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14 Aug 2005
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Topic Title: War and peace
Topic Summary: Part P, cowboys et al
Created On: 12 February 2006 07:18 PM Topic View: LinearThreadingSingleBranch

12 February 2006 07:18 PM


Posts: 3
Joined: 03 February 2006
Considerable scorn and invective is poured upon those of us who have decided to obey the law and accept the introduction of Part P of the Building Regulations. The situation is quite simple, the Building Regulations are criminal law and failing to abide by them renders you liable to prosecution. The Government is not offering a choice of whether to opt in or out. If I may draw a parallel with the apparent attitude shown by some contributors, you would be supportive of my actions in driving my car whilst drunk, simply because I decided it was a bad law and I therefore had the right to ignore same. Presumably you would continue to support my right to do what I wanted even if I killed someone you considered important to you. That is anarchy and we still live in some form of a democracy (least it was the last time I sobered up).

If you believe the incorporation of electrical safety regulations, into the Building Regulations, is a bad thing then protest by every means at your disposal. Can I be so bold as to ask what representations you did make to your trade association, (or directly to the Government), during the consultation period and did you ensure that they mirrored your concerns to ODPM? Are you continuing to express these concerns to NICEIC, ECA NAPIT or whomever, or are they only stated here?

There seem to be four main points that are raised:-

1. Those of you who have completed apprenticeships, passed your C&G’s and have years of experience are concerned that others (the “three day wonders” – whatever that means) are able to leapfrog into your position as a consequence of accreditation (if that’s the right term) as a “Domestic Installer”, and be viewed as your equal by the public.

2. Part P will not rid the world of cowboys and their consequent dangerous practices and will in fact prove to be as vacuous and ineffectual as the man responsible for its introduction.

3. The nonsense situation where those who have the obvious skills, knowledge and experience are prevented from automatically being accredited.

4. You do not have to obey the law because it’s a bad one.

I would respond:-

There are a number of examples in the forum of reported poor workmanship by electricians who ostensibly are competent and fully trained, in some cases working for national companies. One could therefore draw the conclusion that even time-served, fully trained, competent electricians can be rubbish.

And when you have been faced with cowboy work what have YOU done about it. How many of you have contacted the firm/individual, who did the work, to point out what was wrong? Who has contacted the LABC, DTI, NIC, ECA etc to bring the “cowboy” to their attention? By doing nothing except complaining in this forum you are merely condoning a dangerous situation.

Write to the poor sap that paid for the work along these lines:-


Your electrical installation is dangerous and could cause a fire or DEATH!
This needs immediate attention.
Please contact your local Building Control Officer [NICEIC, ECA or as appropriate] for independent advice.

Do it in big red letters and send a copy to LABC, NIC etc. yourself and make sure the customer knows you have.

Since your trade associations seem to be powerless or incompetent to police the cowboys and raise standards, it’s left to you to take direct action, if you really do give a damn.

1. On the matter of training, apprenticeships etc. I have a friend who served a miserable 5 year apprenticeship as a painter & decorator. How many of you have rubbished his status by buying some paint and a brush from B&Q and engaging in some amateur DIY. After all any idiot can put a coat of paint on a wall, or service their car/van, plaster a wall, plumb in a new sink, lay a few bricks etc. You could be another trade’s cowboy!

2. Two things are apparent, your trade associations are ineffectual at raising the public’s perception of your craft skills and they are equally ineffective at policing an industry that they wish to lay claim to control. Cowboys exist because customers use their services, through ignorance and apathy. In the end it falls to you, since you will be confronted with the mess that gets left behind, not some NIC inspector. So what will you do?

3. Bearing in mind that you have cowboys in your midst, who will also gain approval, I cannot believe that a concerted effort to get this daft situation changed will not meet with success. The object of the exercise is to improve electrical safety in dwellings, not to alienate a skilled workforce. So lobby guys and gals, your NIC, ECA etc. rep, your MP, your LABC, the ODPM. Get a petition together, enlist the media – divert some of your energy towards a positive outcome.

4. You don’t have to obey the law. Anyone can choose to do that, with any law. You just have to be prepared to accept the consequences, when and if they arise. I cannot be certain, but I think that the remainder of the provisions of the Building Regs have remained on the statutes, being improved periodically, in part with feedback from the people charged with actually putting them into practice. You could always give it a go. Personally, I think there is a good chance that the Government will spot the revenue generating possibilities of Part P prosecutions, particularly at £16,000 a time! Luvly jubbly.

Anyway it’s time I shut up. I see nurse coming with my medication – I’ll be better soon – just need to calm down . . . . .

Humbly yours

All my life I wanted to be somebody – seems I should have been more specific
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12 February 2006 08:04 PM


Posts: 420
Joined: 02 December 2004
I must say this raises some interesting points
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