Parishes to benefit from mapping data

West Sussex County Council is sharing its GIS data to support a new tool to aid town and parish councils carry out devolved responsibilities.

The council has signed a three year partnership deal with provider Getmapping to provide access to the platform for parishes and town councils.

The county will provide information from a variety of its geographic datasets including tree ownership, gully locations and highways maintenance to give the lowest tier of councils greater visibility of their local infrastructure.

The information, which will be managed through Getmapping’s Parish Online tool, can also help parish councils undertake work on new neighbourhood plans, which are currently being encouraged by central government.

Duncan Barratt, community and economic development manager at the council, said:  “As our local councils gain more responsibility it’s important to ensure they have the right tools for the job.

“Digital mapping is a powerful aid and can assist them by providing location intelligence and a unified view from the county council across to the town and parish.”

He said that the cloud-based tool could also allow councils to plot and account for their physical assets, consult on planning applications, assess insurance risk and record surface water issues.

Neighbourhood planning can also be aided using a variety of searching, printing and editing tools, he added.

Chris Mewse, GIS Product Manager at Getmapping, said: “We understand that clerks and councillors do not have the time to spend days learning a new piece of specialist software.

“This is why we’ve designed Parish Online to be simple to use.”

Colin Marrs

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