Wednesday, 6 April 2011

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From quiet homes and first beginnings,out to the undiscovered ends,there's nothing worth the wear of winning,but laughter and the love of friends.

Lord Ted quoting Hilaire Belloc






Sunday 23rd November 2014


WINTER IS COMING
AND BELOW IS HOPEFULLY SOME USEFUL INFORMATION ON
SNOW AND ICE AND PARK HOME OWNERS

With winter again upon us, the question of ensuring safety through gritting and other measures at park home sites will inevitably raise its head. For clarification, there is no legal obligation for a site owner to provide grit, sand or any other specific preventative measures but in the case of accident resulting in damage or injury, they may be held to be liable under one of two land Acts

Occupiers' liability generally refers to the duty owed by land owners to those who come onto their land. However, the duty imposed on land owners can extend beyond simple land ownership and in some instances, the landowners may transfer the duty to others, hence the term occupier rather than owner. The term occupier itself is misleading since physical occupation is not necessary for liability to arise. Occupiers' liability is perhaps a distinct form of negligence in that there must be a duty of care and breach of duty, causing damage. The rules of remoteness apply to occupiers liability in the exact same way that they apply to negligence claims.

Liability can arise on occupiers for omissions since their relationship gives rise to duty to take action to ensure the reasonable safety of visitors. The law relating to occupiers' liability originated in common law but is now contained in two major pieces of legislation: These are the Occupiers Liability Act 1957  - which imposes an obligation on occupiers with regard to 'lawful visitors' and the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 - which imposes liability on occupiers with regard to persons other than 'his visitors'.
Different levels of protection are expected under the two pieces of legislation with a higher level of protection afforded to lawful visitors. Visitors include those who may visit you own home and therefore access your pitch, in which case you should be covered by your own home insurance policy, however, since site owners are not under specific obligations in respect of land in common use, then the best position for home-owners is to request that sand or grit is made available at strategic points and if this is declined, to refer them to the liability Acts described above, in the hope that this may help persuade them under their statutory duties of care

Of course, most home-owners already look out for those who may be frail or otherwise at risk to a point seldom found in any other community but during the forthcoming months this becomes even more important, remembering also that a neighbour who may have been able a year ago, may not enjoy the same level of mobility this year. An organised rota system by able residents who can daily visit the more frail is simple to organise and can also save a life.



Sunday 2nd November 2014



SONIA'S EMAIL HAS BEEN HACKED
AND
I HAVE HAD OVER 1000 EMAILS
THAT I DID NOT SEND RETURNED TO ME TODAY.
IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED A HORRID EMAIL FROM ME,
 PLEASE DO NOT OPEN IT OR THE ATTACHMENT THAT IS WITH IT
AS IT COULD BE A VIRUS.


I HAVE CONTACTED TALK TALK
AND THEY ARE WORKING ON IT.




Saturday 1st November 2014

The 10% Commission Debate -  30th October 2014

Firstly, every park home resident who signed the petition for a “Debate to Review the 10% Commission Charge” and travelled to our London Rally can feel truly proud of themselves.  You petitioned for a Debate and received it; proving once again that people power works.  Yours was a great achievement as few get a two hour debate in the main chamber and it was clear from the remarks of MP’s present that many had been unaware of the problems that residents face.  It was also clear that the lobbying done by residents has opened the eyes of many MP’s.
The Debate was brought by Liberal Democrat MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole “Annette Brooke OBE” who spoke at length in a clear and concise way of the urgent need to bring about a “Review of the 10%” that would be based on transparency.  I should say at this point that a “Debate to Review the 10%” was asked for because any motion to scrap the 10% would not have got us anywhere.  It would have been totally rejected.  
Mrs Brooke reported that many MP’s (who had been unable to attend had written to her in favour of the review.)  The following MP’s (many of whom spoke passionately – particularly Natascha Engel labour MP for North Derbyshire) attended the Debate and spoke in total favour of a “Review of this 10% Commission Charge” and welcomed an urgent transparent review to replace previous outdated reports that had been relied upon.  REPORTS THAT LACKED TRANSPARENCY AND ALLOWED SITE OWNERS TO SAY THAT THE COMMISSION WAS AN IMPORTANT INCOME STRAND THAT THEIR BUSINESSES COULD NOT DO WITHOUT. 
THOSE MP’s WERE:
Natascha Engel MP (Lab) North Derbyshire.  Steve Brine MP (Con) Winchester.  Dr. Sarah Wollaston MP (Con) Totnes.  Alok Sharma MP (Con) Reading West.  Mike Hancock MP (Ind) Portsmouth South.  Gavin Shuker MP (Lab/co-op) Luton South.  Conor Burns MP (Con) Bournemouth West.  Graham Jones MP (Lab) Hyndburn.  Bill Wiggin MP (Con) North Herefordshire.  Stephen Barclay MP (Con) North East Cambridgeshire.  Bob Stewart MP (Con) Beckenham.  Stephen Lloyd MP (Lib Dem) Eastbourne.  Jeremy Lefroy MP (Con) Stafford.  Iain Wright MP (Lab) Hartlepool and the Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  MP Hilary Ben (Lab) Leeds Central.
Peter Aldous MP (Con) Waveney was the only MP to question the necessity of an urgent report and felt that we should wait until the recent new legislation had bedded in.
 A full report of the Debate can be read on the Parliament web site under Hansard.
It is sometimes hard to totally understand what is actually going on in Parliament and particularly how the political system works.   When, at the end of the debate, the MP’s unanimously said “AYE” to the motion, some residents were unsure of what this meant and to what the MP’s had agreed.
 The Text of the Motion agreed was:
 "That this House calls on the Government to set up a review of the current fee of up to 10 per cent of the sale price of a park home payable to the park home site owner."
The motion was agreed without division.
In short, it meant that the Minister Brandon Lewis MP has now agreed to set up a “Review” that will be undertaken in 2017.  He stated that this Review should be conducted by a Group to be set up with an independent chair person and that group can also consider a wider review of the issues raised.
AT THIS POINT, MANY OF YOU WILL BE THINKING OF THE STANDARD LETTERS THAT YOUR MP’S HAVE SENT TO YOU FROM THE HOUSING MINISTER BRANDON LEWIS MP WHEN YOU ASKED YOUR MP TO SUPPORT YOU BY ATTENDING THE DEBATE.  THOSE LETTERS FROM THE MINISTER MADE IT CLEAR THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS NOT PREPARED TO REVIEW THE 10%.   HOWEVER, THEY HAVE AGREED TO REVIEW IT NOW AND THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DO NOT QUIETLY ACCEPT AND GO AWAY – BUT DO AS YOU DID AND LOBBY YOUR MP’s.
I can appreciate that it is also worrying to residents to hear that the pitch fee could be increased if the 10% was reduced.  The Minister will of course say this because that is what was written before and what we decided to challenge when the Justice Campaign received so many requests from residents to try to get the 10% changed.  Indeed, that is why the petition that residents signed stated:
“the Justice Campaign and those supporting this petition agree that if the abolition or any reduction is made to the Commission Charge the site owner must be prevented from adding any shortfall from the present Commission Charge at any pitch fee review.”
When the Review is heard, of course, any addition to the pitch fee will be vigorously challenged by the Campaign - on behalf of all who signed the petition - and many others. 
The campaign and I am sure many MP’s will want transparency.  This would mean that Site Owners will have to be transparent and show accounts that will prove they need this money to run their businesses (there can be no more hiding behind words as has been done in the past.)  In addition, I believe the new Government Group that is being set up will also examine this very carefully before coming to any conclusion.  Yes, it will be a hard road and one that will need a vigorous fight – but that is what it takes.
The Review is excellent news, but 2017 or 2016 as dates for the review are totally unacceptable.  From my conversations with MP’s after the Debate, I am confident they will endeavour to get this new  Government Group set up fairly quickly and see how much can be achieved in a short period.  Therefore, we have done well and together we have got somewhere – BUT NOT FAR ENOUGH.
Now the MP’s involved need to make sure that the New Government Group is made up of good people and they have a strong chair person.  They will need to work out what the remit is and most importantly, when it will report and what will be the status of the report and will the government implement what they propose.
The above was a prĂ©cis of the Debate.  
THIS IS WHERE OUR CAMPAIGN IS GOING  and THE FACTS.
1.      Although we have a review of the 10% in 2017, neither this date nor even 2016 is acceptable and we must exert pressure in the very near future.  We have a general election looming and this is where every park home resident in our country can play an extremely important part in bringing about the changes that we all need - because we must get all candidates and political parties signed up to an earlier “review” of the 10%.

I have been offered and will be taking instruction from political experts as to how this can be achieved and when election campaigning starts I will be providing park home residents nationally with that information so that together (if they wish) we can  take positive steps to alter the date of this review.

2.      Our Justice Campaign will not be silenced whilst we await the review of the 10%.
As an organisation, our Justice Campaign has grown from its small beginnings.  It has weathered many storms and is now recognised by Government, MP’s, Local Authorities, Police Forces and Nationwide.  As quoted in the debate, “Park Home Residents now have a voice” and I believe that it is time to make that voice even louder.  I am aware that thousands of park home owners continually voice their views regarding what needs to be done before park home living is as it should be. Those views include:
LPG problems  - which must be tackled.       CPI rather than RPI increase should be applied at the Pitch Fee review (as is the case in Wales and Scotland.)  Like our counterparts in bricks and mortar, we must have full access to the “Green Deal” “Warm Front” “Insulation Grants” and electricity rebates must be available to park home residents and not just the (site owner who is the Account Holder.)
The list goes on.  It is extensive and THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT ARE RIFE WITHIN THE INDUSTRY AND MUST BE TACKLED.   PARK HOME RESIDENTS ARE NOW USING THEIR VOICE AND WE ARE NO LONGER THE UNDERDOG.  WE HAVE STOOD TOGETHER AND WHILST WE CONTINUE TO DO SO WE WILL BE A MAJOR PROBLEM THAT WILL NOT GO AWAY.  I BELIEVE THIS TO BE THE ONLY WAY THAT WE WILL GET THE FAIR AND JUST WAY OF LIVING TO WHICH WE ARE ENTITLED AND  I CONFIRM THAT THE JUSTICE CAMPAIGN WILL BE SUBMITTING ALL PROBLEM AREAS THAT YOU REPORT TO THE NEW  GOVERNMENT GROUP that the Minister has said will be set up.  If evidence is required for that group the Justice Campaign will ask all members to supply what they can (BUT PLEASE DO NOT DO THAT YET.)  It is also of the utmost importance to tackle CRIMINALITY WITHIN THE INDUSTRY (something that has so ably been done by Tony Turner) and I hope the campaign can support him in this.

Quote from Annette Brooke OBE MP – following the debate.  (which I have been given permission to print.)
“The Minister says that the Mobile Home Act will be reviewed in 2017, but that an official committee will be set up to review practices in the industry immediately and it can look into the issues raised in the debate. By implication that has pushed any decision on the 10% years away but we can get on with gathering evidence on all sorts of issues. Of course the General Election happens in May and we must get all candidates and political parties signed up to an earlier review. However, I think we have an opportunity with this new committee to keep working to improve the balance of the relationship between park home owners and site owners and to keep the Justice Campaign moving forward.”

