Mobile Homes Act 1983 (Amendment) Bill

(2nd reading: House of Commons)
Edward Leigh Excerpts
Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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The tenor of the hon. Gentleman’s intervention is that there are a heck of a lot of rogues out there and they are up to no good, and he is absolutely right. There are, however, quite a lot of good park home owners, and it is important that we try to support them and to prevent the rogues from taking over the whole industry. That is why it is so important that the Government take seriously the changes—albeit quite modest—in the Bill to try to improve the lot of residents on park homes sites.

Edward Leigh Portrait Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (Con)
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My hon. Friend is absolutely right to say that we want to help the good park owners. Changing the index of calculations from the retail prices index to the consumer prices index will obviously reduce the income for improvements. I am sure we will consider the matter in Committee, but will he assure the House that he will allow good park home owners the latitude and finances necessary to make necessary improvements to the site?

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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23 Oct 2020, 12:03 a.m.

I do not think the good park home owners have any problem about trying to make ends meet. It would be much more difficult for them were we to, for example, change the 10% commission that is payable on the sale of any park home. My right hon. Friend refers to the matter going into Committee; let us hope that in due course that will be possible.

I have made the point about the service charges sometimes including repairs and maintenance that should already have been paid for in the pitch fees, and that is dealt with in clause 1(2)(a). The second issue—the change to CPI indexing to which my right hon. Friend the Member for Gainsborough (Sir Edward Leigh) referred—is dealt with in clause 1(2)(b).

On the pitch fee review, the Government concluded, in their 2018 response, that they had

“considered all the arguments put forward including concerns about affordability for both residents and site owners. We also considered the merits of using CPI or RPI as the pitch fee review inflationary index and have concluded that CPI is the most appropriate inflationary index…The Government will introduce legislation in due course to change the pitch fee review inflationary index from RPI to CPI, when parliamentary time allows.”

That is exactly what the Bill does: it enables the parliamentary time to be found to make that change.