Thursday, 17 December 2015

Star Wars fan turns home into shrine to films and offers B&B

Dave Oldbury, a postman from Southampton, has turned his semi-detached house into a shrine to the Star Wars franchise, and is also offering a B&B service in the run up to the release of the new film.
Dave says he has spent around £150,000 on the transformation, which includes masses of memorabilia such as action figures, film posters, books, toy spaceships and even life-size Storm Troopers.
Other Star Wars fans are going to be allowed to stay the night at a guest room in the house, named the Solo Suite, for £35 per night.
Dave is 46 and has been collecting Star Wars items since he was 8 years old. He has around 3,000 items in total, which fill the house, and so around 500 pieces have had to take their place in the garage instead.
Dave said that he is looking forward to showcasing his collection to fellow Star Wars fans, but that they shouldn't use the side passage, as that path leads to the dark side...

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Thursday, 10 December 2015

Ultra-hard glass developed

Scientists in Japan have created a new type of ultra-hard glass, which is also thin, by using alumina which is an oxide of aluminium.
There could be many commercial applications once the glass can be made available, from very strong window panes for buildings to car windows and much stronger mobile phone screens.
The glass is a type of 'oxide glass' which is made mainly from silicon dioxide but with greater strength provided by the inclusion of alumina.
There have been problems creating glass with increased amounts of alumina in the past because the mixture would crystallise when meeting the sides of the container, stopping the development of useful glass.
However, scientists from the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo have managed to use oxygen gas to raise the elements into the air before using a laser to melt them into glass.
The glass produced is colourless and transparent like normal glass, but extremely hard - when tested, the stiffness was greater than some metals, and not far off the performance of steel.
The team are looking to establish a method to mass-produce the glass as soon as possible, with the aim of making it commercially available within five years.

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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Site of 'Roman villa' saved from housing development

Land in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, where the remains of a Roman villa were discovered, has been bought by a mystery benefactor for a seven figure amount to save it from housing development.
Signs of the Roman villa had been discovered in the 1950s when intricate mosaic tiled pavements were discovered during excavations.
The site which has been bought is alongside where the earlier remains had been discovered, and has been given to new custodian Southwell Minster. The land can now be used only for educational, conservation and cultural purposes.
Acting dean, Canon Nigel Coates said: "It's a benefaction we never anticipated and he or she has been extraordinarily generous in giving us this site.
"It's their wish to remain anonymous but we do hope that in the future the connection with Southwell and the person's identity will be made known."
The site had previously received planning permission for nine houses from Sherwood District Council, although the plans were strongly opposed by the 'Save Roman Southwell' campaign.
Plans for the long-term future of the site are yet to be decided but the area will be cleared of rubble and grass laid initially, to improve the general appearance.
Dr Will Bowden, Associate Professor in Roman Archaeology at the University of Nottingham, said the villa would have been large and impressive, commenting: "Villas were massive farm complexes with agricultural and industrial functions that could extend over a wide area.
"It features extensive mosaic pavements and some very high quality wall painting, both located when parts of the villa were excavated in the 1950s."

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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Opportunity for TV stardom for singing tradespeople!

Are you from London? Are you a singer? Or a group of singers? Do you love singing and performing famous musical numbers from films?
A new TV show needs budding performers, ideally groups of work colleagues who want to do their own version of an iconic song from a classic musical – anything from Frozen’s ‘Love is an Open Door’ to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ from Wayne’s World.
You could be a team from work, a plumber, gardeners or group of mechanics. If you’d like the opportunity to be professionally filmed performing a timeless musical number then please email with a short paragraph about who you are, what type of song you’d love to sing and a short clip of you singing if you have one.
We know there must be some great voices amongst all the traders on, so don't be shy - turn off the radio and let the whole country hear what you can do!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

30ft hole opens up on busy Manchester road

The Mancunian Way, one of the busiest roads in the Manchester City Centre, has been closed in both directions after a huge 30ft wide hole opened up on the eastbound carriageway.
The appearance of the hole was triggered by heavy rainfall today, but the erosion of a large water pipe underground is believed to have been the main contributing factor in the caving in of the surface.
The hole is around 30ft across and approximately 40ft deep.
The road has been cordoned off in both directions between the Macdonald Hotel, close to Piccadilly Station, and Fairfield Street.
Since it first appeared earlier today, the hole has been reported to have increased in size, with part of the pavement collapsing as well.
Council officers report that the road may remain closed for several days, and traffic is being diverted around the area in the meantime.

