The Bickerstaffe Record
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Being Labour, Cotterill on the Council

So the information is available after all…

07.26.08 | Comment?

I had a very cordial meeting with officers yesterday to discuss the information I needed for my scrutiny review of Environmental Health services in West Lancashire, focused on equity of delivery.

On 04 July I was told that it really wouldn’t be possible ‘within available resources’ to provide me with information broken down by postcode or electoral.   By yesterday we’d got to a detailed discussion of how I might come in and use the Pro-Active software to draw down precisely this information.  The key sticking point is that postcodes were not created as a different ‘subject field’ on the database, and the electoral ward field, which does appear at first sight to have been available, has never been used.  So I’ll need to search by each individual sample case record to get the postcode so that I can then map service delivery by geography/deprivation.  That’ll take a while (first guess is, post 1 day of SPSS set up and when into the swing of it,  2 mins per record for sample of 800 records = 25 to 30 hours = three to four days, but I think it’s worth it, especially if I can get someone to give me a hand

 So thanks to the officers for their courtesy in entertaining what must seem a very ‘left-field’ request from a councillor, even though it’s  ‘institutionally disappointing’ that no additional resources can be made available to do the initial data entry for me.

And it’s a small victory, getting to gather and analyse. information in a different way from the one the Tories would like to feed us.  It needs perserverance to do proper scrutiny, it would seem

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