amend British Standards to standardise a miniature plug

The current standard 13 amp plug, introduced around 1959, has proved its worth. But households now utilise a plethora of small devices, mostly electronic, and the 13 A outlet and plug are absurdly clumsy for this purpose. I propose an amendment, that would extend to Building Regulations, to regularise a miniature fused plug with, say, a 1 amp fuse. 

Why is this idea important?

The current standard 13 amp plug, introduced around 1959, has proved its worth. But households now utilise a plethora of small devices, mostly electronic, and the 13 A outlet and plug are absurdly clumsy for this purpose. I propose an amendment, that would extend to Building Regulations, to regularise a miniature fused plug with, say, a 1 amp fuse. 

scaledown this nonsensical part p certification nonsence

to scale down this awful part p,bereaurocratic nonsence, when i first trained in the electrical industry all our major work was independently inspected and tested by a local supply board inspector, now its either done by an installer himself (self certification ) which costs small companies a small fortune, or by the local building inspector,who is not a trained electrical engineer,

I feel this system is so mad,it was far better before, the labour goverment came up with this mad idia,

I know loads of people in the domestic electrical field are totally fed up with all this red tape nonsence,

after hearing from other engineers ,like myself envolved in the electrical industry for the last 25 years, this was a step to far.

Why is this idea important?

to scale down this awful part p,bereaurocratic nonsence, when i first trained in the electrical industry all our major work was independently inspected and tested by a local supply board inspector, now its either done by an installer himself (self certification ) which costs small companies a small fortune, or by the local building inspector,who is not a trained electrical engineer,

I feel this system is so mad,it was far better before, the labour goverment came up with this mad idia,

I know loads of people in the domestic electrical field are totally fed up with all this red tape nonsence,

after hearing from other engineers ,like myself envolved in the electrical industry for the last 25 years, this was a step to far.

Change Housing Act 1996 “Right of First Refusal”

Law Relating to This Matter

The Housing Act 1996 inserted into the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 Part 1 was intended to stop the transfer of substantial ownership in a building ("A Relevant Disposal") from taking place without the knowledge and interest of the tenants of the building.  It was further amended in the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002.  The Act allows only separate non relevant disposals to different parties to occur without notification.  It is recognised as a badly drafted Act in which a huge loophole exists for unscrupulous parties to circumvent the law in order to achieve precisely what the Act was intended to avoid.

Example:

28 Finchley Road, Westcliff-on-Sea comprises 4 flats.  The owner occupiers with qualifying long leases were informed retrospectively that the freehold of the building had been transferred.  They should have received Section 5 Notices under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987.  The Landlord avoided this by allowing Superior Leases to be granted to separate companies over each flat thereby creating a vehicle to avoid a "Relevant Disposal" in law.  However to the tenants it was a relevant disposal as all companies are owned by the same family group members.  The Landlord then sent the Section 5 Notices to the newly created Superior tenant companies who accepted that a sale of the freehold would occur.  The freehold was then purchased by another company in the family group.

The wording needs to change so that common interests cannot be separated to create a sham non relevant disposal to the disadvantage of occupying long leaseholders.  Counsel says no law has been broken!

John Lee  

Why is this idea important?

Law Relating to This Matter

The Housing Act 1996 inserted into the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 Part 1 was intended to stop the transfer of substantial ownership in a building ("A Relevant Disposal") from taking place without the knowledge and interest of the tenants of the building.  It was further amended in the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002.  The Act allows only separate non relevant disposals to different parties to occur without notification.  It is recognised as a badly drafted Act in which a huge loophole exists for unscrupulous parties to circumvent the law in order to achieve precisely what the Act was intended to avoid.

Example:

28 Finchley Road, Westcliff-on-Sea comprises 4 flats.  The owner occupiers with qualifying long leases were informed retrospectively that the freehold of the building had been transferred.  They should have received Section 5 Notices under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987.  The Landlord avoided this by allowing Superior Leases to be granted to separate companies over each flat thereby creating a vehicle to avoid a "Relevant Disposal" in law.  However to the tenants it was a relevant disposal as all companies are owned by the same family group members.  The Landlord then sent the Section 5 Notices to the newly created Superior tenant companies who accepted that a sale of the freehold would occur.  The freehold was then purchased by another company in the family group.

