Local council back-tracks on suspension of local search service over summer

A local authority has back-tracked on a six-week suspension of its searches service.

Originally, Surrey Heath Council said it would not be supplying any searches between August 1 and the middle of September, due to a change of IT systems. There was an outcry as conveyancers and agents warned of the impact this would have on sales going through.

However, in a new statement, the council says it is now advised that the software will be “partially operational”.

It now says that a turnaround period of ten days is likely to be expected between August 9 and the middle of next month.

It says this is “slower than our current rate but is still in line with government guidelines. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

It also apologises for any confusion “and hope that this information is reassuring for those needing to use this service”.

Meanwhile another local council, Camden in London, has said it is turning around searches in about 50 working days.

Camden says that this is “due to unforeseen circumstances”, believed to be staff shortages.

We have approached the council for comment.

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