Policy & Resources Cabinet Member – Minutes – 20 March 2014

On 19 February 2013 Council approved the revenue and capital budgets for the 2013/2014 financial year.  The report gave details of virements approved by the Director of Policy and Resources under delegated powers and those that required Cabinet Member approval.

Resolved – (a) That the virements at paragraph 3.1 of the report, approved by the Director of Policy and Resources under delegated powers be noted, and (b) that the permanent virements outlined in paragraph 3.2 of the report be approved.

116      (56) REVIEW OF THE PERFORMANCE OF THE LOCAL LAND CHARGES SERVICE AND LEGAL SERVICES CHARGING POLICY – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report which outlined the performance of the Local Land Charges Service, and sought approval to amend the charges made by both the Local Land Charges Service and also Legal Services.

The number of searches undertaken in the current year to date demonstrated an increase when compared with the previous year. Local Land Charges income reached the sum of £120,801.00 at the end of January 2014 against a profiled year to date budget of £97,216.66.  The number of personal searches carried out by private search companies for the current year to date (i.e. up to 31 January 2014) was 857 which was more than for the same period last year but significantly less than for the whole of the year 2008/09 when 2736 and for the whole of the year 2009/10 when 2308 were carried out.

The report identified that the number of searches undertaken in the current year to date demonstrated an increase when compared with the previous year.

The Local Land Charges Service had ensured that 100% of searches had met North Lincolnshire Council’s performance indicator of an eight day turn around.

Details of the revised Local Land Charges were outlined within the report.

A review had been undertaken of the charges made by Legal Services (incorporating Commercial Practice) following the Report received from the CIPFA Benchmarking Club.  Full details of the charges were outlined in the appendix to the report.

The proposal was to increase the charges made by Legal Services for work other than the fees charged in connection with Local Land Charges by £5.00 per hour.  The increase reflected a reasonable estimate for the cost of providing the service based on a tiered cost recovery approach and compared favourably with the charges made in the private sector which were around £200 per hour.

Resolved – (a) That the local land charge fee structure as set out in paragraph 3.2 of the report be implemented with effect from 1 April 2014, and (b) that the legal fees as proposed in the Appendix to the report be adopted with effect from 1 April 2014.

Note: Reports are in Portable Document Format (PDF) and therefore require a suitable reader to view them. A reader can be downloaded free from the Adobe website (full instructions for downloading the reader are provided on the site).

Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.