NEW PITCH FEE

A NEW PITCH FEE REVIEW FORM (SI 2023/620) SHOWING CPI IN SECTION 4(B) MUST BE USED FOR ALL PITCH FEE REVIEWS STARTING 2 JULY 2023. IF YOUR PFR DATE IS 1 JULY 2023, THE OLD FORM (SI 2013/1505) SHOWING RPI IS VALID. CHECK YOURS!

PLEASE NOTE : The team members of IPHAS offer information about residents’ rights under the Mobile Home Legislation. The advice and recommendations given in our letters and publications are for consideration only and it is for the resident to make his/her own decision on action to be taken using the information given. The IPHAS team members are not lawyers but volunteers who have made a study of the relevant legislation. The advice is offered in good faith but IPHAS cannot be held responsible for the consequences of any action taken by a resident whether or not it was based on the information given.

4th July 2023.

Cooker Safety in Caravan based units

The UK’s product regulator has served Suspension Notices on eight businesses to stop the supply of certain models of gas hobs. This is a result of an ongoing investigation by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) following a series of gas safety incidents, including an explosion at a caravan park in April this year, where a person suffered serious burns.

OPSS is investigating the elbow joints on specific gas hobs supplied by these businesses that have the potential to cause a gas leak. OPSS is also seeking assurance from those businesses of the actions they are taking to inform consumers and address the risks from any affected hobs they have already supplied.

The companies who have received notices are: Kingfisher International Products Ltd, Buy It Direct Ltd, Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, Apelson Appliances UK Ltd, Lancaster Holdings Ltd, Maurice Lay Distributors Ltd, The Wright Buy Ltd, and Product Care Trading Ltd.

The affected models are listed on the OPSS Product Recalls and Alerts pages.

Read the Product Safety Reports:

Anyone who smells gas should contact the National Gas emergency helpline on 0800 111 999 in England, Wales and Scotland, and 0800 002 001 in Northern Ireland.

STOP PRESS

Energy Bills – Government Support for park home residents

*****ENDING 31st MAY2023******

Last Day Tomorrow for eligible groups to apply for

the EBSS AF and AFP AF support, Act today it`s your money.

We want all households who meet the relevant criteria to claim the support that they are entitled to.

Here is the application process for the £400 EBSS AF

and the £200 AFP AF support payments

    1) Go to GOV.UK

2) Search Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically,
on GOV.UK or an internet search engine.

3) Scroll to the relevant application process for each application

4) Follow the screen prompts to apply.

     You will need your bank account details,

     Registered for council tax you will NOT need to provide proof of address or D.O.B.

If you are not applying online, you can do so by using

the telephone numbers shown here.

Tel EBSS AF 0808 175 3287 or AFP AF 0808 175 3943

Open Monday to Friday 8am-6pm.

Evidence required for EBSS AF:

Utility bill – Must be dated no earlier than 3 months before application date

Benefits entitlement letter must be from within the last 6 months.

Evidence required for AFP AF:

Government has extended the period of time that AFP AF applicants can evidence purchase of alternative fuel by three months to June 2022, instead of September 2022. This means the period for which receipts can be accepted now runs from June 2022 to the end of the application window on 31 May 2023.

This change recognises that some households have stocked up on fuel ahead of winter price rises, and it is right that these households will be able to receive the £200 energy bill support they are entitled to.

Please note that to combat fraud and phishing attempts, Government will never provide any links to the application portal or directly ask individuals to apply for their support.

Remember, the Government will never contact you directly to ask for Bank Details.

Beware of scams.

May 2023

STOP PRESS – LATEST ADVISOR NEWSLETTER

STOP PRESS – LATEST ADVISOR NEWSLETTER

PLEASE SHARE THE CONTENT WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS

WE WELCOME YOUR FEEDBACK SO PLEASE SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO advice@iphas.co.uk

WOULD YOU LIKE TO JOIN THE IPHAS TEAM?

IPHAS ARE LOOKING TO EXPAND AND IMPROVE OUR SERVICES TO MEMBERS. WE HAVE AT LEAST THREE VACANCIES FOR PEOPLE WITH A FRIENDLY DISPOSITION, SO IF YOU LIKE TO CHAT ON THE TELEPHONE, AND YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH SENDING AND RECEIVING EMAILS, THEN WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU JOIN THE IPHAS TEAM.

NO SPECIALIST KNOWLEDGE OR TRAINING IS INVOLVED, SO IF YOU WOULD LIKE FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE EMAIL YOUR DETAILS TO advice@iphas.co.uk

IAN PYE, CHAIRMAN                                                                                                               15TH MARCH 2023

APPLYING FOR ENERGY BILL SUPPORT IF YOU DO NOT GET IT AUTOMATICALLY

IPHAS has now received further information from the Government about the application process for the long-awaited EBSS – AF £400 grant, for those residents who do not already receive this automatically.

Whilst an earlier announcement was made that the application process is now live, it is confirmed that the formal roll-out date for applications remains Monday 27th February 2023. However, we have been advised that any applications made between now and the formal roll-out next Monday, will be accepted by the Department.

It has also been confirmed today that the ALTERNATIVE FUEL PAYMENT – ALTERNATIVE FUNDING grant of £200 (available to those residents using LPG, and without a direct energy supply contract), will be subject to a different application process, the details of which will be announced shortly.

PLEASE NOTE, THE APPLICATION PORTAL CAN ONLY BE ACCESSED BY ENTERING THE FOLLOWING PHRASE INTO YOUR BROWSER BAR –

Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically.

THIS IS FOR SECURITY PURPOSES – NO GOVERNMENT LINKS WILL BE PROVIDED OFFERING DIRECT ACCESS TO THE APPLICATION PROCESS.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT ANY TEXTS, EMAILS OR OTHER COMMUNICATIONS YOU MAY RECEIVE INVITING YOU TO APPLY, WILL NOT COME FROM THE GOVERNMENT.

ONCE YOUR APPLICATION HAS BEEN ACCEPTED, YOU SHOULD RECEIVE A COMMUNICATION FROM YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITY (WITHIN FOUR WEEKS), TO TELL YOU ABOUT YOUR PAYMENT

If a resident cannot apply online or needs help with their application, they should contact the helpline team on –
Telephone: 0808 175 3287 – Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm OR
Email: alternativefunding@ebss.beis.gov.uk

IAN PYE IPHAS (2021) LTD 23rd February 2023

Age UK

The AGE UK’s public policy report on energy A social tariff for off grid and off domestic supply customers”, addresses in Chapter seven what has become known as the ‘commercial supply trap’. This describes the position of many Park Homeowners who do not benefit from having a direct contract with an Energy supply company.

IPHAS first raised this topic in February 2022, and with AGE UK support, we put our concerns to the Energy Regulator, Ofgem, and the Departments for Energy Security and Net-Zero (DESNZ), and Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). This lobbying is described in more detail in the latest edition of the IPHAS NEWSLETTER – THE ADVISOR, which is currently on distribution, and also available on this website.

If you have any questions or comments on the content of any of the documents referred to, please forward them to advice@iphas.co.uk

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/reports-and-briefings/safe-at-home/age-uk-energy-public-policy-report-march-2023.pdf

Advisor Newsletter

Dear Members,

‘Why is it always us?’

‘Living in a park home – we’re second-class citizens!’

‘Why isn’t the Government helping us?’

These are just a few of the deep concerns made known to IPHAS recently. The country is facing some of the biggest social and financial challenges since 1945, and the situation for many park home residents is becoming acute. ‘Living the dream’ in a park home community no longer has quite the same allure as it once did.

In addition to the energy and cost of living crisis, residents must also absorb Pitch Fee Inflation, still charged at the appropriate RPI increase, despite years of Government promises to change this to CPI. RPI ranged from 8.2% in February 2022, to 13.4% in January of this year, peaking at 14.2% in October 2022, making the average monthly increase 12.6% per month over the past 12 months. As if the constant spectre of your park owner imposing some new, and worrisome edict upon you is not enough, the failure of Government to issue you with the much-heralded Energy Support Relief packages on time, has resulted in serious financial hardship for many.

What has IPHAS been doing on behalf of residents throughout this time, you may ask?

IPHAS has been very active in the following areas:

  • RAISING ISSUES WHERE PARK HOMEOWNERS ARE NOT DOMESTIC CONSUMERS OF ENERGY
  • THE ROLE OF IPHAS WITH GOVERNMENT
  • COMPENSATION ISSUES
  • THE GOVERNMENT COMPENSATION SCHEME
  • IPHAS ENGAGING AND MEETING WITH OFGEM
  • IPHAS ENGAGING WITH OFGEM CONCERNING NON-DOMESTIC CONSUMERS

MOST PARK HOMEOWNERS ARE NOT DOMESTIC CONSUMERS OF ENERGY

Government research identified 1,832 PH sites and there are 100,406 separate PH addresses in England alone, many of which must purchase their energy from their park owner. IPHAS considers that most park owners are unlicensed, unregulated re-sellers of energy. The park owner’s contract with an energy retailer licenced by Ofgem is a business contract, and his/her unit tariffs are not subject to the Government’s energy price capping scheme, administered by Ofgem. If you are in this category, then you are deemed to be a non-domestic consumer, and you are very likely to be paying a higher unit tariff than a consumer benefitting from having a direct supply contract. Additionally, you are denied freedom of choice in appointing an alternative source of supply. At present, business tariffs are capped by the Government, which keeps the unit price artificially low. These lower tariffs are supposed to be passed on to the consumer, but it is not clear to IPHAS if, in practice, that is always the case. Also, there is no incentive for the park owner to scope market prices for the best possible deal for those to whom he re-sells energy, nor is it clear if these temporary arrangements will be extended by the Government beyond April 2023. In summary, you may not benefit from the same protections from the Energy Regulator Ofgem as other consumers.

THE ROLE OF IPHAS WITH GOVERNMENT

Since discovering these alarming circumstances, IPHAS has been working hard to address these anomalies, and has forged relationships at a high level within Ofgem, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (now the Department for Energy Security and Net-Zero DESNZ), and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). IPHAS’ findings have also been reported to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Park Homes (APPG), and the topic is now a standing agenda item of business, at the request of the Chairman, Sir Christopher Chope, OBE MP.

In early June 2022, IPHAS contacted AGE UK about the issues facing park home residents. AGE UK had been very keen to find a park home residents’ representative group and said that IPHAS was the perfect platform to address their issues. AGE UK publishes information for park homeowners on its website and it became aware of an increasing range of challenges for park homeowners from complaints received direct. Since that initial contact, AGE UK has remained hugely supportive of IPHAS’ aims and objectives and has been prominent in progressing park home issues with ministerial departments and Ofgem. Further information follows.