I feel sure that all park home residents will agree that the MP Annette Brooke OBE has been a staunch supporter of our Justice Campaign and will join me as I say  “Thank You Annette.”
SO, THE GOOD NEWS IS: MANY RESIDENTS ASKED THE JUSTICE CAMPAIGN TO TRY TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE 10%.
THIS HAS BEEN DONE AND WE HAVE STARTED THE PROCESS TO BRING:
A REVIEW OF THE 10% AND TO PROVIDE THE NEW GOVERNMENT GROUP WITH ALL PARK HOME ISSUES THAT NEED ADDRESSING.
THE BALL IS GATHERING SPEED AS IT ROLLS DOWNHILL AND WE GROW IN STRENGTH - BECAUSE TOGETHER WE ARE ON THE WAY AND DOING OUR BEST TO GET THE TRANSPARENCY AND FAIRNESS THAT IS NEEDED WITH REGARD TO THE 10% ISSUE AND MUCH MUCH MORE.
Best Wishes and thank you all for your support
Sonia.

  
Wednesday 22nd October 2014

ATTENTION ALL PARK HOME RESIDENTS
IF YOU WANT A CHANGE TO THE 10%
YOU MUST ACT NOW

OUR 10% COMMISSION
DEBATE TO REVIEW THIS CHARGE
HAS BEEN SET FOR

30th OCTOBER 2014


My MP, Annette Brooke OBE has secured  a 3 hour debate in the main chamber and it will be televised.
It will be the last debate of the day so will begin around 3pm - to 4.30pm depending on how the day is running.
I WILL BE WRITING TO ALL ON THE CAMPAIGN DATA BASE
ON FRIDAY WITH AN URGENT REQUEST.
AS

ANNETTE AND I NEED YOU TO ALL
LOBBY YOUR MP's AGAIN
WITHIN THE NEXT FEW DAY
TO ASK THEM TO SPEAK FOR YOU

IN SUPPORT OF A
DEBATE TO REVIEW THE 10% COMMISSION CHARGE.

It is not good enough to just tell your MP that the 10% charge is unfair.

Please give them your valid reasons for  why you want it reviewed
.

IT IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE THAT
WE ALL PULL TOGETHER ON THIS AND GET OUR MP's TO
CONTACT ANNETTE BROOKE'S OFFICE

INFORMING HER THAT THEY WILL SPEAK AT THE DEBATE.

IF WE DO NOT GET ENOUGH SPEAKERS
THE DEBATE WILL NOT HAPPEN.



IT IS NOW UP TO US ALL TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR MP's SUPPORT US
IF WE WANT THE 10% CHANGED

WE HAVE ALL COME A LONG WAY - PLEASE DON'T LET THIS OPPORTUNITY SLIP AWAY BECAUSE
YOU HAVE NOT LOBBIED YOUR MP AND MADE SURE THAT THEY WILL SPEAK AT THE DEBATE.


PLEASE EMAIL THEM OR BOMBARD THEIR OFFICE WITH TELEPHONE CALLS
BUT PLEASE DO GET THEM TO ATTEND AND SPEAK AT THE DEBATE.
Thank you
Sonia



Saturday 4th October 2014


CHARGES FOR PRIVATE SEWERAGE SERVICES

On December 8th 2014, the Court of Appeal will hear an Application essentially on behalf of all home-owners by the lead of JBS Residents Action Alliance, Tony Turner, to Appeal the matter of charges for private sewerage services. This follows the use by the site owner in question of the local South West Water company's charging formula for these services, even though the system is not connected to the water company's infrastructure and therefore there is no commercial Agreement between the water company and the site owner, nor with residents. This will be the first time that this issue will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice and eventually the outcome is likely to set a precedent in what charges can and cannot be imposed. 

The revised submissions of the site owner have been that their operating costs were `equivalent` to that of South West Water and that this justified the adoption of their charging formula, however,  it will be submitted on December 8ththat the costs quoted by the site owner, these being the maintenance's of the sewerage plant and the pipe work infrastructure at the site, are the financial responsibility of the site owner as an operational overhead, in any event already paid for within Pitch Fees and that in adopting the South West formula, although the monies are not passed on to them, would otherwise create a position that residents would in part be paying toward the costs incurred by South West Water in the maintenance of its own network but to which they are not and have ever been connected.

Tony said, “ The listed hearing is the so far culmination of a wider but failed case commenced by the site owner at Exeter County Court in 2010 and where this residual aspect was referred to the small claims track. In the interim period, it has progressed through Appeal and counter Appeal at County Courts and finally in my now approved Application for oral Appeal the Court of Appeal. Subject to the eventual outcome, the position to me seems clear and this is that a site owner may only pass on his legitimately incurred costs for what is a monopoly essential utility and that costs equivalent to South West Water were not incurred.  Also, the site owners evidence that OFWAT had not raised objection, reflected the position that OFWAT regulate water companies and not private suppliers, therefore that any such implied approvals if given were wholly irrelevant. The hearing will be important to all home-owners in a similar position and there are other important aspects of the case which will be revealed at the time,“


Sunday 21st September 2014

UPDATE ON THE 10% ISSUE

 
Many Residents have contacted me to request an Update on the 10% Issue.
Well, throughout the Summer their has been no holiday for our Campaign
and many Residents have been busy writing to their  various MP's and the new Housing Minister.
Whilst I am aware that some Residents have been disappointed
with their MP and the Minister's response;
many Residents have received positive support from their MP's.
I have also been in touch constantly with those who are helping us
and although it would not be prudent to announce what is
 going on at this point in time;  I can assure you that much work
is being quietly undertaken to help us all
 and I will be in touch again about the 10% issue before the end of October.
At that time I hope to be able
to give you confirmed positive news of our Campaign Request. 
I know how much our campaign means to Park Home Residents and that thousands of you have been busy collecting signatures and have written to your various MP's - May I just say,
THANK YOU and I will update you all very soon.

Sonia

Friday 5th September 2014

Our Justice Campaign
has received the following story from the unhappy owners of a
HOLIDAY PARK HOME 
who wish to warn other potential purchasers.  
TERRIBLE LOSS AND A RIP OFF  Hello, from the owner of a park home in the HOLIDAY SECTOR.

Although I realise that Holiday Homes are not protected by the Mobile Homes Act 2013, I have asked the Justice Campaign to print this warning to future purchasers of park homes on their web site.

THIS IS OUR STORY. 
My husband has been a static caravan owner for some years and purchased his first van in 2009.   This was a £55,000 Willerby Aspen (a holiday home that he shared with his wife until she died in 2011.)  His first location was a Holiday Park in East Sussex and after we met some years later, we decided to relocate to a park near Hastings. 
In July 2012 the park in East Sussex offered to buy the Aspen from us for £28k+ and sell us a brand new but inferior van for an extra £18k which after consideration we turned down.   Following this, we asked what it would cost for us to bring the 3yrs old superior quality Aspen onto the Hastings Park and we agreed to the £20,000 they charged.  


We then made the decision to sell the 3 bedroom terraced home in Crawley to live on the Hastings Park but soon realized that we wanted a permanent address, which you can't have in a holiday park, so we decided to use the house money to purchase a park home in Kent and sell the Aspen Home.  We had to accept the £20k that had been offered for the Aspen which included all costs and pitch fees.  However,  when we calculated what the cost has been to have these 2 vans over 9 yrs it has been considerably more expensive than we were led to believe.

We want to stress that no one had ever told us about the the terrible drop in value these vans have on holiday parks which are not covered by the Mobile Homes Act and therefore, we would like to warn all retired people about the terrible loss of money they will incur if they decide to buy a home, single or twin, (not insulated to residential standard) on a holiday park where you can supposedly 'live' 11+ months a year for at least 10 years.   We have watched our money go down the drain and even if you purchase a new home it decreases in value worse than a car.

The £55k Aspen bought in 2009 cost us a further £20k to move in 2012 - total cost £75k. So, after being purchased by the site owner for £20k 22 months later, we had lost £55K in just 58 months. This is a loss of almost £1000 per month, not counting the yearly pitch fees and rates.

Retired people who think they will have a cheaper life by purchasing Holiday Homes need to understand and calculate how many years it will take to loose all their investment versus having 'lost' similar amounts in renting a flat or house.  We have heard terrible horror stories of these homes deteriorating or an owner becoming sick so they have to move etc - but still having to pay the finance company extortionate amounts for the initial cost of a depreciated van.

We have asked for this to be published because we want other retirees on a limited income to be educated to place their savings from the sale of another home - or money from their bank account into a RESIDENTIAL PARK HOME, which usually keeps its value if looked after, INSTEAD OF A HOLIDAY PARK.

Name and email address has been supplied to the Justice Campaign.

Sunday 24th August 2014

UPDATES FROM THE JUSTICE CAMPAIGN.
Below is a general update on forthcoming events and things that could benefit Residents.
THE 10% ISSUE
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING AND A
THE NEXT STEPS TO BRING ABOUT A DEBATE TO REVIEW THIS CHARGE
HAS BEEN SENT PRIVATELY TO ALL  MEMBERS ON THE CAMPAIGN'S DATA BASE.
TOWERGATE ROAD SHOW: 4th September
WHY NOT GO ALONG?  THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO ASK QUESTIONS!!
There are still a few places left for the Towergate Road Show on Thursday 4th September. The event will be held at the Stuart Memorial Village Hall, Church Street, Tempsford, Beds, SG19 2AW
Those who will be speaking are:
Alan Savory MBE from The Independent Park Home Advisory Service, Sam Mayer a solicitor with Park Home Legal Services, Ibraheem Dulmeer LLB, LLM from LEASE, a non Departmental Public Body funded by Government to provide advice on the legislation affecting park homes and I will be there to speak on behalf of our Justice Campaign.
It will start at 3.00pm and finish at 5.00pm, it is best to arrive by 2.30, tea/coffee will be available from 2.00pm and parking is available. This event is FREE to attend.
It is ESSENTIAL to register as a large attendance is expected. To register please call 0844 892 1417 or email paul.baker@towergate.co.uk
PRESENTATIONS BY LEASE
Really good reports from Residents
After writing to you all about LEASE, many of you contacted me because you wished LEASE to come to you on a FREE visit to explain the current legislation. I am pleased to say that many of you have written or telephone me to say how excellent these presentations were. It appears that residents were given a good understanding of the important new legislation. What they can and cannot do and what the site owners cannot do. The question and answers sessions were reported upon as being very good and in general residents were praising LEASE and felt that their questions were answered and they knew what they had to do to move forward.
If there are any other Justice Campaign Residents out there who did not contact me to get an appointment for LEASE to visit them and would now like a visit, please email me with your name. The name of your Park and the area and your telephone number. I will then get LEASE to contact you and you can make the necessary arrangements.
Don't worry if there are only a few of you. LEASE will do a presentation in someone's front room for even 3 or 4 people and it is free.
LEASE is a government funded organisation and therefore you can be assured
 that your details will be kept totally confidential.
Department of Energy and Climate Change.
Would all Justice Campaign members click on the link below and complete the questionnaire about the park homes in your area and return it to the response address that can be found by following the link.
THIS IS IMPORTANT AS IS WILL HOPEFULLY BRING ABOUT ENERGY EFFICIENCY SCHEMES
THAT WILL WORK FOR PARK HOME RESIDENTS.