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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Affordable zero carbon homes completed in Hampshire

Architects Ash Sakula have revealed a complete row of affordable terraced zero carbon homes in the Eco-town of Whitehill Bordon, Hampshire, due to be made available for social rent by housing association Radian.
The architects won the first prize for the Eco-terrace in 2012, in an international design competition run by East Hampshire District Council and Radian.
The houses were built including a number of techniques designed to maximise energy efficiency in order to reach the difficult goal of zero carbon emissions. These include prefabrication, highly insulated walls, roofs, windows and floors, water-saving appliances, energy-efficient lighting, locally-sourced materials, airtightness and photovoltaic panels to reduce energy requirements to a minimum.
Discussing the Eco-terrace and the wider situation with current housing standards, architect Robert Sakula said: "We have some of the most inefficient housing stock in Europe, so it's very regrettable that the government hasn't stuck to its target for all new homes to be zero energy by 2016."
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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

£280m offer for most expensive house in the UK

2 to 8a Rutland Gate, a 60,000 square foot, 45 bedroom mansion just off Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, is on the market and has received an offer of £280m, making it the most expensive property in the UK.
The huge house was previously owned by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, but was put on the market after his death in 2012.
It was given an asking price of £300m, double the price of the second most expensive home in the UK. The current offer of £280m is being considered, but is expected to be accepted.
The house has a large swimming pool in the basement, underground parking and several lifts to make navigating the extensive space more manageable.
It is thought that unless the new owners want the entire space for themselves, the property could be divided up into many luxury apartments, or possibly be returned to four large family homes, which was the original intention for the building.
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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Georgian manor house moved 30 miles, brick by brick

A husband and wife who were looking to move from Wiltshire to Gloucestershire were struggling to find anywhere in their chosen area they liked as much as their current house, and so decided to move the entire house the 30 mile distance and rebuild it, brick by brick.
This would be a serious task with any house, but the home in question was an 18th century Georgian manor house with five bedrooms, four reception rooms and four bathrooms, built mainly from Cotswold stone.
After de constructing the house, finding an ideal plot and experiencing some planning complications, work began in the winter of 2009.
Unfortunately the harsh weather lead to around a third of the bricks from the original build being lost to frost damage. To make up for this, bricks were sourced from a few other demolished houses.
After a two year rebuilding process, the family finally had the perfect combination of the house they loved in an ideal picturesque country location.
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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Georgian manor house moved 30 miles, brick by brick

A husband and wife who were looking to move from Wiltshire to Gloucestershire were struggling to find anywhere in their chosen area they liked as much as their current house, and so decided to move the entire house the 30 mile distance and rebuild it, brick by brick.
This would be a serious task with any house, but the home in question was an 18th century Georgian manor house with five bedrooms, four reception rooms and four bathrooms, built mainly from Cotswold stone.
After deconstructing the house, finding an ideal plot and experiencing some planning complications, work began in the winter of 2009.
Unfortunately the harsh weather lead to around a third of the bricks from the original build being lost to frost damage. To make up for this, bricks were sourced from a few other demolished houses.
After a two year rebuilding process, the family finally had the perfect combination of the house they loved in an ideal picturesque country location.
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Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Government plans to boost house-building

