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Property intelligence advances gazetteer

NLPG Exemplar Award: Highly Commended – ‘Most Creative Use’ 2006: Chorley Borough Council.

Street naming and numbering is a key part of the process of keeping LLPGs up to date simply because it can capture information about new developments, changes of use, for example from single occupancy to multiple occupancy and changes of name, both to domestic and business properties. Having up to date information is not only vital to the Council itself but also the Royal Mail and of course the emergency services via the NLPG.

Chorley has taken a proactive approach to ensure that new properties and changes to existing ones are captured for inclusion in the LLPG.

A Guidance Note document and application form for street naming and numbering has been produced for developers and applicants who would approach the council on the commencement or completion of work for which planning permission has been granted. This captures new developments, one off planning permissions, offices, industrial units and changes of use. In addition the LLPG custodian checks the weekly list of planning permissions and Changes of Use awarded from the borough’s own public access website and enters them into a spreadsheet. A letter and application form is then sent to the applicant. However there was still no easy way for the council to capture changes of house names or business names required by customers without planning permission or change of use having been required.

Chorley has addressed this problem by making it easy for individuals to enter their change of name details via an interactive form on its website. The form consists of a series of questions filled in by the applicant online or by council staff in the one-stop shop for those who do not have Internet access. One of the key features is that the form has direct access to the LLPG giving the applicant a street search 21 facility. The web form uses LLPG address information populating the required fields directly from the GMS. The form captures the applicant’s address and the address of the property in question. If the property does not exist, the address can be created manually and an e-mail automatically sent to the GIS team highlighting the change. This ensures that new names are applied to the correct property. A completed application form is created at the end of the process and either printed out or e-mailed to the applicant as well as the GIS team.

Outcomes

Chorley has improved its street name and numbering process and ensured that the improvements are passed through to the LLPG. The innovative use of the web form for changes of names makes it easy for members of the public to participate in the process. Application forms are automatically sent to the LLPG custodian by e-mail as are any addresses that do not exist in the LLPG.

‘On average 80 per cent of data has an address component. So, one of the keys to government (central as well as local) making intelligent connections between its thousands of pieces of information is to establish a standardised way of referring to locations and addresses. By working together to compile and use the NLPG we are laying the foundation for a combined government organisation that delivers services, not just in a more responsive, unified and thoughtful way, but with a lot less wasted money, time and effort.’ - John Prescott MP, Deputy Prime Minister (2003)

Key benefits

  • An excellent use of technology and web applications to facilitate the council’s introduction of an electronic service for a change of address and business name.
  • Customers now have a quick and easy way to apply to change the name of their property or business, either online from their own home computer, or in the one-Stop shop when they come to the council’s offices.
  • The web form reduces the number of calls received to request changes, saving call centre staff time and makes it easy for staff in the One Stop Shop to deal with customers quickly and efficiently
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