KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
1st April 2011
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Welcome to the
While I support some of the laws and initiatives foisted upon us by our EU masters, there are others that make me very angry...
In this week's news we cover the results of an EU survey, which show that the majority of Europeans support 'pay as you go' driving.
On first thoughts this seems a fair way of doing things - after all at the moment, those who rarely use a car but need one for, say, taking an elderly parent to the supermarket or hospital once a week during quiet times, are paying the same road tax as those who drive during the rush hour and clock up 2000 miles a week on business. There's a big difference between the two when it comes to increasing pollution and noise and taking the life out of our roads.
But then it occurred to me. How are they going to know how many miles we're driving and at what hours? That's right - we'll be tracked. And how long will it be before the technology is used to see when we're exceeding speed limits and automatically issue speeding tickets as a result? I don't know anyone who supports the use of those ugly speed cameras that blight our landscape but at least they give us a fighting chance of avoiding a fine!
The EU is concerned that any new tax structure will need to cover falling revenues as people are driving less each year, so it's likely to be expensive. This means businesses are going to suffer and a large chunk of the money raised will be spent on keeping our EU masters in caviar and champagne.
Now for the 'very angry' part... I've just received my car insurance renewal and the sum I'm being asked to pay for the next year's cover has risen from around £400 to over £1,000. Luckily it was an error on the part of my insurer (although my premium has increased by about £60, despite having the same car and a no claims bonus that stretches back to when I started driving) but sadly this is a sign of things to come.
Yes - safe women drivers like myself, who've never had an accident (or caused one!) and who present virtually zero risk to insurers, are now going to have to pay far higher premiums to compensate for the heavy losses caused by those most liable to have an accident - the boy racers. And this because of gender equality legislation imposed by the EU which we've allowed to become UK law!
I'm going to be heavily penalised year in, year out as a result. And even if I weren't female, I'd be thinking the same... This is stupidity personified and totally illogical. The insurance industry is based on risk. It always has been and it always should be. We're all going to suffer because of this ridiculous and irrational change.
Idiots - all of them!
This Week's News
"I know it will be a hassle and something of a disappointment to some, but we've changed the date of the 2011 Bathroom Conference. And we have done it to secure a fabulous new venue," says Bathroom Manufacturers Association's boss Yvonne Orgill.
The Conference is now scheduled for Wednesday 9th November 2011, at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire.
20 pioneering kitchen, bathroom and bedroom product concepts have been shortlisted for the kbb London Innovation Awards. The Awards recognise kbb design excellence and original thought and shortlisted products range from technologically advanced appliances and interactive storage solutions to space-saving concepts and architectural spaces, representing the whole scope of the industry's recent developments.
The companies shortlisted for the awards and whose products will be showcased in the Innovations Centre at the kbb London exhibition are:
The Thermostatic Mixing Valve Manufacturers' Association has successfully secured the inclusion of 'Severe Scalding of Patients' in the expanded list of 'Never Events' (increasing from 8 to 25) recently published by the Department of Health. The list is prefaced by: "The expanded never events list is, in the view of the Department of Health, a reasonable list of events that are unacceptable and eminently preventable in the National Health Service. It is the list that all organisations providing NHS care should work from."
Never event number 24, Severe Scalding of Patients, references the relevant guidance documents that should be followed to ensure such an event never happens, and these present Thermostatic Mixing Valves as the key temperature controlling device to be installed to meet t
The Distinctly Abode portfolio of innovatively designed kitchen sinks, launched at KBB Birmingham and rolled out during 2010, has been very successful. The range includes stainless steel or fashionable ceramic inset and undermount sinks and composite versions featuring a metallic granite fleck to add extra sparkle to the kitchen.
From the stainless steel section is the classically designed Matrix R0 undermount sink collection, bringing a sharp geometry to the kitchen and complementing other appliances, kitchen utensils and stylish design pieces.
Electrolux has been recognised by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies 2011. The ranking names 110 companies in 38 industries that surpass their industry peers. The named companies are rewarded for implementing business practices and initiatives that are instrumental to the company's success, benefit the community, and raise the bar for ethical standards within the industry.
