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Local Land Charges Awards 2019

Customer Satisfaction Award for Local Authority Searches

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About the winner

The team at Arun District Council will be thrilled to celebrate winning the Customer Satisfaction Award for Local Authority Searches for a third year in a row!

Until recently Arun’s LLC team consisted of Christine Bardwell and mother and son team Carole Minto and Dan Carman. Dan told us that Christine and Carole have worked together in Local Land Charges for 44 years and when he was a baby Carole would bring him into the office while she collected work - he used to have a den under the desk where he was given colouring, stamps and other minor admin work to occupy him. Baby Dan grew up and became officially employed by Arun in 2002! Christine retired last year. The team now consists of Dan Carman, Carole Minto and Jayne Hewstone (who joined the team last year) adding the LLPG & Street naming and numbering functions to the team.

As well as winning the 2017 and 2018 Customer Satisfaction Award and being highly commended in 2016 and 2017 in the Best Customer Experience category, Daniel Carman, was highly commended for the Local Land Charges Officer of the Year in 2017.

Solicitors comments

“Their customer service is second to none and their pricing is more than fair. We requested a quote for a block local search and received the result within 24 hours! Excellent!” “They are incredibly efficient with Local Land Charges. In addition they always assist promptly with enquiries relating to matters such as planning and building control. Nothing is ever too much trouble and I cannot praise them highly enough.”

About the award

For this award category, Land Data asks solicitors and licensed conveyancers to nominate and provide feedback on the local authority Local Land Charges team that they believe is committed to delivering a consistently high level of customer service. Voters are asked to consider quality, efficiency, reliability and value for money.

Land Data collects nominations at industry events around the country, through the regional law societies and the legal media who ask for nominations from their readers. Local authorities are encouraged to make their direct customers aware of the award and provide a link for voting.

Winner
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Highly commended
Reigate and Banstead Borough Council
Award sponsor
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Local Authority Searches Team of the Year

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About the winner

This is the first time Reigate and Banstead has won an Award, the team of two were shortlisted in this category in 2018. When Lesley and Maggie (pictured above) aren’t working in Local Land Charges they spend their time organising fund raising events for local charities including the homeless and Women’s Refuge. A traditional afternoon tea held in the Council Chamber for Women’s Refuge was filmed for C4 Dispatches. Maggie is sleeping rough this month to highlight homelessness. Lesley is also a caver and a custodian of the caves in Reigate!

Judges comments

“An impressive entry from Reigate & Banstead Borough Council. We could see from the evidence there is a high level of co-operation and constructive interaction with other LA departments. This plus an array of effective customer service tactics clearly demonstrates that this is a team that punches above its weight.”

About the award

This award acknowledges that producing a local authority search requires input from a wider local authority team.

Judges look for evidence of:

  • Consistency of turnaround times during the period between 31 October 2017 and 1 November 2018
  • Cover/continuity of service – how a LA deals with ensuring service provision during holiday or sickness periods, evidenced by policy or procedures
  • Testimony – how the LA demonstrates effective team working through evidence of interaction between LLC and CON29 departments in terms of liaison and/or education and/or procedures
  • Fully answered and complete CON29 searches i.e. with answers to all questions no referrals
Winner
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Highly commended
Arun District Council
Award sponsor
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Best Performing NLIS Level 3 Local Land Charges Department

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About the winner

A second time finalist for this award category, the LLC team at the City of York collected the highly commended trophy in 2014. The team came 5th in the same category in 2015 and 7th in 2017. The department is made up of three members - Peter Audin who is the City of York’s Local Land Charges Manager and LLPG manager (Peter is also the LLCI Chair), Senior LLC officer Maggie Gosling and LLC officer Ian Hartley. The team are also the Council’s pop quiz team champions having won 3 years in a row!

About the award

This award category recognises the best performing Local Land Charges department operating at NLIS level 3, between 31 October 2017 and 1 November 2018.

  • Award entries are judged using NLIS Hub data to consider some or all of the following criteria:
  • The fastest electronic turnaround time (i.e. the time it takes to return the search to the customer)
  • The ratio of overdue searches vs search volumes over the given period
  • Search accuracy – LAs returning the lowest level of incorrect and/or incomplete results
  • The highest number of NLIS electronic searches during the period (weighted against Land Registry transactional volumes for the local authority area)
Winner
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Highly commended
Wakefield Council
Award sponsor
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Best Performing NLIS Level 2 Local Land Charges Department

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About the winner

North Devon Council wins this award category for the fifth time and the third year in a row! The team at North Devon has featured many times in the Awards finalists, taking 6th place in the 2009 Most Improved NLIS Services category, 3rd place in the 2015 Best Performing NLIS level 2 category, and winner of the same category in 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018. Debbie and Rob (pictured above) are both keen runners and belong to the same running club. Debbie is training for her first half marathon and Rob is contemplating running his second marathon, having last run one in 1989! When they are not discussing Local Land Charges, conversations tend to revolve around races, aches, pains and more aches and pains!

About the award

This award category recognises the best performing Local Land Charges department operating at NLIS level 2, between 31 October 2017 and 1 November 2018.