COMPENSATION ISSUES

In late November 2021, the first of a series of named storms (Arwen) of that winter season wreaked havoc on park home communities in Scotland, the North and East of England, with gusts of 98mph recorded in Northumberland. Five other storms followed in quick succession, concluding with three during the week commencing 16th February 2022 (Dudley, Eunice, and Franklin). Immediately, IPHAS began to receive calls from worried park homeowners caught up in these storms. Many suffered power outages for up to 5 days and others for even longer periods, with some reporting considerable damage to electrical equipment in their homes, with replacement costs running into many hundreds of pounds.

GOVERNMENT COMPENSATION SCHEME

IPHAS quickly established that the same contractual issue described above left those who suffered serious power outages without access to the Governments’ compensation scheme.

On behalf of members, IPHAS made urgent written complaints to Ofgem, BEIS/DESNZ, DLUHC, and the APPG for Park Homes, questioning why park homeowners are disqualified from the Government’s compensation arrangements for consumers, set out in The Electricity (Standards of Performance) Regulations 2015. Ultimately, it was confirmed to IPHAS that the compensation arrangements currently in force would not apply to those park home consumers without a direct supply contract with an energy retail company. At that time Ofgem commissioned a report into storm Arwen* and the failings of service delivery. This report was published on 9th June, which included another document ‘Customer Experience of Storm Arwen*. This prompted Ofgem to “commission a review of the Guaranteed Standards of Performance for Severe Weather, to identify amendments that will better acknowledge the impact of extended power cuts on customers.” The company, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP of London (PwC), were appointed as contractors, and they chaired a virtual meeting on 22nd September 2022, attended by senior managers from Ofgem, with IPHAS (2021) Ltd members represented by chairman, Ian Pye.

Subsequently, Ofgem published its consultants’ report on 22nd November 2022, containing an ‘Open Letter’ * on the ‘Outcomes from the Ofgem Review’*.

The Outcomes document sets out their recommendations, including a further section on Implementation of the recommendations*. IPHAS sought clarification on some of the points, and we are pleased to advise members that issues around power outages and future compensation arrangements are included in the review recommendations, and we shall continue to press Ofgem for improved regulation and compensation arrangements to be introduced as soon as possible.

OFGEM MEETING WITH IPHAS

On 8th November 2022 IPHAS, represented by IPHAS chairman, Ian Pye and Team Member and qualified Electrical Engineer, Martin Hampton, attended a virtual meeting with senior officials from Ofgem.

A range of issues was tabled and after considering the points we raised, Ofgem (please see the AGENDA* under OFGEM – Meeting Agenda on the IPHAS website www.iphas.live,* agreed to examine the issues in detail with a promise to issue a report in the new year.

One of the positives from this meeting has already been delivered. For the first time, Ofgem   has raised an information page for park homeowners on its website, Advice for park home residents | Ofgem.

OFGEM AND NON-DOMESTIC CONSUMERS

At this time, Ofgem   cannot introduce regulations for licensing park owners because it has no powers to do so. Park home sites and any amenities on them, including facilities relating to the delivery of utilities, are the responsibility of local authorities under their site licensing functions and, as such, any concerns must be directed to the local authority in the first instance. If a local authority is failing to carry out its licensing functions, residents can make a complaint using the local authority’s complaints procedure and then to the Local Government Ombudsman if the case is not resolved satisfactorily. However, the supply and payment of utilities are contractual matters between the occupier and the site owner. Contractual disputes of any kind are matters for the courts to determine and, in most cases, payment of a fee will be required. The court that has jurisdiction for matters arising under park home legislation, is the First Tier Tribunal Property Chamber.

As a key stakeholder, IPHAS has received a “Call for Input for the Non-domestic market review” which is live on the Ofgem website: Call for input on the Non-Domestic gas and electricity market | Ofgem. This is a very important step forward for park home owners. In addition to the facts put forward at our meeting with OFGEM, your IPHAS team is reviewing recent correspondence from members about irregular power supplies or significant power outages and encouraging others to contact us about their experiences, by email to advice@iphas.co.uk under the subject “OFGEM REVIEW”, as soon as possible.

PLEASE NOTE: The documents marked * and any further developments on these matters, will be published on our website www.iphas.live .

IPHAS MEMBERSHIP is open to all occupiers of a residential park home site in ENGLAND and WALES, or any other parties interested in the park home lifestyle. IPHAS is an entirely voluntary, not-for-profit organisation. In addition to membership administration, the main purpose of our volunteers is to offer-up-to date advice and support on all matters relating to park home legislation and lifestyle. You can contact IPHAS by using our Freephone telephone service: for ADVICE call 08006126399 or for MEMBERSHIP, CALL 08006126273. You can contact us for advice or membership, and by using the MESSAGE BOARD on the HOMEPAGE of our website www.iphas.live.  You can also reach us via Email to advice@iphas.co.uk or membership@iphas.co.uk. Using our email service and postings on our website, we are able to advise many members about the important issues such as the Government Energy Support Schemes outlined above, enabling many to quickly register to obtain their Energy Support Payments. Email is a quick and efficient method of communication, often direct to your mobile phone. If you would like to have your EMAIL ADDRESS added to our records, even if you normally contact IPHAS through your Distributor, please get in touch.

Please remember that we do not send out reminders that your annual subscription of £6 per home is due. We do recommend that you use a Standing Order, details are available on request.

You can help IPHAS to grow if you tell neighbours, new and old, about us, or others who are not currently members The more park home residents we represent, the louder our voice with Government Departments and other bodies, will become to improve terms and conditions for park home occupiers.

Would members Ms J Turner, P Hornby, Ms C Morris, L E Ring, CA & JV Brown please contact us as soon as possible as we need to update your contact details.

Finally, we have some interesting opportunities for developing IPHAS SERVICES this year, so if you are interested in the work of IPHAS and would like to know more about our voluntary services, please contact me with your details at advice@iphas.co.uk.

Thank you for your continued support of IPHAS.

 

IAN R PYE, CHAIRMAN                                                                                   14TH MARCH 2023

 

NEW BENEFIT PAYMENT RATES FROM APRIL 2023

NEW BENEFIT PAYMENT RATES FROM APRIL 2023

Millions of people across the country will see their benefit payments and State Pension go up by 10.1% from next month. The Chancellor has confirmed that State Pension, disability, and most working age benefits will increase from April, in line with the rate of inflation in September. This means that on average, a family on Universal Credit will benefit by around £600 this year.

The benefit cap will also rise in line with inflation, increasing from £23,000 to £25,323 for families in Greater London and from £20,000 to £22,020 for families nationally – lower caps for single households without children will rise from £15,410 to £16,967 in Greater London and from £13,400 to £14,753 nationally.

Here’s the full list of payments from the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs – and how much they will increase next month.

Weekly rates are shown, unless otherwise stated and have been rounded as per the UK Government policy.

Attendance Allowance

Higher rate: £101.75 (from £92.40)

Lower rate: £68.10 (from £61.85)

Carer’s Allowance

April 2023 rate: £76.75 (from £69.70)

Disability Living Allowance / Child Disability Payment

Care Component

Highest: £101.75 (from £92.40)

Middle: £68.10 (from £61.85)

Lowest: £26.90 (from £24.45)

Mobility component

Higher: £71.00 (from £64.50)

Lower: £26.90 (from £24.45)

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Under 25: £67.20 (from £61.05)

25 or over: £84.80 (from £77.00)

Incapacity Benefit (long-term)

April 2023 rate: £130.20 (from £118.25)

Income Support

Under 25: £67.20 (from £61.05)

25 or over: £84.80 from (£77.00)

Jobseeker’s Allowance (contributions based)

Under 25: £67.20 (from £61.05)

25 or over: £84.80 (from £77.00)

Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-based)

Under 25: £67.25 (from £61.05)

25 or over: £84.80 (from £77.00)

Maternity/Paternity/Shared Parental Allowance

Standard rate: £172.48 (from £156.66)

Pension Credit

Single: £201.05 (from £182.60)

Couple: £306.85 (from £278.70)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) / Adult Disability payment

Daily Living Component

Enhanced: £101.75 (from £92.40)

Standard: £68.10 (from £61.85)

Mobility Component

Enhanced: £71.00 (from £64.50)

Standard: £26.90 (from £24.45)

State Pension

Full New State Pension: £203.85 (from £185.15)

Basic Old State Pension (Category A or B): £156.20 (from £141.85)

Widow’s Pension

Standard rate: £139.10 (from £126.35)

Universal Credit (Monthly rates shown)

Standard allowance

Single under 25: £292.11 (from £265.31)

25 or over: £368.74 (from £334.91)

Couple

Joint claimants both under 25: £458.51 (from £416.45)

Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over: £578.82 (from £525.72)

Child Benefit payment rates for 2023/24

There are two Child Benefit rates in place.

Current rates per week

Eldest or only child – £21.80

Additional children – £14.45

New rates per week – from April 2023

Eldest or only child – £24.00

Additional children – £15.90

Guardian’s Allowance rates from April 2023

The new weekly rate for Guardian’s Allowance will be £20.40 – an increase of £1.85 on the current 2022/23 rate of £18.55.

Working Tax Credit rates for 2023/24 (yearly amount shown)

Working Tax Credit is paid to people who are in work and on a low income – it does not matter whether you are an employee or self-employed, and you do not need to have children to get the payment.

Child Tax Credit is paid to people who have children and is paid in addition to Child Benefit and the Scottish Child Payment – you do not have to be working to receive it.

Here are the details of the proposed new payment thresholds and rates for the 2023/24 financial year.

Working Tax Credit income threshold

2023/24 rate: £7,455

2022/23 rate: £6,770

Basic element

2023/24 rate: £2,280

2022/23rate: £2,070

Couples and lone parent element

2023/24 rate: £2,340

2022/23 rate: £2,125

30-hour element

2023/24 rate: £950

2022/23 rate: £860

Disabled worker element

2023/24 rate: £3,685

2022/23 rate: £3,345

Severe disability element

2023/24 rate: £1,595

2022/23 rate: £1,445

Child Tax Credit rates for 2023/24 (yearly amount shown)

Child Tax Credit income threshold

2023/24 rate: £18,725

2022/23 rate: £17,005

Family element

2023/24 rate: £545 (no change)

2022/23 rate: £545

Child and qualifying young person element

2023/24 rate: £3,235

2022/23 rate: £2,935

Child disability element

2023/24 rate: £3,905

2022/23 rate: £3,545

Severely disabled rate of the child disability element

2023/24 rate: £1,575

2022/23 rate: £1,430

Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS AF) Factsheet

  • The EBSS AF will provide a payment of £400 to around 900,000 households without a direct relationship to a domestic electricity supplier in England, Scotland, and Wales, to support them with their energy bill costs.
  • This support is equivalent to the support provided automatically to households through the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS).
  • The scheme is now open to all eligible households across Great Britain until 31 May 2023.