Ethisphere Institute reviewed thousands of companies through in-depth research and multi-step analysis. This includes analysis of codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories; evaluations of investment in innovation and sustainable business practices. In addition, it identified activities that improve corporate citizenship. It also studied nominations from senior execu
Bold brights, muted tones, monochrome colour schemes, shimmering finishes and divinely decorative patterns feature strongly in the new Enki glass splashback collection, offering consumers an even greater opportunity to create a show-stopping centrepiece behind kitchen units, cookers and sinks.
by Emilie Binois for EurActiv France and autoactu.com
The majority of Europeans would be happy if the EU brought in a 'pay as you drive' scheme, according to a Eurobarometer study commissioned by the European Commission in preparation for its White Paper on transport, published on Tuesday.
The purpose of the study was to assess the popularity of one of the EU executive's proposals, which is to internalise all costs of driving, such as congestion, noise pollution and accidents, and to make people pay for the services they actually use. It also proposes to introduce speed limits for commercial vehicles and speed-limiting devices for private cars. According to the poll, half of Europeans are in favour of such a move.
Whilst marble and granite work surfaces and vanity units have helped glamorise kitchens and bathrooms over recent years, the time has now arrived for a sumptuous and functional alternative - British Lakeland natural stone.
Burlington's highly skilled stone engineers have access to a stone source that has been quarried for over 400 years and which is as rich and aesthetically pleasing in its colourings as it is in its tactility and functionality.
Brits' bathroom design choices have been described as 'more adventurous' following the recession by two interior design insiders. The improving economic climate appears to have inspired British homeowners to think outside the box when it comes to decorating their bathroom, say BetterBathrooms.com.
"The recession was a tough time for everyone, especially home owners," says the company's Pete Robertshaw. At the same time, the DIY industry saw something of a boom time, as many homeowners opted to add to the value of their home via improvements. Now it appears that homeowners are now opting to go for more extravagant themes, colours and accessories when decorating their home following the recession."
The bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the house. After all, we spend around a third of our lives asleep - and the last thing we need is to wake up to a disorganised and chaotic environment.
If you don't know where to begin in creating a calm and clutter-free bedroom, these handy tips from the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association should give you a head start in creating the perfect bedroom.
Stronger leadership from director-generals, chief executive officers and board members is required if European business associations are to improve their effectiveness in influencing EU policies, according to industry experts surveyed by a Brussels-based consultancy.
Other key factors in the success of European trade associations are proactive EU public affairs driven by a politically aware secretariat, integrated communications lead by a director and demonstrable value of membership.
Some lorries could be allowed to use longer trailers after independent research showed that this could cut carbon without compromising safety. The research was published yesterday by Roads Minister Mike Penning alongside a consultation seeking views on the proposed changes.
The consultation proposes allowing a two metre increase in the total length of articulated lorries operating within the existing weight limit of 44 tonnes. This would take the maximum permitted length of an articulated lorry to 18.75 metres but would not allow any increase in overall weight. The Department for Transport estimates that this move could increase capacity for hauliers transporting lightweight goods by up to 13% and cut carbon emissions by around one hundred thousand tonnes each year.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Whirlpool Corporation the 2011 Energy Star Sustained Excellence award. Energy Star was introduced in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants associated with energy use.
Whirlpool's award recognises the company's leadership in offering consumers energy and water efficiency through its leading home appliance brands. The company was the only appliance manufacturer to receive the Sustained Excellence award, the highest possible Energy Star award.
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News in Brief
Regular readers of KBZine might remember that I've been looking around for a new microwave. Well, I'm delighted to say that my kitchen worktop now boasts something that several visitors have mistaken for a retro TV! Yes - I've had the Which? 'Best Buy' Award-winning Whirlpool Max 38 microwave oven on test for the past couple of weeks.
How's it doing? Look out for the first part of my review in next week's issue, broadcast on 8th April... W: www.whirlpool.co.uk
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kbb London's seminar programme is set to attract plenty of show visitors, with topical discussions and debates on the hot issues at the heart of the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom design industry. The free seminar sessions will run alongside the exhibition, which launches this year from 15th - 17th May 2011 at the ExCeL, London.
Polypipe Ventilation's new catalogue details its full range of energy-saving domestic and light commercial ventilation systems. This is the first catalogue from the company to incorporate not only Polypipe and Domus product offerings but also the Silavent range of fans acquired by the group last year.
More van and light goods vehicle operators may be unwittingly increasing their fuel and running costs and reducing their safety by overloading their vehicles, according to Swinton Commercial Insurance.
Polypipe has been fined after a fork lift truck that had been lowering a cage containing two workers to the ground, hit one of the men.
British Ceramic Tile is proud to announce its recent certification to OHSAS 18001:2007 - the internationally recognised assessment specification for occupational health & safety management systems.