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The road to success

NSG Exemplar Award: Winner – ‘Best Gazetteer Integration’ 2007: Devon County Council.

By working together Devon County Council and the eight District Councils have created a single, comprehensive and well maintained street gazetteer, covering the whole of the country’s largest county road network. This example of joined up working has delivered significant advantages to residents, businesses and both tiers of local government. The resulting database is driving improvements to the network, improving delivery of council services and achieving higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Outcomes

At the onset of the project, a decision was made that the County Council would take responsibility for the creation, management and day-to-day maintenance of the street gazetteer. While the importance of the contribution of not only the District Councils, but also of other agencies and members of the public, was recognised as fundamental for success, the understanding of the savings that could be made was critical in light of decreasing budgets.

The result of this is a gazetteer that all authorities in Devon have confidence in and are therefore utilising to great effect. The database is closely integrated with the District Council’s Local Land and Property Gazetteers to ensure all streets are recorded, including those without associated properties.

The LSG is also used as a tool to facilitate mobile working and as a feed to other District and County level systems and service delivery areas.

One specific example is the use of the data with Devon’s centralised Customer Service Centre. The benefits of this integration are twofold: enquiries received through the contact centre, for example a faulty street light, can be accurately positioned and therefore identified at the first point of contact. This reduces the length of time it takes to process each request and increases the efficiency of the operation through to fault resolution. In addition contact staff, through their interactions with members of the public, feed information back into the database for verification by the NSG team and District Councils. This application of the NSG data alone has resulted in savings of £100,000 per annum according to a Gershon time and motion report.

The NSG is not only used as a tool to improve front line services, the data is also integrated within the County’s Asset Management System driving a range of programmes, web applications and the council’s GIS.

Key benefits

  • Creation of a single, county wide street gazetteer, currently around 30,000 unique streets and 90,000 street units, with over 650 users makes this one of the largest and most comprehensive street information projects in the country.
  • ‘A create once use many times’ approach by both County and District Councils reduces duplication of effort, and data, and ensures a well maintained street gazetteer that is fuelling improvements to the road network, service delivery and customer satisfaction.
  • Joined up working between District and County Councils resulting in shared ownership and therefore confidence in the data, resulting in organisation wide use, improved communication and co-operation.
  • Savings of £100,000 per annum based on the transformation of a single business process, and additional, as yet uncalculated, savings can be estimated by projecting this amount across all service delivery areas.
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