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Furniture: Safety

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 29 January 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many items of unsafe furniture have been seized by scambuster teams since 2005. (251169)

Since 2005 Trading Standards scambuster teams have been involved in two operations involving unsafe furniture. To date, the majority of the scambuster investigations have been in relation to doorstep selling and rogue traders providing home improvement products.

The north-east team seized 161 pieces of furniture in a warehouse raid. After testing, all 161 items were found to be in compliance with the Furniture and Furnishing (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1998.

The scambuster team covering the south-east region investigated a rogue trader selling furniture door to door. Seven of the nine items of furniture seized failed to comply with the regulations.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much the scambusters programme has spent in each year since 2005, broken down by category of expenditure. (251170)

£1.8 million of funding was allocated for the pilot phase of the project. Scambusters teams were piloted in three areas; the North East, Central England and across the South East, London and East of England. In June 2008 the Government announced that £7.5 million of funding was available over three years for specialist trading standards scambuster teams throughout Great Britain. During the course of this year, five new scambuster teams have become operational. The final team in the North West will be operational from April 2009.

Since 2005, the scambuster initiative has spent the following:

Pilot stage

£

Salaries

Marketing

Running costs1

Legal

Total

2006-07

438,390.66

10,678.0

85,427.86

57,928.72

592,424.78

2007-08

745,223.36

29,934.94

193,908.20

17,146.76

986,213.26

1 Running costs will cover training, accommodation, office equipment, travel.

Roll out

£

Salaries

Marketing

Running costs

Legal

Total

2008-091

628,764.94

3,270.0

208,186.71

14,285.40

854,507.05

1 Figures as of December 2008.