When Wiltshire County Council became a unitary authority, it inherited Local Land and Property Gazetteers (LLPGs) from its previous four district councils. The LLPG which now holds 250,000 addresses, has been integrated into a number of core business systems allowing the council to benefit from accurate addressing, reduce the duplication of effort and minimise the risk of errors as well as providing consistency for its customers.
Wiltshire has benefitted hugely from having the LLPG used within the following departments;
- customer services
- public protection
- waste collection
- corporate website corporate GIS, enabling the public and the council's 5000 staff and members access to search the LLPG database.
The next stage of integration will be within adult and child care, revenues and benefits, integrated youth services, the passenger transport system, leisure and housing.
The overall rational behind the integration has been:
The creation of a definitive centralised repository of address and property data will be used to provide a single consistent view of address and property information across core applications within the organisation
- To provide a strategic vision and leadership to ensure an inclusive, co-ordinated and pragmatic approach to Wiltshire address data
- To provide access up-to-date and accurate address data that can be delivered with the best use of resources
- To develop and promote the use of address data across the organisation and to partners improving the accuracy of data held in existing systems
- To promote the appropriate technical and professional standards for efficient and effective use of address data within Wiltshire Council.
A current and updated LLPG has not only improved the address information held by the council but has also improved communication within the council and the wider community.
The LLPG team liaise on a daily basis with council tax, elections, planning, public protection and many other business areas of the council which enables them to share address information and then update the LLPG so that all users can use the latest addresses.
Many address queries cannot be resolved at the desk and often need site visits to determine the correct address. The team coordinates site visits to problematic addresses with other departments which is cost effective to the council and ensures that members of the public are not being visited numerous times by different council staff. Any information gathered as a result of the site visit is then updated in the LLPG and shared with other departments.
After undertaking some internal research it was clear to Wiltshire that multiple savings could be made by ensuring key business systems utilised the LLPG as their address database rather than updating systems independently by multiple officers.
This would eliminate 100's of staff updating systems in silos each day and allow these staff to focus on other priority work. The research revealed that some systems only had one or two staff updating addresses but other systems had 100+ staff updating addresses on a daily basis as part of their job role. This prompted the justification for sharing the LLPG to assist with efficiencies as part of a drive to share data and operate in a more cost effective and efficient manner.
Wiltshire now updates its address data on a daily basis and shares it with council departments as well as partners. Many of these departments now rely totally on the LLPG and users do not enter addresses into their systems – these are only updated once the LLPG has been checked or in some cases, when the weekly update has been loaded. This has implemented a positive element of control on addressing from which Wiltshire are now reaping the benefits.
Using the LLPG as a corporate resources has had significant benefits:
- the availability of standardised and accurate location data, essential for delivering reliable and efficient integrated services
- it has enabled the exchange of precise location information across departments seamlessly (other partners in the future)
- created efficiencies by removing the need for multiple staff to enter addresses
- ensured communications reach the intended recipient/customers through accurate addressing
- ensured a single customer view shared within the organisation allowing the authority to maintain a positive image.