Councils up for land searches award

Three councils in Dorset are up for an award recognising the service they deliver to home buyers.

North Dorset District Council, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council are each nominated for ‘Most Improved Services’ at the 2019 Land Data Local Land Charges Awards for Excellence.

The three councils share a single workforce and over the last few years have focused on improving the overall land charges service. Their plans included recruiting more people to process applications and improving the way relevant information is held.

The average turnaround of searches across all the councils is currently less than 10 working days. This exceeds the 15-day target time set by the councils as part of their improvement plans. It also means they are meeting the national targets set by central government.

West Dorset District Council’s corporate portfolio holder, Cllr Peter Barrowcliff said: “It’s fantastic news that we are on the shortlist.

“Regardless of whether we win, I would like to thank our staff who have worked hard to turn it around for west Dorset.

“I’d also like to thank our customers who have shown great patience while we worked to reduce search times.

“We now have an efficient process in place and our customers can be confident of a fast turnaround – vital when buying a house.”

This year’s shortlist for the Local Land Charges Awards for Excellence is made up of 46 local authority teams and 12 individuals who have all demonstrated excellence, enthusiasm and willingness to adapt and improve in a tough and uncertain market.

The shortlist has been drawn from over 200 entries and nominations submitted by solicitors, conveyancers, customer service experts and local land charges personnel.

The awards are held every year and celebrate the achievements and successes of Local Authority Local Land Charges departments across England and Wales.

The winners and highly commended for each category will be announced at an awards dinner on Monday 4 March 2019 in Birmingham