ATTENDED BY:         Pauline Roche – Chair              (RnR Organisation)

Teresa Jolley                          (DEFT153)

Heike Schuster‑James              (BCU) – until 5pm

Darren Wright                         (Inside Outcomes)

Hugo Russell                           (Innovation Birmingham)

Ted Ryan                               (RnR Organisation)

Jason Davies                          (WM Fire Service)

Stuart Lester                           (TfWM)

Glyn Simpson                          (TfWM)

Si Chun Lam                           (Coventry City Council)

Simon Whitehouse                   (Data Unlocked)

Chris Price – Secretary             (digiconsultancy)

  1. Notes of the previous meeting of 15/11/17 were agreed.

DW reported that he had been contacted by Bev Nash of Birmingham City Council and that release of cemetery data was being considered but, as yet, there was no agreement.

Actions:   DW to follow up with BCC on behalf of WMODF.
PR agreed to consider publishing the correspondence with BCC on the WMODF site, dependant on further developments.



March 2nd – Open Data Day 2018 local event on Civic Society and Open Data.

The BBC Shared Data unit, which is based in Birmingham, is offering 3‑month training programmes for journalists.

The Transport Systems Catapult is holding a data day in iCentrum to encourage release of transport data.

Bureau Local is holding 5 regional hacks; one is on 3rd February at Coventry University for the West Midlands.  Open Data Manchester have been commissioned to do a technical review across the 5 events.

Things Camps (Internet of Things) started over a year ago in Plymouth and there is the possibility of an event in the West Midlands in the Spring.

On 6th February Public Health England will host an event at the MAC, with the ONS lead in this area and the Public Health Chief Data Scientist; SCL was attending.

On 29th January, in the iCentrum Atrium, there was a closed event involving ODI and Sport Birmingham.

On 15th February in London ODI HQ there is an event on transport collaboration between UK and France.

On Jan 19th Andy Radford, BCC (@radforaw) is delivering the Friday lunchtime ODI lecture re traffic signal data.

GDPR:  DW reported that he had loaded an explanatory page on the website.  He was now running courses on GDPR.  PR mentioned a publication by Tim Turner, an ex-Information Commissioner’s Office policy manager, re GDPR and Fund Raising.  JD stated that training was underway in the Fire Service and Privacy Impact Assessments were being carried out.  Myth busting was an important element such that staff were aware that even personal data can still be anonymised to allow it to be open.

Metro Mayor:  PR updated the meeting about contacts with the Mayor’s office following Andy Street’s pre‑election statement (  A response had been received from Nick Taylor, the Mayor’s Digital Advisor.  A date of 25th January has been proposed.  DW, SW, HR and TJ expressed an interest in attending the meeting with PR.  Group members were requested to email questions to PR/CP.  There was interest in what of the Mayor’s pre‑election statement had been achieved in the first 250 days of his term of office.

Action:    Submit questions for Metro Mayor – All.

ODI Node:  HR reported the work with DfT to identify local transport data sets.  They were impressed by the level of progress in WM.

HR has assistance for 3 months to look at how to leverage the Big Data Corridor development.  As part of this work, Open Data and in particular the complementary roles of WMODF and the Birmingham ODI node could be examined.  Opportunities may emerge, eg training needs, such as GDPR.

Action:    HR to keep WMODF informed.

TR described the programme ‘Fighting for Air’ on BBC which looked at air pollution in Kings Heath, Birmingham.  Data Unlocked (SW) had been analysing traffic counts using Tableau and had published maps of traffic density, including coverage of Kings Heath.

Action:    DW to link Data Unlocked study to WMODF website.

Health and Social Care Data:  DW mentioned the Tableau mapping of health quality outcomes.  SCL expressed interest linked to his Composite Liveability Measure.

Action:    DW and SCL to follow up outside the meeting.

TR referred to NAVCA event at which Community data (voluntary and community groups) was recognised as adding value to available open data. Blogpost on RnR Organisation website here

Website:  CP reported that since the last meeting there had been 267 accesses to the website.

It was recognised that WMODF members were aware of events which could be more clearly featured on the website.  DW offered to construct a form for notifying upcoming events for publication.

Actions:  DW to construct appropriate form.
CP to investigate most popular website pages.

  1. WMODF REVIEW, 2017‑2018

PR asked the meeting to use post‑its to review what worked and what didn’t work in 2017 and what should be further developed and what stopped in 2018.  There was an enthusiastic and positive response from the meeting.  The responses will be further reviewed after the meeting and published.

Action:    PR/TR to document and publish outcomes of the review.

Specific items identified:

  • Continue bi‑monthly meetings with guest speakers/specific themes.

Action:    CP/PR to create potential plan.

  • ODI node to assess holding events, eg theme hack/training event, every other month to complement WMODF meetings.

Action:    HR to propose ODI activities.

  • Further and wider membership should be encouraged. Location and timing of meetings to be reviewed.

Action:    SCL to organise the 23rd May meeting in Coventry, say 10.30‑12.00, and to try to engage local community.

  • Support open data events to improve publicity and bring attention to open data in WM.

Action:    PR/CP to approach Peter Bishop/Nick Taylor to provide space (120+)/sponsorship to enable a weekend Open Data Camp to be held in the WM later this year or next.

  • Increase visibility of group through a review of the website usage and content and name.

Action:    JD and SL to propose ideas to increase impact.


SL – Wolverhampton DataFest is on 13th‑15th February.  TfWM actively involved.  How could WMODF get involved?

  • Joint Data team procurement by WMCA complete with an OpenSoft data catalogue, to be supported by sponsorship over 8 years by the LAs.
  • Progress in other areas should enable development of the TfWM Open Data transparency strategy to start.

SW – Ran ‘Who owns Birmingham?’ Land Registry data event in December.  Master classes on land registry data will take place in 2018.

Action:    SW to retweet report to WMODF.

TJ – A website is under development for open data from HS2.

JD – There is a Birmingham Tableau User Group (BrumTug) being held on Thursday, 1st February at the Law University, Jewellery Quarter.

  • West Midlands Regional Analysts Group is to reconvene – date TBC
  • A mini hackathon is being planned re Commonwealth Games 2022.
  • JD was leaving the Fire Service for TfWM as a spatial analyst. Who might replace him at WMODF as a representative of the Blue Light Services?

HR – He will be visiting (privately) the Gold Coast this summer and will discuss data issues when there.

SCL – Predictive Analysis (aka Upstream) was a topic of the moment in Local Government circles.  There was a TED talk about modelling for children in care in the US.

-Henry Kippin (BCC) has some data on this

  1. AOB

Next meetings: Wednesday, 21st March, 16.45 at Innovation Birmingham and Wednesday, 23rd May, 10.30 in Coventry.





~ A G E N D A ~

16.45     1)     Apologies, notes and matters arising from meeting 15/11/2017 (notes on web site)

16.55      2)     Updates on key issues/standing items

  • Open Data events                       PR
  • GDPR                                          DW/GB
  • Metro Mayor                                PR
  • ODI node                                     HR
  • Open data and health/social care PR
  • Web site                                       DW/CP

17.25      3)      Review of WMODF in 2017 and ideas for 2018      All

18.00     4)     Members’ brief updates (round robin of items and events not on agenda)

18.10     5)     AOB and dates of next meetings (21st March 2018)

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