The wording needs to change so that common interests cannot be separated to create a sham non relevant disposal to the disadvantage of occupying long leaseholders.  Counsel says no law has been broken!

John Lee  

Cancel listed buildings restrictions on residential buildings

At the moment there are a lot of restrictions as to what the owner of a listed building can do to their property.

 

An Englishman's (or a Scotsman…) home is his castle and owners of listed buildings should be just as entitled as any house owner to make modifications to their house.

 

If the house is primarily used as a dwelling then it should have no more restrictions on it than a 'normal' house.

Why is this idea important?

At the moment there are a lot of restrictions as to what the owner of a listed building can do to their property.

 

An Englishman's (or a Scotsman…) home is his castle and owners of listed buildings should be just as entitled as any house owner to make modifications to their house.

 

If the house is primarily used as a dwelling then it should have no more restrictions on it than a 'normal' house.

Everyone should have the right to DIY

The building regulations are being skewed to only allow certified trades to perform installations. I particular the Part-L wiring regulations.

There is no evidence that there was a problem with the old wiring regulations, electrocution is not a major cause of death in the UK.

Once it is a legal requirement to employ a 'specialist' the price goes up astronomically.

Everyone should have the right to do their own work in their own house in a cost effective way.

Why is this idea important?

The building regulations are being skewed to only allow certified trades to perform installations. I particular the Part-L wiring regulations.

There is no evidence that there was a problem with the old wiring regulations, electrocution is not a major cause of death in the UK.

Once it is a legal requirement to employ a 'specialist' the price goes up astronomically.

Everyone should have the right to do their own work in their own house in a cost effective way.

right to light act

Repeal the rule that allows placing a pole or scaffold tube on site,  that takes the place of the planned building.

Once this pole or scaffold has been in place for a year and a day, the builder is then allowed by law to construct any building to the height of that pole or scaffold tube.

This can all be carried out with no notice or warning to the residents effected save the pole, scaffold tube or any other erection in place to the height they will to build.

Why is this idea important?

Repeal the rule that allows placing a pole or scaffold tube on site,  that takes the place of the planned building.

Once this pole or scaffold has been in place for a year and a day, the builder is then allowed by law to construct any building to the height of that pole or scaffold tube.

This can all be carried out with no notice or warning to the residents effected save the pole, scaffold tube or any other erection in place to the height they will to build.

Remove the need for electrical registration for Part P

If electrical work which falls under Part P of the building regulaions is being carried out, why cannot the householder just inform the Building Control (for a small fee), then the department can randomly check projects.

Why is this idea important?

If electrical work which falls under Part P of the building regulaions is being carried out, why cannot the householder just inform the Building Control (for a small fee), then the department can randomly check projects.

Mandatory Use of Architects for Planning Applications

The UK Planning System is unusual in relation to other European Countries in not requiring the involvement of an architect at any stage of the planning process.

Although planning policy is well-endowed with requirements to maintain visual amenity etc. – there is no mandatory requirement to use a trained professional to achieve these requirements.

If it is a requirement to use a doctor if you have an operation in hospital for example – it seems strange for there to be no requirement to use an Architect for any type of planning application.

Across Europe, an Architect is required to sign-off the plans before submission, and often the Local Authority will use an Architect to review the plans. In some countries, a second review is undertaken by the Local Chamber of Architects, particularly if the site is in an historic area or is a large, complex application.

The UK is blighted with many sub-standard buildings which received no input from any architect.

But the issue is not just aesthetic – an architect can help ensure that low-energy and sustainable standards are being adhered to or even exceeded.

An architect can help ensure that the quality of living and working spaces is maximised to the benefit of the occupants.

An Architect can often see the potential to realise commercial value to a client which may not be apparent to un-trained persons.

