Trade body finds it hard to believe that the Land Registry shows such disrespect to its customers and stakeholders.
The Land Registry has seemingly decided to totally ignore the views of its customers and stakeholders by including provisions in the Infrastructure Bill (which was part of last week’s Queen’s speech) to assume responsibility for the Local Land Charges Register. This flies in the face of the negative responses by all major stakeholders to the consultation on this issue. It should be noted that the Land Registry have taken the extraordinary step of proceeding with the legislative process before they even published the results of the consultation.
James Sherwood-Rogers, the Chairman of CoPSO said ‘What is particularly galling is the utter disregard and disdain exhibited by the Land Registry’s approach to the consultation process which frankly beggars belief. Ed Lester the Chief Executive of the Land Registry is on record as saying that in future they will not just consult with stakeholders but they will listen to them. He has clearly failed in that undertaking on the very first occasion he has had the opportunity to put it into practice.’
In its own response to the consultation, CoPSO pointed out the huge risks that the proposed project carries for the property market, consumers and industry. In addition it is a hugely expensive solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.
Sherwood-Rogers added: ‘There has been much speculation that in the long term the Government intends to privatise the Land Registry. It can only be surmised that centralisation of the Local Land Charges Register is part of an intended ‘fattening up’ process to increase the perceived value of the Land Registry. In reality it is the effective nationalisation of a competitive and well functioning market as the precursor to the creation of a private sector monopoly’.
From discussions with Local Land Charges officials CoPSO is concerned that the Land Registry does not understand the task it has set itself. Will this then become another of the Land Registry’s litany of project failures that have already cost taxpayers £87 million in recent years? If it does, then what chance will the Government have of privatisation?