GeoPlace announces winners of the 2024 Exemplar Awards

As a reflection of outstanding achievement, GeoPlace has announced the winners of its 2024 Exemplar Award, the Data Linking Award, the Peer Award and the Data Quality & Improvement Awards. These accolades reflect the progress, change or improvement in systems and processes run by the nation’s local authority Address and Street Custodians.

Every year, these awards spotlight the incredible value of this work to the nation as a whole. Advances are being made every day in the collection, curation and management of street and address data right across England and Wales.

The Exemplar Award

The Exemplar Award is given for the best example or demonstration of local address and/or street datasets that provide quantifiable benefits to citizens, authorities, regions or the nation as a whole.

The Winner of the 2024 Exemplar Award is Waverley Council for its outstanding work in producing and maintaining quality data and delivering best practice. The project team worked with stakeholders from different services to make certain gazetteer data is being used most efficiently – putting Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) at the heart of every service, and ensuring accurate addressing across the council. As a result, the council has total confidence in the gazetteer being the only source of location and address data. This reduces manual input, mitigates the risk of human error, saves money, crucially providing a golden thread of information right across the council enabling team members to resource themselves cost-effectively.

Data Linking Award

The Data Linking Award goes to authorities who show how data linking has improved collaboration and/or delivered savings, while meeting a clear user need.

The winner of the 2024 Data Linking Award is Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames for its exceptional commitment to ensuring the integrity and scope of data collected prior to the 2021 Census. It was a commitment to great communication that made the difference. The discovery of multiple ‘unrecorded’ properties sparked investigations and a real desire to get to the roots of the issues.

Significant outcomes emerged from the project, including the discovery of 3,000 additional properties within the Royal Borough and the London Borough of Sutton. These properties included HMOs and student accommodations, along with a notable increase in houseboats from 4 to around 50. Changes included the creation of 93 blocks of flats, 501 cluster flats, and modifications to 3,459 classifications from flats to HMO rooms or vice versa. Additionally, new wards were established in Kingston to ensure proportional representation, with the number of councillors remaining at 48. Newly appointed elected members now represent residents across the additional wards.

The Peer Award

The Peer Award this year was won by Karen Hawkes, custodian for Denbighshire County Council and until her very recent retirement, Wales Address Chair and Wales Deputy Street Chair.

Karen has made an outstanding contribution to the addressing and street community. Colleagues highlighted how her tireless focus on promotion of the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) and Local Street Gazetteer (LSG) across council services has resulted in more use and improved quality in the most challenging situations, such as during the Covid pandemic when Denbighshire was carrying out shielding calls.

Commendations also go to Mark Percival at Rugby Borough Council for his work in championing GIS at multiple organisations, and to Rachel Antcliffe at Leeds City Council, for her incredibly positive and pro-active approach to serving the LLPG community.

Data Improvement Awards

GeoPlace also highlighted the outstanding work done by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, which won The Improvement Award for Addresses, and by Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council, which won The Improvement Award for Streets. These two awards are given to authorities that make the biggest improvement across GeoPlace’s Improvement Schedule criteria between April 2023 and March 2024.

165 authorities were recognised as Platinum Award winners for maintaining Gold standard in meeting address data improvement schedule criteria between April 2023 and March 2024; 111 were recognised as Platinum Award winners for the same criteria with street data. 47 authorities were recognised as Gold Award winners address data; 28 authorities were recognised as Gold Award winners for the same criteria in street data – these awards reflect a simply outstanding, across the board achievement.

Nick Chapallaz, Managing Director of GeoPlace said: “It’s hard to convey the pride with which this number of Data Improvement Awards, in particular, have been given to our Street and Address Custodians this year. I want to not only congratulate each authority on its physical achievements, but also commend the community spirit that’s now underpinning this work. This is a complex ecosystem, with the integrity of myriad datasets and records depending on the efforts of some extraordinary people.

As always, I’m looking forward to the results of this year’s Exemplar Awards being shared among colleagues seeking inspiration. GeoPlace team is always on hand with insights and support to help deliver better services for residents and businesses.”


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