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Underpinning past and future service delivery

NSG Exemplar Award: Winner – ‘Most Creative Use’ 2006: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.

From a very early stage the LSG has been managed and maintained by Sandwell’s Highways Direct Division, which recognized that a standardised and commonly referenced street gazetteer would be essential to any of the electronic information management projects planned for the future. Since the LSG’s completion, a number of innovative projects and database applications have been developed all of which use the LSG in varying ways. These are summarised below.

Street look up application with map references.

  • A search facility to identify particular streets and display them on maps bound to the LSG’s street coordinates.
  • A forms-based application to help the council’s Risk Management Services to deal with highway related claims.
  • A GIS enabled asset management application used by the council’s Environment Direct Division to manage highway drainage components such as drainage gullies.
  • A database developed to assist with managing a contract for sponsored street signs.
  • An application developed to assist with managing the installation of vehicular crossings on the public highway.
  • An application developed to assist with managing highway structures such as bridges.
  • Database applications developed to assist with managing traffic signal installations and with managing street lighting, illuminated signs and bollards.
  • A spreadsheet used to submit street lighting, illuminated signs and bollards inventory for unmetered energy supplies payment reconciliation.

Some of these have now been migrated into full-fledged applications, which manage service delivery, such as a Street Lighting system; in each case the LSG remains the standard reference for street information.

Field based highway inspections, sometimes machine based (for road surface assessment) or visually by inspectors using data capture devices, are all aligned with the LSG’s unique street reference number. Sandwell’s LSG street referencing has also formed the backbone of the LLPG which was created during 2004/5.

Outcomes

In line with other authorities, Sandwell has now embarked upon a Highway Asset Management Plan (HAMP), which will provide a complete register of all highway related assets, including; traffic signals, drainage, trees, non-illuminated signs, road lining, fencing, barriers and other specific items of street furniture. This integrated solution is still being developed but already handles highway pavement management, safety inspections, highway structures and street works. The development of and migration to this system has been made much easier and more effective as a result of common referencing to the LSG.

Sandwell’s LSG remains a key component of current and future service delivery enhancements and has now reached level three status of providing the most detailed information to the National Hub.

‘Citizens identify these local public service teams with their council. Behind the scenes central and local government coordinate a network of public bodies, private and third sector partners to provide seamless access to these services.’ Sir David Varney (Dec 2006); Service Transformation.

Key benefits

  • Sandwell’s investment in its LSG has paid dividends integrating into many different business areas.
  • The LSG facilitated the creation of the LLPG and still forms the backbone.
  • The LSG still plays an important ongoing role in underpinning new ‘Transformational Government’ initiatives.
  • Enthusiasm for the LSG remains undiminished as it has already proved its worth.
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