§ Mr. McCrindle
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what progress has been made on overcoming problems associated with cowboy builders following the publication of the Department's special working party report in 1987;
(2) whether he is considering legislation to deal with cowboy builders.
§ Mr. Trippier
There are no plans for legislation. The Government made clear in their response to the report of the "Beat the Cowboys" working party that the industry must take the lead in setting up an assessment and approval scheme for insurance-backed guarantees which will increase customer recognition of the reputable builder. The industry has not yet decided which body should undertake this task. Criteria for the assessment of guarantee schemes and a model "fair deal" contract for use in small building works are being developed by the Office of Fair Trading.