Adur and Worthing’s Senior Addressing Officer extraordinaire, Una Herring-Green, has clocked up two more Gold Awards in the annual Geoplace Awards, plus an award for Best in South East Region.
Since 2014, when she single-handedly took over the job of overseeing addresses and street naming in Adur and Worthing, she has won Gold every year for her extraordinary attention to detail, and knowledge of all the processes involved.
For Una’s job is not as simple as coming up with an appropriate name for a street, or putting a new number on a house. If she were to get the street names and house numbering wrong, not only might emergency services arrive at the wrong address, but the occupants of a house wouldn’t be able to get utility bills, a mobile phone contract or vote in elections. They also wouldn’t be able to get bins from the council, a mortgage or even a passport. And for brand new houses even the basic utility meters wouldn’t be installed.
Any changes to an existing property which creates further properties also have to be named and numbered under strict guidelines and the coordinates of all properties need to be 100 per cent accurate.
So important is the service now considered that Geoplace, the government body behind the street and house-naming rules and regulations, gives out annual awards to those council officers who – day in, day out – get the large amount of detailed data imputing right completely accurate. The award also takes into account how often new data is entered – it’s expected daily – as timing could be crucial.
This year Una has won Gold Performance awards for Adur and Worthing Councils for Address Data, and an additional award for Best Address Data in South East Region for achieving 100 per cent accuracy for all her data input.
Una oversees over 212,000 ‘addressable objects’ in Adur and Worthing. This includes not just businesses and homes, but also post offices, police stations, railway stations, lifeboat stations and even the addresses of electricity sub stations, advertisement hoardings, bus shelters and telecommunication masts.
“It’s an important job and the pressure is there, but it’s very satisfying to be recognised for doing a good job, especially when it was originally questions whether I could do it on my own,” she says.