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News shots …. 27 October 2016



Bath raises revenue from data matching

Bath and North East Somerset Council has pulled in an extra £320,000 in business rates revenue over six months from a data matching exercise using the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN).

Steve de Bruin, the council’s business improvement manager, said: “From analysing our internal processes, I noted that although planning applications for business premises were put on the council website, they were not joined with the business rates team. 

"It was clear that we needed a mechanism to enable the departments to work better together. Our end goal was for the business rate team to have easy access to all planning, building control and licensing information."

The UPRNs, which were on both of the relevant databases, made it possible to pull them together to spot where the business rates had not been paid, and prompted the collection of the extra revenue.

The council is now looking to use the numbers for more inter-departmental collaboration.


New weather system for Highways England

Highways England has launched a £5 million integrated weather information system developed by IPL, part of the Civica Group. Named the Severe Weather Information Service (SWIS), it brings together critical information on weather forecasts, road treatment plans and winter fleet data into a single system for approximately 2,000 operational users.

Civica said the system, which uses Exactrack vehicle navigation and reporting technology, supports the planning and recording of winter treatment actions, identification of weather events and rectification of weather and winter treatment equipment faults.


Northern Ireland streamlines fishing licence applications

Northern Ireland’s Digital Transformation Service (DTS) has begun the business transformation strategy of the Inland Fisheries Group (IFG) with the building of a new system for licensing and permits.

In a project carried out with BT and Kainos, it has developed a new online service, with a customer portal build by Kainos and hosted on, and shared management information system underpinned by a central database of permit holders’ details. This is said to make it easier for fishermen to use and support information sharing.

Una Savage from Downpatrick Visitor Information Centre, one of the licence distributors, said: “The new paper-free process and automated invoicing saves time and allows us to provide a faster service. It also allows us to sell directly to people who receive DLA/Disabled benefits; before they had to contact DAERA (the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs) and wait for their application to be processed and delivered through the post.”


Scotland to get new web archiving system

National Records of Scotland (NRS) has signed a contract with French company Internet Memory Research to provide an archiving system for the country’s public sector websites. In a deal worth £160,000, the company will also take responsibility for restoring broken web links.

The key components of the service solution comprise: configuration for capturing content from live websites; making content viewable to NRS staff for quality assurance; supplying archived content and metadata to NRS as required; and making a copy of archived content on a public access website.


Image: Street scene in Bath, from GeoPlace

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