The Chief Officer - Legal, HR and Regulatory Services presented a report which was to apprise Cabinet of the Local Land Charges National Programme and seek authority to enter into a Collaborative Agreement with HM Land Registry.
She explained that every local authority was required to hold a local land charges register that recorded obligations affecting properties within their administrative area.
The Chief Officer - Legal, HR and Regulatory Services explained that in 2015, HM Land Registry (HMLR) was given the authority under the Infrastructure Act 2015 to create a single, national, digital register of Local Land Charges (LLC) across England and Wales with the aim to become a trusted source of LLC information which would benefit the home buying process by making it easier to access, faster and cheaper. Further background to this and the benefits of the register were listed at section 3 of the report.
The Chief Officer - Legal, HR and Regulatory Services explained that BCBC had been scheduled to migrate its LLC records in 2022/23 with a delivery plan being implemented by HMLR to ensure a smooth transition. By entering in into a Collaborative Agreement and formalising the delivery plan now HMLR can finalise preparatory work that reflected the Authority’s needs, capability and readiness to migrate.
The Chief Officer - Legal, HR and Regulatory Services stated that Officers had assessed the models offered by HMLR and had concluded that the most suitable models to choose from were HMLR Supplier or HMLR Delivered as indicated in section 4.3 of the report. She advised that the next steps were to establish a working group within the authority comprising of officers from Land Charges, Legal, Finance, ICT and Planning to lead the migration and ensure that the Authority fulfilled its responsibilities to agreed timescales and feed back to all stakeholders including HMLR. She added that there were no costs to the authority for migrating as it was being fully funded by HMLR.
The Cabinet Member Wellbeing and Future Generations welcomed the report and thanked the Officers from the different departments who had come forward to carry out the work. She added that this system was a positive step forward for people wishing to buy properties and it allowed for consistency between the different local authorities. She asked for elaboration on the service available for digitally excluded people.
The Chief Officer - Legal, HR and Regulatory Services explained that the service would primarily be run through the gov.uk service, which the majority of residents were likely already set up for due to a number of services provided through there. However, there was plans for a processing team to carry out queries for people who were digitally excluded and carry out the searches on their behalf. She added that upon completion of the service, communication with the public would establish further specific needs and if needed, look at options that would help make the service more accessible to them.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet: