Newsletter, July 2016

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Hi there,

Though the recent political flux will be on many people's minds, the tools with which to approach and tackle public challenges are still on offer and being consistently updated to suit the times. This month we bring you new reports and stories on how another local authority has been making use of the tools.


New Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) data available in LG Inform

LG Inform presents you with up-to-date published data about your local area and the performance of your council or fire and rescue authority. Whether you’re interested in scrutiny, a particular service area, or simply need an overview, it can help you review and compare performance with other authorities.

The Department for Education has worked with the LGA’s LG Inform team to identify and upload over 80 SEND data items to the LG Inform database. This means users can now compare local authority performance against these metrics and create their own SEND report, choosing from this range of data. These are drawn from existing data in key SEND publications and are intended to support local areas use of data and intelligence to measure progress and success. 

The SEND data items have been compiled into a new SEND report here

A list of the new SEND data items available in LG Inform can be found here

For further information contact the LG Inform team.


Exploring devolution through LG Inform Plus

It was one of the hot topics at this year's LGA Conference, with many mentions over the course of the event on Twitter and in the live coverage. We've also been speaking with authorities who are using research and information to explore the transformations their authorities are facing, whether that's the early stages of the devolution process or analysis of joined-up powers.

This often involves the redrawing of official boundaries, as well as aggregating diverse datasets for analysis to understand the characteristics of possible devolved areas, which needs the careful attention of some data-loving experts.

One of our members from Brighton & Hove recently used Natural Neighbourhoods to quickly build a combined super-area. They were also able to explore the demographic and socio-economic make-up of two proposed devolution bids by first building the areas and then analysing the aggregated data, informing decisions on how best to transfer powers in the area.

If you're starting or have begun to explore the possibilities in your area, please get in touch with any questions you may have on how the tools can support your research, or take a look at our brochure. Many authorities already subscribe to the programme and you could start using the tools straight away. If you're one of those, please do let us know as we're always keen to hear stories from the community.


LG Inform Benchmarking Club

The LG Inform Benchmarking Club collection for Q1 2016–17 data is now open. All the details on the metrics for which data is being collected, links to the Q4 2015–16 summary reports and other details can be found on the dedicated LG Inform benchmarking page. If you want to take part please contact the LG Inform team and we can send you a unique link. The deadline for submitting data is 11 August 2016.  


Powers & Duties updated

We've been making improvements to the informative Powers & Duties tool, and recently

  • added 600 news powers and duties, taking the total to 2,900,
  • updated a large number of existing links to legislation,
  • reviewed pre-existing advice, and
  • expanded the content in important topics such as public health, social care, trading standards and flood risk assessments.

The new powers and duties have resulted in over 20 new services being identified in areas such as education, public health and child welfare.


Data standards and publishing eLearning modules

Many of you will have seen the six ODI and LGA webinars that ran this summer. These online sessions support the eLearning modules which were created to help local authorities publish data; improve the quality of data and use common standards to more easily share insights; and combine and compare data for further use and analysis across authorities.

Links to the modules and all the webinars can be found on this page. These webinars have had some great feedback and people found them very useful in helping understand the modules.

"Thank you, it's a really good idea to help us down this path."

"Although I have read the eLearning modules, it is surprising the difference it makes in having Benjamin go through the key stuff relevant to the webinar and Q&A. Really useful."



Nesta's Local Datavores research programme in partnership with the LGA explores the role of data in local government innovation and transformation. We ran a workshop earlier this month showcasing the first research findings and in-depth case studies from local authorities where better data use and analytics has helped to transform services and improve the lives of people and communities. Slides and videos from the day can be viewed here.


New house price statistics in LG Inform

Following requests from the community, we have added house price statistics to LG Inform. These figures have been produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) using the Land Registry (LR) Price Paid data on residential dwelling transactions. These data are comprehensive in that they capture changes of ownership for individual residential properties which have sold for full market value, and covers both cash sales and those involving a mortgage. The data separately identify new build sales compared to sales of existing dwellings and are broken down by type of dwelling.

Data is available for a range of geographies and will be updated on a quarterly basis enabling you to answer questions such as: Which areas have the highest levels of new development? or What’s the gap between the lowest and highest house prices? Of course, you may already have your own questions about housing in the local area, so use our chart, table and mapping tools to explore the data and reach new conclusions.

Click the links below to view the reports.


Workforce and earnings report

The local government workforce and earnings data report collects together key metrics from the Local Government Workforce Survey and the Local Government Earnings Survey. The report is refreshed annually and is designed to support benchmarking in terms of sickness absence, labour turnover, the vacancy rate, pay and various demographic indicators. To access the report you need to sign into LG Inform and click here.


Training and events

Wirral and neighbouring authorities: We're providing a training day for both LG Inform and LG Inform Plus later in the year with the date yet to be confirmed. For more information and to register your interest, please contact the team.