Request for copy of reasons in recommendation of honours for Liz Mail Chair of Trustmark

William Kidd made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Dear Department for Business, Innovation and Skills,

Request for copies of E mails, letter,telephone conversation minutes or summaries in connection with recommendation for honours in respect of Liz Male Chair of Trustmark

I refer to the following information - most of which is currently available to members of the public - and would be interested in why Liz Male, in view of the foregoing public interest information, was recommended for honours - when TrustMark has seemingly failed to protect consumers currently being served by some contractor members of Property Care Association potentially using damp proofing products that may not work.

ISSE ( the Sheffield based Institute of Specialist Surveyors and Engineers) has found that products used in the damp proofing industry are, according to British Board of Agrement, who have tested the products, not fit for purpose. Simon Wroe Head of Approvals wrote to the trade body Property Care Association (PCA) in October 2013 (letter on file) to advise its members that in future certificates would have to show two levels of competence. BBA advertise on its web site that their Certificates are gold standard fit for purpose.

Steve Hodgson who is the CEO of PCA, and now a director of the flagship Consumer protection body TrustMark, wrote back to BBA in October to advise that this information must be kept from the public and PCA contractor members.(letter on file)

BBA which is headed by Claire Curtis Thomas, allegedly held a secret meeting with Steve Hodgson and the manufacturer members of PCA who hold these apparently and seemingly worthless but very costly certificates. Perhaps because of the consumer sensitivity and risks of litigation against BBA all those attended the meeting allegedly had to sign a secrecy agreement.

The matter was reported by ISSE to Alan Slaney CEO of Trustmark who denied any such impropriety by his co director despite being sent a copy of the signed letter from S.Hodgson. Mr Slaney then threatened the directors of ISSE with defamation. ISSE then directed the matter to Liz Male Chair of who was awarded the MBE in New Years Honours list 2015. She did nothing to stop this misuse or seriously investigate but instead circulated untrue comments provided by S Hodgson about Mr Kidd probably as a deterrent to any further investigation and means of burying the matter. (See FOI website What Do They Know' under name of William Kidd for further comments and E mails between BIS and TM)

In the meantime ISSE estimate that the PCA scheme within TM could undertake some £25 Million of treatment per month plus a similar sum for redecoration following the potentially largely ineffective but very destructive works. An industry source ( notes on file ) says that it is estimated 80 per cent of the material used by the industry is of the low strength cream that fails to protect against rising damp.

BBA have admitted on its web site in April 2014 that in fact despite having awarded several Certificates it has in fact never had a suitable test for the products since 1999 when the damp proofing creams were first brought out. Thus over 16 years it could be estimated that some £7.6 Billion worth of potentially useless work has been undertaken with such products.

Furthermore Which ? magazine in Dec 2011 in the article 'Unnecessary Treatments' where they tested 11 damp proofing companies - 6 of which were PCA members - and found not one could tell the difference between rising damp and a burst pipe but in any event most still recommended a damp proof course be installed.

Dr.Graham Atherton of Wythenshawe Hospital ( and unpaid director of Education of ISSE) who cares for patients suffering and dying from aspergillosis from the effects of damp homes wrote (letter on file) about the scandal to Barry Blackwell of Department of Business - who oversee the consumer contract with TM.

When ISSE then contacted Mr.Blackwell he surprisingly denied in a conversation with W Kidd of ISSE on 22nd July 2014 (minutes of conversation on file) that Trustmark had any obligation to uphold consumer law. Using a FOI request ISSE obtained a copy of the contract and found that the core contract values were exactly to uphold the law. Soon afterwards Liz Male received the MBE.

ISSE have also reported to the CMA, and then to Sheffield TS, the UK wide restrictive practice where RICS valuation surveyors acting for mortgage lenders such as Leeds Building Society insist on PCA members only being used for damp and timber inspections despite ISSE members having Ofqual backed awards of 540 hours for each of their 2 Diplomas considerably greater depth than the 24 hour or 3 day self assessed course offered by PCA.

Euro MP Tony Kirkwood is to raise the matter in the European Parliament he says It seems the UK has all the consumer laws in place to deal with such matters but no one is enforcing them. (letter on file).

Yours faithfully,

William Kidd

FOI Requests, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

I am now on leave until Monday 16th March.

For all queries regarding FOI cases, please email the FOI mailbox :

 

Kind regards

 

Shaun

 

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BIS ref: FOI2015/05229

Dear Mr Kidd

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 10th
March. Your request has been passed on to the appropriate official at the
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to deal with.

Your request is being considered under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and we will reply at the latest by 9th April.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the Information
Rights Unit at BIS. Please remember to quote the reference number above in
any future communications.

Kind regards,

Information Rights Unit

Information Rights Unit | Department for Business, Innovation & Skills | 1
Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET | www.gov.uk/bis |
[email address] |

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is making a
difference by supporting sustained growth and higher skills across the
economy. BIS: working together for growth

FOI Requests, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Kidd

Please see the attached letter regarding your information request - our reference FOI2015/05229.

Yours sincerely

Information Rights Unit

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills | Orchard 1, 6th Floor, 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H OET | www.bis.gov.uk

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is making a difference by supporting sustained growth and higher skills across the economy. BIS: working together for growth

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