Mobile Homes Act 1983 (Amendment) Bill

(2nd reading: House of Commons)
Christian Wakeford Excerpts
Kelly Tolhurst Portrait Kelly Tolhurst
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I thank my hon. Friend for that intervention because that is exactly right: we do want transparency and we do want to work with the sector to remove those rogue traders from the environment in which we operate. One reason why the pitch fee part of the Bill needs further work is that there was no consensus on a proposal. We want to work with the sector. One of the most important points is that, as with any changes to regulations, we do not want unintended consequences and we do not want to make it harder for those operating park home sites well and carefully. We must be careful not to brand every owner and operator as being rogue.

Christian Wakeford Portrait Christian Wakeford (Bury South) (Con)
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I completely agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch and commend him and anyone who would want to change RPI to CPI. The Minister is making a good point: we need to be bringing forward our good providers and work with them through consultation. Does she agree, however, that now is perhaps not the right time, as a lot of the sector is on its knees because of the pandemic, so we need to consult them, to make sure there is a sector to go back to post covid and to do everything we can to support them?

Kelly Tolhurst Portrait Kelly Tolhurst
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23 Oct 2020, 12:05 a.m.

My hon. Friend raises an important point. He is right to say that we are living in unprecedented times with this coronavirus pandemic and many businesses are struggling. As a Government, we are working hard to support them. We want to carry out those impact assessments. On the pitch fees, that is why I said we need to consult the industry further to come up with a proposal that has consensus. In my second day after being appointed—I have been in post only a couple of weeks—I was lucky enough to take through the draft Mobile Homes (Requirement for Manager of Site to be Fit and Proper Person) (England) Regulations 2020. In that Committee, I outlined that the Government had already committed to delivering and working to bring forward these elements in primary legislation when time allowed. That is why I have been really clear from the Dispatch Box today that I am willing and absolutely looking forward to working with my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch and my officials to take opportunities where we can to protect individuals, while keeping it in mind that we must be sensitive to the challenges and pressures that people who run park homes and all businesses are facing. With all types of legislation and regulation, it is always a balancing act with regard to making sure that there is fairness across the piece, and that obviously relates to—