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Last Updated: Monday, 30 January 2006, 00:00 GMT
Scheme to battle rogue tradesmen
Tradesmen will be vetted before they can join the scheme
A scheme aimed at solving the problem of cowboy tradesmen is being launched.

The Office of Fair Trading said more than 100,000 complaints a year were made about rogue traders and builders.

The new logo scheme aims to help people find those who have had their skills checked, their work inspected and are on a sound financial footing.

To belong to the government-backed Trustmark scheme, tradesmen will also need an established complaints procedure. So far 5,000 have signed up.

However, Trustmark expects to have 25,000 members in just over a year and says 100 firms are joining every day.

The scheme should cover all of the trades that people are likely to use, from landscape gardening to building work.

However, there are no controls on how much a firm can charge, so the scheme is still advising people to get several quotes before going ahead with any work.

'Change of mood'

Nearly two fifths (38%) of householders do not trust tradespeople at all, according to a survey for Trustmark which questioned 1,017 people.

One in nine respondents thought having building work carried out was a stressful experience, while 65% felt uncomfortable leaving tradesmen alone in their homes.

Industry and the regions minister Alun Michael said: "The clear support from industry is very heartening and reflects a real change of mood towards quality.

"This is in the interests of customers and the industry's own interests."

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