Plumber Charlie Mullins believes the industry must get tough on plumbing standards after the Which? consumer report condemned heating engineers.

An article published in the September 2011 edition of Which? magazine, suggested that domestic gas boiler engineers aren’t carrying out basic checks and are suggesting expensive, unnecessary repairs.>

Mullins believes that while the law states all engineers have to be Gas Safe registered, the scheme’s administrators need to take complaints more seriously and take appropriate action, including stripping engineers of their Gas Safe status where appropriate.

Last week, Mullins also called for the introduction of a system of statutory licensing of all plumbers and heating engineers, to eradicate sub-standard and cowboy practices in the industry.

He said: “When somebody is found to be carrying on like in this Which? investigation they should be crossed off the list if found guilty. These cowboys give our industry a bad name and it makes me livid. If they were working for me they’d be out of a job, no question.

“Having a strict register and striking off those who don’t comply will eradicate the cowboys and keep standards high. There are a lot of good companies out there that do a professional job and we all shouldn't be tarred with the same brush.”