Local Land Charges Awards 2024

Local Land Charges Awards 2020

The Land Data Local Land Charges Awards for Excellence celebrate the very best in Local Authority Local Land Charges. Since 2008 these national awards have highlighted the work and achievements of Local Land Charges teams who carry out the land and property searches required for conveyancing transactions in England and Wales.

The 2024 awards will include two awards which ran for the first time in 2023, and the extended Customer Satisfaction Award:  

Best Performing Searches Team Member Award, supported by SearchFlow, this gives you the opportunity to nominate a star performer for their achievements over the past 12 months.

Best Performing Migrated Local Authority, supported by HM Land Registry, is for local authorities who have already migrated their local land charges register to HMLR.

Three separate shortlists for the Customer Satisfaction Award - one for district councils, metropolitan districts, London Boroughs. 

 

 

Venue

Fees and bookings

Customer Satisfaction Award - Best in District Councils

About the winner

The team at Arun District Council are the only local authority to have won or been highly commended for an award every year for the past 8 years! The department is made up of 4 staff members, who as well as handling Local Land Charges, are also responsible for LLPG  and street naming and numbering. 

Karen started at Arun District Council in 1992 and joined the LLC team in 2021, bringing 23 years of planning experience working in Technical Support and as a Strategic Monitoring Officer.  

Jayne started at the Council in 1981 and has been street naming and numbering and managing the property gazetteer since 2002, working alongside the team in addressing and location support.  

With Agi joining in 2019 after spending a previous 8 years in Local Government and Dan having 20+ years’ in the LLC team (not including the time spent growing up in the office with his mum as an LLC Officer of over 40 years) the team now has over 100 years combined experience in Local Government! 

Finlay was born in 2021 and due to the continued working from home situation he has had a similar start to life as Dan, now attempting to crawl around under the desk as Dan did with his mum way back in the 1980’s! 

In 2022 Dan and his partner completed the London to Brighton cycle ride for Parkinsons UK, raising £455 for the charity. Dan's stepfather was diagnosed with Parkinsons shortly after the pandemic was declared in 2020. 
 
From an impressed conveyancer:  
 
“I've been dealing with the acquisitions of properties for 10 years and I deal with chains that span across the UK, I can easily say that Arun Local Land Charges are the swiftest local authority to issue searches compared to any other I've ever encountered” 

Left to right: Finlay Carman (the youngest member of the team born in April 2021), Dan Carman (Manager), Agi Davey, Jayne Hewstone and Karen Garner who joined in October 2021

About the award

Winner
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Highly commended
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Customer Satisfaction Award - Best in Metropolitan Districts

About the winner

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The Gateshead Local Land Charges team is made up of just one person: Lisa Stones, the Senior Land Charges Officer. Lisa has worked in Local Land Charges for 24 years and worked at Gateshead Council for 27 years. She started part time on the switch board in 1995 when her son was just 6 months old. 

Despite being a team of one, Lisa has celebrated success across various categories in the Land Data Awards for Excellence over the years. In 2021 she received the Highly Commended Unsung Hero award, and was shortlisted for the Customer Satisfaction award. In 2014 the team was shortlisted for Most Improved Services and Best Performing Local Land Charges Department (Level2). The team was shortlisted for this last award again in 2020. 

Lisa said of the win: 

"Although I am the only Local Land Charges Officer at Gateshead, I have a great working relationship with the teams throughout the Council who provide the information to answer the Con29 questions and register charges. Property purchasing is such a stressful time so if we can reduce that stress by returning the searches as quickly and as accurately as possible then that’s our main aim for our customers. Having worked in Local Land Charges for 24 years I’ve seen many, many changes, keeping up to date with training and new legislation means our customers get the best possible service from Gateshead."

Lisa recently passed her driving test on the first attempt and says it’s opened up a whole new world!

 

About the award

Winner
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Highly commended
Award sponsor
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Customer Satisfaction Award - Best in London Boroughs

About the winner

This is Hillingdon's first triumph at the Land Data Awards for Excellence! They were previously shortlisted for the Best Performing Local Land Charges Department (Level 3) in 2017. 

The Hillingdon Local Land Charges team is five-strong:

Sacha Bailey has been Applications Processing Team and Local Land Charges Manager for 4 years - she worked in the team in other roles prior to this. Sacha recently went Kayaking at the Rickmansworth Aquadrome. It was a really exhilarating experience, lots of fun, and something I would love to do again. 

Dharmista Lad is Applications Processing Officer totting up 17 years in the role. Her previous job role was a Finance and Admin officer at The Compass Theatre, Hillingdon. Dharmi is a wonderful cook, and in her spare time often makes Jam Jar gift favours for weddings and other special family events.

Shelby Phillips, Applications Processing Officer, has been in her role for just 1 year. Her previous job role was a Customer Service agent in the contact Centre for London Borough of Hillingdon. Shelby is a qualified hairdresser, who recently completed a course in barbering. Shelby is always happy to share styling hints and tips with staff in the office.