NOTICE: From Ed Davey - Park homes call for evidence
Dear Colleague,
A number of colleagues, particularly Annette Brooke, have raised with me the fact that DECC’s existing policies on issues such as energy efficiency and application of the Warm Home Discount do not apply readily to residents of Park Homes, many of whom are on low incomes and often pensioners.
One of the problems has been that there is scant information available on location of park homes and the problems they face. (Hence the blanket email to ensure that this gets to all colleagues who have park homes in their constituency)
Today I have launched a call for evidence to assist us in devising appropriate policies to help those living in Park Homes (follow link below). The call for evidence closes on 30th September. Views and information would be very welcome, both as official responses to the consultation but also directly to me.
Ed Davey

Wednesday 23rd July 2014

"WHAT AN HONOUR" that is so richly deserved
and
Our Justice Campaign is proud to congratulate
Annette Brooke OBE MP
 who has been made a member of the Privy Council
Welcome to Annette Brooke's
Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, has been made a member of the Privy Council. Annette will join, amongst others, senior politicians who are (or have been) members of either the House of Commons or
the House of Lords.
  
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, has a range of roles. For example, advising the monarch on the exercise of her Royal Prerogative and issuing the orders-in-council and orders of council behind many Government regulations.
Annette said: "It is a great honour to have been named as a Privy Counsellor and I hope that it is a reflection on my service and hard work as a Member of Parliament these past thirteen years."
"I want to thank everyone that has supported me over the years and helped make this great privilege a possibility."
The Privy Council has its origins in the earliest days of the monarchy as an advisory body to the King or Queen on affairs of state, and has the curious custom of conducting its meetings standing up, a tradition dating back to
 the reign of Queen Victoria in the nineteenth century.

The date for Annette to be sworn in at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace is yet to be announced.


Tuesday 22nd July 2014


Further to the notice put our by Our Justice Campaign to all members, we have received the piece below in support of our request that you all contact your MP's for a
 DEBATE TO REVIEW the COMMISSION CHARGE.

10%  SALES COMMISSIONS - TIME TO BE COUNTED -

Paying a sales commission is a way of compensating salespeople. It is an arrangement whereby the salesperson receives an agreed-upon percentage of the revenue brought in by a sale that he or she makes. Site owners currently receive a 10% sales commission where there is no compensation to a sales person involved – and also received the payments where they have devalued the property through negligence. And therein lies the problem of the 10% commission that need to be properly resolved..

Of course some site owners call it a delayed return on a subsidy made at the time a home was installed, and others that it is an `exit fee.` The first implies that a site owner has at installation sold the home at a loss and the second that if an occupier moves, he will suffer consequential loss. Both of these defences are blatantly contrived nonsense. Home-owners call it a legalised levy upon their assets that would not be tolerated in any other housing sector. And herein lies the need for every single home-owner to canvass their MP, to write setting out their views and to lobby them at their constituency surgeries. Remember, an election is looming and your vote, along with those of your families and peers who are aware of this iniquitous charge, need your vote as well as those of everyone else.. It is what can be described as the grey vote - and the grey vote is recognised by all Members of Parliament as key to their re-election.

Apathy, or leaving it to someone else is not the answer. If we really want to ensure a debate on the issue, all of us need to participate and any apathy will doom the prospect of a debate to failure.

In summary, the prospects for reform, although currently opposed by the Minister, exists, but no solution to the issue will be achieved if the majority of us sit back and simply hope it will happen. Together with Sonia McColl, I therefore urge that every able home-owner seizes upon what is certainly the only opportunity for a debate on sales commissions by lobbying their constituency representatives and ensuring there is coverage of the issue in their local media.. If not, an opportunity that is unlikely to be repeat itself in our life-times will be lost

Although referring to election campaigns, Barrack Obama said “campaigns can seem small and even trivial things can become big distractions. serious issues become sound bites. and the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money.” In our position, our campaign may be small in a world of many problems but it is a serious one and the money to throw us off the campaign trail will come from site owners and their trade representatives. We may not be able to compete financially, but what each of us can do is to support the JUSTICE campaign by encouraging those who may not usually become involved to now do so. There is one chance only - and we must grab it with all possible enthusiasm..

Tony Turner

Monday 21st July 2014


The Justice Campaign
congratulates
Robert Buckland MP
who was confirmed in the post of
The Solicitor General
on 15 July 2014
Mr. Buckland, the new Law Minister
has been a staunch supporter of our Justice Campaign
and we wish him well in his new appointment.

Law Minister Robert Buckland

Robert Buckland


Saturday 19th July 2014


Our Justice Campaign
congratulates
"Brandon Lewis MP"
 who became the new Housing and Planning Minister
in David Cameron's reshuffle.
It is hoped that like one of his predecessors "Grant Shapps MP"
Mr. Lewis will also help 
to improve  life for residents in the Park Home Sector. 





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Saturday 12th July 2014


JULY 16TH
15 MINUTE DEBATE ON THE 10% ISSUE
IN THE WELSH ASSEMBLY CARDIFF
Our Justice Campaign wishes our park home owner friends in Wales every success as they lobby AM's.
They are already very pleased that a number of AM's have said that they will come to meet them
and
if there are any other
"Activist" residents on Park Home Sites in Wales
who would like to join them
and your email will be sent immediately to
the co-ordinators of this Welsh event. 


Thursday 3rd July 2014

Message from Sonia.
THANK YOU TO ALL PARK HOME OWNERS WHO
TRAVELLED TO LONDON ON 2ND JULY TO TAKE PART IN
OUR RALLY FOR A
DEBATE TO REVIEW THE 10% COMMISSION CHARGE.
THE EVENT THAT WAS EXTREMELY WELL COVERED BY BBC AND ITV
WAS A RESOUNDING SUCCESS
and  a
FULL UPDATE AND  PHOTO GALLERY WILL BE PUBLISHED
UNDER OUR CAMPAIGN PAGE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
 THE MEETING  IN THE PALACE OF WESTMINSTER WAS
PACKED TO CAPACITY
WITH PEERS, MP's AND PARK HOME RESIDENTS
WHO WERE ALL ABLE TO VOICE THEIR OPINIONS IF THEY SO WISHED.
SO WATCH THIS SPACE BECAUSE WE ARE ON OUR WAY AGAIN
and I will write to you all all as soon as possible.


Sunday June 22nd 2014

The 10% Commission Issue


“we all know that it should be "up to 10%" but for the purpose of this update, I hope you will not mind but it is easier to refer to it as 10%”

Residents from our Justice Campaign head for Westminster.

In just 11 days on 2nd July 2014 a large contingent of retired Park Home Residents are heading for London to rally and I would like to thank all those residents - from every county in our country - along with those residents in Wales and Scotland who have supported our Campaign for a "Debate to Review the 10% Commission Charge."

You have all done a marvellous job.  You have driven around to different park home sites. Walked around gathering signatures and have signed online because our 10% Campaign is so important to you all - and why should it not be - it's your equity.

Every day, I hear that you feel trapped in your homes because you can only buy something inferior to what you already have after giving the park owner 10% of your equity.

I know that you feel aggrieved that the park owner benefits from the many thousands of pounds that you spend on your homes - and why shouldn't you.
This level of Commission is outrageous
and would not be tolerated in any other form of housing.

Sadly, we are all growing older and there are many that fear the thought
of going into care because they know they cannot afford the amount of care they may need after parting with 10% of their equity.
 Absolutely disgusting that we treat the elderly in this way.

We all know that park operators charges you many thousands of pounds above the manufacturers price  - and therefore make a hefty profit - when you buy a new home.
Then, when you sell that home, the park operator expects you to give him 10% of the selling price which includes his original profit that he made off of you.
"What an amazing rate of interest that is.  It beats any bank interest and let us not forget that the home can be sold many times."

Sadly, regardless of what has been said, many of you were not aware that you had to give 10% to the park owner if you sold your home - in fact, I hear that many of you were not even given written statements when the home was purchased.
Education and Awareness is now being circulated – but it was not always there.

The Minister has mention on several occasions that the 10% is not an Estate Agency charge.  With respect to the Minister, we have never said that it was.  We have only exampled the 2% paid to Estate Agents for doing a job whilst we pay the park operator 10% for doing nothing.  We are also informed that and independent report said “Commission is a legitimate income stream for park owners, and there is no evidence that the payment leads to profiteering.”

This is something that must be challenged
 because park operators did not show proper audited accounts to prove their earnings - but they managed to purchase mansions, exclusive cars and helicopters!!!
whilst pleading that their businesses needed this 10% to survive.

It is also very hard to comprehend how a park operator and an independent report
 can say this income strand is vital for their survival; particularly as it is based on an unquantifiable figure that will always be there because no one can predict how many homes will be sold in any one year.
 There is a total lack of transparency within that report and the industry which must be addressed.

It is my opinion and that of others, the last survey on the 10%
was seriously flawed.  Previous enquiries into the charge were biased and heavily reliant on information provided by park operators, rather than home owners  
and the majority vote counted for nothing as the status quo remained.

I know that many of you were disheartened by reply letters received from your MP's.
Many of you sent copies of those letters to me
and I am very sad to say they were "standard letters" all the same.

It is a sad fact that while a lot of you have really good MP's
who are coming to our meeting, listening to their constituents and who are in favour of the debate to put things right - other MP's apparently do not feel the need for their constituents
 to have the 10% debated and have not looked closely at the problem.
(I bet they would think differently
and would be prepared to debate it properly and arrive at a just and fair assessment if they or a member of their family lived in a park home.)

I have to admit the action of some MP’s surprises me because after all they are supposed
"to work for you"
and in the run up to an election year
I would have thought they would want your vote and do just that.

I also know that although in excess of 30.000 residents signed our petition;
with no available funds we were up against great odds in getting our petition to the people.
Dirty tricks were put in place to stop us from getting our campaign to the park home residents of our country and whilst this was underhanded and totally undemocratic
IT FAILED MISERABLY.
During that time I was unable to voice anything about this to the membership
and we did the best that we could to get our petition noticed - and it worked
but the fact remains that those concerned are quite obviously frightened of a democratic
"Debate to Review this Charge" by MP's.
This tells me - what I and I think most of you, already know - that there is something to hide.




Sadly, many of you have told me of the scare mongering that has gone on and that residents have been told that if we get a reduction to the 10% this will be put on the pitch fee.

Well, we all know what was said before,
that is why we are having this campaign to change things.