Government plans have been announced to allow planning permission to be granted automatically on many English brownfield sites, as part of an initiative to boost house building.
Disused land could also be seized by the government to be used for housing, and major housing projects could be fast-tracked. In addition, red tape surrounding house extensions in London could be relaxed, removing the need for planning permission for extensions which are similar to neighbours' homes.
There would also be penalties for councils which fail to deal with planning applications in a reasonable amount of time.
Brownfield sites are areas where buildings have been built in the past, but are now derelict or demolished, leaving the land vacant.
The reforms were important because the UK had been "incapable of building enough homes", Chancellor George Osborne said.
The package of changes, named 'Fixing the Foundations' by the Treasury, is being treated as the second half of the budget.
The government's manifesto promised to "ensure that 90% of suitable brownfield sites have planning permission for housing by 2020".
Before the announcement of the new plans, George Osborne had said that "Britain has been incapable of building enough homes.
"The reforms we made to the planning system in the last Parliament have started to improve the situation: planning permissions and housing starts are at a seven-year high.
"But we need to go further and I am not prepared to stand by when people who want to get on the housing ladder can't do so."
Image: supakitmod /

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Tuesday, 15 September 2015

TrustATrader team settles into new offices

We're glad to report that has now settled into its smart new offices. The move went as smoothly as could be hoped for thanks to the help of a couple of companies in particular.
The TrustATrader team is now based at 5 Meadway Court, Rutherford Close, Stevenage SG1 2EF.
Don't worry if you recently used the old address - any post that may be addressed to our old office will be automatically diverted to the new address by the Post Office, so if you recently sent us something before you were aware of the new address, rest assured that it will reach us without a problem!
The TrustATrader IT systems have been unaffected by the move, so big thanks to the help of Prime Networks which got us up and running in no time, setting everything up over a weekend to keep us working smoothly.
We'd also like to thank GWB Office Furniture, which provided and installed the all important desks and chairs to keep us sitting comfortably while we help TustATrader members with any enquiries.
If you have any questions related to TrustATrader membership or the website, feel free to give us a call or email anytime. Our up-to-date contact details are always available here.
Best wishes to all our trusted trader members and users of

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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The amazing extending emergency bridge

Engineers from Hiroshima University in Japan have created an easily transported bridge which extends like a concertina and can be set up ready for use by traffic within an hour.
The design is called Mobile Bridge version 4.0. It can be carried on a trailer and deployed without any foundations, helping it to be put in place in a short space of time. It also requires no crane, instead it can be extended from one side of a river to reach the other, and can be disassembled in a short time to be used elsewhere.
The bridge has been designed to help support areas hit by natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis or flooding, where local bridges may have been damaged or destroyed. The emergency bridge could be used to help essential aid to reach those with the greatest need.
The assistant professor at the Institute of Engineering, Hiroshima University, Dr Ichiro Ario intends to continue to develop the Mobile Bridge to make it even stronger, lighter, more compact and quicker to deploy.

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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

TrustATrader announces partnership with Friends of the Elderly

TrustATrader has announced its official support of national charity Friends of the Elderly. The charity’s research shows that over five million older people are affected by loneliness - something that TrustATrader members see evidence of on a daily basis. This, and their desire to make change, is why the company is supporting Friends of the Elderly’s Be a Friend campaign.
To launch the partnership, TrustATrader is encouraging 100 of its members to take part in the Battersea Park 5k and 10k runs on Sunday 18th October to raise money for Friends of the Elderly and awareness about the cause.
Friends of the Elderly’s Be a Friend campaign is combatting loneliness in the older population by encouraging people to get to know their older neighbours. Research by the charity found that over five million older people in the UK are affected by loneliness, with more than a million (1 in 10 older people) saying they often feel lonely.
Steve Allen, Chief Executive at Friends of the Elderly, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with TrustATrader to reduce loneliness in the older population. Having a team of traders running in Battersea Park to fundraise for our befriending services is the perfect launch to our partnership, and we look forward to many more traders getting involved in the future. We believe that feeling lonely or alone shouldn’t be a natural part of getting older and we aspire to a society where all older people have the opportunity to live fulfilled lives. With your support, we make that vision a reality.”
Gary McEwen, Managing Director of TrustATrader, added: “At TrustATrader we value the honesty and reliability of our trusted professionals. We go into the homes of older people every day and want people to get quality jobs done for a fair price. We’ve teamed up with Friends of the Elderly to support the charity’s Be a Friend campaign, which encourages people to simply look out for their older family, friends and neighbours where they can. It’s a great cause, and I’m looking forward to seeing lots of our traders fundraising and running in Battersea Park this October to kick off our partnership.”
The first fundraising event, the Battersea Park fun run, will take place on the 18th October. We are looking for 100 tradespeople to take part in the event where there will be plenty of things to do as well as the all important running event itself.
For further information, visit

