Rogue Traders

People are being urged not to employ traders who call at their property to tout for work without an appointment, which is illegal in the Isle of Man.

The warning by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) comes after recent storms damaged properties on the island and presented unscrupulous traders with an opportunity to offer unsolicited work. The OFT is asking people to remain vigilant and look out for vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours who could fall foul.

John Wannenburgh, Chair of the IoMOFT, said: ‘Whilst the recent stormy weather may have left householders with damage to fix, they should remain vigilant and not compound the situation by falling prey to a rogue trader, especially one who cold calls. It can be frustrating when traders are not able to start straightaway, but it is worth waiting for a genuine trader.’

The OFT offers the following tips:

  • Do not deal with traders who call at your house without an appointment
  • Do not be pressurised into having unnecessary work done.
  • Do not fall for patter such as “We’ve got some tiles left over from a big job”.
  • Do not part with a significant amount of cash up front.
  • If a trader is pestering you for work, call Trading Standards on 686520, or the police

Zurich Goes Green

Zurich International has been given permission to go ahead with a major solar energy project which could provide nearly three quarters of the electricity used at its Isle of Man HQ.

The project is to install a solar panel car port over an existing car park at Zurich House which could provide up to 70% of the building’s electricity, and power for other purposes such as charging electric vehicles. Local Planning Authority and Building Control approval was granted recently.

Bruce Pearson, CEO, Zurich International Life, said: ‘Zurich has been a leader on sustainable energy for several years, and our team here on the island have made a fantastic contribution to Zurich’s global group strategy which has sustainability at its core. This solar power project represents a big step forward in the context of Zurich International’s commitment to group objectives. Now that we have permission to go ahead we’re looking forward to seeing the project progress towards the goal of it being completed and operational by March 2022.’

Daphne Caine, Chair of the Climate Change Transformation Board, added: ‘I am delighted this proposal has come forward and got the go-ahead… Zurich’s major commitment to harnessing renewable energy and ensuring a sustainable future for its Isle of Man headquarters will help us meet those climate change goals. It is great to see a business thinking in such a sustainable way and I look forward to seeing it in operation in 2022.’

France

Ports are reporting long queues to board ferries and Eurostar has advised ticketless customers to avoid St Pancras station ahead of a ban on travel to France at 11pm GMT.

Most of the rail operator’s services are sold out after a rise in bookings in response to the Covid restrictions announced by France on Thursday. Many flights are fully booked and there were two-hour waits at Dover. France said the ban was due to UK’s surge in Omicron cases.

The ban will mean that only those with ‘compelling reasons’ will be able to travel between the UK and France after 11pm, and tourist or business trips will not be permitted.

Taking You For a Ride

Regulated rail fares in England will rise by 3.8% from March, in the biggest increase for nine years. These regulated prices make up about half of fares and include season tickets on most commuter routes. Increases are normally implemented on the first working day of every year, but have been delayed until March since 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The fare rises are based on the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation in July.

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