Wednesday, 6 April 2011

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THREE NATIONS PROTEST RALLY


The Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign
President:  Lord Graham of Edmonton.  Vice President: Natascha Engel MP and Deputy Speaker
Founder: Sonia McColl OBE







With deepest sympathy from the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign





GOVERNMENT CALL FOR EVIDENCE

You have until the 27th May to take part in this consultation and a copy of the Consultation Document is available at:

Many of you have contacted me because you were understandably concerned at providing your name to the evidence you may give in the consultation.  I have emailed the DCLG with regard to this.  The DCLG have stated that you should have no fears in providing your name to any evidence you may give.  Your submission will only be seen by DCLG and NO members of the Working Group, APPG or the Industry will have sight of your submission.  If any of your evidence is used, all personal names will be redacted.

You have also asked what the section  in the consultation paper regarding FAIRNESS OF CHARGES means - and if it includes the 10% commission charge.

Although that section does not specifically mention the 10% commission charge, I strongly recommend that you add your feelings on the 10% charge to anything that you might write in your submission regarding FAIRNESS OF CHARGES.  I say this because in answer to my letter to the Minister following our rally in London, which asked the Minister for an Independent and Transparent Review of the Commission Charge with sight of the site owners certified accounting - and following my comments to the Minister at the APPG which reminded him of the 30th October debate in 2014 when MPs unanimously voted (without division) for an Independent and Transparent review of the commission charge,  as reported in HANSARD - I received on 26th April the following letter from the Minister's office.

Dear Ms McColl

Thank you for your email of 22nd March to Gavin Barwell MP about the commission paid to a park home site owner on the sale of a mobile home.  I have been asked to reply.

The Minister has noted your concerns in addition to your comments raised at the recent APPG meeting.  As you are aware, as part of the review of the Mobile Homes Act 2013 the Government has published a call for evidence on fairness of charges, the transparency of site ownership and on  experience of harassment.

From the Minister's above reply; although the consultation document does not specifically mention the  10% Commission Charge.  I strongly recommend that you include reference of your views on the 10% Commission in the section that deals with FAIRNESS OF CHARGES and the need to change the  RPI pitch fee increase to CPI (which is inline with your pension increase.)

Many of you have contacted me to say that the wording of the consultation document is not very easy to understand.  Certainly if you are members of IPHAS or NAPHR and feeling a little unsure of the wording of the consultation document, may I suggest that you ask for their help if there are areas that you are not entirely sure about.

Due to the effort that all Justice Campaign Members have made, our 10% Rally and call for the change from RPI to CPI on the Pitch Fee Review went very well and many MPs supported us.  Now, until the general election is over, we can only wait to see which MPs will be re-instated and then target them again. 

However, before our Rally; RPI to CPI was definitely not on the table and the 10% Commission Charge had been effectively buried.  Together, we have turned that around and I hope you will agree that it is now very important that we all put our views forward to the requested questions in Part 1 of the consultation as this will no doubt be our last chance to do so. (Don't worry if you can not answer all the questions - but please do put forward the 10% and RPI to CPI as we must not give them any opportunity to say that you did not respond regarding those topics.

Apart from trying to convince the MP candidates  - who will be calling on you - about our need for their support (if elected) of the 10% and RPI to CPI issues, there is little that we can do until after the general election - and I will write to you with a full update of the information that your JUSTICE Campaign will be sending to all the elected MPs.

If you do have a problem or want to talk to someone in confidence, please call our
Park-help-Line  on 02038466601. 
Our Free, Friendly and confidential service is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Park-help-Line is sponsored by Paul Baker of PB Insurance Services.  You can call for a free insurance quote on 0800 0385033 and if you mention that you are a member of the Justice Campaign you will get a 15% discount.

Although our JUSTICE Campaign is not political, may I take this opportunity to thank our Vice President Natascha Engel for her valued assistance to our JUSTICE Campaign.  Natascha was the MP for N.E. Derbyshire and I am sure that  as our Vice President, we all hope that she will retain her seat in the coming election.


