I’m Karter Kane and I’ve recently started with Electrical Safety First as the charity’s new Policy and Public Affairs Advisor for Scotland and Northern Ireland. I am based in Scotland where I will be looking to continue the work of the charity by campaigning to protect consumers from electrical risks in the devolved nations.
The charity has had several big successes in Scotland where electrical safety checks have been introduced to the Private Rented Sector, the Social Rented Sector and for Short Term Lets. I will be continuing with our ‘Inequality Street’ campaign to encourage the Scottish Government to implement a common, cross-tenure, housing standard for electrical safety in Scotland.
This is also a campaign that I will be taking forward in Northern Ireland. We are currently encouraging the Northern Ireland Assembly to implement five yearly electrical safety checks for the Private Rented Sector and will then take this forward with other tenures. We are currently engaging with MLAs on the Private Tenancies Bill as it makes it way through the Assembly. I will be looking to continue this engagement with new and returning MLAs following the Northern Ireland Assembly elections in May.
Looking to the future, I will also be campaigning for both the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive to keep electrical safety at the forefront as we move to net zero. Decarbonising homes and transport will mean a greater reliance on electricity. The charity has already raised concerns around unsafe charging practices for electric vehicles, and I will be continuing with this important work. I will aim to engage with Local Authorities on this issue as they take decisions over public electric vehicle charging points. The Scottish Local Government elections in May will provide a further opportunity for engagement on this issue. I will also be taking forward any other safety considerations that arise from the move to decarbonise our homes.
Electrical Safety First has also been working on the issues of product recalls and online protection from counterfeit or faulty products. This is an issue that is also prominent in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and I will support the wider aims of the charity in this area to work towards greater consumer awareness and protection.
I am looking forward to working with everyone at Electrical Safety First, and our stakeholders across Scotland and Northern Ireland to strive towards greater electrical safety for all.
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