LG Inform is the LGA’s benchmarking data service for councils and fire and rescue authorities. As well as displaying national data, it was built, in part, to provide the sector with its own free benchmarking club. Councils can submit local data directly to the website and are presented with up-to-date comparison information from other local authorities.
We developed the service in 2014/15, in response to demand from the sector, starting with a small ‘basket of indicators’ (or measurable characteristics) which authorities felt were not being covered, either in a timely manner or at all, by existing statistics. The East Midlands region started the ball rolling by suggesting a set of voluntary local metrics. We, in turn, consulted with local government more widely on the suggested metrics to gauge demand and agree definitions. These metrics covered waste collection, sickness absence and complaints; and the basket has since grown to include fly tipping and website visitor statistics, in response to user demand.
The benchmarking club, like LG Inform, is open to any local authority and comes with several benefits – it allows authorities to compare, analyse and present data through graphs, tables, charts and maps. It operates as a strictly voluntary scheme and the ambition is, where appropriate, to start to reduce the sector’s reliance on nationally imposed and published data: either through collecting new data items that more closely meet councils’ needs, or providing more timely access to existing data on a provisional basis by collecting data in-year, for example on a quarterly basis.
We have had great success over the past two years with over 160 councils participating. The most recent results are now live in LG Inform and available to view through a custom summary report here: click here to access the benchmarking club report (please sign in to view the report or register at the top of the page if you are new to LG Inform, as the most recent data is only available to registered local authority users of LG Inform). We are always interested in adding new indicators to the club. If you have a new indicator you would be interested in us adding, please visit https://khub.net/group/lginform/ideas (sign in is required) and suggest it - or vote for some of the suggestions already there!
We would be delighted to welcome new councils to the benchmarking club. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about how to get involved, or find out more on the LG Inform website (see the local benchmarking club page).