Durham Council: TV aerial installer fined for making false claims
A TV aerial installer has been ordered to pay more than £1,000 after he admitted making false claims about his business.
Michael Ritchie, of Cookson Place, South Stanley, appeared at Consett Magistrates’ Court today (June 18) where he pleaded guilty to four offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
The 45-year-old falsely claimed on his website that his business ACC Aerials was a member of the Confederation of Aerial Industries (CAI) and that it had been established since 2000.
He also falsely stated in an advert on yell.com that his business was both CAI and Checkatrade approved.
The offences were discovered when Durham County Council’s consumer protection team began an investigation after receiving a complaint in January 2012 from the CAI regarding the false membership claim.
Magistrates heard that both the CAI and Checkatrade confirmed that neither ACC Aerials nor Michael Ritchie were members of the organisations or approved by them.
The court was also told that the defendant had trained in electrical safety and TV aerial fitting in 2005 and that ACC Aerials could not have therefore been established in 2000.
The defendant pleaded guilty but told the court that he had not been responsible for the information on his own website as someone else had completed the paperwork on his behalf.
He was fined £500, with £500 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
Joanne Waller, head of environment, health and consumer protection at Durham County Council, said: “Consumers will be influenced by claims of trade membership or other schemes and it may give them misplaced confidence before they purchase.
“There are some businesses that take advantage of this by falsely claiming to be members, which gives them an unfair commercial advantage.
“We take these matters very seriously and will look to take action against those who make false claims.”
Durham Council: Celebrating our good sports
Staff from Haswell Children’s Centre are working in partnership with Yellow Wellies Day Nursery to hold a Dads Celebration Sports Day.
Sporty fun activities will be on offer with those taking part receiving medals and certificates.
It all takes place at the centre on Church Street this Friday (June 21) between 1.00pm and 3.00pm and local parents are invited to take part.
Danielle Edwards, family support worker, said: “Together with Yellow Wellies we hope to help dads realise they are very important in their child’s life to help them reach their full potential.
“As Father’s Day has just passed we want to celebrate the hard work dads do when bringing up children. We want to reward them with a sports day they can share and treasure with their little ones as they grow up so quickly.”
Sure Start children’s centres are part of the One Point Service which is part of Durham County Council.
Durham Council: Chance to get Metafit
A new fitness workout is being launched in County Durham leisure centres – and people are being offered the chance to try it out for free.
Metafit training is an intense workout which uses a person’s own bodyweight instead of gym equipment.
Sessions are due to start in Durham County Council’s leisure centres and to give people a chance to find out more about it staff will be taking part in a display in Durham Market Place next Saturday (June 29).
The display will take place between 12.30pm and 2.00pm and those who go along can pick up a free Metafit pass so that they can try a session for themselves.
The weekly sessions are programmed across the leisure centres to fit in with people’s busy lives, including early morning, lunchtime and evening sessions.
Participating leisure centres include Freeman’s Quay, Chester-le-Street, Spennymoor, Shildon-Sunnydale, Meadowfield, Abbey, Woodhouse Close, Teesdale and Newton Aycliffe.
Further information can be found at www.durham.gov.uk/fitness
Durham Council: Community gym opens
A new community gym is helping residents in a County Durham village get into shape.
The West Rainton Community Fitness Suite has opened in the village’s Jubilee Hall, on South Street.
The gym is run entirely by volunteers as part of Durham County Council’s Legacy Gym scheme, which supports the provision of small, state-of-the-art fitness venues in the heart of communities.
The scheme is aimed at encouraging more people to get active, enjoy exercise and improve their health.
To join people need to go along during opening hours to make an appointment to complete a short health questionnaire and induction.
Volunteers will demonstrate the equipment and explain how each machine can help to improve fitness.
The gym in West Rainton is open Monday to Friday between 9.15am and 11.30am and between 5.30pm and 8.30pm.
Prices for adults are £2 per session, £15 per month or £100 per year.
Prices for 11 to 16-year-olds (who must be accompanied by an adult) are £1 per session, £8 per month or £60 per year.
For further information people can call into the gym during opening hours or contact Durham County Council on 03000 282 012 or email email@example.com
Durham Council: Budding artists celebrate.
Two budding artists inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels are celebrating a victory.
Ruby Ranasinghe, 7, and Emily Chong, 9, entered a competition held at Durham County Record Office’s Family Fun Day to design an illuminated letter in a similar design to those found on many medieval documents, including the Gospels.
The fun day, held at the record office at County Hall, was attended by 40 adults and children from across the county and activities included making a medieval seal, dressing up and writing with quills.
Emily won the eight and over competition with Ruby taking the under eight category. Each received a £10 book voucher.
Durham County Record Office is part of Durham County Council.
Durham Council: Give the best start to your child
Leadgate Children’s Centre is launching a breastfeeding event to encourage more mums-to-be to breastfeed.
The NHS antenatal initiative ‘Birth and Beyond’ is launching in the area and an event has been organised for Friday, June 28 to highlight to parents and expectant mothers the benefits of breastfeeding and the support available.
The event will take place between 12.30 and 3.00pm with a breastfeeding group meeting in the morning.
Advice and support on alcohol and stopping smoking will be available via One Point health visitors and a story corner will keep toddlers amused. Refreshments are being provided by the food technology students from Consett Academy.
Sara Hunter, health visitor, said: “We are delighted to be launching the NHS Birth and Beyond initiative in the Consett area during National Breastfeeding Awareness Week.
“We are inviting all mams to join us and we are planning a really busy afternoon so why not drop in and find out how we can support you and your baby to have the best possible start in life.”
Members of the media and photographers are invited to attend the children’s centre on West Street at 1.00pm.