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SEVEN LOCAL AUTHORITIES AWARDED EXEMPLAR STATUS

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Seventeen became seven when the names of the local authorities that have achieved exemplary service modernisation t...
Seventeen became seven when the names of the local authorities that have achieved exemplary service modernisation through their application of the National Land & Property Gazetteer (NLPG), were announced last night.

A shortlist of 17 authorities were asked to attend the awards that celebrate the leading e-government initiative from the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA), but of these just seven were awarded the glass trophy that symbolises their exemplar status.

A panel of judges, including representatives from the Office of the e-envoy, SOLACE, ODPM, NLPG and IDeA, agreed that the most outstanding local authorities for utilising the NLPG system to greatest effect are:

Amber Valley BC

Durham City Council

High Peak BC

Huntingdonshire DC

Kingston upon Hull City Council

South Gloucestershire Council

Stoke-on-Trent City Council

Amber Valley BCo

The Amber Valley 'My Property' online service is a simple but excellent service that enables all council clients to access information on council properties. For homes in their area, they can identify council tax bands, planning information and applications, find out whether a property is in a conservation area, or view mapping and locate nearby services such as schools. It simply and effectively allows the wide transfer of NLPG benefits direct to clients.

Durham City Council

Durham's recently opened INFOCENTRE improves the level of speed and response of the service to the public. It incorporates the NLPG alongside GIS data. The Infocentre is a walk-in one-stop-shop and provides clients with a council-manned advice service where they can pay bills, sort out benefit problems, get help with services including repairs, housing and lettings, or make rent queries, council tax enquiries, and housing and benefit queries.

High Peak BC

The High Peak Customer Service Centre 'Call High Peak' was established in Spring 2003, and uses the NLPG as its address data layer. The council has also distributed the benefits of the NLPG across the authority by providing staff with full internet access to NLPG, mapping, ward and parish information plus planning data and applications.

Huntingdonshire DC

Huntingdonshire's Planning Public Access Service delivers online planning information to clients using the NLPG as the key data linking mechanism. It receives over 2,500 users per month, generating over 8,000 application searches. Visitors can ask the gazetteer for planning data related to a property or search for specific planning applications.

Kingston-upon-Hull City Council

An NLPG pioneer, Kingston-upon-Hull has underpinned its call centre, 'Hull Contact' with the NLPG, integrating CRM and back-office systems via an in-house-developed, map-based interface. Advisors can access information on all council services at one point to completion. This solution is being adopted by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture

South Gloucestershire Council

An NLPG pilot authority, South Gloucestershire's local gazetteer was incorporated into the initial NLPG build. Since then, the NLPG permeates most of its council services, in particular its change of address service, one-stop shops and customer contact centres are applications.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council

Stoke is an example of the power of individuality ??? it has used 'in-house' NLPG programming to maximise the use of the gazetteer across the authority. This means that it can link to internal services like its own online mapping service, CityMap, for rich data to improve decision making for all authority staff.

The gazetteer is used across revenue and benefits, housing, urban environment, social services, regeneration and community, to create efficiencies such as reducing benefit fraud to efficient bus pass allocation.

The ten commended authorities are as follows:

Aylesbury Vale DC

Forest Heath DC

Brent LBC

Kensington & Chelsea LBC

Kingston-upon-Thames LBC

South Derbyshi re DC

Staffordshire Moorlands DC

Tandridge DC

Torbay Council

Winchester City Council

Andrew Pinder, the e-envoy, explains why these awards and the NLPG are so important:

'I fully applaud local government's continuing work in making the e-government vision a reality through the delivery of the National Land & Property Gazetteer.

The NLPG Exemplar Awards provide deserved acknowledgement for the effort and commitment made by the teams and personnel leading the enhancement of citizen-service delivery, enabled by this initiative.

The award should present nominees, representing the NLPG community as a whole, with an opportunity to raise the profile of their work and that of their peers, to the clients and citizens they are seeking to serve.'

The IDeA's Andrew Larner adds, 'The exemplar authorities are each to be congratulated on their achievements with regard to the NLPG. They are each in the vanguard of creating their local gazetteers and updating to the NLPG system. Each has adopted the NLPG as the addressing standard, and has ensured corporate-wide consistency. In particular, each has, to differing degrees of application, used the NLPG to modernise and deliver new services.

'These authorities have vision. They have been focusing acutely on application, on embracing the NLPG within their corporate and ICT strategies. They have been planning beyond 2005, reaching beyond the town hall, and to how the NLPG can benefit their residents and clients. The deserve much recognition'

For further information on the NLPG Exemplar Awards 2003, visit www.idea.gov.uk/lgih/?id=nlpg

Note

The National Land & Property Gazetteer (NLPG) is a national address dataset, which provides unambiguous identification of land and property for England & Wales. It also enables any organisation to link their data via the NLPG's unique property reference numbers.

The NLPG sits at the heart of the e-government drive to generate benefits to the citizen throug h improved access to services and enhanced local democracy. It came about through a commitment by both levels of government to work together to exploit new technology to transform the delivery of public services for the benefit of the wider community. The objective was initially for citizens to have requests fulfilled by one enquiry to their council. The only way of delivering this was through a linking mechanism to effectively bring together the information required by the customer, that linking mechanism is the NLPG.

The NLPG is built to a British Standard and contains over 31million records. Every record in the NLPG contains a definitive address (postcodes are also incorporated) and a grid co-ordinate so that relevant maps and aerial photographs can be retrieved. Importantly each record in the NLPG is also assigned a Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN), whether it's property, a flat within a building or a piece of land. UPRN's provide the linking mechanism for other datasets being matched together, even where they describe addresses or locations differently.

The NLPG therefore provides a unique framework to underpin e-government initiatives. Its unique address referencing enables different address based information throughout Great Britain to be joined-up.

e-government at the IDeA

Acting at the national level, the IDeA aims to provide a focus for the implementation of local e-government and to enable local authorities to co-ordinate and share progress. It also champions the interests of local government with central government, suppliers and other sectors. Its package of support includes:

- advice, research and policy championing

- strategic support to underpin the National Strategy for local e-government

- e-government implementation support to local authorities

- the e-champions network

- the e-government resource on IDeA Knowledge

- national infrastructure projects such as the National Land Information

Service (NLIS), the Nat ional Land & Property Gazetteer (NLPG), the esd-toolkit and IDeA:marketplace

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