Eligibility

  • Subject to applications meeting full requirements, households who will be able to receive support through the EBSS AF include:
    • care home residents and others in care facilities/sheltered accommodation (wholly or partly self-funded)
    • park home residents, houseboats and caravans that can provide proof of address
    • social and private tenants who pay for energy through a landlord on a commercial supply
    • homes on a heat network/private wire
    • off-grid homes
    • farmhouses used for wholly domestic purposes

Application process

  • Those who are eligible for the EBSS AF will need to submit a short online application via the Government’s GOV.UK webpages.
  • This page can be found by searching “Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically” into the search bar on GOV.UK or an internet search engine.
  • For those without online access, the contact centre helpline can be reached on 08081753287 where a representative will guide them through the application process.

Receiving payments

  • Once customers have applied to receive support, their details will be shared with Local Authorities across England, Scotland and Wales, who will confirm eligibility and deliver the one-off, non-repayable support.
  • The exact date that an eligible household will receive support will depend on when the application is made and when the payment can be processed by their local authority.
  • A single payment of £400 will be made directly into the applicant’s bank account.

Countering Scams

  • The government will never provide any links to the online application portal, to counter any fraudulent links being inserted. As many of the eligible households will include vulnerable individuals, we believe it is important to adopt this approach to reduce their exposure to scams.
  • Please ensure that no links are provided in any of your electronic communications.

THE LATEST UPDATE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS, ENERGY AND INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY

 

IPHAS HAS BEEN ADVISED BY THE DEPARTMENT FOR BUSINESS, ENERGY, AND INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY, THAT THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR THE £400 EBSS GRANT DUE TO BE DISTRIBUTED TO QUALIFYING PARK HOMEOWNERS BY ALTERNATIVE FUNDING ARRANGEMENTS, HAS BEEN POSTPONED YET AGAIN.
WE ARE ADVISED THAT THE APPLICATION PROCESS ITSELF WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE UNTIL THE 27th FEBRUAURY 2023.
WE HAVE MADE KNOWN OUR DEEP CONCERN FOR THIS FURTHER DELAY, AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PARK HOME OWNERS ALREADY SUFFERING THE COST OF LIVING CRISIS AND DOUBLE DIGIT PITCH FEE INCREASES.
FURTHER INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED HERE, AS AND WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE
Ian Pye Chairman 26th January 2023

THE ENERGY BILLS RELIEF SCHEME (EBRS) and ALTERNATIVE FUNDING SCHEME UPDATE

The application process is subject to a pilot testing programme at the moment. If it is found to be successful, it will be trialled on live data before it’s released for the public to register for their payments. Further information will be posted on our website www.iphas.live as it becomes available.

Ian Pye, Chairman 21st January 2023

THE WARM HOME DISCOUNT SCHEME

IMPORTANT NEWS FROM CHARIS GRANTS

IPHAS (2021) LTD HAVE JUST BEEN NOTIFIED BY CHARIS GRANTS, THAT BECAUSE OF SLOW TAKE UP OVER THE CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR HOLIDAYS, THE WARM HOME DISCOUNT SCHEME HAS BEEN EXTENDED.

APPLICATIONS CAN BE MADE VIA THE CHARIS WEBSITE –

Park Homes | Warm Home Discount Scheme | Charis (charisgrants.com)

CHARIS ADVISE THEY STILL HAVE PLENTY OF AWARDS AVAILABLE HOWEVER, THEY MUST ALL BE MADE BY THE END OF MARCH 2023.

Further information can be obtained from the Business Development Director at Charis Grants charisgrants.com Telephone 07731 022 075

Energy Support – Park homes GUIDANCE

Update 2 – 20th December 2022

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) issued a statement on 19 December providing a further update on the £400 discount under the EBSS Alternative Funding (EBSS -AF) and the £200 discount under the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP).
On the same day BEIS organised a briefing for a range of stakeholders including park home representatives, to provide additional details about the delivery of the payments.
This document provides a brief summary of the statement and update from the meeting.
————————————————————————————————————–
EBSS-Alternative Funding (EBSS-AF)
Online applications will open in January 2023 for households including park home residents who are eligible for the £400 – EBSS AF.

Applicants will need to complete a short online application form via the GOV.UK website. This is the only website where applications can be submitted. There will be no paper applications.

A dedicated customer helpline will be available to assist those who do not have online access. Further details about the helpline will be provided in January.

Once an application has been made, the details will be processed and verified before the payment is made by local authorities.

Local authorities are not responsible for the application or verification process. Residents do not need to contact their local authority now or when the application process opens.

The exact date that an eligible household will receive support will depend on when the application is made and when the payment can be processed by the relevant local authority.

Q. What will the process be for claiming the discount?
All eligible households will be required to apply for the payment through the GOV.UK website. They will fill out a short form on GOV.UK with a few simple details, including their name and address.

Once the details have been verified, the payment will be made by the relevant local authority.

Q. Should I contact my local authority now about the EBSS-AF or AFP payments?
NO. Local authorities are not responsible for the application process so will be unable to assist with any queries.

Residents do not need to contact their local authority now or when the application process opens.

Q. How will applicants find out about the eligibility criteria?
More information will be made available in January.

The GOV.UK page will also include an overview of eligibility and what applicants need to do to apply for the support.

Q. When will more information be made available to residents?
More information and details will be made available in January.

Q. How can residents be sure the GOV.UK website is safe to use?
There will be controls in place to ensure the portal is safe for residents to use.

Q. Will the EBSS-AF scheme call residents and ask them to make an application?
NO. The scheme will not call any resident and ask them to make an application.

Residents will have to apply through the GOV.UK website or call the dedicated customer helpline themselves.

Caution – residents should not at any time provide any information to anyone who calls them and claims to be calling from or acting on behalf of the EBSS-AF scheme.

Q. Will residents be required to provide their site owner’s electricity meter number when they make an application?
No. The application form will not ask for or require residents to provide their site owner’s meter number.

Site owners will not be involved in the process.

 

 

ALTERNATIVE FUEL PAYMENT (AFP)
The government is providing a further £200 Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) to help those households who use alternative fuels such as biomass, LPG or heating oil to meet energy costs this winter.

Park home residents who do not have a relationship with an electricity supplier, will need to apply for the AFP.

They will be able to do so in February, through the same GOV.UK portal as the one that will be used to apply for support under the EBSS-AF.

Further details will be made available shortly.

PLEASE NOTE:
IPHAS TEAM MEMBERS ARE NOW ENJOYING A WELL EARNED BREAK FOR THE CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR HOLIDAYS.
ANY FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT ENERGY SUPPORT RELIEF RELEASED BY THE GOVERNMENT OVER THE CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR HOLIDAYS WILL BE POSTED ON THE IPHAS WEBSITE www.iphas.live

BEIS ANNOUNCEMENT: EBSS AF / AFP / EBSS NI

BEIS ANNOUNCEMENT: EBSS AF / AFP / EBSS NI

This morning, BEIS made a further announcement regarding energy bill support.
This includes:

EBSS Alternative Funding – £400 for those in England, Wales and Scotland who do not have a direct relationship with an energy supplier.
Alternative Fuel Payment – A £200 payment to help those households in Great Britain who use alternative fuels such as biomass or heating oil.
A £600 payment to the people of Northern Ireland, combining EBSS and the Alternative Fuel Payment.

Vital help with energy bills on the way for millions more homes across Great Britain and Northern Ireland
UK Government confirms all households in Northern Ireland will receive a single payment totalling £600 to help with their energy bills, with payments starting in January
Households across Great Britain that use alternative fuels like heating oil will receive a £200 payment this winter
900,000 households in England, Scotland and Wales without a direct relationship to an energy supplier – such as care home or park home residents – will be able to apply online for £400 of non-repayable help with their fuel bills

Support with winter energy bills is on the way for millions more households across the United Kingdom, as the Government today confirms details of a single £600 payment to help households in Northern Ireland with their heating and electricity bills, as well as details of how those using alternative fuels and households without a direct relationship to an energy supplier will receive help with their energy costs.
These schemes augment the cost-of-living package of assistance the government has in place to help reduce energy bills for households across the United Kingdom. This includes the Energy Price Guarantee which saves a typical household in Great Britain around £900 this winter and an equivalent level of support in Northern Ireland.

Business and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“Putin’s illegal war has caused global energy prices to soar, but we are continuing to work hard and urgently to get help to households across the UK, and this update provides people with more certainty on when and how we will deliver help with fuel bills.
“We’re already limiting the amount suppliers can charge consumers for their energy through the Energy Price Guarantee, which will continue to help consumers through to March 2024. We’ve all seen and felt the temperature dropping recently, so today’s updates will help millions worry less about their energy and heating bills this winter.”

Energy bills support for households in Northern Ireland
All households in Northern Ireland will receive a single, one-off £600 payment to help with their bills. Payments will start in January 2023. This will be made up of £400 of support under the Government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme Northern Ireland (EBSS NI), and £200 of support under the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) scheme, which will go to all households in Northern Ireland irrespective of how they heat their home.
The UK Government has confirmed today it will fund electricity companies for this payment to ensure they’re administered quickly, and that suppliers should start to make payments to customers in January. This means most NI consumers will receive the full amount of energy bills support before households in Great Britain, whilst still receiving the same level of support this winter.
All households in Northern Ireland will receive the support in a single payment to ensure the full benefit of the scheme is felt as soon as possible. The Northern Ireland scheme differs in this respect from EBSS in Great Britain to account for the particular nature of the NI energy market.

Administered by energy suppliers, customers who pay by Direct Debit will receive the £600 into their bank account directly. Other customers will be sent a voucher to redeem for the £600 payment, with further details of how they will work and what ID will be required to be set out shortly.

Today’s announcement comes as the Minister for Energy and Climate writes to Northern Ireland energy suppliers setting out his expectations, which includes urging them to suspend all debt recovery and enforcement activity until the end of January, as well as provide payment holidays until the end of January where customers are struggling to pay their bills.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris said:
“I am acutely aware of the uncertainty and frustration that people across Northern Ireland have felt about their energy bill support. Families can start the new year knowing that they will receive the full support from January.
“I am grateful that officials and Ministers and energy suppliers have found a solution, especially given the complexity of NI’s energy market, although I would have liked to have seen Northern Ireland political parties deliver this, as part of a restored Executive.”

Energy bills support in England, Scotland, and Wales via EBSS Alternative Funding and Alternative Fuel Payments
As well as this support for homes across Northern Ireland, the Government has also announced details today for how people in England, Scotland and Wales without a direct relationship to a domestic energy supplier, including many care home residents and those living in park homes, will receive a £400 discount on their fuel bills through the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS Alternative Funding).
The Government is also providing a further £200 Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) to help those households in Great Britain who use alternative fuels such as biomass or heating oil to meet energy costs this winter. Most households eligible for the AFP support in Great Britain, will receive payment automatically via their electricity supplier in February, with no need to take any action. Those households who will need to apply for the AFP, for example because they do not have a relationship with an electricity supplier, will be able to do so in February, through the same GOV.UK portal as the one that will be used to apply for support under the EBSS Alternative Funding scheme.

