For dissemination and onward use of open data, Bath and North East Somerset Council supports a community based approach; to learn more and start playing with local data, visit

In November 2014 the Council produced an Open Data Policy outlining its commitment to continue this activity.

Bath and North East Somerset Council Open Data Policy




1. Context & Framework

2. Publication of Data

3. Developer Engagement and Social Value

1. Context & Framework

1.1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline Bath and North East Somerset Council’s commitment to Open Data; the process by which data will be opened and maintained and our approach to promoting the use of this data by local voluntary, community and private sector organisations.

1.2. Scope

This policy covers all machine readable data produced by Bath and North East Somerset Council (The council), other than:

  • Personal or Sensitive Personal data as defined in the Data Protection Act or other legislation and organisational policies
  • Data covered by commercial licensing or otherwise defined as commercial in confidence.
  • Data that, if released, could represent a security risk to the Council.

1.3. Strategic dependencies and review

This policy is dependent on a number of other policies and may be amended in light of associated changes

  • - Transparency and Freedom of Information, including the Government Transparency Code 1
  • - Information Govrnance
  • - Information Security
  • - Think Local Procurement Policy
  • - Inspire Directive
  • - Ordnance Survey Public Sector Mapping Agreement
  • - ICT Strategy
  • - Digital Communications Strategy

Formal monitoring and review of this policy will be aligned with ongoing development of the ICT strategy.

2. Publication of Data

2.1 Content

The council will engage in an ongoing conversation with the developer community about publishing data and will endeavour to respond to all requests in a timely manner.

The assumption from the council will be that all data in scope shall be published within a reasonable timeframe and pending technical challenges.

The council will develop and publish a definitive list of released, scheduled and requested Open Data sources.

The council will reserve the right to remove or amend any data subject to legal or commercial advice.

2.2 Standards

Data will, wherever possible, be published in line with Open Data Institute (ODI) standards, including the use of Open Data certification2-

Format – data will be published in raw machine readable format using open standards wherever possible.

Metadata: All data will be published with an associated metadata, including textual descriptions of fields, date and time information and other pertinent information. This will also include points of exclusion, clarification

Aggregate data – When is data published to an aggregate level (e.g. statistical geography’s such as local government ward), it will be suppressed in line with Office for National Statistics guidelines3

2.3 Licensing

Unless otherwise stated, data will be published under the Open Government License 4 with an associated attribution statement.

Where mapping data is created using Ordnance survey open data sources, then data will be published using the Ordnance Survey Open Data license5 with associated attribution statement.

Where mapping data is created from other sources, advice will be taken from the GIS team and Ordnance Survey where relevant.

Where data is produced with additional terms and conditions, these will be published under alternative licenses to be agreed on a case-by-case basis.

2.4 Barriers to publication:

From time to time technical difficulties in producing or publishing data will create a barrier to timely publication. These may relate to the functions of specific software or to the capability or capacity of local authority staff to publish information.

Where there is disagreement or concern surrounding publication, the final decision as to whether it is realistic to open a requested data source will lie with divisional directors who will make a formal response including any reasons for non-release.

2.5 Publication Methods

The council will work with the local developer community to develop a process to open data which minimises resource commitments for all parties. This may include joint development of a local data store.

2.6 Resources

• Strategic liaison with the Bath:Hacked initiative will be managed through the Strategy and Performance Division.

• IT will support automation of data releases, this will initially be funded through fixed term funding provided from the Connecting Data Project

• Managers and data owners within services will be responsible for ensuring the ongoing accuracy and relevance of any published data.

• The council may choose to fund the opening of specific data sources through the development of existing software, this will require a costed business case to be developed on a case-by-case basis and if not resourced by services then to include clear invest-to-save measures and to be conducted in line with normal council budget processes.

3. Developer Community Development and Social Value

The council is committed to increasing the use of open data in the local area in a way which promotes social value and economic growth.

The Council will support the ongoing development of the Bath:Hacked initiative, which is designed to make use of local Open Data. This may include the development of local procurement routes for digital and related activities.

This support will include attendance at steering groups and ongoing meetings including officer commitment to attend hack events