Only an architect has this wide range of skills.

Idea: Mandatory use of an Architect for all planning applications above a sensible size-threshold (for example – 75m2 upwards + all applications in historic areas or to listed buildings). Proposed use of Architects to reinforce planning teams in local authorities and to assist in the decision making process.

Why is this idea important?

The UK Planning System is unusual in relation to other European Countries in not requiring the involvement of an architect at any stage of the planning process.

Although planning policy is well-endowed with requirements to maintain visual amenity etc. – there is no mandatory requirement to use a trained professional to achieve these requirements.

If it is a requirement to use a doctor if you have an operation in hospital for example – it seems strange for there to be no requirement to use an Architect for any type of planning application.

Across Europe, an Architect is required to sign-off the plans before submission, and often the Local Authority will use an Architect to review the plans. In some countries, a second review is undertaken by the Local Chamber of Architects, particularly if the site is in an historic area or is a large, complex application.

The UK is blighted with many sub-standard buildings which received no input from any architect.

But the issue is not just aesthetic – an architect can help ensure that low-energy and sustainable standards are being adhered to or even exceeded.

An architect can help ensure that the quality of living and working spaces is maximised to the benefit of the occupants.

An Architect can often see the potential to realise commercial value to a client which may not be apparent to un-trained persons.

Only an architect has this wide range of skills.

Idea: Mandatory use of an Architect for all planning applications above a sensible size-threshold (for example – 75m2 upwards + all applications in historic areas or to listed buildings). Proposed use of Architects to reinforce planning teams in local authorities and to assist in the decision making process.

Repeal or Modify Part P of the Building Regs

Either repeal Part P altogether or ( if the vested interests need to be placated) reduce the red tape load on local councils and restrictions on personal freedom by

1 permitting individuals to carry out electrical work in their own home
AND
2 maintaining registers ( by the contractor's organisations) of persons qualified to be employed or trade for electrical installation work.

In both cases, electrical installation work would not be notified to the council.
 

Why is this idea important?

Either repeal Part P altogether or ( if the vested interests need to be placated) reduce the red tape load on local councils and restrictions on personal freedom by

1 permitting individuals to carry out electrical work in their own home
AND
2 maintaining registers ( by the contractor's organisations) of persons qualified to be employed or trade for electrical installation work.

In both cases, electrical installation work would not be notified to the council.
 

FENSA (window installers) forms a closed shop

Remove regulation giving FENSA a monopoly on installation of new windows. This legislation created a closed shop / guild preventing small builders, joiners, odd job experts doing this simple job unless they pay high fees to Fensa for 'training' and annual registration.

Window installation is basic building and does not require special regulation.

Why is this idea important?

Remove regulation giving FENSA a monopoly on installation of new windows. This legislation created a closed shop / guild preventing small builders, joiners, odd job experts doing this simple job unless they pay high fees to Fensa for 'training' and annual registration.

Window installation is basic building and does not require special regulation.

The Public cannot be experts on Technical Services

The laws that state the consumer must check the validity of a service provider's expertise need to be repealed and amended.

As technology gets more and more complicated, eg cental heating systems, building methods, more an more onus has been put of the consumer of maintenance and repair services to check that the providers has all the right certificates and licences to perform the service. Yet the nature of these certificates and licances is constantly changing.

It is unrealistic to expect "joe publlc" to have the detailed knowledge of a particular technology to determine that the supplier has the right permits to perform the service required.

The weight should be on the service suppliers to ensure they have the required skills

Why is this idea important?

The laws that state the consumer must check the validity of a service provider's expertise need to be repealed and amended.

As technology gets more and more complicated, eg cental heating systems, building methods, more an more onus has been put of the consumer of maintenance and repair services to check that the providers has all the right certificates and licences to perform the service. Yet the nature of these certificates and licances is constantly changing.

It is unrealistic to expect "joe publlc" to have the detailed knowledge of a particular technology to determine that the supplier has the right permits to perform the service required.

