More ‘No Cold Calling Zones’ launched

Trading standards officers in South Gloucestershire have stepped up their efforts to combat incidents of rogue trading in the area with the introduction of four more ‘No Cold Calling Zones’.

The zones were set up by trading standards at the request of residents and Neighbourhood Watch groups, who have chosen to say ‘no’ to uninvited doorstep callers.

The new zones cover Cooks Close in Bradley Stoke, Simmonds View in Stoke Gifford, Kings Drive in Hanham and Sunningdale, Sandy Lodge, Troon and Hoylake in Yate.

Visitors to the No Cold Calling Zones will see street signs on lamp posts to warn traders, and residents will also be provided with information packs and a door/window sticker to display. The aim is to protect residents as well as empowering them to refuse traders selling at their door, through advice and information.

Residents are encouraged to report breaches of the zones to trading standards and the police as traders who ignore the zones could find themselves being arrested for committing an offence.

Councillor Heather Goddard, executive member for communities, said: “Cold calling can play a big part in rogue trader activity and this scheme is a good example of our close working partnership with the police and the community to combat the activities of disreputable traders.”

South Gloucestershire has seen a recent increase in the numbers of reported rogue trading incidents, all of which are dealt with as a priority by its trading standards service.

Recent successes with rogue traders include a resident who was targeted by a gang who identified a problem with her chimney as they drove by and tried to charge £1,400 for its alleged rectification, after initially quoting £200. Trading standards stepped in and made sure no payment was made to them.

In addition, a rogue gardener has recently been arrested for doing minimal work and grossly overcharging for his services. A prosecution is likely to follow.

If residents are interested in a particular area becoming a No Cold Calling zone, they are advised to contact the council’s trading standards service.

The scheme does not prevent all callers. Registered charity collectors and canvassing politicians, for example, can still do so.

For more information on the No Cold Calling Zones scheme, contact Charlotte Allard or Kevin Evans at South Gloucestershire Council’s trading standards department on 01454 864419.

Source: South Gloucestershire Council