Sir Peter Bottomley MP with some of the campaigning residents of PHOJC at the door of Number 10.Determined Park Home Residents, rallying outside
the gates of Downing Street before their march
to Westminster and a meeting with MPs in the
House of Commons.Sir Peter Bottomley MP, President of PHOJC
and father of the House of Commons,
presents Sonia McColl OBE, founder of
the National Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign
with a parliamentary award recognising her leadership
of the PHOJC campaign.
18th September 2023. What a fantastic day. As rain lashed down around the country, the wind subsided and the sun shone brightly over London, our rally, presentation to Downing Street and meeting in the Palace of Westminster.
Park home residents arrived in the capital - carrying their fabulous banners. They hailed from all parts of England and one gentleman travelled down from Scotland. ITV and BBC filmed the rallying residents, while Sebastian O’Kelly, CEO of LKP (Leasehold Knowledge Partnership) supplied the cheerleader voice and galvanised the residents into action - while also acting as the official photographer. Then, our President Sir Peter Bottomley MP joined the rallying residents before accompanying the presentation party into Downing Street.
Park Home Residents had travelled to London to protest against (what they consider to be) the legal theft of residents equity. Accompanied by Sir Peter Bottomley they delivered a 4ft envelope to number 10’s famous black door. It contained the PHOJC report (written by David Iles) that will challenge the anomalies in the Impact statement of the Universities of Liverpool and Sheffield Hallam.
BBC & ITV reported on the very successful event. The BBC had contacted the BH&HPA for a statement, and as always, the statement from the Industry is one that can only be likened to scaremongering. They want us to believe that:
“if site owners businesses are not viable, they will have to look for other ways to make their money and this could mean putting up the pitch fees.”
Let us look at that carefully. Do you really think that the man with the helicopter who owns the most parks in the country and continues to purchase more, will go out of business without your hard-earned equity?
At the other end of the spectrum. How many of the smaller parks closed down during the two-year pandemic when very few homes were sold and the site owners received virtually no commission income from your equity?
This is the same veiled threat they have always used. They want us to believe that your pitch fees will rise if the site owners should have to forego the windfall benefit of your equity.
In a nut shell, site owners cannot make random changes to your pitch fee. By law, pitch fees rise annually by CPI. It would take a new law to change that, and we know how long it can take for new laws to be introduced.
If and when we get the law changed with regard to the 10%, it will have then become law – and there is nothing the Industry can do, other than to accept it. What they are putting out is nothing less than scaremongering.
They know that residents pitch fees are already high, and they are trying to frighten you with veiled threats of increased pitch fees – because the site owners want your equity.
Since 2014, PHOJC have always campaigned for a change to the 10% Commission Charge WITH NOTHING ADDED TO THE PITCH FEE. Nothing has changed and we continue to do so.
Please see our official video below and listen to the words of our President Sir Peter Bottomley MP who is the Father of the House of Commons and the Vice Chair of the APPG for Park Homes.
You can trust Sir Peter to do all that he can to end the 10% commission charge. To quote his words to the BBC with regard to the 10% commission charge – he said: “END THIS INJUSTICE. END IT NOW. INSTEAD OF 10%, MAKE IT NOUGHT, NILL, ZERO, STOP IT.
Watch Video hereOfficial Video Link
PHOJC would rather believe the sincerity in the words of Sir Peter, who is in a position to help bring about the
change that we need, than a veiled threat from an Industry who we consider to be running scared.
The meeting in the Palace of Westminster went exceedingly well. Our thanks go to Sir Christopher Chope OBE MP, William Tandoh of the Department of Levelling UP, Sebastian O’Kelly of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership and of course our President Sir Peter Bottomley MP – all of whom made up the panel. David Iles, author of the PHOJC report, presented it and his thoughts behind it to the meeting. The panel then took questions from the floor on the 10% commission charge. Lord Richard Best from the House of Lords attended with other MPs.
Nine residents, individually put forward their pre-arranged questions regarding the 10% charge. The panel answered enthusiastically and Sir Christopher Chope OBE MP (Chairman of the APPG for Park Homes) who successfully steered his private members bill to change RPI to CPI on the pitch fee, relayed what he was doing to get a further private members bill to tackle the 10%. As said earlier, we have powerful people behind us who believe in what we are doing and can move things forward and get things done. Quite frankly, with this sort of support, who needs to listen to those who scaremonger.Residents, listening intently in the Palace of Westminster Committee Room.
A week before the rally, team members attended an APPG Park Homes Meeting. The Housing Minister, Rachel Maclean attended and was invited to attend our meeting. Sadly, her diary would not allow this, but she did agree to write to an official letter to the meeting. You can read that letter by clicking on the link below.Letter from Housing Minister
To return to the APPG meeting, we were able to bring up the 10% commission charge and the PHOJC report which contained information that neither Government nor the Universities could have foreseen. The Minister appeared genuinely interested in park homes and the problems faced by residents. She confirmed, as did the Department of Levelling Up that the PHOJC report would be considered along with the Universities Impact Statement.Certainly, our rally could not have been better timed. Prior, to the delivery of our report, as we all know, nothing had happened with regard to a decision on the Universities report and we have all been left hanging in the air. Now, it is all systems go. PHOJC has received from the Department of Levelling Up, the Government’s next steps in consideration of the recommendations in the Mobile Homes: the Impact of a change in the maximum park home sale commission research report that was published last year. This has been set up by Housing Minister Rachael Maclean MP. In order to consider the report in a fair and transparent way and involve those who are most affected in the process, she is asking all stakeholders to discuss the reports’ recommendations with their members. She has also confirmed that the department would provide a document to help structure those discussions. We have now sent those documents to residents. Many of you have found them difficult to answer and have informed that you feel they are weighted in favour of the industry. PHOJC has informed the department of this. However, please answer what you can and send back to us as soon as possible. PHOJC will put the information together and send the response before the 17th November deadline.
We think it is fair to say that our RALLY IN LONDON was a huge success and park home residents left London on the 18th September, feeling tired but optimistic that our efforts had re-opened a door that had been firmly closed. Let us hope that we can all keep that door open and not try to further confuse an outcome to the 10% commission charge that could benefit all park home owners.
To read a report on our rally by Sebastian O'Kelly of LKP click on the following link.
LKP Rally Report