Award entries are judged using NLIS Hub data to consider some or all of the following criteria:

  • The fastest electronic turnaround time (i.e. the time it takes to return the search to the customer)
  • The ratio of overdue searches vs search volumes over the given period
  • Search accuracy – LAs returning the lowest level of incorrect and/or incomplete results
  • The highest number of NLIS electronic searches during the period (weighted against Land Registry transactional volumes for the local authority area)
Winner
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Highly commended
Bromley Council
Award sponsor
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Best Customer Experience Award

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About the winner

The LLC team of four at Manchester City Council has featured once before on the finalist list when they were highly commended in the 2016 Best Performing NLIS level 2 Local Land Charges Department. In response to the Manchester Arena attack in May 2017, Manchester City Council and Wild in Art united the city in 2018 for Bee in the City, one of the most spectacular public art events the city has ever seen. Thousands of people discovered more than 230 Bees all over Manchester, taking in the city’s landmarks and undiscovered gems. Each of the 101 super-sized Bees was designed by a different artist and celebrated the unique buzz of Manchester, from its industrial heritage to its vibrant music scene. 131 little Bees joined the trail, created by the children and young people of the city. As a result more than £1m has been raised for the We Love Manchester Charity which improves the lives and life chances of Manchester people.

Judges comments

“The constant and consistent service provided by Manchester was well demonstrated. From the electronic links to supporting documents, through to the provision of contacts for all CON29 data suppliers this, alongside their “Our Manchester” policy helped demonstrate their commitment to the customer experience.”

About the award

The Best Customer Experience award celebrates and promotes excellence in customer experience rewarding those local authorities whose efforts, alongside those of the NLIS Channels, help to deliver an exceptional customer experience and deliver industry leading levels of service.

Local authorities are asked to demonstrate and give evidence of how they offer value added services in order to make the search process smoother.

Judges look for evidence of:

  • The provision of an urgent search if requested by the NLIS Hub
  • Notifying the NLIS Hub of changes to service delivery parameters
  • Turnaround times and fees
  • The ability to supply copy documents upon request
  • Provision of value added information
Winner
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Highly commended
Reigate and Banstead Borough Council
Award sponsor
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The Unsung Hero Award

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About the winner

Members of the NLIS Hub helpdesk team commented:

“Pushpa is always helpful and polite on the phone, she is easy to talk to and will always try her best to meet the customer’s needs. “Pushpa is extremely helpful and methodical, she always provide fully detailed answers to our queries.”

About the award

The Unsung Hero is voted for by the NLIS hub helpdesk team. The team nominates an individual or a team within a Local Land Charges department that they feel consistently makes an extra effort to work with them to make the search process as seamless as possible. The helpdesk teams will give examples of how the department (or a person within the department) shines and impresses them.

Following the nomination period a weighted scoring system was applied to choose a winner and highly commended.

Winner
Pushpa Solanki image
Highly commended
Sue Loft & Julie Wardle, East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Award sponsor
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Most Improved NLIS Services

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About the winner

A first time Local Land Charges Awards winner, North Dorset District Council is part of the Dorset Councils Partnership which includes West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council who also feature in the top 10 for this category!

The LLC teams within the Dorset Councils Partnership are delighted to be recognised for their improvements which they put down to a new structure, daily targets, improved processes which include working more digitally and harmonising fees across the three authorities.

About the award

This award category is for the Local Land Charges department that has made the most improvement to its service between 31 October 2017 and 1 November 2018. Judging for this award category uses reports from the NLIS Hub and judges use the data to consider some or all of the following criteria:

  • The most improved turnaround performance (i.e. the best improvement on the time it takes to return the search to the customer).
  • The highest increase in the percentage of electronic search volumes versus other search types (i.e. paper, personal searches or email).
  • Moving from paper to electronic returns (electronic not emailed).
Winner
North Dorset District Council (part of the Dorset Councils Partnership) image
Highly commended
Exeter City Council
Award sponsor
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The Digital Data Award

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About the winner

A first time win for Dartford Borough Council for this brand new Award category! The team have featured on the top 10 shortlist for the Best Performing NLIS Level 3 Local Land Charges Department twice, once in 2013 and again in 2014.

Judges comments

“All the entries for this category were excellent! What came over strongly was the level of co-operation between the Local Land Charges staff and other supporting staff as this ensured that the digital programmes continued to move in the right direction, particularly when funding was tight.”

About the award

In an effort to improve the transparency, speed and efficiency of the property buying and selling process Local Land Charges teams are undertaking a range of data digitisation and cleansing projects.

This new award category recognises the importance of high quality data and focuses on the five characteristics of high quality information. Accuracy, Completeness, Consistency, Uniqueness, and Timeliness.

Judges look for evidence of:

  • A clear description of the project and its aims;
  • An explanation of how the project was funded (e.g. via long term service cost recovery via the Local Land Charges fee) and where the expertise for it came from;
  • How staff and users were engaged in designing the approach or service, including the projects relevance to internal requirements and those of external parties such as The Land Registry;
  • Evidence that the project has achieved the goals in question.
Winner
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Highly commended
Blaby District Council
Award sponsor
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