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MP/MSP Support for SCOPHRA August 2022

List of Replies from MSPs & MPs regarding £400 Energy Grant

 

Douglas Ross MP MSP
Leader | Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party

Dear Mr Gray, 

Thank you for taking the time to write to me on these two issues. I am pleased to count park home residents amongst the communities of Moray.  

With regards to the research paper released last month (Mobile homes: The impact of a change in the maximum park home sale commission), England’s commission charge is set independently of Scotland and Wales. The Scottish Government last engaged in a review of this matter in 2011, and I am not aware of current plans to undertake a new review.  

The UK Government has however committed to introduce legislation to link the pitch fee review inflation index to the consumer price index rather than the retail price index, to ensure fairer rates for English park home residents. I believe this demonstrates that the needs of park home residents are very much relevant to the UK Government.  

With regards to the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS), you raised a very valid question which I was pleased to see acknowledged by the UK Government in their update on 29 July. As I am sure you read, the UK Government confirmed that funding will be available to provide equivalent support of £400 for energy bills for the households who will not be reached through the EBSS. The details of this are to be announced in the Autumn. I have written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy welcoming this announcement (attached), and requesting that his team make all efforts to ensure nobody fails to receive this vital support.

Miles Briggs MSP, the Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, had indicated to me that he is available should you wish to discuss issues related to the Scottish Parliament in more detail.  

Thank you again for taking the time to write to me. 

Kind regards,
Douglas

 

Alexander Burnett MSP

Dear Bill,

Thank you for writing to Alexander requesting support for these issues. I would like to let you know that the following five questions were asked to the Scottish Government on the 22nd of July by Alexander and we are currently awaiting a response

  1. To ask the government when data will be gathered from local authorities on park home residential licences.
  1. To ask the government what plans there are to amend the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (Amendment of Schedule 1) (Scotland) Order 2013 to use CPI rather than RPI as the measure of inflation for the purposes of annual reviews of pitch fees for park homes.
  1. To ask the government what steps will be taken to ensure that park home residents receive the full benefit of the support available to households to help meet the rise in the cost of energy, rather than site owners.
  1. To ask the government when a Fit and Proper Person Test for park owners and managers will be introduced.
  1. To ask the government when there will be a review into the 10 per cent maximum commission of the price of a mobile home upon sale

Once a response has been received from the Scottish Government, we will forward it on to you

Kind regards,

Sa

Samuel Payne

Parliamentary Assistant

Office of Alexander Burnett MSP

Constituency MSP for Aberdeenshire West

www.alexanderburnett.com

 

 

Jim Fairlie MSP 

Wed 27/07/2022 15:12

Good afternoon,

Mr Fairlie has asked me to thank you for your letter. I can confirm that he will be writing to both the UK and Scottish Government, respectively in order to raise the points that you make. 

I will share the responses that he receives as soon as I have sight of them.

With best wishes,

Michael Ironside

on behalf of Jim Fairlie MSP

 

SENT ON BEHALF OF FINLAY CARSON MSP

 

Wed 27/07/2022 12:09

Dear Bill,

My thanks for your recent correspondence regarding park home sales commissions and energy support.

Thank you for highlighting the recent study undertaken by The University of Liverpool and Sheffield Hallam University into the commission on park home sales in England. While Scotland’s charge is set independently of both England and Wales, it is clearly a study of interest given its analysis of the potential positive and negative impacts of changes to the park home sales commission.

As I understand it, the Scottish Government last reviewed this charge in 2011 and I have not been made aware of any plans to undertake a new review. If you wish, I would be happy to enquire with the Scottish Government if they are seeking to review this charge in the near future.

In regard to the support for Energy Bills by the UK Government, this is an important and timely question to which we are awaiting a full answer from the UK Government for park home residents. I have previously been informed that the UK Government will seek to clarify this matter in the near future and I await this clarification with interest. This issue has previously been raised to me by constituents in a similar situation where a third party provides domestic electricity billing and so I am keeping an active interest in the matter

I trust that the above is of assistance.

Kind Regards,

Finlay Carson MSP

Member of the Scottish Parliament for Galloway & West Dumfries

107 King St, Castle Douglas, DG7 1LZ

01556 504991

 

Colin Beatie  MSP colin.beattie.msp@parliament.sco

Tue 26/07/2022 15:36

Dear Bill, 

Thank you for contacting me recently with your letter. I have made representation to the Scottish Government in relation to the issues outlined in your correspondence and I will be back in touch as soon as I have received a response.

Kind regards
Colin

Colin Beattie MSP
Midlothian North and Musselburgh
 

Scottish Parliament
M3.05
Holyrood
Edinburgh
EH99 1SP
Tel: 0131 348 6374

______________________________________________________________________________

 

PATRICIA GIBSON MP       Patricia 

 

Fri 22/07/2022 15:43
 

Dear Mr Gray

Thank you for your email regarding the two important matters pertaining to park homes causing concern.