However, scare mongering about this is totally unhelpful and defeatist.
The time for this topic to be raised is in a proper “Debate” - and as you are all aware
our Petition states
that we are totally against any increase to the pitch fee if any reduction is made to the 10%
and if we get the Debate all MP's (if they don't already know) will be made aware of it.

We all know the 10% is grossly unfair, unjust and loaded in the park owner’s favour.
It was not covered by the 2013 Act and no amount of bedding in will change this charge.

However, in 11 days we will be in London.
We will present our petition to Downing Street
and the residents will be able to voice their feelings on the 10% issue
under the chairmanship of Annette Brooke OBE MP
at a 90 minute meeting in the Palace of Westminster.
This is your chance and I hope you will use it.

Together we must persuade the Minister and all MP's that our voice must be heard.  After all, they are our representatives and we are not asking for the earth; we, as their constituents are only asking them for a Debate to Review this Charge thoroughly, fairly
 and with complete transparency to all.

Well we have done the collecting, collating and delivery of our Petition
and now it is time to say thank you to those who have done the work and supported us.
There is no particular order because our campaign has needed them all.

Lord Graham of Edmonton
For his unstinting support, help and valuable advice.

Annette Brooke OBE MP.
Annette has been our staunchest ally and continues to do all that she can to help us and will be with us at the rally and will chair our meeting.

Natascha Engel MP, Steve Brine MP and Stephen Gilbert MP
for their contribution to Annette's Adjournment Debate that was orchestrated to bring awareness of our campaign's petition and the 10% issue to Westminster.

Sonja Lee
Sonja has counted and checked every signature on the 30.000 plus petitions
and has worked on this every day since September 2013.




John ?
The gentleman who updates our Web Site and always prefers to be anonymous.
At the time of writing, our Justice Campaign web site has some 128.000 plus hits and this rises by approximately 1000 each week. Without John, we could not keep everyone informed on a regular basis.

Mr & Mrs Roger Holt
who contributed to our campaign by driving me and 9 boxes containing 30,000 plus petitions
to the delivery site in London. Without their help, our petition would still be in Dorset.

Paul Baker
Paul has been a great help to our campaign in many ways
and has given us the opportunity to raise awareness at his road shows.

IPHAS, NAPHR and the JBS Residents Action Alliance
Have helped by promoting our campaign on their Web Sites and we thank them for it.

And last but certainly the most important of all
30.000 plus PARK HOME RESIDENTS.

I am sure that I speak for all when I say
THANK YOU to EVERYONE WHO HAS HELPED US.
Sonia.



QUEENS BIRTHDAY HONOURS 2014 



Park Homes campaigner

Sonia McColl 

OBE

Park homes demonstration Sonia McColl (wearing black jumper) held a number of demonstrations during the campaign

Birthday Honours 2014

    A dogged campaigner who helped win a change in the law for mobile home owners has been appointed an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Sonia McColl, from Wareham, Dorset, and led the successful mission to change a law which meant park owners could prevent residents from selling their homes.

The law had led to rogue landlords blocking sales in order to buy the homes themselves at a cheaper price.
Mrs McColl, who lives in a park home became involved when some of her neighbours tried to sell up but were blocked.

Although they owned the home, the land was owned by the park operator who had the power to approve or reject the new buyer.
The new law received Royal Assent on 26 March last year.
"It was a bittersweet day for me, the day my husband died," said Mrs McColl, who founded Park Home Owners Justice Campaign.


"He was absolutely wonderful - without his support I wouldn't be here today and wouldn't have got this recognition."  It is an amazing and humbling feeling to be awarded an OBE and I would like to thank those who have nominated me.  Sonia who is currently campaigning against the 10% commission charge park home owners have to pay landowners upon completion of a sale is organising a rally and presentation of the Justice Campaign's 30,000 plus petition to Downing Street on 2nd July 2014.  This petition has been signed by residents from 956 park home sites across the country.

WELL DESERVED INDEED HIP HIP HOORAY

.......................................................................................................


Congratulations to the Justice Campaign Members from
Bramley Park Derbyshire 
who are pictured below with their MP  Natascha Engel.
These Dick Turpin's of the North
are set to bring their
10%
DAY-LITE ROBBERY

message to our Justice Campaign Rally
at Westminster and Downing Street
on 2nd July 2014.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


JUSTICE CAMPAIGN UPDATE.
35 separate park in Wiltshire have signed our Petition
for a Debate to Review the 10% Commission.
AND THEY HAVE ALSO GOT THEIR LOCAL RADIO INVOLVED.
On Wednesday 28th May 2014
Residents from a Park in Wiltshire
will be speaking about the 10% Commission
on the 8am BREAKFAST PROGRAMME
OF
BBC RADIO WILTSHIRE.
2 weeks ago Justice Campaign Members in Gloucester
spoke about the 10% on BBC RADIO GLOUCESTER.
and the Bournemouth Echo also published that our Campaign was marching to No. 10.
We have approximately 5 more weeks until we take our petition to Downing Street
and as Residents from every part of our country have signed the petition
 may I ask if you will please do just a little more to help
 and let's get the news that our Justice Campaign is petitioning No.10. broadcast in every part of our country.
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL RADIO, TV AND MEDIA
AND GET THEM TO PUBLICISE OUR 10% CAMPAIGN.
and then, if they will oblige,
please  let me know and I will have it published on our web site.

ADJOURNMENT DEBATE  13th May 2014
You can watch the debate that took place today in Westminster Hall by following the link below.
You will need to move the slider to at least three quarters of the way across to pick up the Sales of Park Homes by Annette Brooke OBE MP.
Please do not be disheartened by the Ministers speech.
 This Adjournment Debate was a warm up debate to bring awareness and not close minds to future change and I think that was accomplished.
 No good answers were expected today.  Annette Brooke OBE MP did an excellent job with positive interjections from other MP's.
  Our Rally and Petition is the next event and now we go on as we did with our last petition.
  We, the park home residents know what is going on and we must continue to fight (as we did before) until we get the Debate to delve into the fairness, transparency and changes that we are asking for
in the 10% Commission  Charge.
click on the link below to hear the debate.



OUR CAMPAIGN for a Debate to Review the 10% Commission charge.
In the latest edition of the Park Home & Holiday Caravan Magazine an article has been written and named  “The 10% Question.”  Having read it, I have written and sent my response to the magazine.
They may or may not decide to publish it – but so that all may be informed,
 what I have written is laid out below.

THE 10% COMMISSION CHARGE HEADS FOR WESTMINSTER by Sonia McColl
On July 2nd 2014 the Park Home Owners Justice Campaign petition for a Parliamentary Debate to Review the 10% commission charge will be presented to Downing Street accompanied on its journey by a rally of banner waving park home residents from all parts of our country.  I am pleased to report that Alan Savory MBE of IPHAS and Brian Doick of NAPHR from the 2003/ Working Party on this subject have accepted our invitation to attend Downing Street for the presentation.  Following this, along with Tony Turner of the JBS Residents Action Alliance they will attend our campaign meeting in a Committee Room that has been booked from 4 to 5.30pm by my MP Annette Brooke OBE within the Palace of Westminster.  The Noble Lord Graham of Edmonton has accepted his invitation to attend and other Peers, Ministers and MP’s will be invited to this meeting at which park home residents will be able to voice their reasons why Government should arrange a debate to review this outdated, obscene, immoral and inequitable charge.  In addition, before July 2nd I hope that my MP, Annette Brooke OBE will have obtained her half hour “adjournment debate” to bring awareness of our petition to parliament.
 After reading “The 10% question” in the May issue of this magazine and having previously read the survey report on the “Economics of the Park Home Industry” and the “Berkeley Hanover report 2002,” I entirely agree with the response submitted jointly on behalf of IPHAS, NAPHR and BPHRA dated January 2003 who deemed those reports unfair, biased and heavily reliant upon information provided by the park operators and totally ignorant of the relevance of the residents input. I totally agree with their findings and in my opinion those survey reports were seriously flawed.  Figures published in the “Economics of the park home industry” and the “Berkeley Hanover report” shows clearly the bias in favour of the industry at that time.  They report that a postal survey of 1.450 park operators (almost all of the known park operators in the land) was conducted in 2001 – but only 2.8% of the average number of park home residents in our country were contacted.  HARDLY A FAIR AND JUST ASSESSMENT.
In 2007 a Consultation Paper on the Park Home Commission Rate was produced.  There were three options to review the commission charge.  Option 1. Retaining the Status quo.  Option 2. Reduce the rate to 7.5% with no increase in pitch fees. Option 3. Reducing the maximum rate of commission on the sale of a park home for new agreements.  Only 1,250 responses were received; 988 being from residents on 230 different parks.  753 residents voted for Option 2.  The Communities and Local Government recommended Option 2 – lower commission rate (7.5%) and no increase in pitch fees.  141 site owners voted for Option 1 (to keep the 10%.)  The outcome – Option 1 (to keep the 10%.) 
Although the Working Party of the time laboured for many hours to put their very valid points across; it is painfully obvious that these were ignored and I believe the reason for this to be – and it is clear from the numbers above:  “they did not have what we have today, the voice and signatures of thousands of park home residents from every county in our country to carry the message to Westminster and lobby each and every one of their MP’s, Ministers and Peers.”    This is the Power of the People that can never be ignored and in 2014 I am proud to tell you that at the time of writing almost 30,000 residents from 953 parks across our country are calling for change – and there would have been more if our Justice Campaign had the financial resources to contact all park home residents.
The magazine article also quoted there was no evidence of excess profits in the park home industry.”
Could this be because the official report also quoted that park operators appear to have no accounts available for inspection and the studies confirmation of this said that evidence of excessive profits is sparse?”  If so, why were park operators not made to produce audited accounts?  However, we have moved on and data received from Residents on this subject in 2014 forms the basis of our current statistical material that will be handed to government and does show a very different story.  One that will shed much needed light on the excess profits that are made by park operators.

The 10% question article continues that park operators need the income provided by the commission in order to “finance their businesses and maintain standards” – or as the BH & HPA and the NCC would say: to “properly manage and maintain sites”.  Well, I would suggest that both trade bodies take note in due course of the atrocious pictorial evidence to be presented to government.  Evidence supplied by residents that shows the lack of well or even adequately managed or maintained parks in every part of our country.  Coupled with this, our present Government are fully aware that park operators are not managing or maintaining their sites satisfactorily; hence the 2013 legislation to enable local authorities to enforce it.  Therefore the question must be: “what have park operators been doing with their 10% of unearned income?”

