On the 10th March 2023, the partnership between the Joint Authorities Group (UK) [JAG (UK)] and GeoPlace LLP will reach the ten year mark. Both organisations are celebrating – the partnership continues to thrive and is now pivotal in enabling government, utility, and highway colleagues to maintain services and prepare for change as the industry moves forward.
JAG(UK) started life in 1987 as the National Street Works Highways Group (NSWHG) and was linked to the LGA. It’s evolved since then. Today, JAG(UK) is the mechanism by which street and road authorities are represented on the Highway Authorities and Utilities Committee (UK) [HAUC(UK)]. This in turn advises the Department for Transport (DfT), and the devolved governments in street and road works’ matters.
As part of the GeoPlace family, JAG(UK) has strong community links with highway authorities, the national governments of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland and, alongside the Local Government Association, those links complement GeoPlace’s strong association with many other UK Government departments through its data infrastructure. Solid legislation, regulation and guidance exist for the industry already, but evolving demands require agility, consistency and transparency in thinking and delivery. The strategic link that GeoPlace has with JAG(UK) enables:
- a home and a stronger identity for JAG(UK), and better support for members of the JAG(UK) community and the JAG(UK) CEO
- support to develop stronger links to governments, along with better relationships as a result of joint working through HAUC(UK)
- strategic alignment with government departments and policies, and more support through the partnership with the National Street Gazetteer (NSG) team
- integrated strategy, resilience, and better relationships with utility partners.
GeoPlace has also helped JAG (UK) publish a new website, and with the management of projects such as the HAUC(UK) App and the Net Zero Project and the partnership is going from strength to strength. For GeoPlace, the partnership has been equally beneficial:
- it can now capture important data more easily; for example, collecting Additional Street Data (ASD), and using it more intuitively
- nurturing better relationships between NSG, ASD and highways, along with continued integration with other partners/areas
- more streamlined communications, a more integrated strategy, and wider service offerings that meet the requirements of street and address data users.
This relationship has led to wider connections with local authority colleagues, and better relationships with both the community and industry.
As CEO David Capon said, “JAG(UK) achieves its aims mainly through voluntary contributions of time, money and expertise from officers in its member organisations. None of this would be possible but for the support of GeoPlace and the close working partnership developed over the past 10 years. We continue to grow and influence”.
Nick Chapallaz, GeoPlace’s Managing Director, echoes that sentiment: “GeoPlace and JAG(UK) are integral to everything that happens on streets. Joining up operationally combines our community's power and influence. One of GeoPlace’s central aims has always been to enhance the highways information being routinely captured by local authorities. This data transforms how all levels of government can maintain and improve roads by detailing information such as road widths, traffic calming measures and height and weight restrictions. The benefits to society are far-reaching, and the positive outcomes are a testament to the value of our partnership.”