Exemplar Award Winner- Best Practice National Gazetteers Integration Award: Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council
In 2007, a decision was taken for Adur District and Worthing Borough Councils to work together in partnership, creating a single officer structure and providing joint, shared services to both communities.
This partnership is proving to be a nationally significant model for collaboration, the first of its kind, which for 2011/12 achieved savings of £2.3 million with projected savings of £6.5 million for 2012/13.
The project involved amalgamating most services employed across the two councils. Of key importance was the creation of a single corporate information team with responsibility for the LLPG, GIS, Street Naming and Numbering (SNN) and the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA).
A comprehensive project plan for technical services, involving strategic level activities and including engagement with Members as well as human resources, legal and financial departments, identified the following:
• a need for currently disparate systems to be harmonised
• the integration of corporate information, such as the LLPG, to improve efficiencies
• a definite corporate need to ensure the full interlinking of the LLPG and GIS to support council services
So, where to begin? The project was considered too vast to attempt as a whole and was therefore broken down into the three key elements: LLPG, GIS and SNN. To maximise on efficiencies and cost savings, the project focused on the analysis of systems and procedures in order to identify the best software and working practices to be adopted across both councils. Due to limited staff resources, it was essential to eliminate unnecessary tasks and automate as many as possible.
Due to high levels of demand across both organisations for address data, the linking of the two LLPGs was established as the first priority. A single software solution was implemented and a review of the processes by which address data was created, updated and used was undertaken.
Of key importance was the ability to integrate address data across a variety of merged council systems. A simple reporting tool was developed to report address intelligence change, replacing previous manual processes. This solution reports changes made in any LLPG linked system; new street names and numbers created within the Planning function; and amendments to non-domestic rates and council tax data, providing all service areas with address change and LLPG intelligence.
A single GIS was required, underpinned by the LLPG information from both gazetteers, across both councils. An audit of GIS bases datasets, held by both organisations, was completed in order to gain an understanding of what data existed and how best it could be utilised. This audit identified 65 core datasets and a total of 1265 datasets overall across both parties. All data are now combined and held centrally to facilitate joint working being accessed by single GIS across the partnership intranet and Internet, where appropriate.
A single SNN system and process was also required to replace a manual process at Worthing and to introduce a formal system at Adur. A joint SNN policy was adopted by both councils, supported by new documented procedures and software.
Following the creation and deployment of the joint gazetteers and the development of systems and processes to integrate the data across the partner organisations, the following service areas are now actively using the gazetteer data:
• environmental health
• electoral registration
• waste services
• land charges
• concessionary fares
• allotments and park
• non domestic rates
• council tax
• customer relationship management
• street naming and numbering
• geographical information systems Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council Best Practice National Gazetteers Integration Award Key benefits
• a single corporate information team providing joint services for LLPG, GIS and SNN across both organisations
• high quality LLPGs in use by both organisations across a wide and diverse range of service areas
• simplified information management processes and systems, facilitating more efficient working practices and better service delivery
• cost savings to date of £32,000 with further savings predicted.
View from the authority
“The opportunity to celebrate and commemorate a business which has been important to this community for many years was one we simply could not pass up. With the creation and adoption of these names, we have provided a long lasting identity and sense of community for the area, and engaged with council staff, elected officials and members of the public.”
-Lucie Breadman Head of Corporate Management, Colchester Borough Council