Sonia






PLEASE NOTE
As from 2nd May 2017
The New Email Address
for the JUSTICE Campaign will be:








MP's attending  the contentious 10% Commission Charge Meeting
in Portcullis House on 21st March 2017
gave important advice to
PARK HOME RESIDENTS
who voiced concerns that their MP's and Local Authorities
did nothing to help them with their
problems arising from Site Owners not fulfilling their obligations
 regarding Park Home Living.

Many JUSTICE Campaign MEMBERS said they were fed up with being fobbed off by MP's and Local Authorities.

They were told by attending MP's
that they were NOW a very strong lobbying group and to

NAME AND SHAME THEM.

Our Park Home Owners JUSTICE  Campaign applauds those MP's
and
whilst it will be vitally important for  residents to show evidence of this lack of support by MP's and Local Authorities

 IT IS TIME FOR YOU ALL TO CONTACT YOUR LOCAL MEDIA IF THIS IS HAPPENING TO YOU

AND DO AS THE MP's SAY.

NAME AND SHAME THEM.








THE COMMITTEE MEETING IN THE PALACE OF WESTMINSTER IS NOW FULLY SUBSCRIBED AND  ADMITTANCE WILL BE RESTRICTED
TO THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY BEEN PROVIDED WITH THE NECESSARY IDENTIFICATION

Any Park Home Residents who still wish to come to London are very welcome to support us at the Rally.

If you should wish to attend the Rally's in Cardiff or Scotland - Please contact Sonia McColl who will put you in touch with
the Welsh and Scottish Co-ordinators.

Press Release.


The    THREE NATIONS PROTEST RALLY   (EnglandScotland and Wales)

Organised by Sonia McColl OBE, founder of the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign

At 11.30am on the 21st March 2017, hundreds of retired park home owners will PROTEST outside of Downing Street when their petition to challenge the 10% commission charge paid to site owners on the sale of a park home is delivered to number 10 at 12 noon.  Conservative MP for Christchurch, Christopher Chope OBE who is also the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Park Homes will accompany Sonia McColl and Park Home Owners for the presentation. 

At 12.15, protesting banner waving retired park home owners from every part of our country will march (some in wheelchairs) to the Palace of Westminster to attend a meeting in Committee Room 10 from 2pm to 4pm.  Every MP with park homes in their constituency has today been invited to this meeting by Christopher Chope MP who is chairing the meeting supported by Sonia McColl and Vice President of the JUSTICE Campaign  Natascha Engel who is the MP for North East Derbyshire and Deputy Speaker.

Pensioner park home owners on static incomes that increase by CPI will attend this meeting and voice their views to MP's on the 10% Commission Charge (that TRAPS them in their homes) and call for their ground rent increase to change from RPI to CPI.  A CPI increase is already enjoyed by(Park home owners in Wales.

Simultaneously to the London Protest; under the banner of the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign,  park home owners in Wales and Scotland will  protest and  attend Committee Room meetings in Cardiff and The Scottish Parliament.

Background

In 2014 the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign - who initiated the need to stop "Sale Blocking" by site owners which ultimately brought about the New Mobile Homes Act 2013 (as amended) -  delivered  its first petition for an Independent Transparent Review of the 10% Commission Charge to Downing Street.  A Commons debate led by Dame Annette Brooke OBE took place on 30th October 2014.  MP's voted unanimously for an Independent and Transparent Review of the Charge. 

HANSARD QUOTED. " Question put and agreed to - Resolved   "That this House calls on the Government to set up a review of the current fee of up to 10% of the sale price of a park home."

The Minister side stepped the issue saying: "He would be very happy for the working group, under its own auspices to consider a wider review of the issues that were raised today" when putting forward recommendations for the 2017 review of the new legislation.

