Non-executive director Julia Gough attended the November Residents Advisory Panel (RAP) chaired by John Lavin, together with new member Bob Glover. Bob lives at Allcourt in Lechlade-on-Thames. The agenda focussed on current initiatives such as the production of new estate handbooks, parking issues, security and improvements to the alarm service. John Lavin reported on the home improvement service being offered by the new company Cognatum Services (see article ‘A solution to home improvement), and said that providing a letting service was still under review.

The Panel strongly supported the value of holding autumn annual meetings and welcomed the improved reports. Members attached significant importance to this annual opportunity to discuss and explain service charges and other key issues face-to-face. It also considered how best to get feedback from owners, such as questionnaires and focus groups.

The view was expressed that the panel might benefit from a larger pool of people, partly to increase the range of experience of members. Members attend meetings twice a year at Cognatum Estates’ offices in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, and should be open to consultation on various subjects throughout the year as needs arise. Anyone interested in joining RAP should contact John Lavin for more information.