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Checkatrade News - July 2011

Jul
28
2011

Essex urges residents to 'Buy with Confidence'

Essex County Council has re-launched a scheme that will educate consumers about trusted tradesmen in the area, the Halstead Gazette reports. In collaboration with the Office of Fair Trading, the Essex Trading Standards team believes...
Jul
27
2011

Customer Focus takes 13,000 complaints against rogue traders

Action group Customer Focus has encouraged home-owners to only use trusted tradesmen or risk falling prey to the rogues. With a rise in 'Del Boy' rogues who turn up unannounced and con vulnerable residents out of thousands,...
Jul
27
2011

One in three would build own home

Support for a governmental self-build scheme is strong amongst UK home-seekers, as one in three reveal they would take up the offer. Data from the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society (N&P) suggests that 30 per cent of people would call...
Jul
26
2011

Rogue traders passing off as council contractors

In an act of despicable magnitude, rogue traders are passing themselves off as official council contractors in order to receive gainful employment from vulnerable residents in Telford. Shropshire Star reports that as genuine council contractors...
Jul
25
2011

Rogue trader says sorry for below-par work

A "former" rogue builder who conned vulnerable home-owners has apologised for his sub-standard work, reports The Glastonbury Blog. After admitting nine charges at Bristol Magistrates' Court, including not turning to work when agreed, bumping...
Jul
22
2011

Northumbria Police continues renegade clampdown

Northumbria Police is entering phase two of its rogue trader awareness campaign 'If in doubt - keep them out'. Wearside locals are again reminded to be vigilant against bogus callers and conmen who may target the elderly or vulnerable. Through...
Jul
22
2011

Gardener appeared on 'Cowboy Builders'

One of Britain's professional gardeners from Woolston, Warrington has appeared on Channel Five's 'Cowboy Builders' alongside Melinda Messenger. Jason Stafford was on the programme because he helped to repair the "trashed" garden of a...
Jul
21
2011

Rogues in Oxford reach record levels

Rogue traders operating in Oxford have reached record levels, Trading Standards claims. During last year alone, Trading Standards recorded 524 complaints against cowboys operating in the city, just under three times the amount recorded four...
Jul
20
2011

Builder admits to fraud charges

A Darlington builder has appeared in court accused of pressurising vulnerable people into agreeing to unnecessary building work. 51-year old Terence Burnside admitted "a string of charges" at Teeside Crown Court yesterday, which also...
Jul
20
2011

Summer months are breeding ground for rogue traders

Door-to-door traders are reported to be increasing their services across the summer months which could pose a risk to vulnerable homeowners, reports City Wire. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is launching a campaign to help raise awareness...
Jul
19
2011

10-month jail term for gas explosion plumber

A plumber has been sentenced to jail after causing a gas explosion and fire which harmed a pensioner, reports The Construction Index. Peter Naylor of Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, was trying to fix a leaking stop cock at the home of 66-year old...
Jul
18
2011

Cowboy builder sent back to prison

A cowboy builder who charged home-owners up to three times the going rate for building work has been jailed for 16 months. Glen Pardoe - who admitted four counts of fraud - was sentenced to 16 months in prison; his arrest showing...
Jul
18
2011

Isle of Canna advertises for gardener

The small island of Canna, which has a population of around 20, has launched a campaign to find a gardener to take up residence in the Hebridean area. According to HeraldScotland.com, the tiny community is searching through the UK's professional...
Jul
18
2011

Rogue builder gang sentenced to prison

Six rogue traders have been jailed in Yorkshire for a total of 25 years. The gang, which included five members of the same family, were brought to justice after an 18 month prove into their workings, the largest ever undertaken by North Yorkshire...
Jul
14
2011

£1.8bn funding released by government for affordable homes

House builders, local authorities and housing associations have been awarded a massive £1.8 billion sum toward 80,000 new affordable homes. The news was confirmed by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). In total, 146 housing partners...
Jul
14
2011

