Through everything from its establishment of cold calling control zones which clamp down on doorstep criminals to its pursuit through the courts of fraudulent firms, West Yorkshire Trading Standards has been representing the interests of consumers for decades.
According to the service itself, its overall aim is to ensure that there is a “fair market place where informed, knowledgeable consumers can confidently interact with compliant businesses”.
That is exactly the environment in which honest businesses can thrive and the public can feel confident that they are getting what they pay for.
And given the need to stimulate business growth in the present economic climate, that is exactly what is currently needed.
So it is therefore deeply concerning that the service is set to lose out as part of cuts totalling £1m which will hit West Yorkshire Joint Services – the umbrella body which oversees food testing and consumer investigations in the county. Up to 20 jobs could be lost as a result, a fact which must surely call into question the service’s ability to pursue scammers and rogue traders who prey on the public.
While it is true that savings have to be made across just about every part of the public sector, this must not come at the expense of protecting consumers.
Water torture for city centre flat residents
If you were paying premium prices for a slice of city living, you would expect to get a premium service in return.
Yet residents of West Point Apartments were left without water for more than 24 hours on one of the hottest days of the year.
It’s the third time it’s happened and in May last year they were without running water for over a week.
The problem, it seems, lies with the building’s pipework. The trouble is that if it’s taken out and replaced, the water would be off for a while.
Either way, it’s a thoroughly unsatisfactory situation for residents – no wonder some are now moving out.