First of all, in relation to the £400 energy grant which will be paid to all householders but may not be paid to park homes residents, I am acutely aware of this and have raised it numerous times in the House of Commons on behalf of my constituents who understandably fear they may miss out on this vital support simply because they live in a park home.  This would be unjust and unacceptable.

I understand this is a worrying situation for those who do not have a direct and personal energy account with an energy supplier and I have been assisting a number of those in my constituency who live in park homes and harbour the same fears that you do, that you will be omitted from this support which will go to every household save those in your situation or those in park homes.  This would be most unfair.

I have been pressing this matter in the House of Commons with the UK Government for some time now and you can see the Written Questions I lodged with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as below in May

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (11730):

Question:
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on ensuring that people living in park homes, including those who are elderly and vulnerable, can access recently announced Government support for energy bills. (11730)

Tabled on: 30 May 2022

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that people who purchase off-grid gas supplies, including those who are live in park homes and are elderly and vulnerable, are able to access Government support for energy bills. (11731)
    Tabled on: 31 May 2022
  2. To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that people with off-grid energy supplies will receive the energy bills grant announced on 26 May 2022. (11732)
    Tabled on: 31 May 2022

Answer:
Greg Hands:

The Government is aware that not all households have electricity provided through a domestic electricity supply contract, such as park home residents. The Government raised this in its technical consultation on the Energy Bills Support Scheme. The responses to this consultation are being analysed and a response will be published later in the summer.

Vulnerable consumers, including park home residents will be eligible for £140 contribution towards their energy bills each winter through the Government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme. It is anticipated that the Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme will re-open again in September 2022. Other support available includes the Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments.

From: Written Parliamentary Questions and Answers
Sent: 08 June 2022 15:29
To: GIBSON, Patricia 
patricia.gibson.mp@parliament.uk
Subject: Written answer to your WPQ 11732 received from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

 

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (11732):

Question:
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that people with off-grid energy supplies will receive the energy bills grant announced on 26 May 2022. (11732)

Tabled on: 31 May 2022

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on ensuring that people living in park homes, including those who are elderly and vulnerable, can access recently announced Government support for energy bills. (11730)
    Tabled on: 30 May 2022
  2. To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that people who purchase off-grid gas supplies, including those who are live in park homes and are elderly and vulnerable, are able to access Government support for energy bills. (11731)
    Tabled on: 31 May 2022

Answer:
Greg Hands:

The Government is aware that not all households have electricity provided through a domestic electricity supply contract, such as park home residents. The Government raised this in its technical consultation on the Energy Bills Support Scheme. The responses to this consultation are being analysed and a response will be published later in the summer.

Vulnerable consumers, including park home residents will be eligible for £140 contribution towards their energy bills each winter through the Government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme. It is anticipated that the Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme will re-open again in September 2022. Other support available includes the Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments.

From: Written Parliamentary Questions and Answers
Sent: 08 June 2022 15:29
To: GIBSON, Patricia 
patricia.gibson.mp@parliament.uk
Subject: Written answer to your WPQ 11731 received from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (11731):

Question:
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that people who purchase off-grid gas supplies, including those who are live in park homes and are elderly and vulnerable, are able to access Government support for energy bills. (11731)

Tabled on: 31 May 2022

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on ensuring that people living in park homes, including those who are elderly and vulnerable, can access recently announced Government support for energy bills. (11730)
    Tabled on: 30 May 2022
  2. To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that people with off-grid energy supplies will receive the energy bills grant announced on 26 May 2022. (11732)
    Tabled on: 31 May 2022

Answer:
Greg Hands:

The Government is aware that not all households have electricity provided through a domestic electricity supply contract, such as park home residents. The Government raised this in its technical consultation on the Energy Bills Support Scheme. The responses to this consultation are being analysed and a response will be published later in the summer.

Vulnerable consumers, including park home residents will be eligible for £140 contribution towards their energy bills each winter through the Government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme. It is anticipated that the Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme will re-open again in September 2022. Other support available includes the Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments.

The responses I received to these Written Questions, as you will see, shows all reference to the £400 available for every other household in the UK is pointedly ignored whilst the response diverts into other areas such as the Winter Fuel Allowance and the Warm Homes Scheme which is not what I ask about. 

However, I am pleased to say that my persistence seems to be paying off since on 1st July I raised this in Treasury Questions and was told by the Treasury Minister that:

“The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been consulting on how we deliver support to people living in places such as park homes that do not have the same electricity or energy supply as others.”

