Residents of park home sites like Quarry Rock Gardens in Widcombe have been abandoned by the Conservatives, says local Lib Dems.
Bath MP Wera Hobhouse MP and Widcombe and Lycombe Cllr Alison Born have written to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up demanding that the promised pitch fee reform is pushed through to protect park home residents from soaring costs.
Park homes are movable homes that are placed permanently on private land. Park home residents then pay a pitch fee to the site owner to keep their home there.
Over 85,000 households in England live in park homes and the majority of these residents are over the age of 60. Unfortunately, the pitch fees for park homes in England increase faster than in the other nations of the UK because they are linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI), rather than the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Both Wales and Scotland use the CPI as the index for pitch fees, protecting park home residents from large increases in costs.
The Government promised to follow suit and apply the CPI to pitch fees all the way back in October 2018. However, this move has not materialised and as recently as last month the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) stated it was still waiting for Parliamentary time to discuss the issue.
Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, commented:
“Park home residents are facing skyrocketing pitch fees, alongside the soaring cost of living. The Conservative Government has recognised this problem and agreed a solution yet they have failed to take action.
“Residents in Quarry Rock Gardens are understandably worried about sky-high prices and the Government must stand up and pay attention to this. Residents in park homes have waited long enough. They deserve fair rules and protections so they are not unduly charged or taken advantage of by rogue site owners.
“I hope the Conservatives will stop abandoning the residents of Quarry Rock Gardens, leaving them vulnerable to soaring prices at a time when they most need support.”
Widcombe and Lyncombe Councillor Alison Born said:
“Some residents of Quarry Rock Gardens are deeply concerned about the impact that cost of living rises are having on their household budgets. As the costs of pitch fees are linked to inflation rates, changing the link from RPI to CPI in line with pension increases is an easy measure that the Government can take.
“It will support residents at this difficult time and will bring England in line with Wales and Scotland which have already made the change. I’m very grateful to Wera Hobhouse for her support in this matter.”