We have now completed the Assure Index for all service charge budgets issued in the past quarter. The trend of increasing service charges on retail parks has continued and things are not getting any better. These exceptional increases, that will bite this year, are due to a combination of factors including deferred works, ‘enhanced’ specification of services/management and additional facilities. Unfortunately, in many cases, what we are not seeing is meaningful consultation. This is a requirement of the RICS Code. Also, surely the retailers maxim, “give them what they want, at a price they can afford” should be a consideration. Instead, based on conversations we have had, it seems clear that the first part has been largely ignored and the interest/sensitivity on affordability is not what it was 12 months ago.