Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Geospatial technology saves councils millions!

LGA: geospatial technology saves councils millions

The Local Government Association (LGA) has said that councils saved more than £200m last year by using location-based technology to manage services
  • In a report published on 4 September 2010, the organisation says that councils across England and Wales saved £230m in 2009 due to staff time being freed up by "innovative" web-mapping and satellite technology.
The value of geospatial information to local public service delivery in England and Wales estimates that new technology and information sharing could save councils up to £372m annually by 2014-15. It gives examples of technology already being used by local authorities, including iPhone applications allowing users to point their phones at pubs and restaurants and receive their hygiene ratings, and software that allows residents to send photos of fly-tipping and vandalism to councils.
The report says that Nottingham City Council is saving up to £460,000 a year through its online local information system. The council has worked with the NHS, police and district councils in the area to create the geospatially referenced system, which provides "comprehensive, up-to-date information to neighbourhood level which staff both inside and outside the participating organisations can use to quickly find information they require".
Other authorities that have made significant savings include South Tyneside Council, which has saved £146,669 through its location based search facility, and Gloucestershire CC, which provides an iPhone application allowing people in the area to pay for parking remotely.
"Whether it's bin men working smarter, fewer phone calls to inquiry centres, freeing up staff from time consuming checks or reducing parking ticket machine maintenance costs, making the most of modern technology and data sharing has seen huge cash savings across the country," said David Parsons, chairman of the LGA's improvement board.
"This is money which can be ploughed into vital front-line services on which millions of people rely each year, and is yet another example of councils striving to be more efficient to make their stretched budgets go as far as possible."

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