Council keeps its fingers crossed as Land Charges team is once again shortlisted in national awards
The Council’s Land Charges team have been nominated for a fourth time in five years for their high quality service, as well as performance in their specialist field.
The Local Land Charges Awards for Excellence celebrate the very best that the Local Land Charges community has to offer. Run since 2008 by Land Data, which regulates the National Land Information Service (NLIS), it showcases best practice, value and high standards.
Representing the Council’s Land Charges team, Senior Local Land Charges Officer Pauline Davey and Assistant Local Land Charges Officer Donna Oswald, are responsible for preparing local authority searches for solicitors and conveyancers acting on behalf of clients looking to buy, lease or re-mortgage a property, or a piece of land. The searches they conduct identify whether there are any legal restrictions affecting land or property, upon which completion of a sale would be binding, such as conditions imposed on planning permissions, conservation areas and listed buildings status.
More detailed searches include other pending matters such as tree preservation orders, responsibility for any road maintenance, parking restrictions, compulsory purchase orders and whether a property falls within a contaminated area of land.
This year’s awards are being held on Monday, 2nd March at the Park Regis in Birmingham and features eight categories, of which Pauline and Donna have been nominated for the Digital Data Award. The Digital Data Award recognises the importance of high quality data and focuses on the five characteristics of high quality information; accuracy, completeness, consistency, uniqueness and timeliness.
The team decided to compete for this year's Digital Data Award owing to a major data cleansing project they are in the process of undertaking, to ensure the Council's local land charges register and the data behind it conforms to national guidelines. HM Land Registry requires this work to be carried out by all Local Authorities in England and is partly the inspiration for the award.
Kathryn Tebbey, Head of Legal and Monitoring Officer at the Council, said:
“To hear that Pauline and Donna have been nominated again is testament to the excellent service they provide at local and national level. Needless to say their nomination for this award is much deserved, as they consistently provide an excellent service and are committed to helping everyone who are in the process of purchasing a house locally. Their own targets for completing search requests are already very tight and yet they still manage to beat them, time and time again.
“They won the Customer Satisfaction Award in 2016, and were highly commended for Best Performing Local Land Charges Department and Customer Satisfaction in 2016 and 2018 [respectively], so I’m hoping their success continues at this year’s awards ceremony in March”.
Other categories in the Local Land Charges Awards include; customer satisfaction, best customer experience, the most improved NLIS service, the best NLIS Local Land Charges department, an Unsung Hero and the Local Authority Searches Team of the Year. A winner and a highly commended for each category will be chosen by a panel of judges from leading organisations in the conveyancing searches market.
Pauline, who has a wealth of experience with 20 years’ service, will be heading to the awards ceremony in March and with any luck, she will receive an accolade in her nominated category in recognition for both her and Donna’s efforts.