Proofs of this (that will be provided to government) is pictorial evidence showing their mansions, lavish homes, exclusive vehicles and of course let’s not forget the helicopters for surveying their empires.  Compare this lavish life style with that of the life style they expect residents to live under on unmanaged or unmaintained sites and you have the answer.
The BH & HPA and the NCC say that “park operators will go out of business without the 10% of residents equity they are claiming” and the 10% question states that the trade bodies say “park businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on income from the commission”.
What complete and utter rubbish.  Even a clairvoyant would have a problem in accurately predicting how many new homes may be purchased or second hand homes sold in any one year.   Therefore it is inconceivable that any park operator or business person would base their reliance of income to sustain a business on what is an UNQUANTIFIABLE FIGURE.  And what of those parks that are filled to capacity and sold no homes for many years!  Did they go bankrupt?  NO.  Even more unbelievable is that they would expect Parliamentarians to swallow that reasoning. 
So let’s have the truth. Park Operators and their trade bodies have hoodwinked people for too long into believing they need this commission fee to which they have given many differing labels or names – and yet they seem unable to settle upon one.  They call it a Commission Income” then a land value charge.  Then “a charge that funds a lower initial purchase price of a park home,” then a “management and a maintaining charge” and an “exit” charge.  Does anyone reading this article know of any other form of housing that requires you to pay a 10% commission exit payment to a land agent when you sell your own home?  I suspect and so do 30,000 park home residents that the answer is NO.
There is also much scaremongering that if we rock the boat and any reduction is made to the Commission Charge that it will be added to the residents pitch fee.
30,000 residents from the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign are calling for a Debate to Review this charge and are totally against any reduction of the commission charge being added at any pitch fee review.  Transparency, fairness and justice must be brought to the park home sector, if not the greed that is rife within the industry will bring about its own destruction. 
WHY?
1.       Because Residents are feeling trapped within their homes because if they move they can only downsize to something inferior to what they already have due to the loss of their equity to the park operator.
2.       Park Homes now command figures up to 300.000.  Who in their right mind is willing to give a park operator 30.000 for doing absolutely nothing? It is obscene, immoral and inequitable.
3.       The park owner benefits from all improvements that residents make to their home and the landscaping of their gardens.  A cost to residents of many thousands of pounds – but who ultimately benefits? The park operator.
4.       Following the introduction of the 2013 Act, the Government rightly recommends that Residents use a Solicitor in the sale of a home (This along with Estate Agents Fees means an even larger amount to be deducted from resident’s equity.
5.       Most residents are of retirement age, and some will need to move into care.  These excessive commission fees reduce the amount of care and comfort that can be afforded due to their loss of equity and ultimately this burden then falls to the state.
6.       The residents pitch fee will now include the initial cost of the park operator’s site licence that will continue to increase by RPI.
7.       These continual increases will and already are changing the face of park home living.  Soon a park home will not be a wanted or affordable commodity.  The greed of the industry will kill it as pitch fees rise and park home living becomes more costly than a mortgage for a bricks and mortar home.
8.       The pitch fee continues to increase by RPI whilst resident’s pensions only increase by CPI.  This needs to be changed and brought in line with residents across the border in Wales - who pay CPI.
9.       Then we have the residents in the Holiday sector who are not covered by the Mobile Homes Act.  Many live on parks that are also fully residential and yet they are forced to pay exorbitant commission rates when they sell.  Many of these owners of holiday homes have contacted the campaign and I hope that our petition will in some way go on to help them in the future – if not, this is another part of the industry that is doomed.
My MP Annette Brooke OBE has asked me to supply her with material for the adjournment debate.  This material has been collated from the information that you have sent including pictorial evidence. Many good ideas have already been sent and these will be put forward to make up the basis of our case to get the 10% Commission Charge seriously debated and changed.  If you have an valid suggestion regarding the 10% please send it to the Justice Campaign or come along to Westminster on July 2nd at 4pm and put forward your suggestion to the Peers, Ministers and MP’s who will be present.
It is upon this stage that your suggestions need to be aired.  The Parliamentarians are the people that can do something about it.  This is your chance, and you will be welcome to come to Westminster and inform them.  To speak of those ideas or show our hand before the event is to take away the impetus from the MP’s, and provide ammunition for the industries trade bodies to look for loopholes to counter anything that we propose to be debated.  These are not idle words; they work for their park operator members.  Like us, they are also in a position to lobby MP’s and they have large financial resources to assist them.
Although, I will be emailing all on the campaign data base, may I ask those who are reading this to please write to their own MP and ask them to attend the Meeting in Committee Room 10 of the Palace of Westminster on 2nd July 2014.  The meeting will take place between 4 and 5.30pm and I have chosen the 2nd July as the presentation date because it is Prime Ministers questions and almost all MP’s will be in the house.  For those who are attending the rally and the meeting, you could also ask your MP to meet you in Parliament.  Please don’t forget, this is the run up to the general election.  MP’s work for you.  You want their help and they are going to want your votes, so please make sure that you inform them of our Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign’s petition, its presentation, rally and that Peers and Ministers will have been invited to attend the meeting. Please send your individual letter to your MP at House of Commons  London  SW1A 0AA asking them to support you and to also inform my MP, Annette Brooke’s office of their support.
Most importantly, this is your opportunity.  We are going to Westminster.  We already have the ear of Peers, Ministers and MP’s so please use it to put forward your ideas as to why the Government should amend the law with regard to the 10% Commission charge.   My sincere thanks to all who have supported our campaign.  You have all been brilliant and I feel sure that together we can convince all Parliamentarians in this run up to the election year that we want a Debate to review the changes needed that will not incur any additions to our existing pitch fees.
Sonia McColl
Leader and founder of the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LATEST UPDATE ON OUR PETITION FOR
A "DEBATE TO REVIEW THE 10% COMMISSION CHARGE"
It's confirmed.
Our Petition is going to Downing Street.
We are rallying in London
and after the rally
we have again been afforded a Committee Room in the Palace of Westminster
for a one and a half hour meeting.
At that meeting residents will hopefully be able to put forward their opinion on
the  10% Commission Charge
and Peers, Ministers, Shadow Ministers and MP's will be invited to attend.
It does not get better than that and we are on our way again.

Firstly, may I say a big thank you to all members of our Justice Campaign.  You have done a brilliant job.  Your signed petitions have and still continue to arrive every day and you have also supplied me with the answers and pictorial evidence needed to help build the statistical material that MP's can use to debate our campaign.  
Thanks must also go to Lord Graham of Edmonton for his valued support.  My excellent MP, Annette Brooke OBE who is bidding weekly for an "Adjournment Debate" to get MP's talking about our campaign and who has agreed to accompany us to Downing Street and has secured a Committee Room in the Palace of Westminster for our meeting.  The many other MP's and MEP's who have also offered support and the Advisory Services IPHAS and NAPHR along with the JBS Residents Alliance who have all supported us by informing their members of our petition. 
Sadly and although I did not make a lot of it, many of you have contacted me after realising and hearing stories that the Industry have brought pressure to bear in such a way that it could only be seen as an attempt to hinder our campaign's effort to bring our petition to the attention of all the Park Home Residents in our country.  
This action, although one that was clearly designed to hinder the democratic right of the park home owner to petition and peacefully protest, has, I believe been done out of fear.  It was an effort to prevent our campaign's petition from reaching every park home owner in the residential and holiday sector.  Personally, I believe the reason for this can only be:
 The Site Owners have and want to continue to enjoy this unearned commission bonus at our expense - and I believe they are rightly concerned that we - the Park Home Owners - are collectivly using our voice and that our Justice Campaign will help to bring about the further justice and fairness that is sorely needed in this Industry. 
Well, they are right to be concerned because site owners have had it their way for far too long.  They take our equity.  They benefit from the improvements that we make to our homes.  They pocket much of the equity from our homes that is needed if we have to go into care and they receive this unearned bonus every time the home is sold, in-short they make us feel trapped because we can only buy something inferior to what we have if we wish to move on.
However, I can report that their efforts to thwart our campaign have not succeeded because we have done what we set out to do.  Literally thousands of park home residents from every part of our country have signed our petition and this is something that cannot be ignored.  These signatures will send a very clear message to all Parliamentarians in this run up to the election year and I am pleased to be able to tell you that we are now on the second leg of our journey. 
ON WEDNESDAY 2nd JULY 2014 OUR PETITION WILL BE PRESENTED TO DOWNING STREET AT 2.30PM.
A RALLY OF PARK HOME RESIDENTS is being arranged in London on that day and following the Rally and the presentation of the Petition to Downing Street, a Committee Room in the Palace of Westminster has now been booked to allow an important meeting to take place for all those residents who will be attending the rally.  The meeting will last for one hour and a half.  The agenda will be "our petition for a Debate to Review the 10% Commission Charge" and Ministers, Shadow Ministers and MP's will be invited to attend. 
About 200 residents rallied in London with their wonderful banners when we successfully petitioned to stop "Sale Blocking" and I hope that an even larger number of park home residents will attend this rally - because strength in numbers is the only way that we can show those in power that we want them to act and give us a proper Parliamentary Debate to Review this 10% Commission Charge.
The TV, Radio and Press will be informed and I hope that we will get good coverage on the day.
Full details of the days events, times, parking for coaches and directions etc., will be sent to all those who wish to attend the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign Rally on Wednesday 2nd July 2014. 
I  appreciate that before deciding if you can attend you will want to know the time that you need to assemble in London.  The assembly point will be in a designated area at 12.30pm.  This will most probably be "Old Palace Yard" near the green in front of the Palace of Westminster where we will rally with our banners for approximately one hour and hopefully gain TV, Radio and Media coverage.  There are plenty of wooden benches in this area, so those who wish to sit down may easily do so.   
There will be various events during the rally.  We will walk (at a steady pace) with our banners to the Downing Street enclosure for the presentation of our petition.  Then we will return to the Palace of Westminster, go through airport style security before being directed to the impressive Committee Room for our meeting that will begin at 4pm and end at 5.30pm. This timing should allow us all to get the early evening transport to our respective homes - or go back to our respective coaches or mini buses.  I believe that coaches will be able to park on the embankment - but I will check this and add it to the details that will be sent to all those who are attending our Rally.   
      
This is your opportunity to have a memorable and unforgettable day out - but more importantly, your opportunity to come to Westminster and let all Members of Parliament know that you want a "Debate to Review the 10% Commission Charge."  In short, this will be something that you can tell to your grandchildren about. 
As you will appreciate, there is a lot of organising to do, so may I ask if you would please let me know BY EMAIL as soon as possible if you, or a party from your park will be attending (please give me approximate numbers.)  I will then confirm everything with you and send the full details that you will need.
May I also ask if you would please do as you did at our last rally - and bring your own banners.   If possible, could you please include the name of your County on your banner as it shows the TV News Reporters and the media that our campaign is one that is supported nationwide. 
As a footnote, may I say, we have all worked so hard to get this far and whilst many rallies go to London.  Few are given the opportunity to have one and a half hour meetings in the Palace of Westminster with Peers, Ministers and MP's in attendance.   However, our Justice Campaign has always handled itself in a respectful and dignified way and the doors have again been opened for us by the people who have the power to change things.  So lets make a big effort to get a large number of park home residents to peacefully rally in London and attend this special meeting. 
We now have 200% more signatures than we had when we successfully petitioned to stop "Sale Blocking" (which is amazing)  and I am going to close the petition on Sunday 8th June 2014 as all the signed petitions (except for a token box that will be delivered to Downing Street)  will have to be delivered to London with the online petition before the 2nd July. 
Therefore we have just ten weeks to gather as many petitions as we can.  To this end I have attached a Petition Form and would ask you to please give our campaign one last push and use it to gather as many signatures as you can before sending it back to me by  Saturday 7th June.  And please do not forget that you and your family and friends can also sign the online petition 

Also, you will all be aware that I do not charge for membership of our campaign - but sadly everything has a cost.  Most things I manage to deal with, but there is one major cost to cover that is more difficult.  That is the cost of sending thousands of your signed petitions, properly boxed to an official address in London by courier.   Therefore, may I please ask if there is anyone out there who could help the campaign by collecting me and the boxed petitions from Dorset and taking us to a delivery address in London? - if  there is, would you please contact me by telephone or email. 
  
