2017 is a very special year for us at RoS as we celebrate 400 years of the sasine register. Our friends The Scotsman turned 200 last week, so congratulations to a fellow Scottish institution. You’re halfway there!
There is so much going on in what is a very exciting year. First up, it’s now just a matter of days before our Glasgow colleagues make their eagerly anticipated moved to St Vincent Plaza. I think you will find that our new office is a work of art, providing a home for a business with a mind for the future and a desire to fulfil our digital aspirations.
SVP has surprises in store and if staff have the heart for change, to pursue new ways of working, to embrace a trusting culture, to have a healthier working life, and to join RoS on its transformational journey, then SVP is going to be their kind of place! It is kitted out with state-of-the-art technology – including four Microsoft Surface Hubs – to allow us to better collaborate with colleagues across sites, thereby saving the organisation time and money.
Meanwhile, back at Hanover House (HHO) everyone is doing their best to leave everything in good order. Staff are already working in different ways and getting ready for the move. Clean desks are the norm and telephones are already gone. It’s all Skype these days and VDI is becoming the way we communicate. By 27 February, all of HHO staff will have started their new life in SVP.
We’ve just launched an appointment-only system for customers who need to obtain information from our registers in person. The new system means customers and staff can both be prepared for appointments, ensuring swift and satisfactory service.
Customers can make appointments for both our Glasgow and Edinburgh customer service centres. If a customer does not have internet access, they can request an appointment by calling customer services on 0800 169 9391.
Also recently launched is our new blogging platform, insideRoS.blog. This new space will provide a platform for discussion and will share information that is relevant to our stakeholders. Working with HR, we will also use the blog to help promote RoS as an innovative place to work, particularly within the IT/Dev community.
Among the blogs already live, there is an update from Allan MacKenzie on the keeper-induced registration (KIR) project within the land register completion programme. Headline news from Allan’s blog reveals that we’ve now registered more than 1,300 properties through KIR – and that number is rising every day.
KIR allows RoS to move titles from the General Register of Sasines onto the land register without an application from the owner. It enables RoS to register properties that are unlikely to come on to the land register by any other means, such as voluntary registration or in response to a trigger such as a sale or a new standard security.
KIR is a great way of bringing on to the land register residential properties in RoS “research areas”. These are areas containing a number of similar properties, such as housing estates, where we already have extensive existing information about the content of similar titles. As KIR continues to progress it brings a complete land register, with its many benefits for individual owners, and for Scotland as a whole, much closer.
Our HPI stats releases continue to garner a great deal of interest around the country. House prices in Scotland continued their rise, with a climb of 3.3 per cent in November 2016, compared to the previous year, giving an average price of £143,033. East Renfrewshire continued its incredible surge, with prices climbing by a sixth from the year before.
We’ve been out and about since coming back to work in January discussing our digital transformation consultation. We’ve already held breakfast events in Perth, Dumfries and today in Edinburgh, and we’re looking forward to meeting everyone booked to attend our next few sessions in Glasgow, Aberdeen and finishing in Inverness on 15 February.
If you haven’t signed up then please make sure you get your name down fast – we don’t want you to miss out as places are now limited due to popular demand! I’ll update you on next steps after the consultation closes on 22 February.