February 16, 2012 -- Warrington Borough Council, England, is using its Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) to underpin a project to identify differences in social and geographical inequalities. The ‘Closing the Gap’ programme brings together key public sector partners, as well as representatives from the third sector and local businesses, to develop new ways of working together to help support the most vulnerable citizens.
In recent years Warrington has prospered and is recognised as one of the fastest growing economies in the country. However, despite overall gains in prosperity and improvements in quality of life, these gains have not been distributed equally. As a result Warrington has stark inequalities and has implemented a partnership programme to address this.
A core objective of the ‘Closing the Gap’ programme is to ensure that by 2030 no parts of Warrington would be included in the lowest 10% most deprived nationally. The aim is therefore to close the gap between the affluent and the struggling. To do this, it was necessary to identify which areas fell into this category and understand who lives there. Once this exercise was completed it would then be possible to focus on what services residents already use, what additional services may provide benefit and how best to engage with individual residents and communities.
James Wharfe, Senior GIS Analyst at Warrington Borough Council said: “The LLPG was the most comprehensive address database available and was a vital component in the early stages of the project. Information derived from the LLPG was combined with social marketing information, crime, health, education and emergency services data to identify those areas requiring attention. We could then create profiles for each area and look at ways to address the issues.”
Warrington’s ‘Closing the Gap’ programme was rewarded with a Highly Commended in the 2011 National Gazetteers Citizen Exemplar Award presented at the recent ‘Everything Happens Somewhere’. The award, sponsored by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and presented by GeoPlace, recognised the innovative use of the National Gazetteers to improve services to citizens.