I've now received a copy of the leaflet the council is sending out in response to requests. Mine lists five of the Norfolk authorities on the front, but has a note on the back "Reproduced by kind permission of the Local Authorities of Wessex." It seems that people in other areas have received a similar leaflet, so presumably this has been passed around the country.
Most of the notes just explain what we already know, but there is one aspect which stands out:
2. Submit a Building Regulation application to the Local Authority:
A. Where an electrician registered with a recognised trade body such as NICEIC, ECA or NAPIT (who need not be registered under a Competent Person's Scheme) tests the work and issues a design, installation and test certificate under BS7671. Building Control will accept the certificate as evidence that the work complies with PART P. Additional inspections by Building Control may also be carried out in conjunction with the acceptance of a certificate
OK, let's stop there a moment. They're saying the certificate will be accepted, but they might come and inspect themselves anyway?
B. Where the work is carried out by an unregistered electrician or is a DIY installation, the applicant is required to have the work inspected and tested by a registered electrician as in A. above and obtain the relevant certificates.
Now hold everything. Where does part P or any other section of the Building Regs. state that? As I read it, the owner has an obligation to notify building control. It's then up to the local authority to inspect if they want to.
What they're trying to say here is that somebody must notify building control, carry out the work, then pay to have a registered electrician inspect and test, then pay the council fee on top of that as well!
Of course, this is also completely at odds with the information I've already been given by my local council. Yet more utter confusion and contradictions!
Anyhow, I'll now turn to part of the last e-mail I received:
The leaflet has now been printed and a copy is in the post to you. I have also included a Building Notice application form which I suggest you use for any electrical installation work that requires consent from the Local Authority. As you will see the form can be completed by either the property owner or yourself acting as their agent.
Well, first of all, maybe I'm becoming too ready to attack anything to do with this whole mess that is part P, but what's with the "work that requires consent" line?
Part P introduces an obligation to notify
the local authority of certain electrical work. We do not have to ask permission
to carry out such work. Am I just being too sensitive, or are councils assuming they have more powers than they do?
The last part of the above quote and the forms to which it refers seem to show quite clearly that the obligation to notify building control rests with the owner, not the person physically doing thw work. The latter may act as an agent for the former, but that's about it.
I'd already decided the route I'm going to take, and that last item just confirms it.
I shall inform people of the new rules under part P, for it would be remiss of me to do otherwise. I'll make it quite clear that in my opinion the whole scheme is unworkable, largely unenforcable, and a waste of time, but that of course I stand by the quality of my work and have no qualms about it being inspected by anybody.
I shall make it very
clear that I am not about to start acting as an informant to local government, and will not be notifying building control of wiring work (unless the person expressly requests me to do so as his agent of course). I shall leave everybody in no doubt that if they don't want to inform building control, that's fine with me.
As somebody over on the IEE forum suggested, we have a new scheme involving no extra cost to the customer, to be known by the acronym C.O.R. -- Carry On Regardless!
[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 01-10-2005).]