. Overall, the council gained immediate cashable savings of £40,000 and ongoing savings by joining up information in a sustainable way to improve service delivery.

Authority view

“This project demonstrates that establishing the LLPG as ‘the single version of the truth’ has provided sustainable information flows throughout the council and with our partners. This has led to improvements in service delivery as well as savings in money and resources.”

—David Burdge, Corporate Information Manager

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