Local Authority Videotex Association (LAVA): HUMAN INFORMATION NETWORKS II SEMINAR

Publication Date01 Jan 1992
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/eb040473
Pages43-45
SubjectInformation & knowledge management
Local Authority
Videotex
Association
(LAVA):
HUMAN
INFORMATION
NETWORKS II SEMINAR
LAVA
and
the Municipal
Journal
Jointly organised a
seminar on
public
information provision
in
the
1990s at the Swallow Hotel in
Solihull.
The seminar
was
held
to
coincide
with the Annual General
Meeting
of
LAVA
on
23 January 1992 and there
fol-
lows
a brief summary
of
the papers
presented.
Sue Thomas - NACAB
NACAB is the National Association of
Citizens Advice Bureaux.
The Citizens Advice Bureaux service and in-
formation network were described. Ap-
proximately 20,000 pieces of information
held in around 1,000 local bureaux are up-
dated monthly by NACAB although some
of the individual bureaux are beginning to
build local information databases in ma-
chine-readable form. The information is
held in a form which is designed to assist
those giving advice rather than being geared
directly towards the public.
Each year between
6
and 7 million people
seek advice from the bureaux, typically re-
garding issues such as debt, unemployment,
education.
At present the information disseminated
from NACAB HQ to the regional bureaux
is updated manually. It was felt that a cen-
tralised viewdata system offered a possible
solution to the problem although on-line
links to the central database were con-
sidered unlikely, disc copies of the database
offering a more viable distribution method.
Clive Howarth - DONFACTS
DONFACTS is the name given to the view-
data service offered in Doncaster Metro-
politan Borough. Typical information
would be job vacancies in the region, pro-
vided by four local Job Centres: the infor-
mation is made available to the public on
the day of
receipt.
Data regarding local
events and activities is also listed and is
downloaded and sent to the local paper
where it is used as the basis for a "What's
On" guide.
In addition, separate viewdata services are
offered in South Yorkshire by Barnsley,
Rotherham and Sheffield. The formation
of SYLVIA (South Yorkshire Libraries
Viewdata Information Association) in 1989
marked the beginnings of an attempt to co-
ordinate certain areas of the services to the
mutual benefit of all.
The complexities of providing a regional
ser-
vice to an area with a tangled web of boun-
daries was outlined. The region encom-
passes
15
parliamentary constituencies, 94
electoral wards and 103 parish councils;
water provision comes from the Yorkshire
and the Severn-Trent water authorities, BT
splits the region into Barnsley/Doncaster
and Sheffield/Rotherham, both EMGAS
and NEGAS serve the area, etc.
One particular initiative aims to revitalise
the economy of the Derne Valley, an area
where the traditional activity, mining, has
been run down in recent
years.
The City
Challenge initiative provided £40M: a bid
VINE
86 (March 1992)
- 43

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