Each month, HVP readers get in touch to share their views and reactions to the latest news and content, with the best letter winning a £100 Amazon voucher thanks to Resideo. Here are the letters from our April 2019 edition.
Slipping standards are a danger
In reference to the ‘registered and incompetent’ letter [Ed: see p16 of HVP February], this debacle has been in the making for more than a decade.
As an old, still working installer, I have seen the deterioration of standards. I was Corgi-registered, the exams had no books to copy from, we had to learn the subject and sit the exam, pass or fail.
I employed a young man who was Gas Safe-registered. One day, an Inspector came to call and this young man panicked. He stated he could not answer questions without the book. I asked him 10 questions, all to do with basic gas safety and he got two right; he didn’t even know how to test for a gas leak.
Now fast forward in time, Which? Magazine tested 10 supposedly Gas Safe-registered engineers and not one of them knew what to do! I have also read in trade magazines that colleges must pass the candidate – this is tied in with funding.
As B. Parish states, all ill-deserved registrations are a danger to the public. As things stand, any incompetent person who wishes to be a Gas Safe engineer pays his college fee and gets his certificate. Why not have a ‘Black Friday sale’ and get a lot more ‘gas safe’ Gas Safe-registered engineers?
R. S. Watt, via post
Not tough on crime
Please let me tell you what experience I encountered when my van was broken into and all my power tools were stolen, along with every other tradesperson’s vans in the village.
I discovered the theft and damaged van at 8am as I was about to depart to work. I phoned the police and was told not to touch anything and wait for the scene of the crime officer (SOCO) to arrive for a statement from me, fingerprints etc.
I waited along with my neighbour, whose van had suffered the same fate.
At 12:15pm, the SOCO arrived. They said there was no point taking fingerprints and there were too many break-ins to take statements from everyone so I should go to police station to give a statement there.
What a waste of time. Insurers wouldn’t pay either as the vehicle was not in a locked compound or garage.
It was in fact on my driveway, impossible to fit in a garage being a high lift roof transit with roof rack and ladder on top. The same insurers insured my van and bungalow and they never asked any of these questions while taking my premiums and renewals over several years.
The police and the insurers ‘talk the good talk’ but, when push comes to shove, both are a waste of space.
G. Pitchford, via email
Time to take action on air
I welcome the inclusion of energy and environment matters in HVP. Your leader [Ed: see p5 of HVP February] outlines the main issues of pollution followed with a further report on p8 on the Clean Air Strategy the government has launched.
Most people know there are different types of pollution and the frightening number of annual deaths attributable to pollution in general. The World Health Organization, apparently, has identified particulate matter as the most damaging pollutant.
I disregard platitudes like ‘ambitious long-term target’ from business-lacking acumen, career politicians. The promotion and later condemnation of diesel-powered vehicles comes to mind, as does the promotion of wood burning appliances with the associated ‘carbon neutral’ accreditation, based on the fact that leaves absorb carbon dioxide while trees are growing so it’s okay now to burn the trees and emit CO2. Now we have particulate concerns from burning on stoves and open fires as the single biggest source of particulate emissions.
With statistics showing emission levels high on many roads, the government needs to spend some money and develop filter units for roadside installations, the worst situations being addressed first.
A. Hulme, via email
If there's an issue close to your heart, or problem you want to address, we welcome all correspondence from readers. Please get in touch by emailing HVP Editor Joe Dart at firstname.lastname@example.org.