The weight should be on the service suppliers to ensure they have the required skills

Let Owners Build Big Houses On Own Land – With Garages

If you own a piece of land you are not allowed to build a comfortable house to your own design. Government rules effectively forbid you from making the rooms large enough to be comfortable. You probably cannot build just one house either because Minimum Density Regulations mean the land only gets planning consent if it is split into two or more. And no way will you be allowed as much parking as you want. Two adults and two teens who will soon be working 20 miles away – no the PolitiKal Kommisars in most areas order a maximum of 1 parking space per household (often less, 0.8 for flats) in order to force people onto public transport. Which is fine except late at night, early in the morning, on Bank Holidays, if providing any kind of emergency response, or simply if one has back pain and cannot use badly driven busses.

Do not impose maximum standards on property owners that they cannot exceed.

Why is this idea important?

If you own a piece of land you are not allowed to build a comfortable house to your own design. Government rules effectively forbid you from making the rooms large enough to be comfortable. You probably cannot build just one house either because Minimum Density Regulations mean the land only gets planning consent if it is split into two or more. And no way will you be allowed as much parking as you want. Two adults and two teens who will soon be working 20 miles away – no the PolitiKal Kommisars in most areas order a maximum of 1 parking space per household (often less, 0.8 for flats) in order to force people onto public transport. Which is fine except late at night, early in the morning, on Bank Holidays, if providing any kind of emergency response, or simply if one has back pain and cannot use badly driven busses.

Do not impose maximum standards on property owners that they cannot exceed.

Disparate Electrical Regulations Can Affect Safety to Householders

I would you like to consider removing the detail of the Building Regulations Part P and the electrical part of Part L and inserting it into the British standard BS7671 IEE Wiring regulations. It is known can electricians cannot carry out wiring to home without use of both sets of regulations.

Training courses for electricians are taught, examinations set and certificates obtained without need to know or consult the Part P & Part L regulations which is then a separate examination.

An incomplete BS7671 regulation (without reference to Building regulations Parts P & L ) encourages and provides excuses for not compliance in the building industry.

Why is this idea important?

I would you like to consider removing the detail of the Building Regulations Part P and the electrical part of Part L and inserting it into the British standard BS7671 IEE Wiring regulations. It is known can electricians cannot carry out wiring to home without use of both sets of regulations.

Training courses for electricians are taught, examinations set and certificates obtained without need to know or consult the Part P & Part L regulations which is then a separate examination.

An incomplete BS7671 regulation (without reference to Building regulations Parts P & L ) encourages and provides excuses for not compliance in the building industry.

Renewable Energy

Go further still!  Change the Building Regulations to require ALL new builds and major building refurbishments to install solar heating and solar electricity systems. 

Why is this idea important?

Go further still!  Change the Building Regulations to require ALL new builds and major building refurbishments to install solar heating and solar electricity systems. 

Protect school playing fields

School playing fields are essential for school children and the wider local community, which has paid for them through its taxes: they affect their rights to a full education and to the peaceful enjoyment of their family life.  But controls over the disposal of playing fields as development land are not working.

The Government should amend the School Standards and Frameworks Act 1998 to ensure that all consents granted so far for the disposal of school playing fields, and all future consents, should lapse five years after they have been granted, as is the case with planning permission; and should strengthen the presumptions (i) that open-air playing fields should be retained unless there is genuinely no further need for them, and (ii) that the full proceeds of any disposals that are so justified should be returned to public funds at local or national government level. 

It should declare as its policy that the expansion of the academies programme to which it is committed will not in any way prejudice the need to retain playing fields in the public interest, or the way in which the necessary controls over disposals of playing fields are exercised. 

Why is this idea important?

School playing fields are essential for school children and the wider local community, which has paid for them through its taxes: they affect their rights to a full education and to the peaceful enjoyment of their family life.  But controls over the disposal of playing fields as development land are not working.