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Orbit tower in Olympic Park to become tallest slide in the world

It was regularly glimpsed on television or if you visited the Olympic Park around the time of the 2012 Olympics in London, but soon you'll be able to have a much closer - though high-speed - look at the Orbit tower as it's due to have a helter-skelter type slide built in and around it.
Plans have been approved this week to create the world's longest and tallest tunnel slide inside the 114m tall red Orbit tower sculpture in the Olympic Park.
The slide tunnel will be transparent most of the way down, allowing those on the ride to catch sight of various views of the spiralling structure on their way down.
The slide will be 178m long and 76m high. A ride will cost £5 and it will take around 40 seconds to reach the bottom.
The tower was designed by Turner Prize winning artist Anish Kapoor and structural designer Cecil Balmond and completed in 2012, in time for the Olympics.
The slide part of the tower will open in Spring 2016.

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Monday, 22 June 2015

House prices rising due to reduced availability

A recent survey by the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) has found that house prices rose in April, mainly due to a reduction in the number of people putting their home up for sale.
The number of homes being placed on the market has fallen for the third month in a row, the fastest rate of decline seen since May of 2009.
Surveyors across the country reported an increase in house prices for the first time since August 2014, and over 70% of surveyors expect to see prices continuing to rise for the forthcoming 12 months.
The findings were attributed in part to pre-election uncertainty, but also a reflection of 'deeper underlying problems'.
Chief Economist at RICS, Simon Rubinsohn, said: "It is conceivable that the decisive outcome to the election could encourage a pick-up in instructions to agents and ease some of the recent upward pressure on house prices, but it is doubtful that this will be substantive enough to provide anything more than temporary relief."
RICS’ Head of Policy, Jeremy Blackburn, commented: "We need a coherent and coordinated house building strategy across all tenures."
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Monday, 15 June 2015

Architectural charity Article 25 appeal to rebuild schools in Nepal

Article 25, the architectural aid charity, has launched an appeal looking to raise £50,000 to fund the rebuilding of schools in Nepal following the recent earthquake devastation.
Nepal was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, the most deadly it has experienced for 81 years, which caused devastation across the country. Even climbers on mount Everest were hit by avalanches caused by the tremors.
The death toll has risen to over 6,000, with over 8,000 injured in the disaster.
The charity is hoping to raise the £50,000 within eight weeks, allowing them to "be on the ground after the initial urgent need for food and water has subsided" to carry out rebuilding and earthquake resilience work with local partners.
Managing director of Article 25, Robin Cross, explained that they had been planning work on increasing the earthquake resilience of schools in the capital Kathmandu and surrounding areas even before the earthquake, saying that "everybody knew the earthquake was coming".
"Schools are a particular area of concern," Robin continued. "They protect future generations and act as a safe haven for the community when it needs it. We can't prevent earthquakes, but we can mitigate their impact."
The primary need is for funds, but Robin said that they would also be happy to hear from anyone with suitable skills who is interested in getting involved.
Article 25 has over ten years experience in the construction of earthquake-resistant schools in disaster-hit countries around the world, and have shown that after the initial aid response, long-term planning can make all the difference.
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Monday, 8 June 2015

A battery to power your house

US electric car company Tesla has revealed a couple of new products - batteries - not to power an electric vehicle but your whole house.
The batteries were recently announced by Chief Executive Elon Musk. They are designed to provide a supply of stored energy that could be used during blackouts, for those who can generate their own energy via solar panels or wind, or to provide power in locations where this would otherwise be impossible.
The batteries use the same lithium-ion technology as those employed in the company's electric cars, and will be available initially to installers in the form of a 7kWh unit for £1,954 and a 10kWh unit for £2,275.
One kWh is enough to power a laptop for two days, a full washing machine cycle or to boil a kettle ten times, according to energy comparison company USwitch.
Alasdair Cameron, renewable energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth, thinks that solar panels and a storage battery could become as common as central heating in future. He said: "Just as the internet changed the way we use information, so renewable sources, like wind and solar, are changing the way we make and use energy - and electricity storage is an important part of that change."
Director of Engineering at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Colin Brown commented: "Without storage you've always got to have huge capacity just in case one of the peaks comes through at a particular time, such as a very hot day when you need a lot of cooling, and so a lot of demand. With storage, you don't have to have all of that massive production of energy."
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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Election not affecting home buyers' interest

