Winchester MP backs mobile home protest for energy bills equality

WINCHESTER’S MP is backing concerns from his constituency about the lack of support for park home residents with their energy bills.

Mobile home residents gathered in Westminster to demand an end to 10 per cent sales charges and clarity on accessing the £400 energy rebate available to households.

The move was backed by Winchester MP Steve Brine, who later raised constituents’ concerns in Parliament about the gap around winter fuel and asked whether car park residents were getting the same level of help as others.

Around 80 carers gathered outside 10 Downing Street to campaign for change in the care home sector before alternative funding for energy bills was announced.

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Initially the demonstration – which was delayed by the Queen’s death – was to address the issue of pitch fees rising each year using Retail Price Inflation (RPI) instead of the lighter Consumer Price Index (CPI).

However, a private members bill by Christopher Chope last week was accepted by the government and is likely to be approved early next year.

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Therefore, the focus was on the 10 percent sales tax and winter fuel subsidies. Currently, site owners are legally entitled to receive up to 10 percent commission on the sale of mobile homes in their patch.

Meanwhile, concerns over energy bills have emerged that the government’s winter reductions will be available to “those with a home electricity meter point”, which has left mobile home owners in a gray area.

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Leading the demonstration was the founder of the Park Homes Owners Justice Campaign, Sonia McColl and the group delivered a petition to Number 10, led by patron of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, Peter Bottomley.

A meeting at the Palace of Westminster was chaired by Sir Bottomley and attended by a number of MPs, including Steve Brine, with his constituencies in Winchester and Chandler Ford with a large number of Park Homes.

Mr Brine said: “I have been in regular contact directly with ministers to seek clarity on when car park owners can expect their energy support. They were promised parity and it has not materialized so far.

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While the demonstration was taking place, the Minister of State for Energy and Climate, Graham Stuart MP, unveiled the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding.

The new £400 scheme will provide help to those households who have no home energy supply, such as car parks, and have not received support through the main Energy Bills Support Scheme.

The government is set to publish more details on eligibility early in 2023, with the scheme set to open for applications in January.


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