A packed day of speeches and participatory sessions at the second national Local Land Charges conference brought delegates up to speed with the progress made on the programme in the past year.

The 260 local government officers, solicitors, conveyancers, suppliers and search company executives who travelled to Nottingham learned about the programme’s plans for the year ahead and the latest work to develop the Local Land Charges (LLC) Register Service.

Exhibition area at conference

Programme Director Steve Calder welcomed the delegates to the event, highlighting four themes – the benefits to customers, citizens and the economy of a national service, the best possible user experience through an intuitive and accessible single digital register, a smooth transition to the single register and collaboration with partners.

Chief Executive Graham Farrant started his keynote speech with a “thank you” to the local authorities who have been working closely with Land Registry on the “massive change programme”.

“We are reliant on your assistance and we get the fact this is quite resource intensive at a time when it’s not ideal,” said Graham. “Thank you for the efforts you have put in and for the support you are giving.”

Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar Graham Farrant speaking at Local Land Charges national conference

Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar Graham Farrant

Land Registry staff, Lead Architect Ian Edmunds and Product Manager Mark Edwards talked the delegates through a live demonstration of the first version, or alpha, of the LLC Register Service. They explained it was developed using Land Registry’s in-house IT capability, based in Plymouth, with input from 17 local authorities. Since the conference, Kainos has joined forces with the team to help build a register that has map data at its core and is accessible anytime, anywhere.

Deputy Programme Director Allison Bradbury briefed the delegates that LLC data from the first set of local authorities will begin to be migrated incrementally, from late 2017.

Allison highlighted that following the release of the summary of responses to the rules consultation in October, Land Registry will publish the Government response to the secondary legislation consultation in the New Year.

Group discussion during customer-focused plenary session

Group discussion during the customer-focused session

The results of a survey of solicitors and conveyancers by Ipsos MORI, commissioned by the programme, were unveiled to delegates. Following 18 face-to-face interviews and 401 structured telephone interviews, the research found 70 per cent were confident in Land Registry’s ability to provide LLC and 79 per cent valued the state guarantee that will be offered with the new service.

Sessions aimed at local authorities, customers and suppliers enabled the groups to have more detailed conversations on the day. Led by Imogen McLean, a group of local authorities and other originating authorities focused on the implications of the LLC service. Discussions covered what the future service will mean for local authorities when it goes live and for Land Registry as it plans the service. The feedback from the session will be used to inform the planning of the service between Land Registry and individual authorities.

A second group of local authorities, led by Melissa Croxall, discussed data and migration. Local authorities shared the challenges they have faced with preparing particular types of data for migration, how to tackle them and some of the solutions that have been implemented.

Mark Edwards at the customer-focused plenary session

Product Manager Mark Edwards at the customer-focused session

The customer session, run by Mark Edwards, was attended by conveyancers and personal search companies together with representatives of trade bodies and the Land Registry Advisory Council. The “useful two-way dialogue,” said Mark, was an opportunity for customers to discuss future service development. “This was the first time that we had brought conveyancers and personal search companies together,” he said.

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Gavin Curry
By Gavin Curry,
Digital Communications and Editorial Officer at HM Land Registry