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Stern words question Barclays trade map

Inner London is suffering from a lack of plumbers and electricians but Doncaster is the best place in the UK to find a plumber according to Barclays.
Barclays Local Business researched more than 600,000 small businesses nationwide to compile its trade map of England and Wales.

According to the map, the London boroughs of Kensington, Westminster and Camden have the lowest proportion of plumbers and electricians anywhere in the country.

With one plumbing business serving 6,000 of the population, these three boroughs have one tenth the number of plumbers compared to the national average (one plumbing firm for every 500 people)

The Barclays map has been ridiculed by the founder of the Property Owners Directory, a website for online tradepeople recommendations. The POD has questioned the map's representation of specialist trades in the capital.

Andy Stern, founder of the POD, said 'It's not just a question about the availability of skilled tradespeople, it's also about the quality of their work'.

He said 'What I don't want to see as a reaction to these kind of statistics is a load of cowboys plumbers turning up at peoples' door in London, saying they're ready to meet the demand'.

The PropertyOwners Directory has details of plumbers, builders, electricians and other specialist tradespeople working in major towns throughout the UK. The POD routinely works with plumbers to identify the areas they work in to help property owners in these areas find tradesmen.

Data for the Barclays trade map was gathered from analysis of type and location of Barclays Local Business customers (which represents one fifth of the small business stock in the UK (under £1 million turnover).

Barclays paints a geographical picture of electricians and builders too with towns in Essex able to boast more electricians than elsewhere in the country.

Basildon is the top town for electricians, whilst Ealing hits the number one spot in England for builders.

6 May 2008


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