Minister for Energy and Climate, Graham Stuart, said:
“Getting this support for households’ bills out across the country will save hundreds of pounds for millions of people during the coldest months of the year. This has been a top priority and joint effort, with close work between officials and electricity suppliers in Northern Ireland, as well as with Local Authorities in Great Britain who will help get support to over 900,000 households who don’t have the direct relationship with energy suppliers that the vast majority of households do.”
Online applications will open in January for households in England, Scotland and Wales who are eligible for the £400 EBSS Alternative Funding to submit their details, alongside a helpline for those without online access. Payments to households that meet the eligibility criteria – including people who get their energy through a commercial contract or who are off-grid – will be made by Local Authorities in Great Britain. This is likely to include:

Care home residents;
Residents of park homes;
Tenants in certain private and social rented homes;
Homes supplied via private wires;
Residents of caravans and houseboats on registered sites;
Farmers living in domestic farmhouses; and
Off-grid households.

Most households who don’t have a direct relationship with a domestic energy supplier have already been benefitting from subsidised energy bills through the Government’s business support scheme, with the Energy Prices Act legislation passed earlier in the year to ensure those benefits are passed on to consumers who do not pay their energy bills directly.

To make the process as simple as possible for consumers, those who are eligible for the EBSS Alternative Funding will need to submit a short online form via the Government’s GOV.UK pages, with the application portal due to open in January. A dedicated customer helpline will be available to assist customers who do not have online access, with further details to be released next month. Customers who are eligible for support under the main Energy Bills Support Scheme are not eligible for EBSS Alternative Funding.

Once customers have applied to receive support and their applications have been processed and verified, eligible customers’ details will be shared with Local Authorities across England, Scotland and Wales, who will deliver the one-off, non-repayable support this winter. Applicants will only be able to submit information through GOV.UK from January and should not contact their Local Authority in the meantime. The exact date that an eligible household will receive support will depend on when the application is made and when the payment can be processed by the relevant Local Authority.
Existing support for energy bills this winter

As well as discounts provided through the EBSS and Alternative Fuel Payments, the government’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) will save a typical household in Great Britain around £900 this winter, based on what energy prices would have been under the current price cap – reducing bills by roughly a third. For households in Northern Ireland, the Energy Price Guarantee is already providing equivalent support to the rest of Great Britain – helping those using gas and electricity save around £550 this winter. Further support in direct payments is also being provided to vulnerable households this year, including cost of living payments for pensioners, people receiving disability-related allowances and those on means-tested benefits. The Household Support Fund provides additional assistance for those most in need and £26 billion worth of targeted support will help protect the most vulnerable in the next financial year.
BEIS 19TH DECEMBER 2022

FURTHER HELP FOR PARK HOMEOWNERS THROUGH CHARIS GRANTS

Charis Grants will be offering the Park Homes Warm Home Discount 2022/23 rebate to a limited number of park home residents in England, Wales and Scotland. Government has provided Charis with enough funding for an estimate of 3000 awards. The scheme will open on the 19th December and will close around the 30th December. Unfortunately, Charis are unable to provide a Telephone sign-up this year so some members may need support in making an application.

Charis _Park Homes Warm Home Discount 2022 (1)

Energy Support – Park homes GUIDANCE

Update – December 2022

The government has already announced that it will provide a £400 discount to park home residents to help with their energy bills.

Details of the discount and other ways in which park home residents will be supported were made available in the November guidance.

This document provides a brief update on the delivery of the payment.

————————————————————————————————————–

How will the payment be delivered?

  • The government has worked through a number of alternative delivery options and has concluded that the best way to deliver the scheme is through Local Authorities, who are best placed to process applications and carry out verification checks.

What is the process for claiming the money?

  • All eligible households will be required to apply for the payment. They will be able to fill out a short form on GOV.UK with a few simple details, including their name and address. Much of this data will be verified up-front to reduce burdens on Local Authorities, who will then verify the address and administer the payment.

When can households apply ?

  • The government is currently finishing and testing the application model, including verification and anti-fraud measures, to ensure that it functions as intended before it can go live.

 

  • The scheme will open for applications in January 2023, and the government is committed to delivering the payment to households this winter.

 

  • The government will be publishing further detail about eligibility shortly.

 

Why is this taking so long?

  • This is a critical and complex task.

 

  • Whilst the government understands that speed is of the essence, it must do all it can to prevent errors that could result either in households not receiving the support they need, or in a loss of public money.

When will households get the money?

  • The Alternative Fuel Payment of £200 and the Energy Bill Support Scheme Alternative funding of £400 will be delivered as soon as possible in the new year.

 

  • The exact date that an eligible household will receive support will depend on when the application is made and when the payment can be processed by the relevant Local Authority.

NON-ENERGY SCHEMES:

 

£650 Cost of Living payment for those on benefits

 

  • More than 8 million households on means tested benefits will receive a payment of £650. This includes all households who receive Universal Credit, Pension Credit Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit.

 

  • The Department of Work and Pensions will make the payment in two lump sums – the first from July, the second in the autumn. Payments from HMRC for those on Tax Credits only will follow shortly after each to ensure there are no duplicate payments. The government will make these payments directly to households across the UK.

 

£300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

  • All pensioner households will receive an extra £300 to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter. Pensioners are disproportionately impacted by higher energy costs, and many low-income pensioner households do not claim the means tested benefits they are entitled to.

 

  • This payment will go to the over 8 million pensioner households who receive the Winter Fuel Payment. The Pensioner Cost of Living Payment will come as a top-up to annual Winter Fuel Payments in November/December. For most pensioner households, this will be paid by direct debit, is not taxable and does not affect eligibility for other benefits. The government will make these payments directly to households across the UK.

 

£150 Disability Cost of Living Payment

 

  • People with disabilities will receive an extra £150 to help with the particular extra costs they face. Six million people who receive Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Scottish Disability Benefits, Armed Forces Independence Payment, Constant Attendance Allowance and War Pension Mobility Supplement will receive the support as a one off payment in September.

 

  • These payments will be exempt from tax, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards. The government will make these payments directly to households across the UK.

GUIDANCE FOR PARK HOMEOWNERS from the DEPARTMENT FOR LEVELLING UP, HOUSING AND COMMUNITIES

Dear Resident,
the attached guidance was issued today by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing And Communities, to help residents understand the support announced by the Government to help with energy costs and how it applies specifically to park home residents.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE NOTICE 

In summary residents, there are three types of support that residents will benefit from. These are the:

Energy Bills Support Scheme-Alternative Fund (EBSS-AF); – this will provide £400 to all residents
Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP): – this will provide a reduction in electricity bills from October 2022 to March 2023
Energy Bills Relief Scheme (EBRS) -this will provide a one off £200 payment to those who are not on mains gas grid and use alternative fuels such as LPG and heating oil.

Further details on each type of support is provided in the guidance however, IPHAS are advised that a lot of detail has still to be worked out on all three types of support however, we have been assured that the Departments involved are working at a very fast pace to ensure the support is delivered as soon as possible and in a safe and secure way.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pass-through-requirements-for-energy-price-support-provided-to-intermediaries

IAN PYE, CHAIRMAN 23RD November 2022
The Independent Park Home Advisory Service (2021) Ltd.

PLEASE NOTE, THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN PROVIDED TO IPHAS AND OTHER PARK HOME SUPPORT GROUPS BY THE DEPARTMENT FOR LEVELLING UP, HOUSING AND COMMUNITIES.

FURTHER UPDATES WILL BE PROVIDED FROM TIME TO TIME BY THE DEPARTMENT.

ANY FURTHER INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED ON OUR WEBSITE www.iphas.live
AND DISTRIBUTED DIRECTLY TO RESIDENTS WHO HAVE REGISTERED A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS WITH IPHAS, AS AND WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE.

JOINT STATEMENT TO OUR MEMBERS IN SCOTLAND FROM IPHAS AND SCOPHRA

Dear IPHAS and SCOPHRA members,

 

The Directors of IPHAS have had to take the painful decision to terminate IPHAS’s active involvement in Scotland. This is partly due to a diminished membership in Scotland since the pandemic, the growth of our partner agency in Scotland, SCOPHRA (the Scottish Confederation of Park Home Residents Associations) and most importantly, the difference in Scots Law from England which requires additional training for our advisors. IPHAS and SCOPHRA have been in discussions for over a year and SCOPHRA have now agreed to offer all IPHAS Members in Scotland, current and recently lapsed, full honorary membership of SCOPHRA until the next SCOPHRA AGM in May 2023, regardless of when their IPHAS membership expires.

 

We understand that some IPHAS members are already resident on parks who have an association with SCOPHRA membership, and in these cases the member will be covered by that Association membership if they are members of that association. In May next year individual membership of SCOPHRA will become available where no association exists.

 

Membership of IPHAS will continue until next membership renewal but any queries will be redirected to SCOPHRA. SCOPHRA do not operate a telephone service but prefer email contact which as required, is followed up by telephone contact, so members will still enjoy a seamless advice service, but one which is fully au fait with Scots law and regulations.

 

These changes will come into effect from 1st January 2023 however, the transfer of IPHAS membership details to our partners SCOPHRA will commence before the end of 2022.

 

SCOPHRA staff will contact you directly once the handover has been successfully completed. In the meantime, may we recommend you to the SCOPHRA website – www.scophra.scot.

 

IPHAS would like to thank all our members in Scotland for their outstanding support to IPHAS down the years. Please be assured, IPHAS and SCOPHRA remain fully committed to our partnership and working for the good of park home residents throughout the UK.”

 

Ian Pye, Chairman                                                                              Jim Haluch, Chairman

IPHAS (2021) LTD.                                                                               SCOPHRA

THE ENERGY BILLS RELIEF SCHEME (EBRS) – UPDATE

Following yesterday’s publication of the Energy Support Guidance for Park Homes, some of you queried whether the amount of £100 was correct for the (EBRS). Your concerns were passed to the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) earlier today, who have responded with the following note of clarification.

The Energy Bills Relief Scheme (EBRS) will provide a discount on energy bills from October. The discount applied will be in pence per kilowatt hour (p/kWh). This will be applied by the energy providers to the site owner’s bill’s, and they will have to pass it on to residents.

The Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) will provide a one-off payment of £100 to UK households who are not on the mains gas grid and therefore use alternative fuels, such as heating oil, LPG, coal, and biomass to heat their homes.

However, following the Autumn budget statement last week, the amount has been increased to £200. This was confirmed by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in their news story published last Friday. (see the Link below).

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/beis-in-the-autumn-statement#:~:text=Alternative%20fuel%20payments,soon%20as%20possible%20this%20winter.

IAN PYE, CHAIRMAN 24th November 2022
The Independent Park Home Advisory Service (2021) Ltd.

Compensation for Power Outages

Following Storms Arwen, Eunice, and Franklin from late 2021 onwards, the Government energy regulator Ofgem, has “commissioned a review of the GSoP* for Severe Weather to identify amendments that will better acknowledge the impact of extended power cuts on customers”, from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP of London (PwC). A virtual meeting was held on 22nd September last, Chaired by PwC, and attended by Senior Managers from Ofgem, with IPHAS (2021) Ltd represented by Chairman, Ian Pye.

