Knowledge Hub | Case Studies | Richmond & Wandsworth Borough Councils

Richmond & Wandsworth Borough Councils

Acorn data insight supports Green Homes funding, reducing food waste and support for digitally excluded residents

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The Challenge

The councils’ Insight and Analytics team was keen to serve its diverse population better by understanding more about different households and how council services and initiatives could best support them. 

The Solution

Like all councils, Richmond and Wandsworth’s remit spans many public services, campaigns and activities. Insight and Analytics Manager Salman Klar and Intelligence Analyst Emily Heades saw the vast potential in CACI’s Acorn dataset to better inform decision-making and communicating in the boroughs.  

Emily says: “We had a free trial access to the data over the summer, which CACI was offering to help councils with Covid-related challenges. We started using Acorn, Household Acorn and Wellbeing Acorn

Salman, Emily and the team were immediately able to make use of the data. Salman explains: “We first used if for our digital exclusion work. Because of the pandemic, all our council services and messaging needed to go digital. So, it was really important for us to know who would have digital access, laptops and connectivity – for remote schooling and access to essential services and information. 

We serve over half a million residents: to communicate with them all effectively, we needed to know who would respond to an email and who could only be reached by a letter or leaflet through the door.” 

The Benefits

The report compiled by Emily in the spring about Digital Exclusion used CACI Household Acorn data to reveal groups of residents who were potentially disadvantaged, because they couldn’t connect to online services, information and support. Immediately, the councils were able to share these insights with organisations via the community engagement team, who used it as evidence in funding bids for officers to help residents connect digitally. 

Emily and the team have also used Acorn postcode data to help identify homes in the boroughs that might be eligible for the Government’s Green Homes Grant, based on income indicators. 

The Results

The methodology and evidence helped secure over £500K of central government funding for each borough. This is being distributed to the least energy-efficient households through a local grant scheme covering up to £10,000 of carbon emission reduction works per home. 

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