I was interested to read that Rod Maceachrane, commercial director of the National House Building Council, says that dispute resolution cases are down 14% year on year (16 April, page 43). The NHBC Annual Review records 4128 cases in 1997/98 rising to 7673 in 2001/02. The last figure was accompanied by the following comment in the NHBC Annual Review 2002: "Over the past four years the NHBC has recorded a 60% increase in the number of requests for the use of the resolution service."

I would like to quote figures for 2003 but the NHBC chose not to publicise these in the Annual Review 2003.