THE Wareham woman whose campaign laid the foundations for new laws to safeguard park home owners’ rights is set to march on Downing Street again.
Sonia McColl, will be joined by supporters including Mid Dorset and North Poole Lib Dem MP Annette Brooke, to deliver a new petition to Number 10 in July.
This 30,000-signature document is calling for government to reduce the 10 per cent commission on the sale of park homes, currently payable to site owners.
Mrs McColl, founder of the Park Home Owners Justice Campaign, started her fight four years ago in a bid to close a contentious legal loophole that had been allowing rogue park home site operators to snap up residents’ homes at a fraction of their true value.
Her campaign paved the way for the new Mobile Homes Bill 2013, that removed park owners from the ‘approval of the buyer’ stage – effectively barring them from being able to influence the selling process.
Speaking in Parliament, Mrs Brooke welcomed the new act as “going a long way towards rebalancing the rights of park home owners and site owners”.
However, she said the commission percentage question had to be addressed. “We have achieved a lot in ending the injustices that were being suffered,” said Mrs Brooke.
“But we cannot be complacent until all park home owners are treated fairly.”
The MP accepted the need for site operators to charge fees, in order for them to run viable businesses and cover site maintenance costs. But she highlighted the plight of elderly park home residents who may need to move into nursing homes or other residential care but, as a result of the crippling 10 per cent commission fees, are struggling to meet these costs.
Mrs Brooke said: “We need transparency on what various payments are being used for, and we need to ensure that there is no further exploitation of park home owners.”