PwC are expected to deliver their findings to Ofgem, by the end of October. When released the findings of this review will be published on the IPHAS website www.iphas.live

UPDATE ON THE PROPOSED CHANGE FROM RPI TO CPI

FOR PARK HOME RESIDENTS IN SCOTLAND

The Scottish Confederation od Park Home Residents Associations (SCOPHRA), has kindly forwarded the following information,

This relates to a recent undertaking from Ministers in the Scottish Parliament, just received.

Minsters are very conscious of the pressures the cost crisis are placing on residents of mobile homes and, in particular, the pitch fee uprating issue raised by SCOPHRA in recent campaigning. i.e. that the gap between RPI and CPI is growing, with pitch fees therefore growing faster than pension incomes. We will therefore undertake the required consultation on the impact of moving the basis of pitch fee uprating from RPI to CPI, in time to make the change in the planned 2023 Housing Bill. This change would have a permanent effect, slowing the rate of pitch fee increases in future. While we do have powers to make the change by regulation for future agreements, primary legislation is necessary to have an impact on existing agreements and the Mobile Homes Act 1983 requires consultation in advance of doing this. Further information will be given once plans are in place for consultation.

GARDENING ACTIVITIES FOR RECYCLED TEENAGERS!

A young lady student doing research as part of an online alternative learning program for young people, has kindly sent in this article with a lot of really great information on the health benefits of gardening for senior citizens. This is what she found –

https://billyoh.com/resource/benefits-of-gardening-older-adults/

IPHAS are aware that one or two parks already have gardening clubs. Perhaps this link will encourage more residents to share their knowledge and experience of creating a lovely garden with those less fortunate or knowledgeable.

It may even assist in propagating good relations on the park as well!
Ian Pye 29/09/2022

OFGEM: SEVERE WEATHER REVIEW

IF YOU ARE A PARK HOME RESIDENT AND SUFFERED A POWER OUTAGE DURING LAST WINTER’S SEVERE STORMS BEGINNING WITH STORM ARWEN ONWARDS, AND HAVE NOT RECEIVED COMPENSATION FROM YOUR ENERGY SUPPLIER, IPHAS (2021) Ltd WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/problems-with-your-energy-supply/get-compensation-if-you-have-a-power-cut/

As the regulator for the energy market, Ofgem’s top priority is to support and protect consumers in vulnerable situations and undertook to examine where improvements can be made in their interests. Ofgem published an interim report in February 2022, providing an early indication of the areas that needed to be investigated further. The final report was published on 9th June 2022 (see the attached Link),

Storm Arwen Report | Ofgem

Subsequently, Ofgem have commissioned Price Waterhouse Cooper to conduct a review and IPHAS has now been invited to join with Ofgem representatives, members of their consulting team, and other stakeholders, to seek their views; in particular, regarding the below four areas the review is considering:

  • assessing if a compensation cap is still appropriate and, if so, what the right level is;
  • considering the current payment structure and developing alternative options e.g. inclining payments;
  • assessing whether the thresholds for different storm categories are fit for purpose; and
  • Developing options for improving the accuracy of customer data, to make the process for compensation payments more efficient

THE INITIAL, VIRTUAL MEETING IS TO TAKE PLACE ON THURSDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER 2022, FROM 11AM TO 12PM.

IF YOU HAVE IN ANY WAY BEEN AFFECTED BY THESE EVENTS, PLEASE CONTACT IPHAS BY EMAIL TO advice@iphas.co.uk OR, BY TELEPHONE TO 07863940545 AND LEAVE YOUR DETAILS, AND WE WILL CONTACT YOU IN DUE COURSE.

THANK YOU FOR YOUE CO-OPERATION

IAN PYE, CHAIRMAN

THE INDEPENDENT PARK HOME ADVISORY SERVICE (2021) LTD.

LATEST UPDATE ON THE EBSS FOR PARK HOME RESIDENTS

Dear Fellow Members,
Today, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), released information through the media intended to inform homeowners about the various means by which they may receive their Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) grant.
Unfortunately, whilst today’s announcement will help those park home occupiers with a direct supply contract with an energy supplier, no information has been forthcoming about how those of you who purchase your energy through your park owner, will receive your EBSS grants.
For many months now IPHAS has been engaged with BEIS on this issue, and last month we teamed up with officials from AGE UK, who are now supporting our pursuit of answers from BEIS and the Energy Secretary. Some proposals have been put forwards but no final solutions have been notified to us as yet.
This morning, I made contact with the authorities requesting an update on an urgent basis. I am advised that BEIS are in the process of drawing up proposals for delivering the EBSS to park home residents. They have the money secured to ensure support can be delivered but they are still in the early stages of putting together a plan for delivery.
For the future, please keep your eye on our new website www.iphas.live for the latest information.
IPHAS WILL CONTINUE TO PRESS FOR ANSWERS ON YOUR BEHALF.
 
Ian  Pye Chairman,
The Independent Park Home Advisory Service (2021) Ltd.     

London RPI to CPI= Rally of the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign

Dear Justice Campaign Supporter.

OUR RALLY IS NOW PLANNED AND YOUR HELP IS NEEDED.

To keep you informed.  A good response has been received and the details below have now been sent to all those who have indicated their wish to attend the rally.  What we are doing will affect every park home owner in the land.  Whilst I know that you cannot all attend.  YOU CAN HELP TO MAKE IT BETTER FOR US ALL.  Please copy the letter at the bottom of these details and send to the Prime Minister and please contact your own constituency MP and ask for his support in this matter.  Please ask him to attend our meeting in Westminster and PLEASE ask him or her to bring our situation up at the PARTY CONFERENCE.

EVERYONE WHO ATTENDS OUR RALLY AND MEETING IN WESTMINSTER WILL BE DOING THEIR UTMOST TO BRING ABOUT A CHANGE THAT WILL AFFECT EVERY PARK HOME RESIDENT IN THE LAND.

You will see below that I have had a meeting with those in Scotland and I am pleased to welcome their support and help.  We worked together in our Three Nations rally and we are working together again.

PLEASE DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO HELP.  POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA.  TELL YOUR LOCAL MEDIA.  IN FACT TELL EVERY ONE THAT YOU CAN.  ENOUGH IS NOW ENOUGH AND WE WANT CHANGE AND WE WANT IT NOW.

Dear Rallying Member

Sorry for the delay in reply but there has been a lot of arrangements to make.   I have been working with Sir Peter Bottomley’s office to make the following arrangements.  I can now tell you that:

 

  1.      Our official Rally Date is Monday 24th October 2022.

 

  1.      A presentation Campaign letter regarding RPI to CPI and the 10% Commission Charge is being prepared for the Prime Minister.  Sir

          Peter’s office is liaising with Downing Street and details will follow later.

 

  1.       After our rally and delivery of our Campaign Letter to Downing Street – there will be a meeting to which you are all invited in

           Committee Room 10 at the Palace of Westminster.

 

This date has been decided upon because it is the only date available before the House rises on the 22nd September and the Conservative Party Conference which takes place on 2-5th October.   It is imperative that before their Party Conference, we make MP’s understand the urgency of our demand that the Government honours its promise to change RPI to CPI on the pitch fee increase and delivers its decision on the 10% Commission Charge.  Enough is enough.  RPI to CPI affects every park homeowner in the country and the 10% commission is the most hated charge. We want action and we want it NOW.

Our President, Sir Peter Bottomley, who is also the Father of the House will chair the meeting.  Sir Christopher Chope MP – who has tried to bring forward a Private Members Bill regarding RPI to CPI has also been invited to attend and speak.  The meeting room has been booked for one hour and there will be ample time for the park homeowners to have their say and ask questions on this cause that we have campaigned for.

If we are to believe the news, RPI could rise substantially to even 18% or more – and the only winner is the Site Owners.  Government must hastily honour their promise and reduce this to CPI.  As our meeting and rally takes place before the Party Conference begins.  PLEASE CONTACT YOUR CONSTITUENCY MP AND ASK THEM TO ATTEND THE MEETING IN COMMITTEE ROOM 10 AND BRING PRESSURE TO BARE AT THE PARTY CONFERENCE.

The timetable for our Rally day will be:

 

12.noon                        All Park Homeowners to meet at the enclosed black railings opposite the gates of Downing Street with their Banners. 

 

A Press Release will be put out.  LKP, the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership will help us with coverage.  Photographers and TV news teams will be informed, and I hope you will have the opportunity to give your views.

 

12.30                            Is the time that we hope to make the Presentation to Downing Street.  (I will confirm later but this will not interfere with our rally).

 

Only a small party is allowed to enter Downing Street.  Therefore, Sir Peter and a small party will deliver a letter from the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign on the subject of RPI to CPI and the 10% Commission Charge for the personal attention of the Prime Minister.

 

12.45                            Our rally will walk – with banners – to the Palace of Westminster.

 

Please keep to the pavement on this short Rally walk to Westminster.  Marshals will be in attendance.  Before going through security at the Palace of Westminster, we will have to dispose of our banners as they are not allowed inside of the Palace.  The Marshals will ask the Police at the Palace where they can be put.  Please place them where the Marshals direct – and remember to collect them when you leave the Palace.

 

1.15 to 1.45 pm.   Our rally will make its way through security at the Palace.  

Please remember that any sharp objects that you may be carrying will be taken from you before you are allowed to enter the Palace.

Refreshments and Toilets.

Once inside Westminster Hall, there is a cafe that is located to your right (which you may wish to use after the meeting) and toilet facilities.

Meeting in Committee Room 10

At 2.15 it will be time to move to Committee Room 10.  I will be there to direct you but would be grateful if you could please keep together.  There will be stairs to climb, so please give yourself plenty of time.  There is a lift for anyone who needs assistance.  If this applies to you, please ask one of the security persons in the Palace to help you.

The meeting will commence at: approx: 2.30pm

The meeting will end at:  approx: 3.30pm

Please allow 30 minutes to exit the Palace for your journey home.  It is very busy around Westminster but there are many taxis that you can hail to take you to the various transport stations.  Warning. Please do not use the bicycle transport that is available – it will cost you a fortune.

Parking of Mini Buses

If you are travelling in a mini-bus, I am told that the best place to park is on the Embankment.  Usually, your driver will know about this.

Dress Code.

Our JUSTICE Campaign has always been respectful of people and places.  As we are very privileged to have a Committee Room allocated to us in the Palace, please can we adopt a smart casual appearance and if possible, no jeans please.

THINGS FOR YOU TO DO. 

 PLEASE RESPOND EARLY TO ENSURE YOUR PLACE as there is a limit to the amount that can be seated in Westminster.

 

  1.     Would you please let me know by return, the names of people that definitely want to attend. I will reply to you all after the bank holiday.

