Thursday, 4 November 2010


Pauline Hayes leads the Lakeside group to Westminster

Hamp Ward Councillors Kathy Pearce and Brian Smedley took members of the Lakeside Park Residents’ Association to Westminster this week (3rd November) to take part in a rally calling for improvements in the law to protect the rights of those living on park home sites.

The delegation joined up with other Park Home campaigners from across the country as part of a National cross party movement to put pressure on their MPs to bring about a change in the legislation. The National Campaign had been organized by Sonia McColl from Dorset and the Bridgwater Group was led by hard working Lakeside resident Pauline Hayes, who was interviewed by ITV .

Lakesiders & Councillors met their MP

Following a request from Cllr Brian Smedley to meet with the group ,Bridgwater MP, Ian Liddell-Grainger, turned up ,invited them into Parliament , listened to their case and firmly pledged his support. Brian Smedley praised the Lakesiders determination to stand up and fight for their rights saying "We have been heavily involved with the Lakesiders campaign for justice for 3 years now and they are clearly living under terrible pressure 24 hours a day 7 days a week yet they are still out there fighting. Coming to London today and linking up with other campaigns around the country shows they are not alone and the support of all parties, the MP, the District Council and the case now hitting the National media shows that they are part of a Historic turning point for future generations of park home owners." 

 In the afternoon the group attended a meeting of the Cross-Party Committee looking at this issue, who listened to the wide-ranging reports of harassment, bullying and intimidation suffered by those living on sites owned by ‘rogue’ owners.

Hamp Councillor Kathy Pearce at the Rally

Over 100 residents from across the country, including the Bridgwater delegation, told MPs that a change in the law was required to prevent potential site owners who had a record of harassment or bad practice from owning sites and that they should be denied Site Licences. There were also calls for local councils to be more clearly directed to take action against owners who do not comply with site licence conditions.

A number of MPs from all three parties told the packed meeting that they agreed that the situation had been allowed to go on for too long. The general election had interrupted plans to introduce new legislation but, buoyed by the strength of the rally, they would be pressing forward to work towards the change in legislation that the park home residents were demanding.

Speaking in Parliament Cllr Kathy Pearce said “thousands of people across the country living on these sites, who are often elderly or vulnerable, have seen their homes completely devalued. Their lives have been made a misery as they find themselves completely trapped at the mercy of unscrupulous park site owners. It is not acceptable that even site owners who have successfully been taken to court by residents are then allowed to go on and buy other sites, making huge profits in the process. It is a complete disgrace that people are forced to live in these conditions in this day and age. The fight for justice WILL continue”.

Lakeside Residents, now part of a National Campaign
 The delegation was invited back to the House of Commons in the new year to attend the full cross party debate on the issue. Park home residents would also be looking out for the new Housing Bill, with the aim of lobbying MPs to include legislation for park home residents within the new housing policy.

Pauline Hayes, Lakeside Residents’ Association, Bridgwater: speaking on National TV said

“We can’t sell our homes anymore because the type of people that’s been put on the parks. They used to be elderly residential parks and they’re no longer that. There are owners that are actually deliberately devaluing the parks a) so we can’t sell them we have to sell to them at a pittance and also to get us off so that they can sell it for whatever reason they want the land.”


  1. Sorry, but Mr liddle-Grainger's pledging support doesn't instil the greatest of confidence. He pledged full support to the Spash too, but doesn't seem to understand that it takes a bit more than kind words and a nod. If the landlords want it, his party's going to push it through, and that's that. It's saddening at the very least to see people placing their faith in the very party who are busy chipping away at every single concession and social change ordinary people have ever won.

  2. Well, it;s better than him pledging his opposition to it....

  3. The point about this is that we are not relying on Mr Liddell-Grainger single handedly to change for law for park home residents. The important thing about the rally was that it was a first time that residents from across the country had come together to put pressure on their MPs collectively for a change in the law to protect their rights. Until then, all sites had very much been working in isolation and so the park home owners have been allowed to get away with making these people's lives a misery. We were encouraged by the MPs' responses. It was also an opportunity to find out what we could to do to bring about change. Subsequently, we have asked Mr Liddell-Grainger to support an Early Day Motion in respect of this matter and we will be returning to Westminster in the new year to attend the cross-party committee on park home law. There is strength in unity and nothing would ever change if we all lie down and accept injustice. Therefore, we WILL continue the fight.