29th July 2022
My apology for not writing sooner, but I wanted to wait until there was positive news to bring.
Over the past weeks, our President Sir Peter Bottomley MP - who is the Father of the House - has raised the subjects that are close to our hearts in Parliament and in a written format to the relevant Ministers. A copy of this newsletter will be sent to Sir Peter and I know you will be happy for me to pass on your thanks for all that he has done behind the scenes.
However, you the members have also played an equally important part by writing to your own constituency MPs regarding:
1. The Government's promised change of RPI to CPI on the pitch fee increase
2. The decision by Government on the 10% Commission Charge
3. The £400 energy payment that appeared to exclude park home owners.
I have also been doing what I could in the background and today I received the letter below from Mr. Tandoh in the Department of Levelling Up. As you will see, it brings good news on the £400 energy payment.
Good morning Sonia,
We’ve been working with BEIS about extending the rebate to park home and can confirm that it will include park homes. is an extract from the press release published today at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/400-energy-bills-discount-to-support-households-this-winter
“As part of this package, we are confirming today that further funding will be available to provide equivalent support of £400 for energy bills for the 1% of households who will not be reached through the EBSS. This includes those who do not have a domestic electricity meter or a direct relationship with an energy supplier, such as park home residents. An announcement with details on how and when these households across Great Britain can access this support will be made this Autumn.”
I hope this is helpful
Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
I know of the many residents who have targeted their own MPs to bring about the Government's promised change from RPI to CPI. This is so important and we must keep it up. Sir Christopher Chope and Sir Peter Bottomley have also been very active on our behalf - because they know how important this and the 10% Commission Charge is and how high it remains on our agenda.
I have also written to the Department of Leveling Up and asked questions regarding RPI to CPI and the 10% Commission charge. I have done this to keep applying pressure and to give you information that is straight from the Department.
I have copied the answers to my questions below.
RPI TO CPI
Answer to my question by the Department
The Government remains committed to change the RPI to CPI and will do so when the parliamentary timetable allows. I believe in your campaign letters, you suggest that the changes should be introduced through a Private Members Bill (PMB). Though this is an option, it will also depend on parliamentary time available. There is further information on PMBs at https://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2022/may-2022/private-members-bill-ballot-19-may-2022/ which you may find helpful.
As members of our JUSTICE Campaign, you have all campaigned and worked hard to bring about the promised change from RPI to CPI and the Independent Review of the 10% Commission. What you have done has worked - but we can't stop until we have the answers.
The only way to get this and a satisfactory outcome is to apply continued pressure. When the Government returns in September, please continue to press your constituency MP - over the summer break - to call for RPI to CPI to be changed quickly. Explain how the rising inflation rate is causing devastation to you and your family. How in these austere times when food, fuel and energy is rising, this Government ( who has dragged its heels on this matter for four years ) is forcing you to pay high inflation on your pitch fee - and the only person who benefits is the site owner. This situation is an utter disgrace and Government are letting it happen. We can do something about it, but only by taking positive action and putting your head above the parapet.
Many residents have written to me, asking if they should not pay the next pitch fee. Obviously, that is your choice - but if you don't have a bonafide reason for doing so (other than the inflation rate) you will be breaking the law. The site owner is allowed to raise the pitch fee by RPI. He can take you to a tribunal or court if you withhold it without good reason - and he will win. Government is letting this happen and we must take continued action.
10% Commission Charge
The answer to my questions that I received from the Department
Following the publication of the research report on 16 June, the Government will consider the report and recommendations in more detail and publish a response in due course. The Department is unable to confirm at this stage when the detailed consideration of the report will be concluded.
As with RPI to CPI, Government are dragging their heels again. This is nothing more than legal robbery of your equity. Please target and pressurise your own constituency MP to push for the Government to make a decision quickly for a change to the 10% Commission Charge.
Our JUSTICE Campaign is lucky to have a good relationship with Westminster and one thing I would ask is that as PHOJC members, you only contact and pressurise your own constituency MP. Please do not bombard other MPs with letters or emails because they have shown an interest in these subjects which are so important to us. They get inundated with emails/letters and will tell you themselves that there is a rule in Parliament that they only deal with mail from their own constituents.
I will continue to do all that I can with the contacts that I have. I will push it out to the media and at the APPG (all party parliamentary group for park homes) meetings, I will continue to voice it loudly.
The last meeting of the APPG was in May 2022. I will post the draft minutes of the meeting when they are available.
It was with a heavy heart that I had to close down the Park Help Line that has - for six years - brought answers, help, hope and comfort to so many park home residents.
This was done because since the Government decided to sponsor LEASE as the Advisory Service to park home residents - we had become an unpaid intermediary to LEASE. Not only could I not allow our sponsor Paul Baker to continue to pay for the telephones - but it was very disconcerting to our wonderful volunteer operators to refer residents to LEASE, only to have them call us back, reporting that LEASE had not really helped them. Therefore our unique service that I believe could not be replicated was almost forced to close. However, I personally want to thank the seven wonderful selfless operators (who always wanted to remain anonymous) for the fantastic work they did - and of course I thank Paul Baker of PB Insurance for sponsoring the telephones.
Many residents may have already heard the BH & HPA ( the industries trade body) has a new Director General. He attended the last APPG meeting and we shall have to wait to see how he performs.
There is a new petition regarding water meters that you may wish to sign. This can be found on the Park Home Policy Forums facebook page.
You can keep up to date with all JUSTICE campaign news on our web site at www.parkhomeownersjusticecampaign.co.uk
Best wishes to you all and I hope you have a lovely summer break.