The Government should amend the School Standards and Frameworks Act 1998 to ensure that all consents granted so far for the disposal of school playing fields, and all future consents, should lapse five years after they have been granted, as is the case with planning permission; and should strengthen the presumptions (i) that open-air playing fields should be retained unless there is genuinely no further need for them, and (ii) that the full proceeds of any disposals that are so justified should be returned to public funds at local or national government level. 

It should declare as its policy that the expansion of the academies programme to which it is committed will not in any way prejudice the need to retain playing fields in the public interest, or the way in which the necessary controls over disposals of playing fields are exercised. 

House holders to be represented when regulations formulated

An example is the Building regulation changes. These now dictate that if a gas boiler is replaced then a more efficient condensing boiler must be used; that seems reasonable. What is not reasonable is the householder having to pay for additional work (plumbing and decoration) required to meet the separate heating zone requirements. The householder is poorly represented when new regulations are being formulated compared to the companies that make money out of such regulations.

Why is this idea important?

An example is the Building regulation changes. These now dictate that if a gas boiler is replaced then a more efficient condensing boiler must be used; that seems reasonable. What is not reasonable is the householder having to pay for additional work (plumbing and decoration) required to meet the separate heating zone requirements. The householder is poorly represented when new regulations are being formulated compared to the companies that make money out of such regulations.

Abolish Part P of Building Regulations

Abolish Part P of the Building Regulations. 

Most parts of current Building Regulations are very sensible but one clear exception is Part P Electrical Wiring Regulations.

Why is this idea important?

Abolish Part P of the Building Regulations. 

Most parts of current Building Regulations are very sensible but one clear exception is Part P Electrical Wiring Regulations.

Make the Building Regulations less bureaucratic and restrictive

The Building Regulations were originally introduced to make sure that buildings complied with certain building standards.  In recent times they have been expanded enormously with a series of 14 technical Parts devoted to particular topics e.g. Part P for electrics and Part N for glazing/windows.  At the same time the Building Regulations are now also used to ensure that building work increases the energy efficiency rating of the relevant components to certain levels.

Whilst the intentions may have been good, the practice is far from good.  The result is that only people registered with particular schemes (e.g. FENSA for windows or NICEIC for electrics) are allowed to sign-off their own work.  The alternative is to pay a fee to the local Council Building Control Officer (BCO) to give approval.  In both cases the quality of the work or assessment is highly variable.  Some BCOs give a cursory assessment whilst others scrutinise every detail and reject work for trivial deviations (in terms of their impact) from the standard.  SImilarly, whilst some tradesmen will do the work well, others will not – but both can sign off the work as being to the standard.

The Building Regulations should be reviewed and the highly restrictive, bureacratic and costly requirements to use certain approved installers should be relaxed.  These apply particularly to Parts N and P but the requirement to have the work approved applies also to other parts that a competent householder might wish to tackle e.g. Parts F, G, H. J and L.  I propose that all the relevant standards e.g. for quality of materials and components and for the design should be freely available for anyone to access e.g. on the internet or at their local library (or council office perhaps).  Anyone who is competent and confident they can undertake the work should be able to do so, whether this is the householder or someone they know.  If the work represents a significant change from what previously existed (for example, not simply replacing a broken light switch), it may be appropriate that they should have to record the nature of the work undertaken and sign to state it has been done to the appropriate standard.

This self-certification of work could either be recorded in a "House Logbook" – (why don't houses have some kind of logbook that records details of repairs and maintenance undertaken and changes to systems etc  that can be passed on to the next owner?), or  perhaps a self-certification could be submitted to the local authority to be held on record, similar to now (although there would be a risk that would become bureaucratic and incur costs too.)  In either case, a future prospective owner or tenant should be able to find out what significant work has been undertaken and, if they wish, get 'an expert' to check it was actually done to standard.  They key factor is having a record of what has been done.  We need to get back to a point where people are allowed to carry out their own repairs and maintenance without being forced to use someone deemed competent (but who often isn't) or going through a bureaucratic and costly local authority approval system.

Why is this idea important?