The general election doesn't appear to be deterring house buyers, despite the related uncertainty which naturally surrounds this time. The election "has not impacted customer confidence" in the market, according to a recent trading statement from housebuilders Taylor Wimpey.
The UK housing market has continued to grow during the first quarter of 2015, with demand for new homes remaining high even with the forthcoming general election occupying the news constantly.
Taylor Wimpey's order book has increased to 1.9bn currently, increasing by 0.2bn from December 2014. The average selling price of new homes has also increased to £282,000 from £249,000.
Chief executive Peter Redfern commented "During the first four months of 2015 we have seen the UK housing market continue to grow, with increasingly competitive mortgages and secure employment prospects underpinning homebuyers' confidence."
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Friday, 29 May 2015

Luxury home converted from Cold War bunker, on sale

A Cold War nuclear bunker is probably not the first thing you would think of when considering buildings for conversion into a home of any kind, let alone a luxury home, but you may be surprised as that is exactly the basis of a £3m home which is now up for sale.
The home in Chislehurst, Kent used to be a bunker where government officials could hide in the event of nuclear attack during the Cold War period, which fortunately never proved necessary. It was one of four Regional Control Centres in the London area and featured a map room, dormitory, showers and stores for food and water as well as diesel generators to provide electricity and power for communications and air filtration.
The Cold War period came to an end around 1991, and after that time the bunker was no longer maintained, falling into disrepair.
In 1998 the building was bought by estate agents Piermont, and within two years it had been converted into a luxury home named 'The Glasshouse'. The extensive conversion included the need to cut windows through the five foot thick concrete walls, each of which required three days of work by a two tonne cutting machine!
The house gets its name from the addition of a huge glass roof which sits above the centre of the property which now features a swimming pool along with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a host of high-tech features. The glass roof can be opened, lights and curtains controlled and visitors welcomed, all remotely via a touch-screeen interface.
The home may be nearly unrecognisable from its former use, but has saved a derelict building with an interesting history and proves what can be achieved with an open mind and a selection of good tradespeople!
More details about the building and conversion can be found here on the Subterranea Britannica website.
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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Red-striped Kensington house annoys neighbours

The owners of a large townhouse in the wealthy Kensington borough of London have upset neighbours by painting the exterior of their home with bright red stripes, following a row over planning permission.
The owners wanted to demolish the house and rebuild it entirely, including a new two-storey basement. There was considerable local opposition to these controversial plans, leading to them being refused by Kensington and Chelsea council. This lead to the owners carrying out the unusual paint-job on the exterior of their home, much to their neighbours' dismay.
One anonymous local resident said: "It’s between unbelievably hideous and very funny. I think it's horrendous.
"It's funny but it's probably not the nicest gesture. It's kind of a 'piss off', I think - architecturally, it doesn't belong here."
A representative from the local council said that painting a building did not require planning permission.
The house owners have actually received approval of their plans following an appeal, but neighbours are determined to continue to fight the development.
Red-striped Kensington house annoys neighbours

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Friday, 22 May 2015

Major developments on the way for Sheffield city centre

Sheffield council has released details of plans for a major redevelopment of the city centre, focusing mostly on retail but also to include new residential and office space.
The 900,000 square ft development, named Sheffield Retail Quarter, will dedicate 700,000 square feet to retail and leisure outlets and the rest to be divided between residential and office space. The new district will be street-based rather than a shopping centre/mall, and the new outlets will be built among existing historic buildings in the city centre.
Sheffield council is planning to have the developments 80% complete by 2019, with final work finishing in 2021.
Around 2,500 jobs are expected to be created as a result of the scheme, both in construction and later full-time jobs in the new areas of the city centre.
Sheffield council’s executive director, Simon Green, commented: "The design merges with Sheffield's award-winning public spaces and world-renowned cultural assets including City Hall, The Crucible and The Lyceum theatres - and links key retail pitches in the city centre from The Moor through to Fargate. This will complement the new shopping facilities and provide food and drink, office and residential space to extend the city centre's attraction as an evening entertainment option."
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Monday, 18 May 2015

