Newsletter, April 2015 No Images?  Click here

Hi there,

The end (of Purdah) is nigh. The last few weeks have been extra busy, with councils preparing for elections as well as their usual day-to-day work. We've been busy too, making the most of the updates we told you about last month and generally improving the tools.

We've also been contacting local authorities to remind them that their subscription for LG Inform Plus may need renewing. If you've not heard from us but think you should have been contacted, please don't hesitate to let us know.

There are lots of good reasons for continuing to subscribe to LG Inform Plus, including

Transforming public services using digital technology

If the upcoming elections demonstrate one element of the world we live in, it's that digital channels are fast becoming the preferred method for engaging with citizens and providing public services. The Cabinet Office's voter registration dashboard shows that more people are starting to choose digital over paper, and local government will need to consider this too.

The Local Digital movement has been providing a platform for local authorities to share their stories for a while now, but over 50 examples of using technology and digital tools to deliver more efficient services have recently been published by the LGA and the Digital Experts funding programme has been launched.

What's more, councils are starting to use the data in LG Inform and LG Inform Plus to improve things locally, making use of our bountiful data feed (API) to pipe the metrics directly into their corporate tools. Why not watch stories from other digital exemplars and think about where you could integrate technology into service delivery?

Isolating the indicators of loneliness

A couple of weeks ago, the Campaign to End Loneliness and the University of Kent published a study highlighting how councils might find those at risk of being or becoming lonely. One such organisation, Gloucestershire County Council, has created a map of public health indicators that pinpoint areas where social isolation could be an issue. With our own extensive database of health-related metric types and a report writer to boot, we set about creating a loneliness map for LG Inform Plus subscribers that you can adapt to suit your local area.


Using recent population statistics and others from the 2011 census, the report provides a good basis for you to build on by adding more components – maps, graphs and charts – populated with relevant local data.

Open the report now and save an editable copy to start working on your own report.


Q4 benchmarking begins

Q4 collections are underway for the benchmarking project in LG Inform. We had over 135 authorities submit data in the last quarter. You will need to sign in to LG Inform to see this provisional data for Q3 and the associated report. For more details about the data, the process and how to submit your own data please visit the Benchmarking Club.

New search improvements to LG Inform

Another update has taken place, based on your valued feedback. Changes have been made to LG Inform's search function to help you find that essential report. The changes include:

  • phrases prioritised over individual keywords;
  • author name and organisation in basic search;
  • metric collections searchable, e.g. all metrics from Census 2011;
  • searching by metric type ID (full list available)
  • ability to exclude words from search, e.g. not:adult; and
  • sorting options in Advanced Search.

Don’t forget to look for LGA Research in the author list for reports written by the LGA research team which pull together a number of indicators around a theme.

Links from #localgov