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Land Charges

Requested on
Tue 18th February, 2014
Reference
FOI 3957
Resolution
Information provided

Question

It is noted that a large number of Council land charge departments make reference to and promote the services of TM Group (UK) Ltd.

For example Manchester City Council's web page reads

"TM Group (UK) Ltd

Previously an NLIS channel, TM Search Choice is an independent private company, which has introduced competition to the electronic search market. By removing expensive intermediaries, TM Search Choice makes the process easier and more cost effective for everyone. Your solicitor can order an official search from the TM Search Choice website and it will be delivered back electronically, via the simple and intuitive website.

TM Search Choice systems are simple to use and easy to implement. You just log in and place your order. Handling over 2,000 searches an hour, TM Search Choice is the reliable and efficient way to order and manage the search reports needed to buy or sell a property in England or Wales.

TM Search Choice offers a variety of searches besides the official local authority search. For more details please contact TM Search Choice on 0844 249 9203 or visit their website using the link below."

Without appropriate explanation this requires consideration by Europe. As I am sure you will accept, public bodies should not be seen as favouring one private company or potentially offering unlawful state aid

Please provide

• A copy of all your exchanges with TM.
• By specific reference to standing orders/ delegated powers details of the process and the written records by which it has been decided to include or exclude reference to TM in Council material. (In accordance with Statutory Instrument 2089 Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 please also provide the requisite written statement for the relevant executive decision).
• The percentage of your searches that are ordered by TM that contribute to the 2,000 per hour detailed above

Answer

• A copy of all your exchanges with TM.  There have been no exchanges with TM
• By specific reference to standing orders/ delegated powers details of the process and the written records by which it has been decided to include or exclude reference to TM in Council material. (In accordance with Statutory Instrument 2089 Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 please also provide the requisite written statement for the relevant executive decision).   Charnwood does not promote or make reference to private companies on it's web site or in any council material.
• The percentage of your searches that are ordered by TM that contribute to the 2,000 per hour detailed above  Approximately 6% of the searches processed by Charnwood are carried out by TM.

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