Telford residents warned after rogue traders spotted

Irate customers who were sold broken televisions and fake gold have prompted police to urge caution to home-owners who buy from dodgy tradesmen, reports Shropshire Star. Several people were sold flatscreen televisions by sellers only to...
Jul
13
2011

Former rogue trader's new business called into question

Despite being slapped with a 'rogue trader' title, Simon Fielding is back in business and allegedly continuing shoddy workmanship around the Lancashire area.The roofer, who was previously the subject of a BBC consumer programme, has emerged...
Jul
12
2011

Celebrity builder gets behind construction training scheme

Celebrity builder Tommy Walsh has spearheaded a campaign to support building and construction trainees. The scheme has already proved to be working, after trainees from Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College swept the board at the London...
Jul
11
2011

Channel Five show returns to expose rogue tradesmen

Channel Five's hit show 'Cowboy Builders' has returned once again to demonstrate the importance of hiring only recommended tradesmen. The television show, fronted by Melinda Messenger and Dominic Littlewood, exposes dodgy tradesmen to the...
Jul
11
2011

Bank worker receives award for exposing rogue trader

A bank worker from Bexhill has received a 'Trading Standards Hero' award after raising her concerns about a potential rogue trader. Donna Gibbons, who works at Barclays Bank, became suspicious after learning that a tradesman...
Jul
11
2011

'Green Deal will be delivered', assures Huhne

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has denied that a delay in the government's Energy Bill will affect its flagship Green Deal energy efficiency scheme being passed into law. Yesterday it was confirmed that the Energy Bill would not be completed before...
Jul
8
2011

Yet more "no cold calling" zones established

A community in Leeds is the latest to sign up to declare their area a "no cold-calling zone". Many areas like this have sprung up in recent months, with local councillors taking a stand against repeat offenders calling unannounced at residents'...
Jul
7
2011

Rogue builders target homes in North Devon

Police and Trading Standards have warned North Devon residents to be on their guard against rogue traders who have been targeting homes in the area. During the past week alone, door-to-door cowboys have conned thousands of pounds from...
Jul
6
2011

Homeowners favour improving over moving, suggests report

Increasing numbers of homeowners are favouring improving their home rather than moving to a completely new locations, according to new research. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reveals that the slow sales market is prompting...
Jul
5
2011

Chris Beardshaw helps family design their ideal garden

A couple from West Sussex have realised just how important hiring recommended gardeners is after taking on celebrity gardener, Chris Beardshaw. Ian and Celia Parker moved into their West Sussex farmhouse in 2000, but knew that it would require a...
Jul
5
2011

Plumbing apprentice wins top award

A plumbing apprentice from Country Antrim, Belfast, has been given a prestigious award at a glamorous ceremony. According to the Belfast Telegraph, 20-year-old Ross Getty won the Plumbing and Mechanical Services Apprentice of the Year 2011...
Jul
4
2011

Scottish builders call for VAT cut to drive out rogues

Cutting VAT on home improvements could drive out rogue traders, Scottish builders have claimed. A study by the Scottish Building Federation has claimed that in a survey of all its members, cutting the VAT on the building industry from 20 per cent...
Jul
4
2011

Cold-calling ban set up in Liverpool

A city council scheme has banned rogue traders from knocking on doors in a bid to reduce crime, reports Liverpool Echo. The authority in Woolton, Liverpool set up the zone in five roads after residents complained about "being pestered" by cowboy...
Jul
1
2011

12-year-low on DIY expenditure

Spend on DIY activities has reached a 12-year-low, according to statistics published by Lloyds TSB. DIYweek.net confirmed that in the past year, the nation spent only £9.5 billion on DIY - equating to just £352 per British...
Jul
1
2011

Chirk warns residents of rogue traders

Warnings have been issued following a spate of rogue trader offences in North Wales. Chirk, on the Wales-England border, has seen a sharp rise in rogue traders targeting the area, so the North Wales Online Watch Link (OWL) has taken to warning...