Park Homes Bill given green light to proceed to the next stage

2012 Chwefror 1 3:37 PM

Peter Black, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Housing Minister, has today been given permission by the National Assembly to introduce a bill that will regulate the process by which mobile homes (park homes) are regulated and sold in Wales.

Currently, there are many cases throughout Wales' 80 park home sites of unfair practice. Problems faced by residents range from a lack of site maintenance to changes in ground rent and site policy without consultation, through to harassment and bullying.

The Bill would ensure that negotiations between park home site owners and park home owners are independently monitored and that there will be a system of arbitration for owners who have cause for concern about administrative processes. The Bill will also seek to establish a requirement that the owners of park home sites must pass a "fit and proper" persons test as part of a licensing system.

Peter Black won the all-member ballot to introduce a Member Proposed Bill before Christmas. There is strong cross-party support and talks with the Welsh Government have been constructive.

Peter Black, Shadow Minister for Housing said:

"I am delighted that the Assembly has today given the green light for my Park Homes bill to proceed to the next stage of legislation. It is an honour for an Assembly Member, who is not part of the Government, to be able to introduce legislation that will make a difference to the lives of so many people across Wales.

"This is a huge issue in Wales that has needed attention for a long time now. In the past the Assembly has lacked the necessary powers to be able to pass legislation on issues like this. During the referendum campaign for increased legislative powers for Wales, we promised people that we would legislate to improve the standard of their lives. This is exactly what we will be doing with this legislation.

"This bill I have introduced to the Assembly will seek to protect people by bringing in fair, easy to use processes and clear rights for both residents and site owners. My aim is to impose stricter controls over park home site owners.

"At present there is little protection for residents from unscrupulous park homes site owners, a minority of which may exploit their position for personal gain. Problems can include poor site management, vetoing or deterring legitimate sales.

"Meetings between potential buyers and site owners will be independently monitored and a system of arbitration will be established for park home owners who feel that they have lost money as a result of undue interference.

"The Bill will also develop a "fit and proper" persons test for park home site owners, acting as a licensing system, so that park home owners can be confident that their site is effectively managed.

"I must pay tribute to Kirsty Williams AM, who has been campaigning for better protection of park home owners since she became an Assembly Member back in 1999. Her tireless dedication to defending the rights of park home owners in her constituency and many others across Wales will hopefully come to fruition with this bill."



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