'Vertical village' plans for Manchester

Architect Child Graddon Lewis is to work on the next stage of the £1bn regeneration of the old Granada TV Studios in Manchester, early plans for which include a 'vertical village' - two towers that could be made up of around 1,500 flats, a school, shops, cinema and other leisure facilities.
Vertical communities aim to maximise the potential of available land by building upwards, and provide almost everything people could need for living, working, shopping and leisure all in the same space.
The mixed-use towers may be built on the site of two car parks at the western end of what is now St John's Quarter, and would feature communal gardens within the cores of the towers.
Mike Ingall, head of the developers Allied London, commented: "The vertical village is an idea. It might not be realistic but who knows. You have got to be bold and push the boundaries of living and that is what we are trying to do.
"Our vision is not just to create a mixed-use neighbourhood for Manchester but to bring together enterprise, innovation, culture, entertainment and leisure in a unique proposition for the city."
The tranformation of the Granada Studios site is an eight year project which is based around The Factory - a major arts centre which received £78m of funding from the government.
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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

£2.2bn budget boost for home buyers - Trust a Trader

News from the Trust a Trader Blog

In the 2015 budget this week Chancellor George Osborne announced £2.2bn worth of help to home buyers in the form of a new 'Help to Buy' ISA.
The move has been welcomed as a boost to the construction industry as well as those looking to buy a new home.
Provided a Conservative government is elected in May, this autumn will see the introduction of the new Help to Buy ISA, which is designed to help people saving for a deposit for a new house.
The government will support the new ISA with a contribution of £50 to the home buyer for every £200 they save, up to a maximum of £3,000 towards the deposit on a new home. It is estimated that this assistance could add up to around £2.2bn over the next parliament.
The unexpected announcement came towards the end of the budget statement. It was also confirmed that the deposit savings scheme wouldn't be limited to new-build homes.
A Home Builders' Federation spokesperson commented: "Anything that encourages people to save and helps people getting the deposit they need is positive. We all know the huge problems people have in saving the deposits required."
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Thursday, 7 May 2015

Smart meter plans threatened by delays - Trust a Trader

News from the Trust a Trader blog

An energy saving project by the government, which would involve installing smart energy meters in every home and business in the UK by 2020, is at risk as a result of "technical, logistical and public communication issues", a group of MPs has warned.
The smart meters provide a host of information about energy use, allowing users to discover which appliances are contributing the most to their bills. A smart meter in every home and business could lead to overall energy savings of around £17bn and remove the need for estimated bills.
However, the Energy and Climate Change Committee have said that an important piece of the £11bn programme's infrastructure has fallen behind schedule.
Tim Yeo, chairman of the Committee, said: "This committee first looked at this programme in 2013, highlighting issues which we urged the government to address.
"While some progress has been made since then, it's not enough.
"The energy industry told us that it needs the government to enable industry wide solutions, rather than the less efficient alternative of letting each energy supplier develop its own solution."
Many homes already have smart meters provided by their energy company.
Claire Maugham, director of communications at Smart Energy GB, told BBC Radio 5 live that the introduction of smart meters needed more independent input, and more support may need to be provided to help people to become familiar with this new technology.
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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Trust A Trader member to walk Hadrian's Wall for brother lost to meningitis