 

  1.     Please give me the name of your Park and the county that it is in.

 

  1.    Would you please make your own banners to reflect our RPI to CPI situation and our four year wait to get justice – and of course the 10% commission charge.

 

  1.     Would you please contact your own constituency MP and ask them to attend the meeting in Committee Room 10 and air your views to the Government at the Party Conference.

 

  1.     Please inform your local press and regional TV station of our rally and its cause.  I will be sending out a Press Release and inviting TV and Radio – but we need all the help that we can get. 

PLEASE PLAY YOUR PART.

Because RPI to CPI affects every park homeowner in the land, I have had a meeting with SCOPHRA (Scottish Confederation of Park Home Residents Associations) who I am pleased to report are supporting us and asking their Scottish MPs/MSPs to attend the meeting and make the Scottish resident’s feelings known to the Government.

I will need two Marshals to help on the day.  If you would be prepared to help with this very important job and have a yellow hi viz jacket.

I will write to you all again with any further updates but would be grateful if you could please make your banners, galvanise support from your parks and bring as many as you can to the rally.

This is the only chance we have to do something that will positively affect every park homeowner in the land.  I appreciate that not all people can travel to London – but you can still help.  If you are unable to attend the Rally, please write to your MP.  Inform them of the Rally and that it has taken four years and Government have still not honoured their promise to change RPI to CPI.  Remind them that the only people who are winning in this situation is the Site Owner and demand that change is done NOW.  Most importantly, ask them to represent you at the meeting in Committee Room 10 on the 24th September and make your feelings known to Government at the Party Conference.

Our President, Sir Peter Bottomley MP has written a strong letter to the Secretary of State.  Our campaign needs you to inundate the office of the Prime Minister with your demands for this change.

A sample letter that you may wish to send is laid out below.

Best Wishes and thank you

Sonia

PRIME MINISTER’S ADDRESS.   10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA

Dear Prime Minister

I am a member of the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign and one of the Park Home Owners in this country that your Government has forgotten.  Four years ago, your Government promised to change the RPI to CPI increase on my pitch fee.  You have let me – and thousands like me – down.  You could easily do this in the next Finance Bill – but still you give us the same speal “when parliamentary time allows.”  Enough is now enough. 

Under the banner of the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign, we will be rallying at Westminster on the 19th September and delivering our letter to Downing Street for your personal attention.  In these austere times, when RPI is rising every day, you are condemning park homeowners to a cold miserable fate that could end in the death of some who cannot afford to live.  

The only person to gain from your lack of thought, compassion and justice to park homeowners is the site owner.  This is a windfall for him that will increase every year.  In a short while you will be wanting our votes – these will be in short supply if you do not honour your promise now.  

You increase our pensions by CPI and yet you expect us to increase our pitch fees by RPI.  The Welsh already enjoy a CPI increase to their pitch fee.  Why can you not make it fair and do the same for England and Scotland.  The Father of the House, Sir Peter Bottomley has indicated that this could be done in the next Finance Bill.  If you won’t listen to the voice of the people – please will you listen to the voice of The Father of the House.

Yours sincerely

UK GOVERNMENT ENERGY BILLS SUPPORT SCHEME – UPDATE

Dear fellow Members,

You will no doubt be aware from earlier posts on the subject, that IPHAS is in dialogue with AGE UK, seeking clarity on how the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS), is to be delivered to your good selves, particularly those who do not have a direct supply contract with an energy supply company. This has come into sharper relief with the resignation of the Prime Minister, and the ensuing Tory Leadership elections. Those of you who have witnessed such contests in the past, will realize that we are unlikely to see a speedy outcome. What does this matter? It matters because until a new Government is in place, and new Departmental heads are appointed, the work of Government may slow down.

However, we have just been passed the following information, provided to AGE UK by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in relation to park homes and the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme.

  • Having investigated park home residents missing out on the EBSS, the BEIS are proposing a local council discretionary fund using section 31 grants or using the Warm Home Discount Park home industry initiative, as a way of delivering the £400 to park home residents. BEIS are in dialogue with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, who they say are already in touch with park home resident associations.
  • BEIS intend to provide charities with further guidance on the EBSS in August and September, so we should hopefully get further details by the end of the summer.
  • Less reassuring is the following statement from BEIS, who are keen to stress that despite the current disruption in government, the EBSS is very unlikely to be shelved and the minister for BEIS, Kwasi Kwarteng, remains in place. There may however be delays in turnarounds on decisions because of ongoing instability.

IPHAS will continue to work with AGE UK and BEIS, to press for a speedy resolution to the issue of fair distribution of the £400 EBSS grant to all park home residents, this autumn.

IAN PYE, Chairman                                                                                    11TH July 2022

IPHAS (2021) LTD.

UK GOVERNMENT ENERGY BILLS SUPPORT SCHEME

Dear Fellow Members,

Many of you have been in contact with our Advisory Services Team, seeking advice about how you will receive the promised £400 energy relief package, promised to be ‘delivered to every home’, by the Prime Minister.

If you purchase your energy from a supplier in the domestic market, you will be registered with one of the energy retail companies and should have no problem in receiving the £400.

However, although park home legislation affords you the right to source your own energy supplies with an energy retailer, many of you have accepted the convenience of purchasing your energy from your park owner. Unwittingly, in so doing, this has created a major obstacle to you having access to the grant. As a business owner, your park owner must purchase his energy from the non-domestic market, which is not subject to the same price capping controls as the domestic market. The site is likely to have one gas and one electricity meter registered to the park’s business. I understand that you all have meters in your homes, but as you are not registered with the energy retailers, they don’t know about you. Also, it’s unlikely that your park owner has created a record of the serial numbers of your individual meters.

We have also been asked, ‘Why can’t we receive the grant though our Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) supplier? LPG is also sold through the non-domestic market, and IPHAS understand it does not provide a platform that could be used to deliver the grant.

The lack of registration has raised other concerns, for you may well be suffering from a ‘loyalty penalty’, in that you be may paying higher unit charges than you would as an independent consumer, even though your park owner is only allowed to charge you the same unit tariff that he is charged, and he must provide you free of charge, documentary evidence in support and explanation of all his charges to you.

Another consequence of this scenario is, should you suffer an outage that leaves you without power, heat and light for a time, an event which may also have damaged electronic equipment in your home beyond repair, you are unlikely to benefit from the industry compensation scheme, as they only have a contract with your park owner. However, he will be compensated for any personal loss.

As many of you are aware, park home communities are predominately retirement communities, a lifestyle choice for many. Due to the increasing disquiet over how the EBSS can be delivered to all communities (those living in residential care settings are affected in the same way as park homeowners), IPHAS are now engaged with AGE UK to pursue an early resolution to the current impasse on payments. We also seek to establish whether there is further scope for co-operation on all issues affecting park home residents. AGE UK has kindly sanctioned IPHAS to post the following link for your information.

Ian Pye CHAIR, The Independent Park Home Advisory Service (2021) Ltd.                                08/06/2022

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/consultation-responses-and-submissions/safe-at-home/consultation-response—technical-proposals-for-the-energy-bills-support-scheme-department-for-business-energy–industrial-strategy.pdf

Important Announcement

Dear Members and Park Home Owners,

Last year the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, commissioned the University of Liverpool, assisted by Hallam University, Sheffield, to carry out research to gather data to enable an assessment to be made of impacts on the sector of a change to the maximum 10% commission paid on the sale of a mobile home. I am pleased to inform you that we have today received the final report “The impact of a change in the maximum park home sale commission”, from the Department.

A copy of the report is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mobile-homes-the-impact-of-a-change-in-the-maximum-park-home-sale-commission

The Government will now consider the report and recommendations in more detail and set out the next steps in due course.
IPHAS would like to thank all those who participated, and contributed to this important piece of research.

IAN R PYE, CHAIR – IPHAS(2021) LTD.

Letter to members

INTRODUCTION

Dear Fellow Members,

I am delighted to introduce our new user-friendly website! We see this new, contemporary version as being YOUR website and as such, is very much a work in progress. We are keen for you to have ready access to the latest Posts, so please let us have your suggestions for the sort of information you would like us to cover. Further detail about the ongoing development of the website is posted separately.

Thank you all for your continued support of IPHAS during our period of transition.

Ian Pye, CHAIRMAN, INDEPENDENT PARK HOME ADVISORY SERVICE (2021) LTD.

NEW MEMBERSHIP DATABASE AND PAYMENT GATEWAY

A new, easy to access ‘PAYMENT GATEWAY’ is currently in development and once complete, will undergo a period of testing prior to being made available for members use. As a MEMBERSHIP NUMBER will be required to access the Payment Gateway, we are creating a simple SEARCH FACILITY to aid those who have forgotten their MEMBERSHIP NUMBER, which can be identified through LINKS to our new MEMBERSHIP DATABASE, which is due to be available sometime in APRIL. Members can continue to pay their subscription by STANDING ORDER, or BACS, and although we do still accept checks, we must advise you that this is an extremely time consuming and costly method of payment. We are constantly under pressure by our bank, HSBC, to dissuade members from using this method of payment, when a DEBIT CARD payment can be made by telephoning our FREEPHONE MEMBERSHIP NUMBER – 0800 612 6273.

FREE ACCESS TO INFORMATIONFOR ALL

Anyone will be able to access all our ‘Posts’ which we will endeavour to categorize in due course. To simplify the process, we have included a SEARCH facility on the HOME page, which will allow you to locate and research an item of your choice, by inputting a single word enquiry into the SEARCH FIELD. Any information we hold should then be displayed in descending date order, with the latest information being at the top.

IPHAS VOLUNTEERS

As you will be aware, IPHAS is an entirely voluntary organisation, our team members all work from home, and only receive ‘expenses’ to cover the costs of their activities. We provide support for INTERNET and LICENCE charges, TELEPHONE, and postal costs, as well as Computer and Printing Equipment and servicing, when required.

RECRUITMENT

WITH OUR NEW IT SERVICES COMING ON STREAM SOON, WE WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND THE RANGE OF ADVISORY AND SUPPORT SERVICES TO MEMBERS, AND PARK HOME DWELLERS ON MAINLAND UK. UNFORTUNATELY, WE ARE VERY SHORT OF VOLUNTEERS DURING RECENT LOCKDOWNS, ALTHOUGH WE HAVE MANAGED TO CONTINUE WITH OUR DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS, THROUGHOUT THAT PERIOD.

SO, WHATEVER YOUR BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE, WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEARN OF THE WORK UNDERTAKEN BY OUR TEAM MEMBERS, AND THE VARIETY OF ROLES WE WOULD LIKE TO CREATE, TO ASSIST OUR FUTURE DEVELOPMENT.

Please EMAIL our INFORMATION TEAM AT info@iphas.co.uk or Telephone FREEPHONE MEMBERSHIP NUMBER – 0800 612 6273 AND LEAVE YOUR DETAILS; WE WILL CONTACT YOU AT OUR EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY.