The Building Regulations were originally introduced to make sure that buildings complied with certain building standards.  In recent times they have been expanded enormously with a series of 14 technical Parts devoted to particular topics e.g. Part P for electrics and Part N for glazing/windows.  At the same time the Building Regulations are now also used to ensure that building work increases the energy efficiency rating of the relevant components to certain levels.

Whilst the intentions may have been good, the practice is far from good.  The result is that only people registered with particular schemes (e.g. FENSA for windows or NICEIC for electrics) are allowed to sign-off their own work.  The alternative is to pay a fee to the local Council Building Control Officer (BCO) to give approval.  In both cases the quality of the work or assessment is highly variable.  Some BCOs give a cursory assessment whilst others scrutinise every detail and reject work for trivial deviations (in terms of their impact) from the standard.  SImilarly, whilst some tradesmen will do the work well, others will not – but both can sign off the work as being to the standard.

The Building Regulations should be reviewed and the highly restrictive, bureacratic and costly requirements to use certain approved installers should be relaxed.  These apply particularly to Parts N and P but the requirement to have the work approved applies also to other parts that a competent householder might wish to tackle e.g. Parts F, G, H. J and L.  I propose that all the relevant standards e.g. for quality of materials and components and for the design should be freely available for anyone to access e.g. on the internet or at their local library (or council office perhaps).  Anyone who is competent and confident they can undertake the work should be able to do so, whether this is the householder or someone they know.  If the work represents a significant change from what previously existed (for example, not simply replacing a broken light switch), it may be appropriate that they should have to record the nature of the work undertaken and sign to state it has been done to the appropriate standard.

This self-certification of work could either be recorded in a "House Logbook" – (why don't houses have some kind of logbook that records details of repairs and maintenance undertaken and changes to systems etc  that can be passed on to the next owner?), or  perhaps a self-certification could be submitted to the local authority to be held on record, similar to now (although there would be a risk that would become bureaucratic and incur costs too.)  In either case, a future prospective owner or tenant should be able to find out what significant work has been undertaken and, if they wish, get 'an expert' to check it was actually done to standard.  They key factor is having a record of what has been done.  We need to get back to a point where people are allowed to carry out their own repairs and maintenance without being forced to use someone deemed competent (but who often isn't) or going through a bureaucratic and costly local authority approval system.

Scrap Part P Accreditation Bodies

Replace accreditation bodies with a register of persons competent to undertake domestic electrical work via training, experience and qualification i.e. as recognised by the same technical regulations that underpin all UK electrical regulations – BS7671.  Anything else is simply a confusing and inferior double-standard which benefits neither the electrical industry nor the customer.

Why is this idea important?

Replace accreditation bodies with a register of persons competent to undertake domestic electrical work via training, experience and qualification i.e. as recognised by the same technical regulations that underpin all UK electrical regulations – BS7671.  Anything else is simply a confusing and inferior double-standard which benefits neither the electrical industry nor the customer.

Reform the Party Wall Act to streamline building projects and protect consumers from huge bills

Reform the Party Wall Act.  It is damaging to building and puts consumers into a position where they can end up paying thousands of pounds in bills over which they have no control.   My idea is this:  The Party Wall Act is simply not necessary, and could be replaced by a simple insurance scheme which could be invoked if your building work damages your neighbour's property. If it was felt this was insufficient, there could be a simplifed Party Wall notification scheme where neighbours were given 14 days to comment (not delay) a building scheme (opt in, not opt out).  Where building work already falls under permitted development, party wall notices could be scrapped altogether as the quality of these works is already subject to insp)ection by Building Control (who of course like the Party Wall Act because it covers their backs!

Why is this idea important?