Latest News from the Trust a Trader Blog

Trust A Trader member Lee Miller of LM Plumbing & Heating is going to walk 88 miles along the full length of Hadrian's Wall for the Meningitis Research Foundation, having lost his younger brother to the illness when they were both children.
In July 1982, Lee was nine years old when his seven year old brother Tony became ill while in Spain on a family holiday. At first Tony's fever and sickness was thought to be caused by a bug, but after his condition deteriorated he was taken to the local Spanish hospital, where the doctors thought he may be suffering with acute appendicitis. However, Tony later fell into a coma and his parents were told that if he recovered he would be severely brain damaged. Lee and Tony's parents had to make the most difficult decision; to turn off Tony's life support.
Lee, now 41, had tragically lost his little brother to what was later found to be meningitis, which strikes thousands across the UK each year. Small children and young adults are high risk, but all ages can be affected.
Lee's chosen charity, the Meningitis Research Foundation, fundraise to invest in research, campaign for vaccines, provide symptom information and support those already affected with meningitis.
Lee wants to help to support research into prevention of meningitis and to support families affected by this terrible illness, which is the inspiration for his charity walk.
If you would like to support Lee's efforts, you can do so by donating via his page on, or you can donate by texting ANTY82 followed by the amount you want to give to 70070, so for example you might text ANTY82 £5.
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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

A quarter of all construction jobs could be filled by women within 5 years - Trust a Trader

News from the Trust a Trader Blog

Women are likely to occupy a quarter of all construction related jobs in the UK by the end of the decade, new research by recruitment firm Ranstad CPE has found.
Since 2010 the number of women in construction has increased from 16% to 20%, while there was only a 1% increase within the previous 5 years.
Projections made in the report suggest that women could be filling 26% of construction positions by 2020, or an even higher proportion.
The report states that currently the percentage of women in construction is 1 in 5, or 20%. This correlates with official figures from the Office for National Statistics which recorded a proportion of 19.7% women in September last year.
However, despite the positive trend in recruitment for women, the report by Ranstad also warned that lack of flexibility and misconceptions about the workplace can remain barriers to progress.
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Thursday, 16 April 2015

£3bn to be invested in UK broadband networks by Virgin Media - Trust a Trader

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Virgin Media has announced that it is going to invest £3bn in updating its broadband network, bringing fast fibre optic connections to within reach of 4 million more homes, and creating 6,000 new jobs in the process.
The investment is said to be the biggest made in broadband infrastructure within the UK for over ten years.
The reported 6,000 jobs will be created over the course of 5 years and will include 1,000 apprenticeships.
The fibre optic network developments will allow even more people to access 'superfast' broadband than even the government's rollout, which has already reached more than 2 million homes and businesses.
The company is currently expanding its coverage across around 110,000 homes in east London, Sunderland, Teesside and Glasgow.
Virgin Media claim this investment in connectivity for homes and businesses will be worth £8bn in value for the UK economy.
However, critics have pointed out that the investment will be mainly involved with filling in gaps in the current network coverage, rather than expanding further out into more rural areas, which have been generally neglected by companies such as Virgin and BT.
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Thursday, 9 April 2015

Glasgow Athletes' Village becomes home to residents - Trust a Trader

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The Athletes' Village developed for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year has been reconfigured with homes for local residents to buy or rent.
During the Commonwealth Games the Athletes' Village, in the east end of Glasgow, provided accommodation for around 7,000 athletes and officials during summer 2014.
The 38.5 hectare area has been updated to include 300 private homes, 400 homes for rent and a care home for the elderly with 120 beds. The homes consist of detached, semi-detached and terraced houses.
The first residents are starting to move into their new homes now, with around 100 houses already occupied. The remaining homes are likely to be taken within six months.
Over 250 of the 300 private homes have been sold at this point.
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Thursday, 2 April 2015

Film studio home of British comedy shows sold for development - Trust a Trader

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Teddington Film Studios in London, the location where a number of much loved British comedy shows were filmed, is to be sold for development into a £250m luxury apartment complex.
Comedy shows filmed at Teddington include The Office, Men Behaving Badly, The IT Crowd, Black Books, and Bremner, Bird and Fortune.
Teddington, on the banks of the Thames, has become one of the most expensive residential areas in London. Values are reaching £750 per square foot, although values for the new development of the film studios are expected to exceed £1000 per square foot.
Since the studio stopped being used for filming, it had more recently been the home of Haymarket publishing, producing magazines and advertising.
The 4.5 acre Teddington Studios site has been reported to be sold for around £80m.
Image: Wikipedia
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