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New Quality Mark push by ministers

THE GOVERNMENT is pushing on with its anti-cowboy builder Quality Mark scheme following a crunch meeting with industry bodies on Monday.

Construction minister Nigel Griffiths is setting up a new Quality Mark working group to take the initiative forward quickly.

The Department of Trade and Industry is understood to be putting £1 million behind it.The DTI is also writing to all members of the existing scheme to refund the original £500 registration fee.

Trade association members will be coopted into a less expensive and less bureaucratic scheme to provide a critical mass under a broadened 'mark of marks'banner.

It will also work in tandem with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's competent persons schemes such as Fensa and Hetas.

Industry sources said there were still barriers to overcome, such as improving a one-sided conciliation process in the case of complaints.Currently in disputes builders but not consumers are bound by the decision of scheme operators.