the Keeper of RoS boarding a plane to Orkney

Message from the Keeper: September 2018

Blog post by Jennifer Henderson.

The close of this month marks six months for me as Keeper of the Registers of Scotland. I’ve learned so much during this time, and I’m excited that during September I’ve had the opportunity to meet with even more stakeholders, which I’ll discuss in more detail below.

In one of the main stories of this month, our monthly House Price Index (HPI) report (produced in partnership with the Office for National Statistics, HM Land Registry and Land and Property Services Northern Ireland) has been independently reviewed by the Office for Statistics Regulation and designated as an official National Statistic on 18 September. This recognises that the index meets the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality and value, and underlines the important role we play in providing the original and trusted source of land and property information in Scotland.

Jennifer and Sheena, the owner of this 1402 disposition, look at the document at Orkney Library
Jennifer and Sheena, the owner of this 1402 disposition, look at the document at Orkney Library

We’re also hard at work in our efforts to clear our backlog of registration casework. New ideas and approaches are ongoing, and we’re already starting to see the positive impact these are having on the arrear.  You can now see how we’re progressing with this work by viewing the backlog figures which we’ve made available on our website. We’re committed to sharing regular updates on our progress, and you can now get the latest figures on our website.

Stakeholder meetings were another highlight of September. At the beginning of the month I attended the Modern Thinking in Conveyancing conference, hosted by Millar and Bryce. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to speak with one of our most significant stakeholder groups, and themed my presentation around what RoS is doing to deliver services that help solicitors do their jobs, and how we’re shaping our services based on what solicitors are telling us. The following discussions were very positive, and I’d like to thank everyone who attended.

A close-up of the 1402 property deed, the oldest document in the Orkney Library archive
A close-up of the 1402 property deed, the oldest document in the Orkney Library archive

Elsewhere I also met with the Scottish Land Commission, to discuss how our data can input into their important work, and also welcomed a special delegation of the Tanzanian Land Registry to Meadowbank House, as part of our work to learn and share land registration best practice around the world.

And finally, I’m closing out September with a visit to both Orkney and Shetland, as part of a number of locations I’m visiting throughout Scotland to further engage with our stakeholders. It’s important for both RoS, and Scottish public bodies in general, to ensure stakeholders out with the central belt are able to easily engage with us, and so this visit was an unmissable opportunity to meet these stakeholders and discuss the areas of our work that matter to them. We’ve written to every faculty to ask if they would like me to visit, so if a visit isn’t yet planned for your area and you would like to meet me please email events@ros.gov.uk and we’ll plan it in.

Find out more!

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