March 14, 2008 -- UK local authority Uttlesford District Council is revolutionising its online services and information with an innovative web portal developed by GGP Systems. The community portal, called eGaz, uses new generation web technology to collate information from different council departments and other sources, making the information available through an easy to use browser.
Visitors to Uttlesford’s new website can simply enter a postcode or partial street address and select property specific results from a range of topics including current planning policies and restrictions, neighbourhood statistics and census information and the nearest essential services such as doctors, dentists and schools as well as tourist attractions and leisure facilities.
“eGaz is one of the essential building blocks in a major project to revolutionise the provision of online services and information,” said Michael Frost, Website Development Officer at Uttlesford District Council. “Visitors to our new site will benefit from a brand new design plus a host of new features and functionality. By investing in solutions, such as eGaz, we hope to develop an online community portal attracting new visitors to the site and encouraging repeat visits.”
eGaz uses XML to integrate Council managed databases and software and provide links to external web resources. When an online search is initiated a postcode or street address is matched against the Council’s centralised property database, the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG), to identify a specific location. eGaz then uses the Unique Property Reference Number of the chosen location to collate information such as answers to frequently asked questions, for example “Am I in a preservation area?”, “Is that tree protected?”, “Where is the nearest doctors surgery?” or “Is there an Indian restaurant nearby?” eGaz can also link to other online services provided by the Council for example online mapping to display a map or aerial photograph of the property and it’s surrounding area.
“eGaz enables us to offer residents and businesses a choice,” continued Frost. “They can self serve’ via the website or communicate with us through our centralised contact centre. This means we can be more efficient in our customer transactions while continuously working towards higher levels of customer service.”
Rated by a recent Sunday Times newspaper survey as the best place to live in England and Wales Uttlesford is located between London and Cambridge. Home to the historic market towns of Saffron Walden, Thaxted and Great Dunmow the area is perhaps better known for its transport services including Stansted Airport and the M11.
GGP Systems specialise in GIS and gazetteer management software specifically designed for local government. The Croydon-based company provides Councils with easy to use solutions for the creation and management of corporate property databases, the ability to add and use a spatial element to all location based information and a range of solutions to meet e-Government directives.
Contact Prim Maxwell, GGP Systems, tel. +44 (0)20 8686 9887, e-mail: