LG Inform is the free data and benchmarking service from the Local Government Association. In addition to the thousands of published metrics we source from government websites, LG Inform was built to provide the sector with its own free benchmarking tool.

We have been developing this next phase of the LG Inform story, with the aim of collecting local data directly from councils for benchmarking. This is a strictly voluntary process and the ambition is to, where appropriate, start to reduce the sector’s reliance on nationally published data either through collecting new data items or providing more timely access to existing data on a provisional basis by collecting data in-year, for example on a quarterly basis.

The East Midlands region started the ball rolling by suggesting a basket of voluntary local metrics, and we then consulted with all LG Inform users on the suggested metrics to gauge demand and agree definitions, over a twelve week period. The result is a small selection of indicators which authorities felt were not being covered in a timely manner by existing statistics. These cover waste collection, sickness absence and complaints. The LGA is now accepting Q1 uploads from all authorities for these metrics, with a deadline of 8 September.

The upload process is designed to be very quick and easy, and involves simply entering your authority’s figure into an online form. Please visit the webpage for information about the indicators and upload process: http://lginform.local.gov.uk/about-lg-inform/benchmarking-local-data-lg-inform

We are also keen to see this basket grow, and we have set up a ‘new metrics ideas’ forum on Knowledge Hub for you to use to post your suggestions or to comment on metrics suggested by other users.

Please circulate this email around your local and regional contacts – this could be an ideal opportunity to start a benchmarking club in your region, or if not you can benchmark against the other councils across the country who are participating.

For any questions about this work, please contact kate.cooper@local.gov.uk or jonathan.evans@local.gov.uk.


Photo credit: Park bench in Peterborough by Sammidavisdog