Clearview North September 2014 - Issue 154 - Page 6

INDUSTRYNEWS GGF Disappointed with Green Deal Fund Closure The GGF says it is disappointed that new Energy Minister Amber Rudd has been forced to shut down the Green Deal money back scheme, following a sudden surge in applications which cleared out £70 million of ring-fenced budget in just two days. The entire £120m budget was intended to last 12 months. In a statement, DECC confirmed that “all applications received prior to the fund closing that satisfy the terms and conditions and meet the eligibility criteria will be honoured at the original rates”. Nigel Rees, GGF Group Chief Executive commented, “The Fund has done virtually nothing for the window industry as homeowners only qualified for the fund, if they were replacing single glazing. This was a relatively pointless requirement because there’s very little single glazing in owner occupier homes. It’s fair to say, no other industry had such a proviso put upon them and yet again the window industry has been offered practically nothing from this initiative. With such low impact during its existence there will be little difference to the replacement window industry now that it has closed.” LABC welcomes new online inclusive design hub LABC (Local Authority Building Control) has welcomed the creation of a new online hub that will bring all legislation, guidance and best practice notes relating to inclusive design into one area to improve building access to all building users. The objective of the new independent portal launched on Thursday 17 July by the Design Council is to improve building design, surroundings and access to give people equal opportunities and protect the vulnerable. This includes, among other things, having suitable disabled access facilities in all buildings, something LABC champions through its Part M training course for architects, designers, house builders, surveyors, building managers and owners among others. ‘submit your idea on the hub’ Paul Everall, Chief Executive of LABC, welcomed the role taken by the Design Council, saying: “Many different professionals working within diverse roles can affect standards of inclusive access to buildings. Building control has a role and we believe the creation of a single information repository will help everyone find the information they need to get standards, design and construction right.” If you have a resource you think should be included in the hub, contact Design Council on 020 7420 5200 or submit your idea on the hub itself. Find out more about available LABC training dates for Part M Building Regulations training course. CPA to take cut VAT campaign to Westminster The Consumer Protection Association (CPA) is supporting the campaign to remove VAT on home improvement products. CPA Director Jeremy Brett comments: “The economy has been jump started through building and construction but what about the home improvement market? “If you knock down a house and start again you don’t pay VAT but if you want to improve your home, you do. This makes no sense.” 6 SEP 2014 The CPA also says that the removal of VAT in this sector would not only see an increase in work for installers but also help to eradicate the black market. ‘this makes no sense’ Jeremy Brett adds: “We know others have started similar campaigns and we are not reinventing the wheel. We feel, however, that it’s important for us to proactively get involved, as it’s an issue that our members do raise. “Getting rid of VAT on home improvement products would be a massive boost for the industry, as many homeowners would be able to afford window and doors replacements.” The CPA has started an online government petition to raise 100,000 signatures, a threshold that will mean the issue gets debated in Parliament. To read more, visit