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The results of the 2021 Exemplar Awards are:


Northumberland County Council

Having the most up to date change intelligence possible is a key component in working efficiently, and the winning project focussed on improving the health of the council’s electoral canvass records. The creation of clean and accessible dashboard, supported by an integrated backend that supported instant ‘click of a button’ updates, has resulted in the details of 20,000 properties that do not need servicing with canvassing activities – saving thousands of pounds in administration and resources. This has been made possible via the inclusion of the UPRN in the software build, which has resulted in not only a more intelligent platform but also a better-quality gazetteer.

Read the Case Study Here

Barnsley Metropolitan City Council

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Barnsley Council wanted to take a proactive approach to support members of its community and built a Vulnerability Index. The Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) played a key role in the development of the Index, which was a composite of 26 different data sources – all combined through their common location. Data from NHS England was also linked with the UPRN to support Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) and shielding members of the population. 330 additional households were identified as in need from this work, and over 17,000 support calls made across the borough. Going forward, the council plans to work with local health services to develop the project further and ensure vulnerability is better understood across local services.

Read the Case Study Here


Manchester City Council

21st March 2021 was Census Day for England, Wales & Norther Ireland.

The 2021 Census needs to count the whole of the population, specifically focussing on hard-to-reach people. These include residents in care homes, sheltered accommodation, supported living and occupants living in shared accommodation, such as houses in multiple occupation and students living in university halls of residence.

In Manchester, a large data collection project was undertaken to capture all the student halls of residence rooms. Along with a detailed investigation using third party data and cross council intelligence to verify, classify and enter communal establishment data in to the LLPG.

This resulted in the addition of 25000 student rooms being added to the LLPG and the cleansing of 3800 HMOs, 231 care home, 231 halls of residence 4650 sheltered accommodation units and 850 supported housing properties. 

Read the Case Study Here

Milton Keynes Council

Milton Keynes’ (MK) local plan sets out how the town is likely to grow over the next ten years, up to 2031. A minimum of 26,500 new homes will be delivered in areas on the East and West of the city in addition to the emerging South East. The MK Strategy 2050 is currently out for consultation and outlines further growth to support a projected population of 500,000 by 2050.

The challenge for Milton Keynes has been access to location data ahead of it coming out of national agencies to support growth, plus access to income to sustain demand.

The approach to overcoming this challenge involved thinking outside the box, and deploying a drone – to help gather data. The use of drones is an important contribution to the council’s pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030.

By flying over new development sites, intelligence can be gathered quickly to record actual construction progress. This can then be reflected across the LLPG, council tax, waste collection and other services – and in the operation of systems and process that ensure the accurate collection of payments via Council Tax.

Read the Case Study Here

Highly Commended

Dorset Council

In May 2018, the six authorities in Dorset were combined to become a single unitary authority – Dorset Council. This presented the significant challenge of combining five LLPG and LSG to create a functioning, centralised system. With a dedicated team and a huge amount of perseverance, Dorset managed to consolidate all of their systems within a six-month timeframe. This successful merger shows the potential for unitary authorities, with improved communication and planning, as well as the benefits of having a central reference point for public services.

Read the Case Study Here

Flintshire County Council

The team at Flintshire have been working on multiple projects that aim to deliver better levels of service, both to residents and staff, using the UPRN to facilitate process improvement and better operations.

Recent projects include: a dashboard that highlighted the availability of local services during the recent health crisis to provide up to date information to residents; process improvements and resilience through a new system to replace the manual ‘pinning’ of information about home care allocations; and the provision of an accessible map that would provide information about Dementia Friendly organisations.

These projects all required cross-team collaboration, an understanding of internal and external systems’ requirements and limitations, and pragmatic use of UPRN4s to ensure correlating data could be linked accurately.

Peer Award 2021

Dave Heyes, Wigan Council

Dave has given up a huge amount of his time over the last 15 years to work with GeoPlace and to support the Custodian and Street Naming and Numbering Officer communities. Dave’s knowledge and experience of Street Naming and Numbering and gazetteer management has been invaluable, in amongst other things, in understanding and shaping the operational and strategic relationship with Royal Mail.

He has played a key role representing local government in the PAF Advisory Group; significantly contributed to a number of projects to understand the data flows and document opportunities for closer working between local government and Royal Mail; and more recently given a significant amount of his time to the development of the SNN five-year strategy and resulting Code of Practice being drafted by the SNN Working Group.

On top of all of this, he is a regular contributor to the Khub - both stimulating discussion and providing expert advice to fellow Custodians and SNN Officers, has run SNN sessions at our conference and played an important role in developing and management of the DCA - playing a significant role in representing local authority interests within the governance framework.

And all the time maintaining Wigan’s gazetteer and managing their Street Naming and Numbering function.

Dave has been a committed driving force behind our collective work and, in the words of his nomination: “The man is simply a beacon for the SNN community.”

Read the Press Release Here

Exemplar Awards

Past Award winners

Visit the archives to discover past winners and their winning projects.

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Exemplar Award archives

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