ADD409 Purchase of Royal Mail data from TfL

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD409
Date signed: 
21 March 2016
Decision by: 
Andrew Collinge, Assistant Director of Intelligence

Executive summary

In 2015 Transport for London (TfL) purchased data for their transport modelling work. This data includes residential moves, business moves, and just built properties. It has the potential to improve our understanding of migration into and out of London, as well as the population implications of new developments within London and will be used to compare with ONS migration rates derived from the 2011 Census data to understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of this additional data source.

TfL included GLA usage of this data in their licence. The Intelligence Unit has consulted with the Census Information Scheme authorities (which will fund this purchase) and they have consented for this project to go ahead.

 

Decision

That the Assistant Director of the Intelligence Unit approves expenditure of £15,000 to purchase Royal Mail data from Transport for London (TfL). 

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Both ONS and GLA population projections rely on 2011 Census data to provide the underlying migration patterns between local authorities/Boroughs. Although the migration data are updated annually based on the latest migration levels regionally, the underlying distribution between authorities is reliant on the decennial data collection. As such it tends to become less reliable towards the later part of the decade. 

The Royal Mail makes data available to purchase with the postcode details of residential moves, business moves and ‘just built’ properties. Given the growing significance of migration to understanding London’s population, these data have the potential to improve our understanding of migration in and out of London as well as to understand the population implications of new developments within the city.  The Demographic and Policy Analysis team wish to compare the data with ONS migration rates derived from the 2011 Census data to understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of this additional data source.

Transport for London (TfL) has purchased these data sets to inform their modelling analysis. As part of this purchase they have included the GLA’s potential usage of these data in their licence. Should we agree to share the costs, the total cost to the GLA for access to this data (which is backdated to 2005) is £13,750. 
If the GLA wishes to purchase an additional year’s data for 2016, this would cost a further £1,250.

 

Objectives and expected outcomes

To analyse Royal Mail data on residential moves, business moves and ‘just built’ properties (between 2005 and the present), and compare these with ONS Census-based estimates to assess their value in improving the GLA’s demographic outputs.

•    To assess the quality of the Royal Mail data and understand its relative strengths and weaknesses compared with other sources
•    To compare how this data adds to our understanding of migration based on 2011 Census data
•    To compare how this data adds to our understanding of population implications of developments

 

Equality comments

As the work is purely technical and the data already procured, there are no equality implications of this work. Improving our understanding of migration to and from London will benefit some groups of the population who are more likely to be migrants.

 

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for the GLA to contribute £15,000 to acquired Royal Mail data from TfL to help understand population change. TfL included GLA usage of this data in their licence.

5.2    This cost will be funded from the 2016-17 Census Information Scheme budget within the Intelligence unit (Health & Communities allocation).

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Purchase of data

April 2016

Analysis of data

Draft report October 2016

Work complete

December 2016