Ian Pye, CHAIRMAN, INDEPENDENT PARK HOME ADVISORY SERVICE (2021) L

ENERGY STATEMENT FROM BEIS

Dear Mr Pye,

Thank you for your letter of 21st March, about the challenges facing Park Home residents in terms of their energy contracts.

The Secretary of State is grateful to you for having taken the time to write. I have been asked to respond on his behalf.

We recognise the difficult position that many households are in with the continued impact of Covid-19 and rising energy prices. How much consumers pay for their energy, as well as fairness and affordability are at the heart of the government’s commitment to driving bill savings and ensuring costs are distributed fairly.

The energy price cap was introduced through legislation to address an issue where certain groups of customers in the domestic market were found to be paying too much for their energy through a loyalty penalty. It was not designed to mitigate high global wholesale prices which is what we are currently seeing.

Park home owners purchase gas or electricity in the non-domestic market, which has a greater diversity of supply arrangements for businesses compared to the domestic sector. We are not aware that commercial contracts purchased by businesses, like mobile park owners suffer a loyalty penalty like domestic default tariffs do, and this is why the price cap legislation doesn’t cover them.

Ofgem sets the Quality of Service Guaranteed Standards that must be met by each electricity network company, which includes an entitlement to compensation if distribution companies fail to meet the service standards required.

If residents are connected to a private network that is owned and operated by the residential park owner or operator, instead of being connected directly to the local Distribution Network Operator network, the Distribution Network Operator only has one customer directly connected to their network – the private network owned by residential park owner. Under the Guaranteed Standards of Performance, Distribution Network Operators are only required to make payments for supply interruptions to customers that are directly connected to their network. Private network operators are not required to make payments to their customers under this scheme.

The current compensation rules were set in April 2015 for the duration of the current price control period, which runs from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2023, and cannot be changed. I understand that Ofgem is in the process of considering the arrangements for the next price control period, which starts on 1 April 2023, and as part of this they will review the eligibility criteria for compensation claims due to power disruptions.

The Energy Ombudsman has been approved by Ofgem to independently handle and resolve disputes between customers and energy companies. If residents feel that their energy company has not appropriately handled and resolved their complaint, they can refer this to the Energy Ombudsman. Further details and points of contact can be found at the following link. www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/energy.

The Government recognises this is a worrying time for consumers facing pressures due to the significant increases in global gas prices. Our priority is to ensure costs are managed and supplies of energy are maintained. The Secretary of State is in regular contact with the energy industry and Ofgem to manage the impact of high global gas prices and will continue to monitor the situation incredibly closely, including the impacts for consumers supplied by commercial energy contracts.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Huish
BEIS CORRESPONDENCE UNIT

Download Original

PARK HOME OWNERS’ JUSTICE CAMPAIGN

UPDATE ON THE 10% Commission Charge and RPI to CPI increase to your pitch fee.

Many thanks for sending the letters to Sir Keir Starmer, Sir Ed Davey and your MP.  It may not seem as though anything is happening – but you are keeping up the pressure, which is all that you can do.

Many of you are emailing me copies of the letters that you have received from your MP.  Basically, I can tell you that they are all saying the same thing, and not answering the question.

There was ample opportunity for any of those MPs to bring up the RPI to CPI issue in Prime Ministers Questions after the announcement by the Chancellor.  Sadly, not one of them deemed it necessary to do so.

Sir Christopher Chope has tried on several occasions to get a second reading of his Private Members Bill – but to no avail. The next chance is Friday May 6th – but I suspect that again it will not get read.

We obviously await the outcome of the 10% Commission Charge review and the long- awaited change from RPI to CPI.

I have approached certain members of the BBC and hope to get the current plight of the park home resident broadcast.  If I am lucky, that should be in the near future.  I will do my best but we will have to wait and see. The Prime Minister’s Office has published that The State Opening of Parliament will take place on Tuesday 10th May.

I think we have all done all that we can at this point and we must now wait to see what the government has set out in the Queen’s speech for the next parliamentary session.

If there is no further news.  I will write again after May 10th.

Best wishes to all and stay safe.

Sonia.                                                                                                              29th March 2022

DEPARTMENT FOR HOUSING AND REGENERATION

WELSH GOVERNMENT

DEPARTMENT FOR HOUSING AND REGENERATION

30th March 2022

In March 2019, Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change, decided not to implement the decision to change the maximum commission rate from the sale of a residential park home, but to reconsider the matter afresh.

However, the outbreak of Covid-19 meant that resources were redeployed to enable officials to focus on the immediate challenges being faced as a consequence of Covid-19. This meant that the work to gather further evidence and engage with the sector was postponed.

It is clear that the pandemic is still having a significant impact on our lives. It has prevented us from fully engaging with the sector to seek evidence so that the Minister can consider this matter afresh.

The pandemic and our ‘no-one left out’ approach have shone a light on the extent of hidden homelessness in Wales. Welsh Government is therefore focused on preventing homelessness and transforming homelessness services for the long term. We are also focusing on supporting people facing cost of living increases, including supporting people to sustain their tenancies.

Alongside this, the war in Ukraine has caused the displacement of many tens of thousands of people from their homes and marked the onset of the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe for decades. As a nation of sanctuary, we are committed to do whatever we can to welcome and support people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

As a consequence of these unprecedented pressures, the Minister has asked officials to postpone work on gathering evidence for the remainder of this Government term.

We realise that some people will be disappointed to hear that this work will continue to be postponed. The Minister recognises the importance of the commission rate and the impact this has had on owners of park homes and site owners, and continues to believe that the best way to proceed is to ensure any decision is based on accurate, up-to-date and carefully considered evidence.

However, in order to provide the information on which the Minister can take a balanced view, she must have the strongest possible evidence base on which to base her decision. This will require significantly more work which the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and other pressures have not allowed us to progress.

Yours sincerely

Amelia John

Deputy Director, Housing Policy

LATEST MESSAGE FROM SONIA McCOLL OBE – PARK HOMEOWNERS JUSTICE CAMPAIGN

The Private Members Bill sponsored by APPG Chairman, Sir Christopher Chope OBE MP, is now due to receive its second reading in the House of Commons, on 6th May 2022.

Dear Justice Campaign Supporter.

Today, Sir Christopher Chope OBE, again tried to get a second reading of his Private Members Bill that would get the promised Government change from RPI to CPI included in the parliamentary timetable.  Yet again, to no avail and it was pushed forward to 6th May (when it will no doubt get blocked again.)

Enough is enough.  I hear from many of you regarding the hardships that the extortionate levels of RPI are doing to family finances in these austere times and

I can see no point in appealing further to the present government, who are obviously determined to ignore our plea.  Therefore, I have attached a letter below – that you can send if you wish – to the leaders of the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties.  I am hoping that if hundreds of you write we can shame this Government into action.  Hopefully, at Prime Minister’s Questions.

If you choose to send the letter, please insert your own name, address and date in the space provided and sign the letter.

Please send two letters.  One to Sir Keir Starmer. Leader of the Labour Party.

One to Sir Ed. Davey. Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party

The address for both is:  House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

You might also like to send a copy to your constituency MP.

This is the best that I think we can all do at this stage.

Best wishes to you all and stay safe

Sonia

The National Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign

The following letter was sent to Eddie Hughes MP, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing and Rough Sleeping, by Sir Christopher Chope OBE MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Park Homes, on Wednesday, 23rd March 2022.

‘Dear Eddie

I would like to thank you again for attending the Park Homes APPG on 7th February but it is disappointing that I have not heard from you since.

It is also a great disappointment to members of the APPG for Park Homes that the Government was unwilling to support the Private Members’ Bill to implement agreed Government policy for reform in this sector. Even the modest change from RPI to CPI in the calculation of increase in pitch fees seems to be beyond the capabilities of the Government. With a new Parliamentary session in prospect, I would be grateful for your confirmation that your Department will draft a ‘hand out’ bill for a private Member successful in the ballot so that the long over-due legislative changes supported by the Government can be implemented in the forthcoming session.

With best wishes,

 Chris

ENERGY SUPPLY CRISIS AND POWER OUTAGE ISSUES

If you are a Park Home Resident without a direct supply contract with an energy supply company, or recently you have had a claim for compensation for a power outage rejected by an energy supply company.

ISSUES ARISING FROM THE SUPPLY OF ENERGY TO PARK HOMEOWNERS

In 2021, the Government announced that in April 2022, the current price capping of energy supplies to domestic consumers is to be reviewed. Shortly thereafter, certain parts of the country were subject to severe storms resulting in flooding and power outages for many park homeowners. Within days, IPHAS began to receive complaints from members, that they had suffered a total loss of energy supplies for several days, and their applications for compensation from the supply companies were being rejected. IPHAS learned that although occupiers are legally entitled to choose their own source of energy supplies, many residents have agreements in place which require them to purchase their energy supplies from the park owner, leaving them at a significant disadvantage.

This is because the park owner has a business contract with his energy supplier, and the tariffs do not qualify for UK Government price capping. This also means that energy supply companies with a single contract with the owner to supply the site are not, therefore liable to pay compensation for power outages, as they have no direct contract with individual occupiers. Furthermore, as the resident does not have a direct supply contract with the Energy Company, they do not qualify for the government protection scheme, nor can they benefit from the £200 Energy Bills Rebate.

IPHAS has made strong representations to the Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng MP, but have yet to receive a satisfactory response to address these anomalies. Meanwhile, they continue to stress the point that occupiers are legally entitled to choose their own source of energy supplies.

For further information, please refer to the following Citizens Advice Links in relation to contacting their consumer helpline if a person is not satisfied with the energy supplier’s decision, or making a complaint to the energy Ombudsman, who are responsible for settling disputes with network operators.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/problems-with-your-energy-supply/get-compensation-if-you-have-a-power-cut/

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/complain-about-an-energy-company/complain-to-the-energy-ombudsman/

Information is also available from Ofgem with the following link: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/sites/default/files/docs/2016/12/ofg581_guarantee_standards_booklet_updated_dec16.pdf

FURTHER INFORMATION WILL BE PROVIDED AS AND WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE.

Will you be affected by the forthcoming changes to the Energy Price Cap?

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/check-if-energy-price-cap-affects-you

 

WELSH PROPOSAL TO REDUCE THE 10% COMMISSION WITHDRAWN

As a result of the consultation process on the Park Homes Commission Rate (See the above Link), the Minister in the Welsh Assembly proposed that the commission payable on the sale of a park home should be reduced from the current maximum of 10 percent by one percent each year for five years. This would bring the maximum rate of commission down to 5 percent. We in IPHAS and NAPHR pointed out that the park owners could claim an increase in pitch fees to compensate but the Minister replied that this could be settled by the tribunal system.

In practice, the tribunal would have to follow the law and implied term 18(1)(d) states that any change in the law affecting the management of the site could be considered at the pitch fee review. Therefore, we wrote to the Welsh Assembly expressing our concern at the probable increase in pitch fees resulting from their proposal. When this appeared to have no effect, we combined our letters with letters from the BH&HPA and NCC. However, we did make it known to all that our reasons were different. Our reasons were to prevent an increase in pitch fees while the BH&HPA and NCC were concerned about the park owner’s income.

