[Talk-GB] The curious case of USRN 20602512

Mark Goodge mark at good-stuff.co.uk
Fri Jul 10 15:29:24 UTC 2020

On 10/07/2020 14:21, Lester Caine wrote:
> On 10/07/2020 11:27, Mark Goodge wrote:
>> This is, of course, one of the problems with proprietary data. It can 
>> be difficult to spot errors, because the people who are most likely to 
>> spot errors - members of the general public with local knowledge - 
>> tend not to have easy access to the data.
> Spot on ...
> The 'proprietary data' is however the input from the relevant officer at 
> the council covering the area. Probably originally tacked on to another 
> job description and someone who probably had no training is this 'new' 
> function? I was receiving NLPG updates for many years and the vast 
> majority of 'updates' were corrections to data rather than additions. 
> The problem has always been not allowing public access to what has 
> always been public data and now we do have access there needs to be a 
> proper channel to feed corrections to the 'data officer' responsible for 
> the relevant slice of raw data. I don't think THAT has changed since the 
> requirements for councils to provided the raw NPLG data passed into law? 
> I'm fairly sure the street data is part of the same legal framework ...

There is a process for changing the name of a street, yes. It's a bit 
cumbersome and bureaucratic, but it's doable.

The problem with correcting an error on the NSG is that, unless it is a 
clear and obvious error (such as a typo), and there is current 
documentation which shows the correct form of the name, it has to be 
treated as a name change rather than an error correction.

So, for example, if the NSG says "Coronaton Street" for a street on a 
new development, but the minutes of the relevant meeting where new 
street names were discussed clearly shows that it was resolved to call 
it "Coronation Street", then that is a clear and obvious error which can 
be corrected without the need for any further hurdles to jump.

But, on the other hand, if the NSG has "Victoria Square" for a street 
that has been there since Victorian times and was entered into the NSG 
as "Victoria Square" in the 1990s when the NSG was first created, then 
even if absolutely everybody who lives there knows that it really should 
be "Albert Square", and there are records dating back to the 19th 
century which show it as "Albert Square", and even if it's always been 
"Albert Square" on the OS maps, then it still needs to go through a full 
change of name process to get the NSG updated to say "Albert Square". 
And that can't be done just by asking for it, it needs the support of 
the local councillors at district or borough level as well as, if 
appropriate, the support of the local parish council. And getting that 
support can be problematic.

(This scenario is precisely what happened in the case I was involved in; 
a village lane that had been known by a particular name for centuries, 
and was still known by that name by the locals, had, somehow, ended up 
in the NSG in 1991 under a completely different name. And getting that 
changed was a whole world of pain.)


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