A WAREHAM woman whose campaign laid the foundations for new laws to safeguard park home owners’ rights has been awarded an OBE.
Sonia McColl founded the Park Home Owners Justice Campaign four years ago, in a quest 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.
On her OBE, Mrs McColl told the Daily Echo: “I was excited at the time, then I thought ‘oh my goodness, I cannot believe this is happening to me’ and after that you get a feeling of being very, very humble.
“You just don’t expect these sort of things to happen to you.”
Mrs McColl is set to march on Westminster again, as part of her ongoing campaign, on July 2, when she will hand in a petition with more than 30,000 signatures.
“This latest petition is asking for a debate to review the current 10 per cent commission paid on the sale of park homes,” she explained.
“We’ve got a full-blown rally in London on the day with residents coming from all over the UK.
“We will be handing in the petition at Downing Street, then we have a 90 minute meeting, before peers and MPs, at Westminster.”
Mid Dorset and North Poole MP Annette Brooke has been a staunch supporter of Mrs McColl.
Commenting on Mrs McColl’s OBE, the Lib Dem MP said: “This is such a richly deserved award and shows that somebody who really cares about an issue can actually learn their way through the system and ultimately have a big impact in changing government legislation.”