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Local Government working together for the 2014 Transparency Code

The Government has published a revised local government transparency code. Under various new regulations the code mandates that local authorities must publish certain datasets, the first of which must be published by 31 December 2014.


The Local Government Association has updated its practitioner’s guidance to support local authorities to publish this information in a way that useful for local authorities and local people. Four separate draft guidance documents covering the various requirements are now published and we are inviting comment on these.

Two information and briefing events are also planned in London and Manchester

Financial incentives for English Councils to publish selected open data

The Local Government Incentive scheme is an initiative for English Local Authorities funded from the Release of Data Fund. The scheme will encourage and enable local authorities to publish datasets as Open Data based on data requests received by the Open Data User Group (ODUG) from the Open Data community. It is hoped that the results will serve as an example of how the local government sector can work together to publish data from disparate sources into a consistent national data resource for innovative uses within the wider data community.

The Local Government Association manages the scheme which will provide technical support and coordination.  The scheme has provision to give local authorities cash incentives to publish open standardised datasets, which will combine to deliver a national view of the data. The three datasets which are funded under this initiative are:

  • public conveniences,
  • planning applications and
  • licensing (focusing in this first instance on alcohol/light entertainment premises).

Natural neighbourhoods – a new way to define where people live and work

A new facility is now available through local government's information standards for effective service delivery - the esd standards - to allow users to define and use their own geographical areas known as Natural Neighbourhoods.  Our first example of an application where such areas can be used is in the LG Inform Plus report builder and viewer where local authorities, information managers and even the general public can view reports about the performance, character, context and general make-up of those natural neighbourhoods.  Such natural neighbourhoods could be: town centres, parishes, school catchment areas, clinical comminssioning areas, sales territories and so on.

The application takes data at the lowest possible spatial units available within the LG inform metrics library and aggregates them up to report on the natural neighbourhoods.

Read more about this in the LG Inform Plus news room at this link.

A new look for esd-toolkit

LG Inform PlusThere’s now a new look to the esd.org.uk pages – home to effective service delivery standards and evidence based improvement tools.

We are now known as LG Inform Plus !  There is a promotional overview sheet for you to read.

We will be adding to these new features considerably in future months.  The current collection of tools and benefits are summarised on a brief online data sheet.

Go to esd.org.uk or local.gov.uk/lginformplus for more details on the new features and further news.