Call for regime change

Over the last 18 months or so,there have been many letters in the paper calling for a general election and for a change of government.

Last weeks local elections in England saw the Tories lose over a thousand seats and the Lib Dems and Greens make significant gains.

The call for a change of government was reflected across England, this wretched government since coming to power in 2010 has presided over cuts to public services and the welfare state. A report in the Observer 7th May, said a record three million food parcels was distributed by the Trussell Trust last year, and that more people than ever before are turning to food banks and other charities to help them survive.

It said the first five months of this year has seen families going without essential toilet and sanitary products.

The government's own statistics show that millions of people across the UK are living in poverty. The UK is amongst the richest countries in the world, so how has life become so grim for so many? It really is time for a change of government and some radical policies put in place to repair the damage caused by thirteen years of Tory misrule.

Martin Webb

Old Town

Rogue trader warning

After complaints about cowboy builders soared by a third last year households in Wiltshire are urged to be vigilant amid fears of a further rise this spring as rogue traders seek to take advantage of the cost of living crisis.

A warning has been issued that, as well as work being potentially unsafe, victims of unscrupulous traders could face further complications and difficulty selling their home as the enforcement of building regulations is tightened.

Certain work in the home, such as an extension or installation of a new heating system, must be correctly notified with the local authority.

The responsibility typically lies with the tradesperson and tighter regulations mean they could face up to two years imprisonment if rules aren’t followed.

OFTEC, a registration body for heating technicians, is urging households to check the credentials of any tradesperson when having work done in the home to ensure all the regulations are correctly followed.

If you receive an unexpected knock at the door from someone offering to undertake work in your property, don’t be pressured into making a quick decision. It’s important to do some further research.

Check the tradesperson has the appropriate qualifications and experience to complete the work safely by asking to see their credentials. This is particularly true for a technician installing or servicing a heating system. Using technicians registered with a scheme, such as OFTEC for oil heating, solid fuel or renewable work, means they can ‘self certify’ that the work meets building regulations.

Speak with two or three tradespeople to obtain different quotes to compare. Rogue traders often entice people with seemingly ‘cheap’ offers.

Familiarise yourself with some of the key requirements when you are having work undertaken in your home. For example, will you need planning permission? Is the work compliant with building regulations? Will the work need to be notified, such as in the case of a new or replacement heating system installation.

You can find a local registered heating technician at for oil heating, solid fuel or renewables, or for mains gas.

Malcolm Farrow


Have a view on the news? Email a letter to the editor at or