Attended by: Andrew Mackenzie (Open Mercia) – Chair
Simon Whitehouse (Data Unlocked)
Bethan Bishop (Heart of England NHS Trust)
Chris Price (digiconsultancy ltd)
Heike Schuster‑James (Digital Birmingham)
Teresa Jolley (Data Journalist)
Apologies: Don Dhaliwal (BCU)
Susannah Goh (B’ham Science City)
Hugo Russell (Innovation Birmingham)

1)    Notes of the Meeting of 11th March and Actions

Most actions were covered by the agenda.  BB reported that there had been reference to WMODF at the Health Sector Network.  She will check slides from the event for context.

C/F actions

‑   Investigate which data producers to be approached first            CP

‑   Review health data debateSG

2)    Review of Working Method

The following points emerged from discussion.  WMODF is the place to negotiate a deal between data holders and potential open data users.  An elevator pitch was needed which CP offered to extract from the materials on the website.  To promote WMODF it was important to identify achievements of participating organisations, such as:

  • 50 data sets for potential publication by BCC identified and the list shared.
  • Request by FoI for admissions data – BCC first to respond.
  • Open Mercia CKAN store loaded with 59 data sets on Open Data day.

The steering group will monitor progress, identify what needs to be done and work with leaders in each sector.

BB agreed to take the WMODF story to the Smart City Alliance, the Healthy Villages group and the ERDF‑funded creative digital health project.  TJ will continue to raise the Twitter profile, SW will raise WMODF during his talk at Tech Wed.  HS‑J will continue to promote the release of data in BCC and CP received support to email steering group members to identify who best to contact in the data producers.

3)    AM outlined potential future activities.  It was agreed to plan an event for the afternoon of 6th May, linked if possible to the Science Capital event which starts at 5.30.  The content would depend upon availability and it was agreed to approach the Cabinet Office Open Data user group to brief about the Release of Data and Breakthrough funds, Charlotte Alldritt and the City Growth Commission and other areas which might involve funding, eg the Transport Catapult of the Technology Strategy Board.  Susannah Goh may have some connections she can share when she is back at work.

4)    Updates

HS‑J reported that management approval has been achieved for the purchase of a CKAN implementation for BCC – they are now moving to procure.  There had also been high level support for the release of data sets.  HS‑J put this BCC investment into context, quoting that Berlin had a budget of about €500,000 for their open data systems.

AM proposed a project focused on the 2014 tunnels closure, looking for data release from Amey with BCC approval.  This data may be able to be linked to data about economic activity, pollution, etc.  HS‑J agreed to approach Amey to set up a meeting; CP and TJ volunteered to attend.

There was also a discussion on the consultation over potential 20 mph zones.  Currently initial proposals were available as PDFs under an Ordnance Survey restricted licence – it would be useful for the data to be released under an open licence for loading into Open Street Map when firm proposals are made.

5)    Any Other Business

SW and HS‑J reported on the first meeting of Share‑PSI (the European network).  There was a view that, as so little local government public info in the UK is mandated to be open data, external pressure was important, particularly where it supported efficiencies.  There is a proposal for case studies of open data being released by local authorities; the deadline was 18th April.  SW to share his proposal through Google docs.

HS‑J reported on the discussion of open data at Eurocities – a wide range of platforms were being used, such as Noma, Newdata, Joomla as well as Socrata and CKAN.  A survey of use by their member cities was underway.  HS‑J shared that the trends in open data move from one‑off hacks to developments and from apps to services.

It was agreed that the next meeting of the steering group in May would be arranged around/be replaced by the 6th May event.


SW made a presentation of the information he had gathered in his work on education, focused on schools and careers.  SW agreed to provide a blogpost on the WMODF site and his notes from his presentation (

He referred to his experience in accessing admissions data and linking this to other school data.  He also described the TSB open data challenge which has identified three winners, each receiving £5k, with the eventual winner getting £50,000 to develop their proposal.


Who By When
Review reference to WMODF at Health Sector Network BB 6/5
Investigate data providers in West Midlands CP 6/5
Review health data debate SG 6/5
Draft WMODF elevator pitch CP 6/5
Promote WMODF at events/meetings/through Twitter All Ongoing
Develop agenda for 6th May event and link to Science Capital AM/TJ 6/5
Set up meeting with Amey re tunnel data HS‑J 30/4
Share proposal re Share‑PSI SW 30/4
Publish blog post and notes from presentation SW 30/4


%d bloggers like this: