Launch of new recommended trader scheme

KCC Trading Standards has teamed up with Checkatrade.com in a bid to protect the county’s 1.5million residents from rogue traders and to support legitimate businesses.

The new partnership is inviting local tradespeople to join its website directory, which gets more than 105,000 hits every month from people in Kent looking for a reputable trader.

Businesses which sign up will receive benefits such as dedicated Checkatrade.com support, KCC ‘Trading Standards Approved’ status and free vehicle signwriting.

The launch of the Trading Standards and Checkatrade partnership: from the left: Insp Gary Thompson from Kent Police, Sarah Hohler, Kevin Byrne and KCC Trading Standards manager Richard Strawson.

The launch of the Trading Standards and Checkatrade partnership: from the left: Insp Gary Thompson from Kent Police, Sarah Hohler, Kevin Byrne and KCC Trading Standards manager Richard Strawson.

Existing members of the council’s former scheme, Buy with Confidence, will receive free Checkatrade.com membership for six months.

The partnership was officially launched at an event which also marked Checkatrade’s sponsorship of KCC’s Trading Standards’ education work including its Young Consumer of the Year competition.

Among many education initiatives, KCC runs the competition on behalf of the Trading Standards Institute, with the aim of making young people aware of their consumer responsibilities and rights.

Checkatrade is investing in this exciting event to help educate young people in Kent and protect the next generation of consumers against rogue traders.

Design and technology pupils at the Wyvern School, Ashford, assisted in a 60-minute makeover challenge featuring Linda Barker and Craig Phillips from the TV programme “Changing Rooms”.

Craig Phillips and Linda Barker at the partnership launch.

Craig Phillips and Linda Barker at the partnership launch.

Items of furniture purchased from a local charity shop were “up-cycled” and will be sold for school funds.

Checkatrade founder Kevin Byrne (left) and Mike Overbeke, KCC’s Head of Public Protection, sign the partnership agreement

Checkatrade founder Kevin Byrne (left) and Mike Overbeke, KCC’s Head of Public Protection, sign the partnership agreement

Craig said: “I worked as a builder for many years and know how important it is to find a trader you can reply on. I’m thrilled to be an ambassador for Checkatrade at such an exciting time.

“This new partnership with Trading Standards highlights the fantastic work they do and I have really enjoyed working with the youngsters at Wyvern School”.

Linda added: “I am delighted to be working with Checkatrade and the partnership with KCC Trading Standards helps consumers choose a tradesperson they can trust and rely upon.

“Checkatrade are not only protecting consumers today but by supporting the Young Consumer of the Year Competition, are helping to protect tomorrow’s generation.”

Sarah Hohler, KCC’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “This is a hugely exciting partnership which I am sure will bring enormous benefits to the residents of Kent.”

To find out more about how this partnership will assist Kent residents, go to: www.checkatrade.com/kent/

Linda Barker and Craig Phillips work with Wyvern School pupils on their furniture “upcycling”

Linda Barker and Craig Phillips work with Wyvern School pupils on their furniture “upcycling”

Launch of new recommended trader scheme was last modified: December 1st, 2014 by Thom Morris