Merchants support Bradford campaign

Published:  17 December, 2009

BRADFORD: Local builders' merchants have supported a council campaign to alert the public to risk of using cowboy builders.

John Gray, the council's building control services manager, said that during a recession people tend to be more vulnerable to cowboy builders.

"There tends to be more domestic work going on because people do not move home and they are more prone to the 'Jack-The-Lad' at the end of the street, saying, 'I could do that.' It is a temptation of course because they think they are getting something cheap. In our experience these jobs cost twice as much or even more than doing it legitimately.

"We try to publicise it and we have been to areas handing out leaflets where it is prevalent. We have also been to builders' merchants - they have been particularly co-operative."

The council is keen to warn people of the dangers of cowboy builders. In the most recent case, inexperienced builders undermined the foundations of a terraced house threatening the stability of adjacent buildings.

As an emergency measure, Bradford Council arranged for 36 cubic metres of concrete to be poured into the hole under the building to make it safe.

But by that time, the "builders", who had been paid thousands of pounds up front, had disappeared leaving nothing behind but a mobile phone number.

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