Council agrees to Trusted Trader scheme

Dumfries and Galloway Council has agreed to the roll out of a Home Improvement Trusted Trader Scheme for the region.

The new initiative is set to provide assurance to householders who are employing contractors to carry out work to their homes.

Through the scheme, consumers will receive invaluable advice when it comes to picking reputable contractors provide information not only on the quality of their work but also their after sales service, so comparison is not just based on cost.

Businesses that wish to register as a Trusted Trader will be required to apply for membership and will then be subject to an auditing process by the council’s Trading Standards team.

When the information has been assessed by Trading Standards the business will either be accepted or refused. If accepted onto the initiative, business will be required to pay an annual fee of £200 which pays for the ongoing maintenance and operational costs of the scheme.

Councillor Jim McClung, chair of the Housing Sub Committee said: “Similar schemes across the country have been really helpful in rooting out cowboy builders. These are often the same firms that prey on the vulnerable in an effort to part them from their savings. I am hopeful that this scheme is a success and can be extended to other business areas where the public need advice and support when purchasing goods or services.”

The scheme will embody a Code of Practice for members to ensure that consumers’ interest are safeguarded, and that businesses raise their standards of customer care. The Code of Practice is designed to meet the criteria of the OFT Fair Trading Consumer Codes Approval Scheme.”

Funding of £30,000 in year one, £22,500 in year two and £15,000 in year three would bring the scheme to an operating level that could be sustained from the Trading Standards budget from year four onwards.