The costs to businesses and essential services for address details will be cut by merging the two different national address lists maintained by councils and Ordnance Survey.
A single ‘address book’ for England and Wales is to be created and made free to the emergency services for the first time. An agreement has been reached to set up a joint venture between Ordnance Survey and the Local Government Group to create a new single source of address data.
Essential services currently need both sets of address lists to ensure they have a comprehensive list of addresses available. It is also vital for managing benefits, arranging school buses, refuse collection routes and registering to vote.
Businesses will benefit from now only having to get one license for the addresses instead of two. This information is vital for many private sector businesses, such as utility companies or insurance firms who use address data to respond to incidents and help them fix problems quicker.
Baroness Margaret Eaton, chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “We are delighted to be working with Ordnance Survey to bring together, for the first time, this important information. This landmark agreement will allow councils and other public sector organisations to build a better, more accurate picture of where people live to help them deliver the services people need in a way that they want.”
It is expected that the new merged database will be developed by April 2011.