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Latest news

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  • Clear Skies’ successor charges massive registration fee

    The Government is planning to charge installers £1,800 and renewable product manufacturers £3,600 just to register with the UK Microgeneration Certification scheme (UKMCs). This is before they have passed the assessment to the new requirement, allowing them to install or offer renewable technologies to their customers. The UKMCs is the third-party certification scheme for microgeneration products and installers, developed and operated by BRE Certification Ltd (BREC). From April 30 2007, ...

  • Hospital fined £80k for failing to follow safety guidance

    A hospital was fined £80,000 by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) last week for failing to control the risks associated with the legionella bacteria. The Royal United Hospital (RUH), Bath, NHS Trust was fined for being in breach of Regulations 6 and 7 of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. It was also ordered to pay costs of £23,883. Daryl Eyles died in February 2004 after contracting Legionnaire’s disease from a dirty showerhead hours before he was due ...

  • Ormandy buys Rycroft

    Offsite fabrication and water heating firm Ormandy bought commercial water heating manufacturer Rycroft from the Baxi Heating Group (Baxi) last week for an undisclosed sum. As part of the deal, Baxi’s Dreh and Heatrae industrial businesses will join the Ormandy stable. Rycroft, which is over 100 years old, will continue to operate under its own brand and from its headquarters in Bradford. It will also retain 89 members of staff. Six-year old Ormandy is headed up by former Rycroft managing ...

  • Planning permission on microrenewables to be relaxed

    Householders will be allowed to install solar panels and wind turbines on their properties without having to apply for planning permission, under proposals announced last week. The Department of Communities and Local Government is launching a consultation paper, Changes to Permitted Development: Consultation Paper 1 – Permitted Development Rights for Householder Microgeneration, on the proposition, designed to encourage more householders to reduce their carbon emissions by generating their ...

  • Wolseley axes 180 staff and closes 47 branches nationwide

    Heating and plumbing products distributor the Wolseley Group (Wolseley) is making 180 of its UK staff redundant. The building materials supplier is also closing 47 of its 1900 branches as it seeks to reduce its cost base and benefit from improving markets while it sits out a slowdown in the US residential market. America is key market for the Group. Cazenove, the financial advisors, estimate that Wolseley extracts approximately 28 per cent of its underlying earnings from new house sales ...

  • Apprenticeship numbers continue to slip

    The number of young people taking apprenticeships fell last year, according to official statistics released by the Department of Education and Skills. The number of basic apprenticeships, equivalent to GCSEs, declined by 12 per cent, from 159,500 in January 2006 to 140,100 in January this year. Advanced apprenticeships, mandatory for supervisors and managers, fell by 4.2 per cent to 96,200 over the same period. The figures continue the long-term trend that has seen advanced apprenticeship ...

  • Barrow council condemned for air-conditioning system failure

    A catalogue of failures by Barrow Borough council led to the outbreak of worst case of Legionnaires’ disease in the UK. That was the damning find in a Health and Safety Executive report published earlier this week. The outbreak occurred when the cleaning chemicals in the air-conditioning system at the council-run Forum 28 Arts Centre were not replaced. This led to a build-up of sludge-like substance in the cooling towers, which caused the system to spray infected droplets onto people walking ...

  • Building Control System under review

    The Government is planning to revise the Building Control System (BCS), according to an official document issued last week. In the Future of Building Control, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the Department outlines its plans for creating an effective framework within which the BCS can be reformed. The report states: “The system is not broken but it has some serious failings and weaknesses that must be tackled if we are to ensure that it remains ...

  • Unite, the Union

    The new trade union formed from the merger between Amicus and the Transport and General Workers Union (T&G) earlier last month is to be called Unite, the Union. The name will be unveiled on May 1 when the union, which consists of two million members from the public sector and private companies, including approximately 150,000 construction workers, comes into force. A T&G spokesperson said the new name had been agreed between the two unions after much discussion. Various names were considered, ..

  • Specialised diplomas under fire

    The Department for Education and Skills is making 10,000 building services engineering diploma places available to young people throughout the UK. From September 2008, 6,000 students will be able to study for a new diploma in engineering, while a further 4,000 students will be able to study for one in construction and the built environment. The specialist diplomas have been developed to meet industry requirements and offer students English, Maths IT, design and communication skills. They ...

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