Mobile Homes Act 1983 (Amendment) Bill

(2nd reading: House of Commons)
Naz Shah Excerpts
Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that intervention. She is a long-term champion of park home residents and I hope that, with her encouragement, the Government will give the Bill their support. They are not going to allow the Bill to go through today, but they have said to me that there will be a write-around because they are supportive of its principles. I hope the Opposition are supportive, too—[Interruption.] I am grateful to see that they are nodding. If that is the situation, there is no reason why, if the debate is carried over to another day after this short debate, the Bill may not then get its Second Reading. I am grateful to the House for its indulgence and look forward to having the opportunity to hear briefly from the Opposition spokesman and our Minister.

Naz Shah Portrait Naz Shah (Bradford West) (Lab)
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Labour welcomes the chance to debate this Bill. We would have welcomed sight of it sooner in order really to understand the implications of the measures it contains and to ensure that relevant stakeholders could have made their views known. We would like a full impact assessment of the proposed changes, to understand why they are needed and to ensure that this is a fair deal for all involved. It is important that people pay fair fees for their pitches each year and that there is no chance they can be taken advantage of.

Kelly Tolhurst Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (Kelly Tolhurst)
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I thank the hon. Member for Bradford West (Naz Shah) for her comments and congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Sir Christopher Chope) on securing this debate. I also thank him for his tireless work as chair of the all-party parliamentary group on park homes. He should not have admitted to being the chair for so long, but all Members of the House recognise his work in this area and he has been a consistent and powerful voice on these issues.

As my hon. Friend outlined, the Government are committed to effective reform of the park homes sector. As he has outlined, I have been unable to support the Bill’s current drafting, but I have agreed and am keen to work with him, and other members of the all-party group, to explore options regarding how we can bring forward these priorities and deliver on the ambition that we all share, which is to better protect park home residents. I hope that he will commit to working with me in the following weeks to do so. Before addressing the specifics of the Bill, I wish to thank my hon. Friend the Member for South Derbyshire (Mrs Wheeler) for the role she played and the work she did when she was the Minister responsible for this area.