Ordnance Survey today celebrates an important milestone as the 2000th member joins the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) just nine months after it was launched.
Tatenhill Parish Council in East Staffordshire is the latest public sector organisation to sign up for the agreement, which is delivering improved planning and delivery of services through the use of digital geographic data.
The ground breaking 10 year agreement between government and Ordnance Survey came into effect in April 2011 and allows the majority of public sector bodies in England and Wales, regardless of size, to use centrally funded geographic datasets. It is also helping the public sector to make vital efficiencies and improvements to service deliveries such as planning, transportation management, social housing and education services. Organisations already benefiting from the PSMA include the Environment Agency®, Department for Transport, local authorities across England and Wales, health organisations and the 12 main ambulance trusts. There has also been a significant uptake to the PSMA from town and parish councils.
In England, the introduction of statutory Neighbourhood Planning means that local councils can now draw up development plans to shape their area, based on geographic information which is provided by the PSMA, facilitating easier data access and data sharing between public sector bodies and local people. The PSMA widens access to a range of highly detailed digital Ordnance Survey mapping products as well as addressing information. It replaces previous collective agreements and is already showing significant value savings. Since the agreement was launched 10 months ago, approximately £15 million in savings to public sector organisations have been identified to users through the use of the PSMA data.
Based on these savings there is the potential to achieve major savings across the entire public sector through the use of data, increased sharing and implementation of best practice examples. Cardiff Council, for example, delivered important savings of more than £1.3 million from enhanced special educational needs route and vehicle management. Meanwhile, South Yorkshire Police is expected to make savings of over £1 million as a result of an innovative Intranet-based mapping solution, which gives police officers access to detailed, up-to-date information about communities, crime and antisocial behaviour.
James Brayshaw, Ordnance Survey’s Customer Director, says: “We are delighted to have reached the 2000th member for the Public Sector Mapping Agreement and welcome Tatenhill Parish Council. What makes the PSMA unique is its ability to enable collaborative working underpinned by data sharing between organisations in the public sector and the ease with which the information can be visualised and analysed in a precise way. This is a centrally funded agreement, which is delivering results through increased use of location data enabling vital improvements to public sector services. We continue to encourage public sector organisations that haven’t taken advantage of membership to sign up today and start reaping the benefits.”
Emma Coleman, Clerk at Tatenhill Parish Council, the 2000th member to join the agreement, says: “We believe the PSMA will make a significant contribution to understanding the rural asset locations, highways and historic buildings. The ability to share geographic information with our community will help to improve decision making for planning applications and become a visual tool to share local information more effectively.”
Examples of how geographic information is making a big difference in service planning and delivery include:
- In Bristol, the local authority and Primary Care Trust are working together to improve local drug and alcohol treatment services, by mapping the location of support centres in relation to where the people who use the services live, enabling them to better meet needs locally.
- Harrow Council revolutionised the way it collected rubbish by analysing and cutting inefficiencies in collection routes using Ordnance Survey’s OS MasterMap® products. The result is £3.2 million in waste collection savings over ten years, which is now being rolled out across the wider relevant public sector bodies as a best practice example in efficiency savings and geographic data use.
- Geographic information is being used to monitor aircraft noise by the Civil Aviation Authority. This provides more transparent information on aircraft movements and flight paths, which helps to make environmental information more easily accessible to the public.
- Hambleton and Richmondshire district councils have made savings in excess of £850 000 by combining and sharing a range of services between councils using a common geographic data source as the foundation to deliver an integration of services.