Mobile Homes Act 2013 – A Victory for Mobile Park Owners says Labour campaigner

Kathy Pearce
Cllr Kathy Pearce “Welcomes the legislation”

The Mobile Homes Act 2013, which will be implemented on 1st April, will pass most people by unnoticed. This Act, however, has come about due to persistence by a group of mobile home owners who have refused to be broken by the bullying and unscrupulous actions of some mobile park home site owners. These owners have wilfully run down sites, ruining the lives of park home residents who were not part of their redevelopment plans. Typically, these site owners would run down sites, thus making the mobile homes impossible to sell. They would then step in and offer a pittance for the homes on their site. Vulnerable elderly residents would often have no choice but to sell, losing tens of thousands of pounds in some cases or continue living on the site, facing further abuse and misery.

Over three years ago, Bridgwater Westover Councillors Kathy Pearce and Brian Smedley took a brave contingent of owners from the Lakeside mobile home park to the Houses of Parliament. These residents had seen their site deteriorate over the course of a few years from being a very pretty site with communal grass area and lake, advertised as a “site of quiet enjoyment for the over 55s” to a run-down, desolate place, where Police drug raids became the norm and access to the communal areas and lake were forbidden. It was not unusual for homes to be burnt on site around the remaining residents, who struggled to carry on normal life.

The campaigners had gone to Parliament to join a in a nationwide campaign and to meet a cross-party committee who were investigating the problems faced by residents on mobile park home sites. There were groups of people from all over the country with harrowing tales to tell the committee.

‘Giving councils the full force of the law’

pauline on tv
Kathy Pearce with Pauline Hayes and Lakeside residents at the Westminster demonstration

At the Sedgemoor District Council meeting of 26th March members passed the recommendations relating to the new act unanimously and gave the Group Manager (Environment) delegated authority to take the necessary actions. Cllr Kathy Pearce (Bridgwater Westover) was the first to speak saying “At that time, we did not believe that it would take over three years to achieve changes in the law. This Bill, although overdue, is welcomed and will essentially enable Licensing Authorities such as Sedgemoor District Council to grant, refuse or revoke licences; to issue compliance notices to site owners if they fail to comply with site licence conditions. Councils will be able to determine whether an applicant is deemed to be ‘fit and proper’ to hold a site licence and refuse or revoke, if necessary. This is a real victory due to the persistence of mobile home owners and campaigners. Sadly, for many of the residents of Lakeside it has come too late as many of the original campaigners have died or moved on. However, it should provide protection for mobile park home owners from now on and is a lesson in never giving up.”

Cllr Julian Taylor (Bridgwater Eastover) added “This is a very important piece of legislation which gives the Council the full force of the law. I only hope we have enough staff left to enforce it.”


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