Agenda for WMODF Steering Group meeting

Tuesday 10th Dec        17.00 – 19.00 at BCU, Millennium Point

17.00          Agreement of notes and matters arising – please read notes before the meeting

 17.10          Review of actions and general updates

17.35          Agreement of aims and targets for the next 12 months (based on joint work Google doc)

17.55          Steering group roles – allocation of leads in specific areas, what targets do we embrace, who/what else do we need to achieve our aims?

18.15          Review of web site ( – please explore site prior to the meeting

18.20          Public Service Data providers – how can the Forum influence strategy, plans and publication – Guest Gerry McMullan BCC

18.50          Any other business and items for next meeting

19.00          Date of next meeting and close

Following the meeting, the WMODF steering group is invited to join the Birmingham Glue Christmas drink at the Glee Club in the Arcadian.



Attended by: Teresa Jolley (Data Journalist)
Chris Price (digiconsultancy Ltd) Secretary
Andrew MacKenzie (Open Mercia) Chair
Don Dhaliwal (BIP)
Susannah Goh (B’ham Science City)
Gerry McMullan (BCC) ‑ Guest
Apologies: Ardavan Amini (BCU)
Simon Whitehouse (Data Unlocked)
Heike Schuster-James (BCC)
Gavin Broughton (Data Analyst)

1)    The minutes of the meeting of 14 November were agreed.

2)    The actions from the last meeting were reviewed and either discharged or carried forward in these notes.  The background to the WMODF and the development of a data platform were summarised for new members.

3)    Aim and Targets

A number of useful contributions had been made to the shared Google doc and these were discussed in the meeting. The following points emerged:

It was agreed that the themes for 2014 were Health and Transport data and issues of smart mobility and accessibility.  The targets in the doc were aspirational and may take 2‑3 years to deliver so we needed to identify the key items for delivery in 2014.

Activities were dependent upon resources.  At present, the only resources available were those offered by steering group members.  Therefore, it was agreed to first clarify the roles of members and ask each one to identify what would be achievable in their area(s).  From discussion it was clear that 2014 was a critical year for WMODF and if it wasn’t able to deliver the items below, it would be necessary to review the value of the group.

Minimum areas to be achieved:

  • Increase in data sets available from a range of organisations in the West Midlands.
  • A data platform in place and shared.
  • A Forum and ‘membership’ to be established with an active website.
  • 2‑3 networking/conference events held.

It was agreed that CP would amend the Google doc, link potential targets to roles and circulate to members to identify what they felt was feasible in their area a) targets requiring no additional resources b) further targets and the resources needed to deliver them.

4)    Roles

These are only a draft proposal and need the confirmation/amendment of steering group members.

Heike Schuster-James : Links to BCC.  Data Platform project.  Smart City Roadmap.
Teresa Jolley : Journalism.  Transport Data.
Chris Price : Secretary.  Website.  Non BCC Data Providers.
Andrew MacKenzie : Chair.  Policy  FoI.  Open Publishing/Research Mapping and GIS.
Susannah Goh : Universities  Digital Industry and Science City  Health Data.
Simon Whitehouse : Generic Information Asset Register for Local Authorities  Crime and Justice Data.
Gavin Broughton : Hack Days, Developer Community.
Don Dhaliwal : Business Links, Events.
Ardavan Amini : BCU.  Technical specification for future platform.  Meeting venue.

5)    Website

A number of suggestions was made to improve the look.  It was important to extend the content through relevant reports, through posts by steering group members (eg Rick Robinson had agreed to cross‑posting of a blog post) and through links to and from other sites.  DD agreed that the graphic created for the original site could be transferred.  It was requested that members used their contacts and social media presences to promote the site.

6)    Discussion: Public Sector Data Providers – guest Gerry McMullan

Open data was important to Public Services because there was a Government requirement in this area and potential benefits in enabling external innovation and reducing the demand of FoIs.  In Birmingham City Council, areas interested in providing data were being identified, including Corporate Resources.  Nesta were supporting a hack event in January on environmental data.  Benefits are likely to emerge when there is contribution and usage by a range of organisations, eg collaborative approaches for adult care.  GM provided an update on progress for the publishing platform, expected to launch early in the New Year.

Re health data, there was activity in the Healthy Village project based around Balsall Heath (Sam German is the lead) which is looking at wider data and linkages, especially geographical.  There was discussion about the obstacles to geo data release because of the limitations on re-use set by Ordnance Survey licensing and the Public Sector Mapping Agreement.  It would be an advantage if Birmingham City used Open Street Map.  Links with other authorities were discussed involving PSN and the local LEPs.  A key question for public service data providers was what information was in demand and does the market place need stimulation?  How can other organisations’/companies’ data be added to a public sector platform to enrich the potential for data analysis?

There was an emerging standard from BSI for smart cities (publicly available standard PAS181) which Birmingham was using.  A major area was data and the infrastructure to enable its accessibility.  The PAS included aspects of how external innovation may be enabled by different approached to procurement.  WMODF could be a channel for opportunities and enabling smaller organisations to collaborate on bids.

In conclusion, there were clearly benefits to both areas in dialogue between public service providers and the Forum and data users/community.  It was agreed that the discussion with GM had been a useful connection which should be maintained.

7)    AOB

Re health links, CP to contact Sam German.

Re transport links, CP to contact consultant linked to Centro.

Re health and transport, SG can provide useful links through the Science City contacts.

8)    Next Meeting

18:00‑20:00, Tuesday 14th January at the Enterprise Labs, BCU, Millennium Point.


Who By When
6. Attend Smart City Alliance meeting on 22 Nov and to invite them as guests to future meeting of WMODF AA end Nov
11. WMODF on BSC Digital Working Group agenda SG early 2014
15. WMODF website to include page on Hackathon under GB control CP/GB end Dec
20. Special event on health data and innovation would be organised SG/CP early 2014
23. Google doc on aspirational targets to be updated CP 17 Dec
24. Draft roles for steering group members to be circulated CP 17 Dec
25. Targets for 2014 to be identified by role holders All 14 Jan
26. Publicise the web/blog site and contribute content and links All ongoing
27. Share list of BCC data sets to be published GM end Dec
28. Concept data model (PAS181) to be shared when agreed GM when available
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