Reform the Party Wall Act.  It is damaging to building and puts consumers into a position where they can end up paying thousands of pounds in bills over which they have no control.   My idea is this:  The Party Wall Act is simply not necessary, and could be replaced by a simple insurance scheme which could be invoked if your building work damages your neighbour's property. If it was felt this was insufficient, there could be a simplifed Party Wall notification scheme where neighbours were given 14 days to comment (not delay) a building scheme (opt in, not opt out).  Where building work already falls under permitted development, party wall notices could be scrapped altogether as the quality of these works is already subject to insp)ection by Building Control (who of course like the Party Wall Act because it covers their backs!

make seeking planning permission more efficient

Allow people who apply for planning permission to send in just one form rather than an original plus three copies as is currently required by Wealden District Council.

Why is this idea important?

Allow people who apply for planning permission to send in just one form rather than an original plus three copies as is currently required by Wealden District Council.

Great Repeal Bill – Part 1

 

It is an extremely promising and most welcome initiative for the Coalition government to take the matter of excessive regulation seriously and enlist and trust citizens to help define a future legislative programme, and offer views on how the role of the state might be reduced.

I propose a Great Reform Bill to remove the following pieces of legislation or regulations from the statute book, initially consisting of repealing of reforming the following pieces of legislation:

  • The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. Excessive health and safety legislation has replaced common sense and the sheer volume and proliferation of rules and regulations stifles innovation and swamps small businesses or charitable organisations in the Third Sector. It is time for a thorough review of all aspects of this act as well as the numerous offshoot pieces of legislation, which create unnecessary jobs for the HSE.
  • Construction Design & Management Regulations 2007 (CDM). These regulations do not apply to small domestic projects where statistically most construction deaths or accidents occur. Where CDM does apply eg on major commercial projects, costs have increased typically by 1% due to the fees for a new breed of professional, the Planning Coordinator, whose sole task is to prepare reams of risk assessments and health and safety documentation. Yet again this role has done little to reduce construction-related deaths or injuries.
  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This act forces many small businesses to prepare significant amounts of paperwork, and carry out detailed risk assessments for audit and inspection, and allows Fire Authorities to close businesses without appeal, yet does nothing to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Regional Development Agencies Act 1998. RDAs and Government Offices of the Regions should be abolished as they have failed to fulfil heir remit but at considerable expense to the public purse and merely duplicate the functions of national and county government. RDAs were established despite public antipathy and rejection in a referendum in North East England.
  • The Police Act 1997, specifically with regard to the new Criminal Records Bureau and recently created Independent Safeguarding Authority, both of which should be abolished.
  • Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. There is an urgent need to review existing asbestos legislation to take account of the diverse range of asbestos-containing products, some of which are much more harmful than others.
  • Identity Cards Act 2006. A wholly undemocratic act worthy of a fascist state that will do nothing to make the nation more secure.
  • Firearms Act 1998. Introduced as a knee jerk reaction to the Dunblane tragedy but has done nothing to reduce gun crime and instead criminalises those who take part in sport shooting.
  • Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. Specifically with regard to the impact of this piece of regulation on music venues.
  • Regulation of Investigatory Powers ACT 2000. This act provides a legal framework that allows authorities to snoop and spy on citizens and is grossly undemocratic. Abolish The Office of Surveillance Commissioners.
  • The Local Government Act 2000. Abolish Standards for England.
  • Part P Building Regulations 2000, which came into force in 2005 and imposes an undue cost burden on consumers, who are obliged to employ ‘competent’ trained electricians to carry out even the most modest alterations to electrical circuits.
  • Licensing Act 2003.
  • Human Rights Act 1998. Withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • The Dangerous Dogs Act 1989, arguably one of the most hasty and ill-considered pieces of legislation of all time.

Why is this idea important?

 

It is an extremely promising and most welcome initiative for the Coalition government to take the matter of excessive regulation seriously and enlist and trust citizens to help define a future legislative programme, and offer views on how the role of the state might be reduced.