This was not what MP's had unanimously requested.  Sonia McColl. founder of the JUSTICE Campaign was  invited to be a member of that Working Group.  Although she tabled the 10% issue, it was largely ignored.  Why? because the Industries trade bodies, as members of that group were never going to recommend the Independent Transparent Review that all the debating MP's had requested.  Therefore no agreement was ever or could have ever been reached.  The subject -effectively side stepped by the Minister - disposed of an awkward problem.

A change of Government ensued and all that  MP's and thousands of park home owners had worked for  on the 10% issue would be effectively buried - but the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign and its Park-help-Line continued to receive distressing calls from Residents who felt TRAPPED in their homes because after giving 10% of their equity from the sale of their homes; they could only afford to move into a cheaper home of inferior quality.   Park home ownership is generally  for the retired person; those who need to sell their home to move into care are also seriously limited to the amount and quality of care they can afford.  The Campaign was urged by residents to continue the 10% fight against this outdated and inequitable charge.

Many Site Owners  live in mansions, drive luxury cars, fly helicopters and are prominent in the "Rich List."  Cash strapped residents watch on TV as a certain site owner who owns in excess of 40 parks flaunts his luxury mansion,  expensive cars and purports to have a 250 million pound fortune while still requiring 10% of home owners equity when they sell their homes - and he is not alone.  There are many just like him and even the smallest site owner is a millionaire in land value. 

The Industry states the 10% Commission Fee is a necessary income strand for the site owners business, without which businesses would flounder.
Residents challenge this statement and demand proof of the likely business failure. Site owners do absolutely nothing for the 10% that home owners are forced to pay them when they sell their home.  The average Park Home will sell for two hundred thousand pounds - that  produces  a gift to the park owner of twenty thousand pounds.  On the initial sale of the average home, site owners will make at least 60.000 pounds profit.  When the home is sold they receive 10% of their own profit.

PENSIONER Park Home Owners  demand PROOF THAT  MILLIONAIRS NEED their equity to prevent their businesses from failing.  They want an Independent and Transparent Review of the 10% charge that includes sight of the site owners certified audited accounts.  Only a thorough investigation by Government will provide proof that  site owners such as the  millionaire with a two hundred and fifty million pound fortune will suffer without 10% of the pensioners equity. 

No previous review has ever done a thorough independent inspection that looked at certified proof of accounting;  At a recent PACEC review in Wales, site owners were provided with a form and asked to fill it in.  Therefore, that report was part based on the site owners honesty!!! as they could write exactly what they liked with no given proof.  A fact referred to by researchers of that report.  

Our petition signed by park home owners from over 1000 parks demands  an Independent, Transparent Review of the 10% Commission Charge  with sight of the site owners certified accounting - along with a change from RPI to CPI on the annual increase to the pitch fee.

Sadly, because I have heard that Site Owners have threatened to pull their advertising from certain industry magazines if they publish our protest rally, they will not report fully on this subject. 

This is an affront to the elderly Park Home Owner who is being ripped of by an Industry that wants to paint a very different glossy picture of park home living.

That is why the Park Home Owners of EnglandScotland and Wales need the help of the media.  So may I respectfully ask you to please give our THREE NATIONS PROTEST RALLY  as much coverage as you can so this important issue can not be pushed under the carpet again.










WARM HOME DISCOUNT ANNOUNCEMENT


Last winter Charis Grants administered a government backed pilot scheme which gave park home residents the chance to apply for a £140 rebate for their electricity bill.

More than 1600 park home residents received rebates last year (including many supporters of the Justice Campaign).

From 5th December 2016 the scheme will be open again for applications, including those people who received an award from the pilot scheme earlier in the year.

For more information about the scheme and to apply for your £140 rebate, please visit www.parkhomeswhd.com or call the Charis team of dedicated agents on 0330 380 1040.





President of the National Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign


The Rt. Hon. Lord Graham of Edmonton (Lord Ted)


Quoting Hilaire Belloc.









26th March 2013


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