Council shortlisted for award for work to support the housing market

21 Feb 2024

West Suffolk Council’s Planning Business Support Service team

The 'instrumental' role that West Suffolk Council plays in keeping the local housing market moving, has seen it nominated for a national award.

West Suffolk Council’s Planning Business Support Service is responsible for managing Local Land Charges data for the HM Land Registry’s central register.

That data is used by conveyancers and home buyers and if it’s not accurate and up-to-date it can lead to delays to house purchases and even the collapse of chains. It is equally as important for commercial land transactions supporting the growth of West Suffolk’s local economy.

HM Land Registry is running a major programme to modernise the local land charges sector to make it more efficient, and lead to both swifter and smoother house sales.

Now West Suffolk Council has been recognised for its part having been shortlisted for Best Migrated Local Authority category in the 2024 Land Data Awards for Excellence. 

The shortlist of 10 local authorities from across England and Wales was created by HM Land Registry based on criteria including how long it took councils to register Land Charge information and its accuracy.

Cllr Jim Thorndyke, Cabinet Member for Planning at West Suffolk Council, said: “For anybody buying or selling a home in West Suffolk, the work carried out by our team is crucial to supporting the speed and success of their sale. Our endeavour is to try to take some of the stress out of what ultimately is the biggest purchase any of us are ever likely to make.  As well as supporting people in buying or selling a home, this data also enables commercial land transactions to go ahead bringing economic growth, investment and jobs to our area. This work is important and that is why I am so delighted to see the professional pride of our service, recognised this way.” 

Jamie Winch, Senior Delivery Manager at HM Land Registry who is leading the roll out of the migration programme, said: “These ten shortlisted Local Authorities have consistently demonstrated a determination to provide their customers with the best possible service. They have maintained excellent communication with HM Land Registry, and an outstanding management of their register. All these aspects ensure the best possible outcomes for everyone who searches the LLC register. 

“The migration of the Local Land Charges register represents a significant investment of time and expertise from Local Authority teams, which does not end when the service transfers to HM Land Registry. We want to thank all Local Authorities who have migrated their data, and those who are currently doing so, for their continued tenacity, professionalism, and the commitment to deliver a brilliant service.” 

Fiona Barron, Chief Executive of Land Data which organises the awards, said: “Local Land Charges teams are instrumental in the home buying and selling process – managing essential data that could affect the future use or development of a property. These shortlisted Local Authorities have effectively reshaped their processes to ensure the accuracy of data being provided to conveyancers and other customers remains of the highest quality after the migration of their Register.”

The Best Migrated Local Authority Award will be presented as part of the Local Land Charges Training and Development event on 4 March and 5 March.  Other award categories include Customer Satisfaction, Best Performing Local Land Charges Department, Local Authority Searches Team of the Year, Best Performing Searches Team Member and the Unsung Hero Award.

Since their launch in 2008, the annual Local Land Charges Awards for Excellence remain the only national awards celebrating the achievements and successes of Local Authority Local Land Charges departments across England and Wales.


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