The Rt. Hon. Lord Graham of Edmonton (Lord Ted)
Quoting Hilaire Belloc.
26th March 2013
Such a bitter/sweet day. The day we had all worked for. The day when Her Majesty the Queen gave Royal Assent to the Bill. The day that brought about the legislation to stop “Sale Blocking” and the day we received the new Mobile Homes Act 2013 (as amended.) A momentous day for all Park Home Residents – but I have to say that it was a day I will never forget and I can honestly say that I had no thoughts on that day of the Bill that had consumed my days for some years. It was sadly the day my husband Tony McColl - who was the rock behind me and the mountain behind our JUSTICE Campaign - passed away.
From the many cards received, I found comfort in the messages from park home residents throughout our country and the simple words of Lord Best will remain with me: “Tony’s name will be forever enshrined with the Mobile Homes Act 2013.”
Since that day (as Tony would have wished) our JUSTICE Campaign has listened to the plea from so many residents who asked if we could try to do something about the 10% commission charge - and we are trying to do something about it.
We have already delivered a 30,000 plus petition to Downing Street and this was followed by a debate in Parliament in October 2014; when all MP’s unanimously voted for an independent transparent review of this charge. Sadly, the Minister did not grant this (but after all, he is only one man) and we are not going to accept this; notwithstanding that we now have a new Housing Minister. We had to fight to get “sale blocking” stopped and we will have to fight to get justice on this front.
Sadly, there has been some scaremongering that if we should get a reduction or an abolishment of the 10% that it would be added to the pitch fee.
This is absolute rubbish because if MP’s know that an independent body - after completing a transparent review of the 10% (which looks into the audited accounting of park owners) - then declares that the 10% is not the necessary income strand without which the site owners business’s would go bankrupt; they would have no grounds to make any additions to your pitch fee. AND LETS NOT FORGET THE MANY SITE OWNERS WHO FLAUNT THEIR WEALTH ON TELEVISION, FLY HELECOPTERS, LIVE IN MANSIONS, OWN MANY PARKS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY AND DRIVE LUXURY CARS. They are not reliant on 10% of your equity (which is also a totally unquantifiable charge as no one can guarantee how many homes would be sold in any one year.) We must also not forget the site owners of single parks. They are not poor as many purport to be; and I would take a guess that all are millionaires simply in the value of their land.
So, it is put our best foot forward. Our fellow park home owners in Wales have already obtained a transparent review of the 10% charge and are awaiting the outcome. Their pitch fees also rise by CPI (which is what our pensions increase by) and not RPI which we in England have to endure. Therefore, we are asking Government to do the right thing by us and change the rise in our annual pitch fees from the current RPI to CPI.
However, we must keep the pressure up and to that end; if you have not already signed the 10% petition, please download it from this site and get all your friends and relatives to sign. The closing date for this petition is August 31st 2016.
Following this. The presentation of this petition will take place at Downing Street in the spring of 2017. This is being arranged with the police and a rally of banner waving park home residents will accompany it to the Palace of Westminster. Not only will this be a fun day; but more importantly, it will show those at Westminster that we are not going away. I believe this is the only way forward. We have done it before and together we can do it again – but it will need park home residents from every part of our country to make the effort and come to London and I will publish the actual date on the 10% page of our JUSTICE Campaign as soon as it is confirmed.
For the moment, our story lingers here and hopefully, very soon, the final chapter can be added. One which I hope will see justice for all park home residents. A change from RPI to CPI and a change in the crippling, outdated and inequitable 10% commission charge.