You may have read a recent blog about our first ever Local Land Charges (LLC) National Conference.
Representatives from local authorities, private search companies and potential suppliers came together in Nottingham to discuss how HM Land Registry is developing a new digital LLC service.
We received very helpful feedback although with over two hundred delegates we were unable to answer all of the questions on the day. So I have highlighted the key themes that came out of discussions to ensure that everyone has the latest information.
One of the most commonly asked questions was about CON 29. During my plenary session, I highlighted that this policy relates only to LLC. Customers will come to us for LLC requests which will sit alongside our current electronic services. HM Land Registry will not provide access to CON 29 information, as customers will have to apply for these searches using their existing channels.
The other main talking point was around the actual mechanics of the new LLC service. To summarise where responsibility will lie, we will hold the LLC register and provide the statutory LLC service. The information below reflects our current thinking:
- register build – we will create a centralised, digital, open LLC register; and
- service operation – the core service will be a spatial database, hosted on the public cloud. Our current thinking is that as a digital service, the register will be updated by originating and local authorities using the provided digital interfaces.
Local authorities were keen to find out more about how we are dealing with Burdens Assessments. In fact, this work had already started alongside the Local Government Association (LGA). A new working group will be established, when appropriate, with LGA, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and Local Land Charges Institute (LLCI).
The purpose of the group will be to feed into how payments to local authorities could be calculated, how they will be paid and to ensure that there is transparency in the calculations. Any final new burdens assessment must be agreed by HM Land Registry, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), DCLG and HM Treasury and work remains ongoing in this area as to what should be included.
During the afternoon plenary sessions, an update was provided on how local authorities could start to prepare their records. To review our current thinking:
- data cleansing will be an internal process within a local authority to ensure that a LLC Register or data set is complete and accurate (regardless of data format). Cleanse activity is underpinned by a legal responsibility; and
- data preparation will be the preparation of data within a local authority to ensure it is fit for the process of digitisation, for example, converting the data into the required format for the transfer of the service.
We are currently consulting with advocate groups and sharing the definitions with other stakeholder groups to refine the detail. We will communicate the necessary activity to local authorities and the anticipated timescales to complete the activity. This information should be available in 2016.
Delegates also told me that they were keen to find out how we intend to engage with the stakeholders not attending the conference.
As a result of this feedback, my team are reviewing how we can speak to a wider audience within local authorities. This includes service managers and senior local authority staff who can provide insight into different aspects of the LLC service.
Our engagement with conveyancers is continuing. We aim to inform customers of the changes to the LLC service and the likely timescales and to raise awareness of the consultation in 2016. This work has included attending continuing professional development (CPD) events, local Law Society meetings and trade conferences.
Finally, there were two specific questions about how a future LLC service might work.
A two-day turnaround time has been quoted as this follows HM Land Registry’s information service applications, for example, official copies. Over 94 per cent of information services are returned within one day and most are returned instantly online.
Also, a reference to electronic signatures was made in the morning presentation on our Digital Services Roadmap. For the avoidance of any doubt, I can confirm that this was referred to in relation to land registration, rather than LLC.
I hope that you have found this update useful. Please let me know if you have any further questions or contact the team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org