The Welsh Assembly have now withdrawn their proposal, but that is only temporary, and IPHAS will continue to monitor the situation. We will explain to the Welsh Minister, that a simple amendment to the implied term could have the desired effect.

Click here to find out more

SCOTTISH STANDARDS

The Scottish Government is introducing new standards for fire and smoke alarms in all homes in Scotland from February 2022, but this will not apply to park homes. From this date, every (traditional) home must have:

  • a smoke alarm in the living room and in circulation spaces such as hallways and landings
  • a heat alarm in every kitchen all alarms ceiling mounted and interlinked
  • a carbon monoxide alarm where there are fixed combustion appliances such as boilers and wood burners

The new rules mean the standard which currently applies to private rented property and new-builds is being extended to all homes in Scotland.
An enquiry by the Chair of SCOPHRA, (The Scottish Confederation of Park Home Residents Associations), to the Scottish Government on the application of the legislation to park homes brought the response below:

“The new standard will not apply to park homes. The reason is that they are not covered by the definition of house in the legislation.
Simon Roberts Policy Manager: Housing Standards and Quality”

However, SCOPHRA endorses this new level of precautions and urges park home residents, for their own safety, to ensure adequate fire safety. Please check your detectors, ensure the batteries are working, test all detectors regularly and if you do not have a carbon monoxide detector, SCOPHRA recommends you install one. These are available online or from DIY stores. 

HAVE YOU SUFFERED FLOOD DAMAGE, OR DO YOU LIVE IN A HIGH-RISK FLOOD AREA OF THE COUNTRY?

Re-insurance cover for properties at risk of flood.

Floodre is a joint initiative between the Government and Insurers to provide ‘flood cover insurance’ as an additional element to a home insurance policy (Park Homes included), that would normally not offer flood cover to a prospective customer.  It is designed to cover properties built before 2009 (qualifying criteria) that might not be considered insurable against flood and to/or make any higher premiums for those that are, more affordable, and to provide flood cover for properties that private insurers totally refuse to consider.

Not all insurance companies will offer Flood cover for new customers, especially to those with properties located near bodies of water.  The Floodre scheme is not a mandatory one for insurance companies to adopt unfortunately, and even with the clear financial benefits to them and the peace of mind a flood cover policy offers their customers, some companies don’t participate in the scheme or only for geographically specific areas.    

There remains a large number of properties throughout the UK that are considered to be too high a risk by insurance companies to be offered any Flood Cover whatsoever, leaving many with standard buildings and contents cover – with a flood exclusion.  This clearly leaves them in a very vulnerable position and because they can’t find any flood cover, this exclusion can detrimentally affect the property’s re-sale value as a result too.  

SCHEME ELIGIBILTY

Who is eligible for Flood Re?

  • Properties must be located within the UK mainland.
  • Properties must have a Council Tax band A to H.
  • Properties must be built before 1st January 2009. Note: If a property has been demolished and rebuilt before this date, then the new building is still eligible for Flood Re.
  • Properties must be used for residential purposes.
  • Properties must have an individual premium.
  • Leasehold flats with three or less fewer units are eligible.
  • The policy holder or their immediate family must live in the home for some or all of the time, or the property must be unoccupied.
  • The insurance contract must be in the name of one or more individuals, not companies.

Who is not eligible for Flood Re?

  • Bed and breakfast premises that are paying business rates.
  • Contingent buildings policies, such as those held by banks.
  • Farm outbuildings.
  • Freeholders/leaseholders deriving commercial income by insuring large numbers of properties for a portfolio.
  • Housing association’s residential properties.
  • Multi-use properties under commercial or private ownership.
  • Residential ‘buy to let’ properties that do not meet the criteria specified above.
  • Static caravan site owners when they are being used for commercial gain.
  • In the case of blocks of residential flats, company houses/flats, and social housing contents only can be covered.

Floodre website:   https://www.floodre.co.uk/

Floodre List of Insurers:            https://www.floodre.co.uk/can-flood-re-help-me/

 

FORM TO BE USED WITH PITCH FEE REVIEW NOTICE

From 26 July 2013 a pitch fee review notice must be accompanied by a form explaining the increase. The form to be used in a review is now available for download at
https://www.gov.uk/park-homes-guidance
There are two versions (one for completion on- line the other for printing and completion by hand).
It is also important to note that the form accompanies the review notice. If the form is served without a review notice the review would be invalid.
The review notice itself can simply state the new pitch fee, the amount of increase and the date the increased pitch fee is payable from. From 26 July 2013 a pitch fee review notice must be accompanied by a form explaining the increase. The form to be used in a review is now available for download at
https://www.gov.uk/park-homes-guidance
There are two versions (one for completion on- line the other for printing and completion by hand).
It is also important to note that the form accompanies the review notice. If the form is served without a review notice the review would be invalid.
The review notice itself can simply state the new pitch fee, the amount of increase and the date the increased pitch fee is payable from.

REGISTER YOUR HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES

The government has supported a home safety initiative which aims to encourage consumers to register their home appliances so that they can be contacted in case of a product safety repair or recall. An information sheet can be downloaded here

Download the PDF

AMDEA (The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances has created a website https://www.registermyappliance.org.uk to make it easier for the public to register all their appliances from one website portal. While the incidence of product recall is rare it is very important for the safety of owners in their homes – if your product isnt registered you cant be contacted.

SITE LICENCE FEE IN THE PITCH FEE

The Mobile Homes Act 2013 introduced a number of changes one of which was to give more powers to the local authorities regarding the site licence and the licence conditions. One change was that it allowed the local authority to charge an annual fee for the site licence. Under the implied terms this charge can be passed onto the residents at the following pitch fee review.

The relevant implied term is 18(1)(ba) which states:
18-(1) When determining the amount of the new pitch fee particular regard shall be had to-
(ba) any direct effect on the costs payable by the owner in relation to the maintenance or management of the site of an enactment which has come into force since the last review date:

This means that at the next pitch fee review following the imposition of the annual site licence fee by the local authority on the site owner the amount of the fee can be divided by the number of occupied homes and added to the pitch fee. It then becomes an integral part of the pitch fee which is usually increased by the RPI each year. Because this legislation came into force on 1 April 2014 the fee contribution cannot be added to the pitch fee at a review after 1 April 2015.

LIQUIFIED PETROLEUM GAS (LPG)

CHARGES

Unlike other utilities, there are no rules governing the resale of LPG and the park owner 

usually makes a profit on the resale. However, Implied Term 22(b)(ii) of the Written Statement still applies. The park owner must provide on request, documentary evidence in support and explanation of all charges for LPG he resells. Residents use LPG either in cylinders or from tanks installed on the pitch or from a common large tank on the park. Where residents use cylinders, they are free to use whatever supplier they like however, on some parks, the park owner may insist on residents purchasing cylinders through him and he may make a profit on this resale.

Where a resident has an LPG tank on his pitch he is usually billed direct from the supplier. 

On some parks, the park owner may insist on the transaction being made through him and he may make a profit on this resale.

Some parks have one large LPG tank on the park owned and operated by the park owner and the gas is piped to the individual pitches. The park owner will read the resident’s meter and will then bill the resident. 

Again, Implied Term 22(b)(ii) of the Written Statement states the park owner must provide on request, documentary evidence in support and explanation of his charges, including any LPG he resells. But, from examination of these documents the resident considers that the park owner is making an excessive profit from the resale of LPG, there is little that can be done about it.

SAFETY

The following links provide useful information and answers to your questions on the subject of LPG supplies and safety regulations.

LPG in Residential Parks
https://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/internalops/ocs/400-499/440_34.htm

Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations
https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l56.htm

Safe materials in LPG installations
https://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/lpg/servicepipework.htm

WARM HOME DISCOUNT SCHEME

Consultation:

The consultation process ended on 22 August 2021 (see above link), proposes to expand, and reform the scheme in England and Wales until 2026, in line with the commitments announced in the Energy White Paper in 2020. The objective of the reforms is to improve the fuel poverty targeting rate of the scheme and ensure more fuel poor households can receive rebates on their energy bills automatically, through data matching.

Click here to find out more

STATE PENSION AGE

The State Pension age is currently 66 and two further increases are currently set out in legislation: a gradual rise to 67 for those born on or after April 1960; and a gradual rise to 68 between 2044 and 2046 for those born on or after April 1977.

Basic State Pension

You get the basic State Pension if you’re a man born before April 6, 1951, or a woman born before April 6, 1953. Currently the full basic State Pension is £137.60 per week. That’s £555.40 a month, or £7,155.20 a year. For the year 2022/23, the full basic State Pension will rise to £141.85, that is £567.40 a month, £7376.20 a year.

New State Pension

You will get the new State Pension instead if you are a man born on or after April 6, 1951, or a woman born on or after April 6, 1953. At present, the full new State Pension is £179.60 per week. That’s £718.40 a month based on four weekly payments, or £9,339.20 a year based on 52 weekly payments. For the year 2022/23, the full basic State Pension will rise to £185.15, that is £740.60 a month, £9627.80 a year.

MHCLG SURVEY ON 10% COMMISSION

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government commissioned The University of Liverpool and Sheffield Hallam University to provide essential research on the residential park homes sector to inform their review of the maximum 10 per cent commission paid on the sale of park homes. Their report was received at the Ministry of Housing Staff on 12th January 2022 and is currently being assessed by their staff.

FIT AND PROPER PERSON TEST

The fit and proper Regulations were made on 23 September 2020 and came into force in two parts. The first part came into force on 1 July 2021 by which time local authorities were required to be ready to receive applications from site owners. The second part came into force on 1 October 2021 by which time all site owners were required to have submitted applications to be assessed.

Local authorities will be able to charge an application fee and an annual fee and to recover the costs they have incurred, or which will be incurred, in appointing a person to manage a site with the site owner’s consent. This is consistent with the approach to other licensing fees (i.e., site licence fee). The charges should be shared between all residents and should be added to the Pitch Fee Review The fit and proper Regulations were made on 23 September 2020 and came into force in two parts. The first part came into force on 1 July 2021 by which time local authorities were required to be ready to receive applications from site owners. The second part came into force on 1 October 2021 by which time all site owners were required to have submitted applications to be assessed.

Local authorities will be able to charge an application fee and an annual fee and to recover the costs they have incurred, or which will be incurred, in appointing a person to manage a site with the site owner’s consent. This is consistent with the approach to other licensing fees (i.e. site licence fee). The charges should be shared between all residents and should be added to the Pitch Fee Review under Section 4C of the PFR form – ‘Recoverable Costs’.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1034/data.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mobile-homes-fit-and-proper-person-test-guidance-for-local-authorities/mobile-homes-a-guide-for-local-authorities-on-the-fit-and-proper-person-test