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Medway Trading Standards are urging residents to draw up a list of traders they might need in a home emergency situation well before disaster strikes.

Posing as a consumer with a home emergency, the Medway Council team are conducting weekly online checks of more than 400 web links of nine types of home emergency trades from blocked drains to locksmiths.

Their websites are checked to see if response times have been exaggerated and if traders claiming to be local are genuinely based in the Medway area.

But despite searching for local traders officers found that only around 16 per cent were actually based in the Medway area with some being as far away as North Wales.

Several traders are also subject to further investigation for falsely advertising they were members of trade associations that they do not belong to including gas and electrical safety schemes. More

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