Obioma Nwenwu is Applications Processing Officer and is new to the team. Obi enjoys playing football for his local team, and regularly holds the position of centre midfield!  

Lesley French is the Local Land Charges Data Officer. She recently joined the team in February 2023. Prior to this she was a Central Securities Official working on behalf of a Bank.

In response to winning the award Sacha said:

"We're delighted to have won the Land Data Customer Satisfaction Award for Local Authority Searches 2023. The team do an amazing job, going above and beyond to deliver search results to our residents, agents and solicitors. Here at Hillingdon, we pride ourselves on getting Local Land Charges searches “correct first time”, and this careful approach means that we deliver accurate search results in a timely manner. We have a great team spirit within the Applications Processing Team, and we regularly support one another when faced with any particular challenge. An example of this is when we have to identify an obscure piece of land, which is made a lot easier when drawing on the experience and knowledge of staff who live locally. I’d like to congratulate the team on this fantastic achievement, and say a big thank you to everyone who supports us. It truly is a team effort."

About the award

Winner
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Highly commended
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Local Authority Searches Team of the Year

About the winner

This is the second time the West Lindsey team have won an Award for Excellence - the previous one being the Most Improved Services Award back in 2013.

The team has three members: Deborah Chapman, Senior Technical Officer who has worked at West Lindsey District Council since 2007, initially starting out in Customer Services, before moving to Local Land Charges in 2016.

Local Land Charges Officer Sheron Clixby has been at West Lindsey District Council for over 30 years. She has held various roles within the council including in the Customer Service team. She moved to Local Land Charges in 2018.

Sarah Ambrose is the Support Officer for the team. Sarah previously worked for Lincolnshire Police as an admin assistant before joining the team in 2019.

Deborah Chapman said of winning the award: 

"I am completely blown away at winning this award as I had convinced myself on the night that we hadn’t won! I am immensely proud that the team was shortlisted for not one but two awards in 2023 - it really is testament to a lot of hard work. We are a really tight knit team and have faced many work and personal challenges over the last two years. We have worked extremely hard with our change team to completely transform our service and adapt to its changing demands, especially around our migration to HM Land Registry. We are thrilled to have won this award and I’m so proud of the team we have at West Lindsey District Council!"

About the award

Winner
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Highly commended
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Best Newcomer Award

About the winner

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Claire is the first winner of this new award, but the Ashfield LLC team have been shortlisted twice before - in 2014 for Most Improved Service, and in 2020 for Searches Team of the Year. 

Claire began working part-time for Ashfield District Council in 2006 in the Customer Services team, and joined the Planning Department as an Information and Support Assistant in 2011. When a position became available in Local Land Charges she applied for it and the rest is history!

Claire says of her new role: "Despite being of an age where some of my contemporaries and friends have already retired, I have quite enjoyed the challenge of learning a new job – although it has been quite a steep learning curve at times!"

Prior to the council Claire worked for the National Westminster Bank for 24 years, her last role being an Assistant Commercial Manager. The skills Claire developed at the bank gave her a solid foundation for work at the council. Claire says: "I organised loans and understood taking charges over buildings and other assets which links in to the Land Charges process. I also dealt with portfolios of customers so case management was something I was familiar with".

In her spare time Claire is a Guide Leader and has been for nearly 43 years, this involves organising weekly meetings and taking the girls camping - she says this keeps her young! Claire also enjoys watching rugby with her husband and in 2023 they are off to the Rugby World Cup in France.

 

About the award

Winner
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Highly commended
Award sponsor
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Best Performing Migrated Local Authority

About the winner

This is the first time that Isle of Wight Council has ever won an Award for Excellence! 

The team is seven-strong and covers both elections and Local Land Charges.

Luke is the Elections and Local Land Charges Apprentice, he has been with the team for just seven months. He has a found Local Land Charges work challenging but very interesting. 

Clive is the Elections and Local Land Charges Manager - he has been with the council 20 years and is a local celebrity in the Elections world!

Nolan is Senior Elections and Local Land Charges Officer. He has only been with the department since August 2022 and is currently going through a training course in Elections and Local Land Charges. 

James is the Elections and Local Land Charges Officer AEA (cert). He joined the department as an apprentice having previously been in the Royal Navy Submarine Service. Recently James got a puppy called Milo, he likes eating cushions (10 so far). 

Jackie Myland and Jill Laurence-Tilley were the main players in the migration project and are responsible for the in-house training in all things related to Local Land Charges. They worked tirelessly over the pandemic and kept the service running during the recent housing market boom. 

Colin is the Elections Team assistant and helps with all Land Charges admin when needed. 

