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Partnership in action

NSG Exemplar Award: Highly Commended – ‘Best Integration’ 2006: Durham County Council.

As a two-tier shire authority with one city, one borough and five district councils, Durham County Council is the custodian responsible for the LSG while each district council is custodian of its own LLPG.

The NSG has been established for 10 years and is used as part of the New Roads and Street Works Act: 1991 for Statutory Undertakers, when serving notice of their works in the highway, to confirm the street in which their works are located. Highway Authorities are able to use this information to coordinate works in the highway as required under section 59 of the 1991 Act and also data can be attached to the street reference number to warn Statutory Undertakers of conditions that the Highway Authority has imposed on that street.

The county council, as the Highway Authority for County Durham, soon realised that there may be a conflict of interest as to the use and requirements of USRNs the district councils would have in their own LLPGs. In 2003, the county council set up a series of meetings with the district council LLPG custodians to look at coordinating information to reduce these anticipated problems.

It was agreed that the county council would allocate batches of USRNs to the individual district councils. These would be used to add new streets or streets that had not been previously allocated a USRN to the LSG. A simple procedure was established with the districts reporting back to the county council with updated USRNs and these were then added to the LSG. If the full spatial coordinates were not available, for example because a road is still under construction, then the county would draw provisional centre lines based on information provided by the districts. The county returned to these roads at a later date to correct 45 any errors as resulting from the provisional information.

With the introduction of the Mapping Services Agreement (MSA), the district councils initiated a series of meetings to deal primarily with the LLPGs. These meetings were attended by the LSG custodian to advise on LSG issues. Dialogue continued to resolve problems between the respective gazetteers.

As a further tool, the county council provided a layer on its internal mapping system to show the LSG in a map format. This proved invaluable to both the district and county councils in sorting out where anomalies and discrepancies lay and identifying unallocated or incorrectly described streets.

More recently, with the introduction of a CRM, the respective LLPGs were seen as being a useful mechanism for managing the various aspects of CRM where all enquiries and reports generated could be referenced to a UPRN from the LLPG. The county council became the lead authority in coordinating the CRM and meetings with the districts now include the forum for resolving and updating on LSG and LLPG issues.


The introduction of a street gazetteer layer on the county council’s mapping systems has improved the efficiency in resolving anomalies and discrepancies and is a useful tool in confirming Statutory Undertaker queries regarding use of correct USRNs.

The continued meetings are invaluable in ensuring that all parties understand the role each has to play for the benefit of improved council services.

Key benefits

  • Closer liaison between the county and district councils in resolving gazetteer issues more efficiently.
  • Better data quality and currency for both the LSG and respective LLPGs.
  • A more efficient CRM system leading to improved council services in the county council and district councils.
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