Licensing a Rented Property: Weeknotes w.c. 22/7/2019

Project: Property Licencing Software Metastreet

The property licencing software, Metastreet, has been in place for almost one year now. It is providing Agents and Landlords with a way to complete online property licencing applications and a way for back-office staff process these.


Recently, we have experienced a few challenges with progressing some of our development features/bugs and there have been a few deployments concerns. To address these Metastreet has agreed to provide release notes for each deployment and assured us that they are reviewing and testing their coding before releases.

To help ensure our bugs/features are being prioritised correctly, over the past few weeks, we have been working with the PSH team to review and update our Metastreet’s roadmap. This week +Guy Whitfield ran a well-received workshop with the PSH team which mapped the process before Metastreet was introduced, and the new existing process post- Metastreet. It encouraged the team to see the differences and shared their Likes, Lacked, Learnings and Longings.

It highlighted, that although the Metastreet software enables applicants to apply and pay for a private sector licence and for the team to issue licences, there are a number of workarounds that officers are doing to make the system’s workflow work well for them. These gaps will feed into the roadmap which we plan to follow-up with the Metastreet providers.

What’s New….

In addition to the above we now have a local government Metastreet user group. The first official meeting is on 5th August 2019 and involves Islington, Waltham Forest, Haringey and Slough. The aim is to share and identify common challenges to help build a better service.

Next week, Metastreet are due to release a new major enhancement will allow officers to issue invoices and refunds. It will make the reconciliation process a lot more easier for the team as Metastreet’s report should match Stripe’s output.

Hackney Spacebank: weeknote, w/c 15th July

Three things you need to know about this week:

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

Sam, Winston and Liam have been busy recruiting for research participants through our local networks, including our friends at Hackney CVS. We are also recruiting via Facebook and Twitter. We will be measuring the effectiveness of these channels so we know where to invest our time and energy in future rounds. 

A picture paints a thousand words

Liam has been visiting all our libraries to take photos of the meeting rooms for hire. Thank you to our library colleagues for giving us access to the rooms. We will be using these photos to help promote the rooms and to test whether seeing pictures of the space encourages people to make a booking. 

Getting closer to starting the libraries build

Lead by Richard, the team finalised the MVP for the libraries booking solution. This means we can start planning the build in more detail. In the prototype phase we used a roadmap, but I’m keen to try impact mapping this time around. To shape the direction of our work over the next few months I’ll seeking involvement from the library service and other stakeholders. Fresh eyes on the product and what it means to deliver value will be of huge benefit. 

And finally…. 

We are thin on the ground next week. Three team members (including me) are on annual leave next week. Sam, Joy and Liam will be holding the fort. 

Re-engineering Hackney Content: weeknotes w/c 15/07/19

Pose is on BBC iPlayer
And the winner is… Pose

The content population is complete! We only have left those pages that may warrant a different template from the standard, such as Contact Us or Leaving Care. And the Homepage.

On that note, Lead Service Designer Joanne kick-started a discussion with us about how we can best include Search on the homepage; which led to us thinking more deeply about the homepage’s raison d’etre. 

Looking at the ‘competition’, there’s been a trend in recent years for councils to simply list their services on the homepage, with a few quick links to specific tasks. This does tend to give the impression that all the council does is take money off us for parking fines and council tax. It certainly doesn’t leave anyone with a warm fuzzy feeling about all the other things the council does. Yes, we all want to be in and out quickly when paying rent; but we’d also like to know Hackney Pride is polishing its rainbows in readiness for the parade or that free bike checks are on offer in London Fields. So we’re looking at how we can meet both needs. 

Meanwhile our Developer, Mo, has been researching the family tree for the menu. Some pages are parents, some are children, some are parents and children, some are grandparents, some are confirmed bachelors. We need to cater for all options in one list as well as sort out a mechanism to order the items. Our minimum will be manual ordering but we hope to move to drag and drop in the longer run. 

An added complication is how to ensure landing page urls (eg /housing) – ubiquitous in leaflets and mousemat giveaways – have a place to call home. We’re endeavouring to design something revolutionary involving the menu, it’ll either crash-and-burn or win us a Webby. 

We met with a couple of Housing teams this week to discuss metrics and how we can help them move forward with their digital services. Hotjar really will be a goldmine for this as end users love telling us how we can do better. We’ve got a list going of all the lovely teams with a pioneering spirit; and of all the lovely things that could be sprinkled with digital fairy dust once the move to WordPress is complete. 

I enjoyed a course at the GLA yesterday to help us get off the blocks with Google Data Studio. It’s given me enough to move forward; and I can spend a few evenings next week watching metrics tutorials instead of Pose. And the Category is… Working Mother in Lounging Pyjamas at 2am Trying to Connect to WiFi.

Submit My Planning Application weeknotes – Week commencing 15/07/2019

Welcome to Submit my Planning Application weeknotes. 

For more general updates, continue to check our project site; showing all the great stuff we’re doing and key information about the project. Alongside the project site, be sure to check out our blog post. 


A big thank you to the Planning team who were able to attend the Show and Tell. We appreciate the involvement during the Show and Tell. As well as the feedback and questions! Here is the link to the slide deck –

What we did this week:

  • We had our 2nd out of 3 Show and Tells for the Go Live phase this week! We’ve attached the slide deck below for those who couldn’t attend.
  • We had a preparation session for the Service Assessment, to ensure everyone knows their roles on the day and that we know what we are going to present to our assessors.
  • We now have the beginnings of the account system built. This allows users to manage their applications, save and return to them.
  • Worked on general testing such as, any timeout sessions and Error 404 
  • Concentrated on ‘Upload Supporting Documents’.

What’s next:

  • Complete our Privacy Impact Assessment so that we know that the data we collect, complies with any legal and regulatory compliance requirements.
  • Continuing with working on how we’re gathering the metrics.

What are we keeping an eye on?

  • Integrating with Tascomi 
  • Address API 


Thanks for reading!

Planning Applications Team

(AKA Emma H, Andy B, Andy E, Ana, Mathew T, Nic and Hidayat).