Newsletter, December 2015
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Hi there,

Only days away now, the winter break is fast approaching for many. Whether you're one of the lucky souls who's already retreated home or you're clearing the last jobs on your list, we hope you have a relaxing break and enjoy spending time with your nearest and dearest.

Please do join @LGInform and @LGInformPlus on Twitter and let us know what you're up to, we'd love to hear your stories.

Finance report shows current position and helps inform future strategy

LG Inform has launched the Financial Diagnostic reports to help councils assess their current financial position in relation to other authorities, and gain an objective view that could help inform future financial strategy. The report makes use of spidercharts, bird's-eye views of finance data that present risks and opportunities, strengths and weaknesses in digestible, memorable graphs. 

The data is always up to date, being refreshed with every statistical release and each section comes with a description of the metrics used, as well as a commentary as to why they are considered to be important.

Example spiderchart for a local authority.

View the Financial Diagnostic report on LG Inform and see how your authority is ranked alongside others in the country.

Share and embed reports on the web & social media

Want to tell residents about your excellent performance? Now you can! Thanks to some great feedback from a few councils, all local authorities subscribed to LG Inform Plus can now share reports easier than before and embed reports on their website. 

When viewing any report, use the 'Shared Link' button to generate a unique web address or code to embed the report. The web address is encrypted, meaning it can't be edited and people will always be sent to the report you want them to see. What's more, these reports are always up-to-date with the latest available data.

Thanks again to those councils that asked for this, and please don't hesitate to request a feature you think would be useful.

Use the Shared Link button to share and embed reports.

Upload your own metrics to LG Inform & LG Inform Plus

Increasingly, we're asked to consider extending the tools to include locally derived and non-official metrics, for use in combination with the national metrics already provided. Before we explore the feasibility of this in detail, there are details to agree such as the increased levels of access security, the user interface and the governance of the more diverse data volumes.

On 26 February 2016, at Local Government House, we're hosting a workshop which aims to bring together business analysts and performance management officers to explore the options and to prioritise future developments. It will take the form of briefings from the programme team on current practices, along with options for possible future developments to allow upload of metrics. There will then follow open discussion to seek your views on key functionality for such an upload facility and inform a strategy for next steps.

Housing, health and wellbeing in your local area

Through a series of charts and maps, our latest reports provide an overview of health and wellbeing at authority-level and take a look at ward-level housing provision, considering its relation to health and wellbeing. There is a range of outcomes and determinants to consider, and the range included have the purpose of prompting discussions about local challenges around health and wellbeing and housing provision. 

Combining information from both reports, councils can determine key priorities for the area as well as identify any variations across the authority or potential areas of improvement. 

View the authority-level overview, demographics & determinants, housing data and data about children; and view the ward-level housing provision report.

Improvements to last month's IMD reports

We've had a great response to the IMD reports mentioned in last month's newsletter and Dr Tom Morgan alerted us to a small improvement we could make. We're currently recalculating some figures which are unlikely to make a significant difference in most cases, but the re-weighting may mean that your scores change. 

Get in touch if you'd like to know when all is complete, or you can view the report and bookmark it to check at a later date.

Learn how to use the tools

We're booking regional training events for the first quarter of 2016, which will appear on the LGA Events site as soon as they're ready. We'd love to hear from anyone that needs on for their authority, though, so please do get in touch expressing your interest!