Clive congratulated the team on the win:

“The Isle of Wight Council is delighted that the hard work put in by the Local Land Charges Team at the council to maintain Local Land Charges Register data to the highest of standards has been recognised by HM Land Registry, Land Data, and the wider Local Land Charges community.   Accuracy and attention to detail have been the key to ensuring that our data always meets the exacting standards required by HM Land Registry, and we have been very well supported by colleagues at HM Land Registry both throughout the initial migration period, and on a continuing basis.”

 

Photo left to right-Luke, Clive, Nolan and James. Missing from the photo are Jackie, Jill and Colin. 

About the award

Winner
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Highly commended
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Best Performing NLIS Level 2 LLC Department

About the winner

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The Local Land Charges team at Lambeth Borough Council is no stranger to award success. They have been shortlisted for the Best Performing Level 2 Award eight times, winning in 2016 and 2023, and highly commended in 2020 and 2021. 

There are six members of staff in the team: Legal Services Business Manager Gerard Kamath, Assistant Business Manager Limi Arub and four Business Support Officers - Sophie Clarke who joined Lambeth in 1984 (!), Uyoyo Akamo, Priya Livingston and Indu Chandran.

Gerard congratulated the team on their success: "Winning this national award is an absolute honour.  It is a prestigious achievement for the team to be recognised on a national level and it is a true testament to their dedication and hard work. The team totally understand the importance of this crucial service to citizens hoping to buy and sell property within the Borough. They approach their work and its challenges with a 'can-do' attitude - encouraging, supporting and appreciating individual and group efforts in achieving the common business goal, which is to give our customers the best possible outcome."

Gerard says the team's turnaround times have been vastly improved through continuous in-depth analysis of their systems and procedures coupled with the use of automation and technology to offer the most efficient service to their customers. The team's technical skills and a deep understanding of the software, database and spatial systems utilised within the Council's back office systems contributed to the more innovative work done to support the migration of the Land Charges Register to HM Land Registry in 2018.

 

About the award

Winner
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Highly commended
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Best Performing NLIS Level 3 LLC Department

About the winner

A sixth-time finalist for this award category, the LLC team at the City of York collected the highly commended trophy in 2014 and the winners’ trophy in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. The team came 5th in the same category in 2015 and 7th in 2017.  

The department consists of just two members of staff - Peter Audin who is the City of York’s Local Land Charges Manager and LLPG Manager (Peter is also the LLCI President) and Senior LLC Officer Ian Hartley. Throughout the pandemic the department maintained a superfast turnaround time, often under 24 hours. 

Commenting on the department’s success, Peter Audin (far right) says: “I think it’s a mix of different elements, we have experienced staff who have access to a fully digitised repository of information, which we’ve built up over many years. We always check every step of the search process, which reduces the risk of error, and when we do need to reject a search we clearly explain why. As our offices have remained closed throughout the pandemic, we have asked personal searchers to submit an official LLC1, which has been working well to improve efficiency too.”

Left to right: Ian Hartley and Peter Audin

About the award

Winner
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Highly commended
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The Unsung Hero Award

About the winner

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Anita has worked in the Local Land Charges team at Stoke-on-Trent City Council since 1985, and became the Senior Officer in 1989. 

Anita has always had an interest in Archaeology and left the council to complete a degree in the subject in 2002. She returned to Local Land Charges and was made a permanent Senior Officer a few years ago.

Anita said: "It was a complete surprise to be nominated for the award and then to win! It’s great to be recognised in this way.

"It can be very challenging at times, to juggle so many demands but I do try and answer and resolve queries and help the NLIS Helpdesk team as quickly as possible. What I think about is the customer, I put myself in their shoes and think 'if this was me I would want my enquiry to be resolved quickly'."

Anita is supported by the Principal Land Charges Officer, Sharon Fern and two Land Charges Officers: Karen Walker and Tara Degg. Graham Fletcher also gives a valuable helping hand.

Anita Tunnicliffe's win sits alongside other Excellence Awards for Stoke-on-Trent City Council. In 2011 the council won the Most Improved Services award, and in 2018 the team won the Best Customer Experience Award, as well as the Highly Commended award for Searches Team of the Year. The team was shortlisted for Searches Team of the Year in 2020 and Most Improved Services in 2015.

A little story from Anita's travels in Australia... 

"Arriving at the hotel room which was newly decorated I decided to open a bottle of red. Struggling to get the cork out, it snapped in half so I had to stab the rest of the cork into the bottle, in doing so a complete shower of red wine exploded out over the white walls and ceiling. Fearing I'd be charged, I trawled the whole town for a paint shop. Luckily I found a low odour white paint which wouldn’t arouse suspicion, and I painted a good proportion of the ceiling and wall.  I put the “do not disturb sign” on the door for a couple of days and hid the paint at the back of the wardrobe. Luckily I got away with it and disaster was averted.  The worse disaster was drinking what was left in the bottle and spitting out bits of cork." 

About the award

Winner
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Highly commended
Award sponsor
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