SOME MORE NEWS FOR YOU
AN IMPORTANT DECISION FROM THE FIRST LANDS TRIBUNAL CASE.
It rules that Site Owners cannot charge for "ADMINISTRATION" including
meter reading and issuing invoices that cannot be made in respect of
ELECTRICITY OR GAS SUPPLY unless there is an express term in the
Written Statement saying an administration charge for this can be
levied.
PLEASE GO TO OUR CAMPAIGN WEB SITE (STOP PRESS NEWS) TO READ THE FULL FACTS. www.parkhomeownersjusticecampaign.co.uk
COWBOY TRADERS
I have received complaints from residents about a trader who is advertising in a glossy magazine.  Apparently, the refurbishment and maintenance work that has been done to park homes is not up to the expected standard and the residents who have contacted me are concerned that elderly or vulnerable park home residents could fall foul of this type of advertisement and receive shoddy workmanship.  Whilst I cannot name names, I share the concern of those who have contacted me and can only recommend that if you are looking to have maintenance done on your park home.  Get a quote from a reputable well known company who will give you a guarantee.   Be very wary.  Do not be taken in by big advertisements - or even a trader's membership to what you might consider to be reputable organisations.  Do talk to neighbours, family and friends and if possible use traders who are recommended by your family, friends and neighbours - or whose work you have seen.
 Once again.  Thank you all for the work that you have done.  Please gather some more signatures from your friends and family on the attached petition form and I hope to hear from you soon with the message that you will be able to attend our rally and we can all meet in London on the 2nd July 2014.
Best Wishes
Sonia.



.................................................................

PLEASE NOTE

There are two stop press news pages

the latest news items can be found on

STOP PRESS NEWS from 09/11/2012

older stories can still be found on the

STOP PRESS NEWS PAGE

.................................................................
NEW YEAR  2014  NEWS LETTER
 FROM YOUR JUSTICE CAMPAIGN.
Dear Justice Campaign Member
Well 2013 was certainly the year of the Park Home Resident.  The Campaign to stop "Sale Blocking" - that was instigated and fought for by the members of our Justice Campaign - completed its journey through the House of Commons and the House of Lords before receiving Royal Assent from Her Majesty the Queen on the 26th March 2013.
That was the Bill that would cement the new legislation. The new Mobile Homes Act 2013 and all the changes that are due to take place in 2014.  Certainly, this was a time when the Park Home Residents of our country stood firmly together, provided statistics that were needed to change events - and an era that will forever be known in park home history as the time when the balance of power began to correct itself to the fairer level that it should always have been and the day when the power of the residents toppled the unscrupulous site owners who will never again be legally able to block the sale of homes.  YOU ALL DID A TRULY MAGNIFICENT JOB.  
However, we must not forget that in doing this we had valuable help and support from Lords, Ministers, MP's, the Advisory Services IPHAS, NAPHR and PHRAA along with the JBS Residents Action Alliance, Towergate Insurance and the Park Home and Holiday Caravan Magazine - but Sale Blocking and the new Mobile Homes Act 2013 would not have happened at this time without you the supporters of our Justice Campaign - because quite simply, no one else was doing anything to stop "Sale Blocking" at this time and the input of all residents made us the driving force.
Since the death of my husband Tony, there are now only two people who help with the running of our Justice Campaign:  Sonja (a friend) who helps with admin and the gentleman who built and manages our campaign web site - but prefers to remain anonymous.  I am sure that like me, you will give them a   big vote of thanks.
SALE BLOCKING
The most rewarding thing to come out of our campaign is the heartfelt letters that have been received from so many Residents who (after years of sale blocking) have eventually been able to sell their homes.  Those letters have made our campaign so worthwhile and in fact the home that was sale blocked for some seven years - and was the very home that led to the start of the Justice Campaign - has now been sold and the retired couple are now living in peace after all the stress and hardship they were forced to endure by an unscrupulous park owner. 






Further sections of the new legislation will come into force in 2014 and although there are bound to be teething problems, the work of Government and the DCLG has made the playing field much fairer and the Park Home Resident will certainly have a lot more input into the things that govern their lives whilst living in a park home. 


Our Justice Campaign already receives many calls from Residents who have park home related problems and the message to everyone is:  PLEASE JOIN ONE OF THE ADVISORY SERVICES - IPHAS, NAPHR or PHRAA.  The Advisory Services  are set up to help and give you information that you can trust on all things related to park home living.  They charge  approximately £5.00 per year for membership and links to some of the Advisory Services can be found on our Justice Campaign web site.


Towergate Insurance Road shows.


Towergate Insurance continues to help Park Home Residents and are planning to run four more of their very popular Park Home road shows in 2014. They have already run 8 such events which have been attended by over 1200 park home residents. The purpose of the road shows is to inform and engage with park home residents, to make them aware of changes in park home legislation, to give them advice and information and to answer their questions.


The speakers will be Alan Savory MBE of IPHAS, Neil Millar, a park home legal expert, Sonia McColl from the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign and others yet to be confirmed.  Full details  and dates can be found by following the link on our Justice Campaign web site to their Park Home Owners Club.


FIRST-TIER TRIBUNALS  


News has been received that Residents on parks owned by Messrs Small have been awarded reimbursement of application fees against Messrs Small at the First-Tier  Tribunal.  This is good news and will give encouragement to other residents who are perhaps a little worried about the costs incurred when taking their problems to the First-Tier Tribunal.  I believe that full details can be accessed on the JBS Residents Action Alliance web site which can be reached from a link on our campaign web site.



FOR CONTINUING INFORMATION ON ALL TOPICS DURING 2014, PLEASE VISIT OUR CAMPAIGN WEB SITE AT:




NOW FOR THE IMPORTANT WAY FORWARD IN 2014 

 where your help is URGENTLY needed again


to help our campaign  to obtain  a

Debate to review THE 10% COMMISSION CHARGE.


First and foremost, may I take this opportunity of wishing you a very Happy and Healthy New Year and to thank you for the sterling work that you have already done in gathering signatures for our latest petition.  Your signed petitions have arrived every day and we have now topped the 20,000 mark which is 10,000 more than we presented to Downing Street when we successfully petitioned to stop "Sale Blocking."


Whilst you have been signing petitions, I have been in touch with my MP -Annette Brooke OBE MP and because of your amazing effort a date is being sought to make the presentation of our petition to NUMBER 10 in July 2014.  I will let you have the date as soon as it is confirmed by Downing Street. 


Many of you have asked if we will have another rally in London.  Well the answer is definitely YES and it will be held on the day when the petition is presented and everyone who wants to attend will be very welcome to come along with their banners and we can again show Westminster that the Park Home Residents of our country mean business and want a Government Debate to Review the 10% Commission Charge.


It is also very likely - due again to your efforts so far -  that our campaign will have an "adjournment debate" before Easter 2014.  This is not the full Debate that we are requesting (that comes later) but this is a debate to get MP's talking about the subject - and that is just what we need to get the ball rolling and make all MP's aware of the unfairness of the 10% charge in its present format.


However, although a lot is now positively falling into place, other things have happened that are outside of our control and this means that we CAN NOT sit on our laurels.  Therefore, although you have done sterling work in obtaining signatures for our petition, if we are to succeed, this means that I have to ask each and every resident to please do just a little more. 


You are probably asking why!


Well, although my hands are somewhat tied - I will be as honest as I can and hope you will accept that I will try to explain as best as I am diplomatically able.
Whilst a lot of work is being done behind the scenes and those in power are already listening, Government and all MP's are naturally swayed by the sheer volume of people who sign a petition.  Our target to automatically trigger a Government Debate to Review the 10% Commission Charge is 100.000 signatures and moves were in place to virtually guarantee that we would reach almost all of the 2000 parks in our country.  But sadly,  I was reliably informed of strong opposition and pressure being laid by the Industry.
The form of this opposition (which I can see no practical purpose or benefit to our campaign in disclosing) is a method that would severely prevent/hinder our campaign from reaching its target figure.
Obviously, the Industry is obliged and will do all that it can to protect their clients (the site owners) but as far as I am concerned, from the information received, it was an action designed to hinder the Park Home Residents democratic right to petition and peacefully protest. 
I admit to being angry and could go further into this situation, but to do so would not achieve any positive results.  Would be a waste of valuable time and energy and quite frankly I am not prepared to let our campaign become embroiled in such trivial matters when we have important things to do - like collecting signatures for our petition.  
But, on a positive note, the pressure that I am informed the Industry has laid  clearly shows their fear that our campaign could - by securing a Government Debate - bring an end to a period when the site owners have everything heavily weighed in their favour and bring about a much fairer deal for the Park Home Resident.
However, I hope you will agree that what is important now, is that we all pull together to show the Industry that we will not be defeated and that with your help, THE PARK HOME RESIDENTS of this country will overcome any opposition and will get our petition to every park in our country. 
When the dates are confirmed we will be going to Downing Street before Parliament's summer recess and I am hoping that we can obtain a Government Debate to Review this Charge in October/November 2014 - and I will of course keep you all updated as soon as I can report further on this.  BUT WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT TO TAKE THE 100,000 SIGNATURES with us and  make them really sit up and listen. Because that is what it is going to take  - THE COLLECTIVE POWER OF THE RESIDENTS .  
Our campaign is totally non political but as previously disclosed,  Annette Brooke OBE MP has promised her support for the Debate when we reach our target figure and Lord Graham of Edmonton has also pledged his help and support.  In addition, Derek Clark, UKIP MEP for Northampton has publicly expressed his backing for our campaign in the January edition of the Park Homes and Holiday Caravan Magazine - so support is growing and I am sure there will be a lot more.
NOW FOR THE REALLY IMPORTANT BITS.   WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP?
Unfortunately, I do not know of all the parks in your area, BUT YOU DO and if you are unsure you can get this information from your local authority.
1.   May I please ask if you or your Residents Association would help by copying the petition form that is attached to this email and deliver a copy to the Residents Association ( or a park home resident) on  every park in your area with a note to ask them to copy it to all their residents.  Because copying and return postage can be expensive, the attached  petition sheet has been altered and can now carry many signatures. 
Would you also please remember that if Residents are a couple, both can sign the petition.  Equally important to remember is that you do not have to be a park home resident to sign our petition.  Your friends, family and work colleagues can also sign if they wish to support you.
Therefore, it would also help greatly if you will give a copy of the petition to five people that you know (who are not Park Home Owners) and then ask each one to collect enough signatures to fill the sheet - we will then significantly boost the numbers and reach our target very quickly. 
When your friends have gathered the signatures from people who are happy to support this petition, please ask them to either return the form to you or post it back to our campaign address on the bottom of the form.
  
