National award for council’s website tool

Claire Holloway, chair of the GeoPlace board, with county council staff members Ryan Gilchrist and David Basnett.
Claire Holloway, chair of the GeoPlace board, with county council staff members Ryan Gilchrist and David Basnett.

Excellence in the use of digital technology has seen Northumberland County Council scoop an accolade at the GeoPlace Exemplar Awards.

The authority won the Local Digital Award for developing the Report It website.

It joins unique data to a customer’s address, enabling people to find relevant information based on where they live and allowing them to report concerns directly to the council.

The tool works by linking several council data sources such as street lighting, recycling points and potholes via the Local Land and Property Gazeteer (LLPG) and the Local Street Gazeteer (LSG) to a self-service online portal.

The website saw 94 per cent of streetlight faults and 95 per cent of potholes reported by both customers and back-office staff in the first six months after launch.

Information governance manager Ryan Gilchrist, who developed the tool, accepted the award.

He said: “We wanted to develop an easy, user-friendly way for users to select a location on a digital map and for that click to retrieve data from the LLPG and LSG.

“The feedback has been fantastic and the award is a massive vote of confidence.”

The authority, which also won a ‘Best in region for street data’ Exemplar Award, continues to develop Report It in the areas of recycling sites, fly tipping, littering and lost or stray animals.

The service will be extended to allow reporting on road flooding, broken road signs, broken or dangerous pavements and public toilets.