Dudley Trading Standards

Dudley Trading Standards given assistance by Barnsley BateBarnsley Bate have again assisted in the successful prosecution of a rogue builder.

Rogue builder conned elderly victims out of £130,000, court hears

A builder who hugely overcharged vulnerable and elderly women to pocket nearly £130,000 for work around their homes has been jailed for nearly five years.

Brenda, who was 91, was overcharged nearly £15,000 according to the surveyor after handing over £23,500 for repairs to her roof, porch and patio. Doherty had initially knocked on her door offering to cement down two roof tiles he said were loose, quoting just £25.

More info here

Other Trading Standards assistance

Assisted Trading Standards

expert witness statements

Barnsley Bate have been contacted by various different Trading Standards Offices throughout the midlands area, to give thanks for the expert witness statements with regards to Rogue and Cowboy builders.

Barnsley Bate UK Building Surveyor have also assisted in uncovering fraud and conspiracy case, where Sandwell Council which fund Annie Lennard Primary had been the victim. Click here for more information relating to this via an article in the Express and Star.

Other Cases include

  • a 55-year-old bodger has received a five-month prison sentence suspended for two years after admitting two charges of unfair trading through lack of due diligence between November 1 2016 and March 31 2017. Click here for more information relating to this via an article in the Express and Star.
  • Rogue builder jailed after £23k fraud after flooding home, has started a 15-month jail sentence. Click here for more information relating to this via an article in the Express and Star.
  • Convicted cowboy roofer faces jail after admitting latest con over £750. The crimes have all been uncovered by Wolverhampton Trading Standards investigators who believe he is a serial rogue trader. Click here for more information relating to this via an article in the Express and Star.
  • Builder whose ‘dire’ work left family with sloping roof, live electrics and an extension two feet short is jailed.  He left so much damage the family needs more than £30,000 to fix it. Click here for more information relating to this via an article in the Leicester Mercury.

  • A rogue trader who left a Wolverhampton family with a dangerous and near worthless extension on the verge of collapse has been sentenced to 6 months in prison.
    Trading Standards employed building surveyor, Derek Bate from Barnsley Bate to assess the property. Mr Bate found Roberts’ work to be wholly inadequate, of little to no value, in breach of Building Regulations and in real risk of collapse. Click here for the full report


We are pleased to have assisted Trading Standards as expert witnesses in regard to these cases.

More information on our legal services is available here.

Wall coating scam

Wall coating scam

Notification regarding the wall coating scam

New Policy paper has been published with the help of Barnsley Bate.

Dear Mr BATE,
Thanks to your assistance in this matter, together with Dudley Trading Standards, we have managed to change HMRC policy which has been published!
No doubt we will catch up soon.

Sent to Barnsley Bate via email from

Senior Trading Standards Officer and Intelligence Analyst
Consumer Protection and Investigations Team
Dudley Trading Standards
01384 814675


Briefing can be found here,

Copy below

Policy paper

Revenue and Customs Brief 9 (2018): VAT – damp proofing products

Published 20 July 2018

1. Purpose

This brief clarifies HMRC’s policy on the VAT liability of damp proofing products like paints, creams and gels. These products are typically applied to the exterior walls of houses to prevent damp.

2. Readership

Businesses that manufacture and retail damp proofing products, and businesses that apply these products to the exterior walls of residential accommodation.

3. Background

Businesses that make supplies of installing certain energy-saving materials (ESMs) in residential accommodation to final customers qualify for the reduced rate of VAT. This includes services of installing the materials and the materials themselves, when they are supplied as part of an installation. Business to business supplies of ESMs are always standard rated.

4. Issue

HMRC has become aware of a number of businesses that are marketing damp proofing products as ESMs. This implies that supplies of applying these products to the walls of residential accommodation are eligible for the reduced rate.

This treatment is supported by the Tribunal in the case Safeguard Europe Ltd v HMRC [2013] UK First-tier Tribunal 145 (TC) (“Safeguard”), which decided that one such product known as Stormdry qualified as an ESM. However, as this is a First-tier Tribunal decision it is not binding and cannot be used as a precedent.

5. Clarification of HMRC’s policy

HMRC has reviewed the VAT treatment of these products following the Safeguard decision. It has concluded that these products do not qualify as ESMs for the following reasons:

  • the dominant purpose of these products is to water-proof exterior walls rather than improving thermal efficiency
  • there is no conclusive evidence that these products improve the thermal efficiency of brickwork
  • if such evidence became available, it is likely that any improved thermal efficiency would be incidental to the dominant purpose of the products which is water-proofing
  • the products are not normally described as insulators
  • the products are sold (or ‘held out for sale’) as water-and-damp proofing products and not insulators
  • the legislation refers to ESMs being “installed”, which indicates that the legislation more naturally refers to typical insulators such as cavity wall insulation rather than the damp proofing products which are ‘applied’

HMRC does not regard damp proofing paints, creams or gels as ESMs. Therefore, the sale and services of applying these products to the walls of residential accommodation are standard rated for VAT purposes.

6. Implementation

HMRC will apply this policy with effect from 1 September 2018 to give businesses time to change their marketing and update their systems.

Further guidance on ESMs can be found in VAT Notice 708/6 and this will be updated to reflect this clarification of policy.

7. Action required

Businesses should account for VAT at the standard rate on all sales and applications of these products on supplies made on or after 1 September 2018 and, if necessary, change their marketing. This Revenue and Customs Brief overrides any decisions that HMRC has issued that are inconsistent with this policy clarification.