I propose a Great Reform Bill to remove the following pieces of legislation or regulations from the statute book, initially consisting of repealing of reforming the following pieces of legislation:

  • The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. Excessive health and safety legislation has replaced common sense and the sheer volume and proliferation of rules and regulations stifles innovation and swamps small businesses or charitable organisations in the Third Sector. It is time for a thorough review of all aspects of this act as well as the numerous offshoot pieces of legislation, which create unnecessary jobs for the HSE.
  • Construction Design & Management Regulations 2007 (CDM). These regulations do not apply to small domestic projects where statistically most construction deaths or accidents occur. Where CDM does apply eg on major commercial projects, costs have increased typically by 1% due to the fees for a new breed of professional, the Planning Coordinator, whose sole task is to prepare reams of risk assessments and health and safety documentation. Yet again this role has done little to reduce construction-related deaths or injuries.
  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This act forces many small businesses to prepare significant amounts of paperwork, and carry out detailed risk assessments for audit and inspection, and allows Fire Authorities to close businesses without appeal, yet does nothing to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Regional Development Agencies Act 1998. RDAs and Government Offices of the Regions should be abolished as they have failed to fulfil heir remit but at considerable expense to the public purse and merely duplicate the functions of national and county government. RDAs were established despite public antipathy and rejection in a referendum in North East England.
  • The Police Act 1997, specifically with regard to the new Criminal Records Bureau and recently created Independent Safeguarding Authority, both of which should be abolished.
  • Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. There is an urgent need to review existing asbestos legislation to take account of the diverse range of asbestos-containing products, some of which are much more harmful than others.
  • Identity Cards Act 2006. A wholly undemocratic act worthy of a fascist state that will do nothing to make the nation more secure.
  • Firearms Act 1998. Introduced as a knee jerk reaction to the Dunblane tragedy but has done nothing to reduce gun crime and instead criminalises those who take part in sport shooting.
  • Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. Specifically with regard to the impact of this piece of regulation on music venues.
  • Regulation of Investigatory Powers ACT 2000. This act provides a legal framework that allows authorities to snoop and spy on citizens and is grossly undemocratic. Abolish The Office of Surveillance Commissioners.
  • The Local Government Act 2000. Abolish Standards for England.
  • Part P Building Regulations 2000, which came into force in 2005 and imposes an undue cost burden on consumers, who are obliged to employ ‘competent’ trained electricians to carry out even the most modest alterations to electrical circuits.
  • Licensing Act 2003.
  • Human Rights Act 1998. Withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • The Dangerous Dogs Act 1989, arguably one of the most hasty and ill-considered pieces of legislation of all time.

Classification of multi-tenant HMO property

Councils are being asked to poke their noses into too many peoples private lives.

If I live in a townhouse with my girlfriend and her baby twins, and we have a lodger, then the house must be registered and inspected by a council officer, and I must install 15 fire alarms, control panel, emergency access lighting and signs, and have it inspected every month by a Fire alarms person.

Crazy. Legislation affecting 'renting' has become unpleasant – it has a begrudging feel. 

If I swapped one of the twins for an au pair, then the house must still be registered and inspected by a council officer, and I must install 15 fire alarms, control panel, emergency access lighting and signs, and have it inspected every month by a Fire alarms person…  

Regulation in the private property rental sector has gone berserk.  Its badly targeted, new anti-slum 'HMO' council officers are popping up with hundreds of different types of implementation, charging hundreds of quid for admin, sending threatening letters and waving around £20,000 fines.

Why is this idea important?

Councils are being asked to poke their noses into too many peoples private lives.

If I live in a townhouse with my girlfriend and her baby twins, and we have a lodger, then the house must be registered and inspected by a council officer, and I must install 15 fire alarms, control panel, emergency access lighting and signs, and have it inspected every month by a Fire alarms person.

Crazy. Legislation affecting 'renting' has become unpleasant – it has a begrudging feel. 

If I swapped one of the twins for an au pair, then the house must still be registered and inspected by a council officer, and I must install 15 fire alarms, control panel, emergency access lighting and signs, and have it inspected every month by a Fire alarms person…  

Regulation in the private property rental sector has gone berserk.  Its badly targeted, new anti-slum 'HMO' council officers are popping up with hundreds of different types of implementation, charging hundreds of quid for admin, sending threatening letters and waving around £20,000 fines.