Although we have received replies from almost 1000 parks; on many of these parks only a handful of residents have responded.  Would you please make sure that everyone on your park knows about the campaign and has had the opportunity to sign if they should so wish?
PLEASE ASK EVERYONE THAT YOU KNOW TO SUPPORT YOU.
When we get our debate (and I feel absolutely sure that we will) the MP's will need ammunition and evidence to support our reasoning as to why a reduction or change in the 10% commission charge is desperately needed.  This again is where your help is required.  As was done in our last campaign, statistics must be produced to provide every MP with the ammunition they will need to help us to get a much fairer deal - BECAUSE YOU CAN BE SURE THAT THE INDUSTRY WILL PUT UP STRONG OPPOSITION.
Evidence is already being gathered and research is being undertaken - but your help is really needed:
1.   If you have a Residents Association would you please ask them to either  email  or post the following information to our campaign address as soon as possible.  If you do not have a Residents Association, please do send the information as you know it to be - and please state the name and post code of your park.
       a)   How many residential homes are on your park?
       b)   What do you think is the average pitch fee on your park.   (Please do not
              include water and sewerage costs.)
       c)   How many private sales of homes have taken place on your park in the
             last 24 months and (if known) could you please state the average
             selling price? 
              
       d)   How many sales of new homes by the park owner have taken place on
              your park in the last 24 months and if known the average selling price? 
        e)   Is your park regularly maintained?
        f)    When a home is sold on your park and the park owner receives 10%
               commission.  Does he always make improvements  to the  park - or
               does the park remain in the same state - or does the park owner never
               make improvements to your park?
        (PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOU ALREADY PAY FOR ROUTINE MAINTENANCE OF THE PARK IN YOUR PITCH FEE.  WE ONLY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IMPROVEMENTS THAT ARE OVER AND ABOVE THIS.) 
       
        Whilst you are hopefully gathering more signatures and sending  the statistics that are needed, I will be contacting the media in all forms to further publicise our campaign.
FORWARD PLANNING
In February - when more details on the "adjournment debate" before Easter  will hopefully be available -  I will write to you all again enclosing a standard copy letter with the request that you please sign and send it to your MP with a copy of our petition to make them aware of the adjournment debate (providing of course that you agree with the content of the letter and are happy to sign it.) 
The rally of Park Home Residents in London on the day of the presentation to Downing Street will be organised and you will all be invited and given details.  In addition and if possible, I hope to arrange another meeting for us all to attend in the Palace of Westminster's Committee Rooms and hope to arrange for MP's to also attend.
May I also stress and clarify, that our Campaign is only asking for a Debate to Review this outdated 10% Commission Charge and it carries the proviso that should the abolition or any reduction be made to the 10% commission, the park owner must never be allowed to add this reduction to any pitch fee review.
Well, we have done it before and  we are already well on the way to doing it again.  With your continued help, together, we can make sure that our petition reaches every Park Home Resident in our country - and I hope you will agree that we must not allow the Industry to prevent us from obtaining our goal.  The Industry have had it their way for far too long and it is time for change and a fairer system to be introduced. 
Only with your help can we give our petition the push that it needs to get the signatures that we require and the information that is necessary for the statistics to be provided to all MP's
Please also remember to ask all your email contacts to sign our online petition at: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/54396
Once again thank you for your sterling work and I wish you a Happy New Year, every success with your signature collecting and look forward to meeting many of you again in London when we present our petition
Sonia.
...............................................



15th November  2013


SIGN UP TO THE

Park Home Owners’ JUSTICE Campaign’s  PETITION
FOR A GOVERNMENT REVIEW OF
THE 10% COMMISSION CHARGE

          Following our successful campaign for new legislation to end “ Sale Blocking,” your JUSTICE Campaign continues to fight for a fairer deal for park home residents by embarking upon a new campaign to review the right of site owners to charge a commission of up to 10% upon the private sale of park homes.  The present Commission Charge is outdated, inequitable and represents a significant loss of the park home owner’s hard earned equity.

          Although 2013 has been a very significant year and the new Mobile Homes Act 2013 will bring major improvements to the rights of park home residents; thousands of residents have contacted the JUSTICE campaign to ask:

“ARE WE GOING TO TRY TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE 10%?”

          Well, the answer is YES.  With your help we can try.  We have done it before with the valuable assistance of Lord Graham of Edmonton, Annette Brooke OBE MP, Grant Shapps MP, Peter Aldous MP, the Advisory Services (IPHAS) and (NAPHR) the Park Home & Holiday Caravan magazine, JBS Residents Action Alliance, Peers, Ministers, MP’s, Civil Servants, the Media – and we can do it again – but it will need every park home resident to play their part by signing:           

THE 10% COMMISSION PETITION FORM

          There are approximately 200,000 park home residents in our country and we only need 100,000 to sign the petition to trigger a parliamentary debate.

          If you want a Government Debate to review a change of the 10% commission charge, with the proviso that the park owner will not be allowed to add any reduction of the commission charge to any pitch fee review, please contact the Justice Campaign to obtain a petition form:

By telephone at 01929 553110  between 10am and 5pm Monday to Friday
By writing to the campaign at:
7 Silent Woman Park, Coldharbour, Wareham, Dorset. BH20 7PE
You can also download a copy of the petition form from
the NAPHR WEB SITE
and the JBS RESIDENTS ACTION ALLIANCE WEB SITE.

Both can be reached from links on our Justice Campaign Web Site.

          Consultations on the 10% have taken place before and there is no doubt that we will AND ALREADY ARE meeting with strong opposition. 
           However, thousands of signatures have already been collected – but we still need more if we are to get a review of this charge. 
          A further rally in London will be planned next year.  We will get the media involved and although we have a government e-petition, I will also start further e-petitions.

          I will also be contacting you all again in the New Year because our Justice Campaign will need you to become involved again.  You have already done brilliantly and we have far exceeded the number of petitions that we had when we successfully got the law changed to stop “Sale Blocking” – but this will be a lot harder and the Industry will really try to block this -  so we will all need to do more.

          With your help, I believe that we can get a Debate to Review the 10% Commission Charge which is outdated, inequitable, and totally unjust.  If you will do your bit to help, I promise to do the best that I can – together we are strong and we have already proved what we can achieve when we work together.  LET’S DO IT AGAIN!
With Best Wishes

Sonia McColl      founder of the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign
PS  PLEASE DO NOT FORGET THAT YOU CAN ALSO SIGN THIS PETITION ONLINE AT http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/54396

24th May  2013


Dear Justice Campaign Member.  Many of you are asking for information about the new changes in legislation. I have been informed today 24/5/13 


 THAT THE GOVERNMENT INFORMATION LEAFLET 


Has been written and is currently being printed. An electronic version will be sent to our Justice Campaign and as soon as it is available and it will be immediately  displayed on our Justice Campaign Web Site.In addition,  an email copy will be sent to all Residents on the Justice Campaign Data Base.  Sonia McColl 

...................................................................................................................................


14th May 2013


Your invitation to the Surrey Park Home roadshow, a not-to-miss event for all park home residents!

This is your last chance to book your FREE place at this event which is sponsored by Towergate Insurance.

  • Hear from Peter Aldous MP.
  • Hear from a panel of leading park home campaigners.
  • Have your park home related questions answered.
  • Meet and chat with fellow park home residents..
  • Find out what the Mobile Homes Bill 2013 means for you
When – Thursday 30 May 2013 at 3.00pm – 5.00pm
Where – Cobham Village Hall, Lushington Drive, Cobham, KT11 2LU

Call today on 0844 892 1417 for more information.





8th May 2013



I have been informed that the programme featuring

"SALE BLOCKING"

(which our Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign) 

has worked for
Will be televised on the 
"DON'T GET DONE - GET DOM" 
programme
BBC 1 tomorrow morning (9th May) at 11am.
Sonia McColl


.................................................................................


4th April 2013


Dear Supporters of the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign


Please accept my very grateful thanks for all the beautiful emails, cards and messages of sympathy that I have received following the loss of 
my dear Tony.

He would have been astounded at the beautiful tributes that have been made and I hope and believe that somehow he will be able to know of them.
I am not able to answer the many inquiries that I have received regarding his funeral arrangements – but for those who wish to know.

A service of Love, Remembrance and Thanksgiving for his life will be held at:
The Church of Lady St. Mary
Wareham   Dorset
On Thursday 11th April 2013
At 2.15pm

Anyone who wishes to come will be very welcome to join us at the church
and afterwards at
The Silent Woman Inn  Coldharbour  Wareham   Dorset.

With Love and Thanks for your support
Sonia.



.................................................................


28th March 2013


Dear Justice Campaign Member
26th March 2013, the day our Mobile Homes Bill and in particular (Sale Blocking that we have all fought for) received Royal Assent.
Below is a copy of the letter that I have received from Lord Best:
"I am pleased to report that the House of Lords was informed yesterday that the Queen had given her assent to the Mobile Homes Bill. This came through on Lord Graham's 88th birthday: a fitting tribute and birthday present for Ted! "
In recognition of what Lord Graham has done for park home residents over what I believe is a 30 plus year period, this is indeed a fitting tribute and birthday present.  Lord Graham is a wonderful man and in my opinion is fully deserving of this tribute - but I know that Lord Graham will also want me to make sure that the work an support of the "Rock " behind the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign is brought to the attention of all park home residents.  
That Rock is my husband Tony McColl.  He neither asked for or wanted any form of recognition - save that the Bill to bring about legislation to stop "Sale Blocking" (a course of action that was initiated from our home) should become law.
With his unstinting support he allowed our home to become a Campaign Headquarters.  He  compiled the Data Base of some 15,000 names so that we could keep you informed.  He stuffed 650 envelopes to send our statistics to every MP.  He then carried them to London in an old suit case to save on postage.  He ensured that security was looked after at the various rallies.  He  allowed me to creep out of bed at 4am on countless mornings over a four year period to type letters and email campaigners, MP's. Police, Councils etc., etc.,   He drove us to the Towergate Road Shows.  He  allowed access to our home by the press and TV and he  allowed our home to become an office to answer calls from thousands of park home residents.  In fact, Annette Brooke OBE MP referred to him in the Palace of Westminster as the Campaign Widower.   
The list of his quiet achievements goes on and on and you are probably wondering why I am telling you this now.  Well as I have said previously, Tony was my Rock and our Campaign would not have happened and "Sale Blocking" would not have been stopped on the 26th March 2013 if he had not provided his totally unselfish support and whilst he was never looking for any form of glory or recognition -  I know that Tony is owed the thanks and recognition of every park home owner in our country.
In a cruel twist of fate on the 26th March 2013,  Tony McColl died on the very day that the Mobile Homes Bill received Royal Assent from her Majesty the Queen.  
Although, very close to death, I did whisper that the Bill had been signed by her Majesty the Queen - I can only hope that he was able to hear.
As has always been promised; when details of the do's and don't regarding the Bill are released from an official source, I will publish them on the Campaign Web Site and send to every campaign supporter - and I hope you will understand that for a short time now, I will not be able to answer the volumes of emails that we receive.  However, if you have real park home concerns, please contact the Advisory Services IPHAS or NAPHR who will give you information that you can trust.
I have deliberated how to end this and have seen it as a fitting tribute to sign for the last time
Tony and Sonia.
.................................................................................................

