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Northumberland makes online reporting easy

Northumberland County Council achieved digital transformation in their online reporting tools aimed at residents. The tool can be used to report street lighting faults; missed bin collections or potholes. The tool has achieved efficiencies for the authority as well as an improved customer experience. All this has been enabled through the effective use of existing resources, including the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) and the Local Street Gazetteer (LSG).

The issue

As part of a wider transformation to move customer interactions online through various dedicated channels, the GIS team had an important role to play in adding location tools to the service.

The brief was for a simple, easy to use digital map template that was flexible enough that it could take information from many different sources as required such as a GIS file for current streetlights, the LLPG for recycling points, and the LSG for potholes. The template had to be designed in such a way to be easily rolled out to dozens of services in the future.

The solution

The team developed an in-house map template. It uses the LLPG to perform an address search and zoom to the required location. It uses a custom list for other places that are not held in the LLPG such as hill ranges.

The map looks the same to the public no matter what they are reporting, but actually is doing several different things without them realising:

  • When they report a streetlight fault, it takes the streetlight ID from a current GIS file.

  • When they report a pothole, it takes the coordinates from the GIS and the nearest street reference (USRN) from the LSG. Highways inspectors are automatically informed if the highway is publicly maintained.

  • When they report graffiti it takes the LLPG property reference (UPRN) where it has one, otherwise it reports the GIS coordinates.

This allows the back office software to automatically link it to the LLPG/ LSG wherever possible and great huge efficiency savings for staff.

The outcome

  • A streamlined, user friendly way for the public to report issues to the council.

  • Efficiency savings for back office staff in not having to link reports to correct location and references.

  • Hugely increased number of reports coming from the website generating financial savings.

  • A template that IT can rollout to future services in minutes rather than hours or days.

  • Used both externally by public and internally by staff to report issues.

  • 5022 out of 5346 (94%) Streetlight faults logged through new system in first 6 months

  • 3963 out of 4182(95%) Potholes logged through new system in first 6 months

Further details:

[email protected]

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