Dear Campaign Supporter

I have received the explanatory letter laid out below from Mr. Alan Savory MBE of IPHAS (Independant Park Homes Advisory Service) regarding a paragraph in their recently released Advisor that has been causing conflict.  To enable the contents to reach as many residents as possible, I am sending it to all residents on the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign Data Base.  May I ask if you would  please make sure this information gets to all residents on your park who do not have access to a computer.

Best Regards Sonia.

LETTER FROM IPHAS


There have been a number of questions from residents about the paragraph in the Advisor relating to the site licence fee being passed on to residents.
The attached paper is written to provide an explanation for the apparent conflict.

Mobile Homes Act 2013

Some residents have been questioning the apparent conflict in the Mobile Homes Bill currently going through parliament; the items that may be puzzling are:-
The amended implied term 18 (1A) which states that “no regard shall be had, when determining the amount of the new pitch fee, to any costs incurred by the owner since the last review date for the purpose of compliance with the amendments made to this Act by the Mobile Homes Act 2013.”  Ref: clause 11(3) of the Bill.
     and
The existing implied term 18(1)(c) which states that when determining the amount of the new pitch fee particular regard shall be had to (c) the effect of any enactment which has come into force since the last review date.

The confusion may be caused by the legal terminology. In the amended term it is “costs” which are expressly excluded from the pitch fee review and this means the costs incurred by the park owner in complying with any changes to the site licence conditions. The Act gives the local authority new powers to enforce the site licence conditions and to use the courts if necessary and to reclaim costs from the park owner. If necessary the local authority can issue compliance notices or even enter the park and carry out the necessary works. The local authority can recover the costs of all this from the park owner. It is these “costs” that can NOT be passed on to the residents in the pitch fee.

The fee accompanying a site licence application is not considered as a “cost” in the strict legal terminology for the purposes of this Act. It is just a licence fee. Therefore, because the Bill will give the local authority the power to charge a fee for the site licence, it can be  considered at the next pitch fee review under implied term 18(1)(c).

Although the site licence fee will probably be an annual fee, it can only be recovered once on the initial application for a site licence. The sum will become an integral part of the pitch fee which will increase each year with inflation. Therefore the park owner cannot add it on each year because it will already be in the pitch fee.

Note that the Bill also expressly excludes the cost of transferring or altering a site licence to the pitch fee by an amendment to implied term 19. Ref: clause 1(8) of the Bill. The Bill is carefully worded to clarify what costs  can NOT be passed onto the residents, namely the costs incurred by failure to comply with the site licence conditions or costs of complying with any changes to the conditions or costs of meeting any other requirements from the local authority. The Bill deliberately does not mention the site licence fee because that is covered by the existing term which states that the effect of any enactment can be considered at the pitch fee review. This is explained in paragraph 13 of the Explanatory Notes to the Bill.
 
The law allowing the cost of the licence fee to be passed on to residents would seem very unfair. We in IPHAS and NAPHR protested about this repeatedly at meetings of the DCLG when the legislation was being drafted and we objected to the idea at the Select Committee meeting. But on the plus side, the government has pointed out that it now gives residents some leverage to use on the local authority. Whereas previously, when residents asked the local authority for action on the site licence conditions they would use the excuse of lack of resources, in future we can point out that the residents are paying for the licence fee so we are entitled to some return for our money.

The Mobile Homes Bill has passed through all the readings in both Houses and is currently awaiting Royal Assent. The parts relating to the site licence fee will come into force on 1 April 2014.


Ref: IPHAS/RA61M2


Best Regards,

Alan Savory
IPHAS


.............................................................................................................................................................




ICY WEATHER    

Information regarding salt and grit on your park

Park owners are not under any site license obligation to provide salt or grit for roadways, but if anyone suffers injury as a result of their failure to do so, they may well be liable under the Occupiers Liabiliy Act 1957. The law of occupiers’ liability is a common law tort meaning it is actioned in a civil court and deals with issues between individual parties.

Under occupiers liability the person who occupies the land can be held liable when injury or some kind of harm has occurred to another person on that land, meaning that responsibility can fall to the person or persons who are in control of the land, premises, building, warehouse, office etc. In a Park Home environment, this will be the site owner.but when establishing whether someone is in control of the premises various other factors can also be taken into account:. In fact, property rights in the property / premises do not have to exist. An individual, for example the manager, can be held to be an occupier under the control test. Consequently, this means that under the Act, more than one person can be held to be the occupier of certain premises. The term `occupier' under the Act has also been held to cover local authorities, companies, individuals and partnerships.

Section 1 of the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 also defines premises to cover any fixed or movable structure. This can include any vessel, vehicle or even an aircraft. In the cases following the enactment of the legislation such things as chairs, ladders, scaffolding and lifts have been construed to be premises. Obviously such things as buildings and land are clearly included within the definition.

It also applies to visiors The Act extends.to someone who has been invited onto the premises, to include those individuals who enter the premises in the exercise of a right conferred by law. They are termed lawful visitors under the Act.
Common Duty of Care

Section 2 of the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 states that the common duty of care in relation to occupiers is the duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the reason which he or she is invited or permitted to be there.

The fact that it is a common law duty of care, means that it is applied to all lawful visitors. however, it should be noted that the duty is to make the visitor safe and not the premises safe and this is a very important distinction, however, the safety of the premises.is covered by the site license and the implied Terms in everyones Agreements.
If your site owner or manager has not provided salt ot grit and you think there may be a risk of injury, you may wish to draw the above to their attention.

I thank Tony Turner of the  JBS Residents Association for the above, important information.




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MANY MANY CONGRATULATIONS TO ANNETTE BROOKE MP OBE.
From all supporters of the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign.

Mid Dorset and North Poole MP Annette Brooke has received an OBE for public and political service in the New Year's Honours List. She said: “I am very, very honoured and flattered". 

Mrs Brooke has been an MP for 11 years and won a Best Female MP award in 2010. She began her political career in 1986 when she was elected on to Poole Borough Council and remained a borough councillor until 2003.

Annette is and has been, a highly active supporter of our Park Home Owners Justice Campaign since it began and this award is so well deserved for all the hard work that Annette has done for Park Home Owners and other worthy causes.




THE MOBILE HOMES BILL GOES TO THE LORDS 


Friday 30th November 2012 
Another momentous day for all supporters of:- 

The Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign. 



Today saw the safe passage of the Bill from the House of Commons to the House of Lords and as said in the email that my constituency MP Annette Brooke sent immediately after the result: "The Bill is now on its way to the Lords. The amendment was accepted at the last minute, and all being well it will all be implemented next year!" 

She also said: "she was there in the chamber but didn't dare speak as she didn't want to take up any time in case time ran out for the Bill and it was her fault!!! " 

To keep you all informed.  

That statement from Annette echo' ed the stressful 48 hours that both Annette, Peter Aldous MP and  myself endured before the Bill had it 3rd reading. For as the last minute amendment was introduced, I was asked to write quickly to the MP's involved with the amendment to the Bill. Once the letter was written and ok' d by Annette Brooke MP, the email letters were sent - but as the Bill was lying fifth in the list, there was still every possibility that it would fail at the last minute. 

On Thursday evening, Peter Aldous MP emailed to say that he had signed the amendment and fingers were crossed - but it was still fifth on the list the following morning and it was crucial that it did not run out of parliamentary time before it was heard. Then on Friday morning between 6 and 7am emails were flowing between Annette and myself as the possibility of the failure of the Bill still weighed heavily. 

However, at something past two, the Mobile Homes Bill began and it was clear that every MP was racing through the necessary procedure to 

give the Bill a safe passage before closure at 2.30pm.  In fact, Peter Aldous MP emailed the Campaign directly after the Bill was successful and said - amongst other things - "It was a bit hairy at the end, but we got there." Peter Bone MP - who put forward the amendment - also sent a very nice email after the Bill was passed and a PA at Westminster said: "Great news, I’m so chuffed as I was worried they wouldn't get to it!:"   Best wishes to all supporters of our Justice Campaign were also sent by many residents including Alan Savory MBE of IPHAS.
 As always, grateful thanks are extended to Lord Graham of Edmonton, all the MP's (especially Annette Brooke and Peter Aldous) IPHAS, NAPHR, the Park Homes Magazine, Towergate Insurance,  my husband and rock,Tony McColl, Sonja Lee, the  gentleman who prefers to remain anonymous but does our Campaign Web Site, the two  ladies who also prefer to be anonymous but clean up and handle the facebook page, the JBS Residents Alliance, many Residents Associations whose anonimity I will respect and all others who have helped our campaign in a practical way. 

But today, the main thanks must go to 10.000 park home residents from every county in our country who signed the initial "Petition to the Government." They were the beginning of the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign and without their support over three long years, there would have been no Mobile Homes Bill to even get into the House of Lords today. So a big thank you to each and every one of you for supporting our Campaign. When we all met in London at the various rally's, we said we would stop "Sale Blocking" and get the law changed - and as Annette Brooke MP said, "all being well the Bill that your Justice Campaign has worked for will be implemented next year." 

This is your day, we are more than half way there and each and every member of our Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign can feel proud of what they have achieved together - and I know that next year, in the not too distant future,  we will all be raising a glass of something nice when the Bill gets Royal Ascent and improves the lives of all residents, now and in the future. Best Wishes and thank you all for your wonderful support of our Justice Campaign. Sonia 

PS On behalf of our Justice Campaign, I have sent thank you emails to Peter Aldous MP, Annette Brooke MP, Steve Brine MP, Natascha Engel MP and I will write to Lord Graham of Edmonton and the other MP's - for whom I do not have an email address - that have been so helpful to our Justice Campaign.  



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THE WORDING ON OUR PETITION IS 

FURTHER LEGISLATIVE PROTECTION FOR PARK HOME OWNERS FROM SEVERE HARASSMENT BY SITE OWNERS WHERE THE POLICE TOO OFTEN DO NOT TAKE AN INTEREST.

Responsible department: Department for Communities and Local Government

We require the Government to make an amendment to the Mobile Homes Act 1983 to stop "SALE BLOCKING" by the park owner - or - to completely remove the "APPROVAL OF THE BUYER" in the selling process from the park owner. 


We require the Government to introduce a "FIT AND PROPER PERSON TEST" for all park owners and their managers. 


We require the Government to order a further review of the "10% COMMISSION CHARGE" payable to the park owner on the sale of a park home.