You can watch this exchange by clicking the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnCf773inFQ

I raised this issue  previously and of park home residents accessing the £400 of help with energy bills available to every other household and you can see me doing so by clicking the link below:

https://youtu.be/OnN25veEJh4

This response, as you can see,  was not reassuring, as I am sure you will agree so I have continued to pursue this and I believe the UK Government is coming round but I will continue to apply pressure for this.

In order to keep up the pressure on this, I lodged two Written Questions with the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as follows:

To ask what progress his Department is making in ensuring that those who do not do not have a personal account with an energy provider such as those living in park homes and those who live in managed independent living retirement complexes receive the same support with energy costs on the same basis as every other household across the UK.

The date for answer for these questions was 7th July and you can see the response as below:

From: Written Parliamentary Questions and Answers  
Sent: 07 July 2022 13:19
To: GIBSON, Patricia <
patricia.gibson.mp@parliament.uk>
Subject: Written answer to your WPQ 30050 received from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (30050):

Question:
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress his Department has made on ensuring that people who do not have a personal account with an energy provider, including those (a) living in park homes and (b) who live in managed independent living retirement accommodation, receive support with energy costs on the same basis as other households. (30050)

Tabled on: 04 July 2022

Answer:
Greg Hands:

All domestic electricity customers who have a direct relationship with a licensed electricity supplier will be automatically eligible for this Scheme.

Households without a domestic electricity supply contract are not eligible for the Scheme and we are exploring options for other ways in which they might receive similar support. This was raised in our technical consultation (Energy Bills Support Scheme – Managing the impact of the energy price shock on consumer bills) which closed on the 23 May. Responses to the consultation are being analysed and the Government response will be published in the summer.

With 200,000 park home residents across the UK, it would be a foolish government – as well as an unjust one – which simply left park home residents out of the energy grant scheme.

I have now been told several times by the UK Government  that it will decide over the summer how to extend this support to park home residents.  If this does not happen, I assure you I will continue to pursue this. All they need to do is issue a cheque to those who are park home residents, verified by state pension payments.  It is not difficult.

It is fair to say that at the moment the Tory Government is in a state of paralysis, which is disgraceful during a cost of living crisis.  However, please be assured I will pick this up if the promised announcement over summer does not materialise.

Regarding the issue of 10% paid to site owners by those selling their park homes, this is an issue of which I am aware and have raised before.

I have now raised it again with Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government in the Scottish Government.  Please see attached.

As soon as I have a response from her I will update you.  Please note that it can take up to six weeks for a response to be received from members of the Government in any part of the UK.

I hope the information above is helpful to you.

Please let me know if I can assist you in any other way.

Best wishes

Patricia Gibson MP

North Ayrshire & Arran

Unit 1 | 78 Princes Street | Ardrossan | KA22 7DF

Tel: 01294 603774

Email: patricia.gibson.mp@parliament.uk

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Colin Beattie MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh

Cunningham L (Laura) 

Fri 22/07/2022 13:41

Dear Bill,

Many thanks for the below correspondence. Colin would like to give you’re his support and is minded to write to the Scottish Government to highlight these issues. I will let you know once he has done this.

Kind regards

Laura

Laura Cunningham                       Parliamentary Assistant

 

Constituency Tel: 0131 454 0204         Scottish Parliament Tel: 0131 348 6374

M: 07825 903461

E: Laura.Cunningham@Parliament.Scot

 

Privacy policy: http://www.colinbeattiemsp.org/privacy-policy.html

 

 

Kenneth Gibson MSP 

 

Sun 24/07/2022 17:15

 

Dear Mr Gray,

Thank you for your letter regarding the two issues currently impacting on residents of park homes.

Some of these are my own constituents and I am therefore fully supportive of efforts both to remove the 10% commission levy to site owners and secure for each household the £400 energy payment.

I note that you mention the work of Sir Christopher Chope MP, however North Ayrshire & Arran MP Patricia Gibson also raised this matter in the House and continues to work with constituents to secure a solution.

GRAEME DEY MSP 

 

Thu 28/07/2022 14:10

Dear Bill,

Thank you for getting in touch. I have been engaging closely with residents of Seaton Park in my constituency and am therefore well sighted on all of the issues you raise.

I am sympathetic to the situation park home residents have found themselves in and that is why I wrote to the UK Government just last month to highlight the concern of the £400 grant for utility bills not being passed down to residents.

I wanted to know whether the UK Government were sighted on this issue, and what steps can be taken to ensure park home residents can benefit from this essential financial support.

In their response I was advised that they are exploring options for other ways in which such households might receive similar support.

Although this does not provide much clarity to park home residents it does at least confirm the UK Government’s knowledge of the situation.

I will be sure to continue my engagement with residents in my constituency and offer my support wherever possible.

Kind regards,

Graeme Dey

MSP for Angus South Constituency

+ 282-284 High Street, Arbroath, DD11 1JF / The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP

* Graeme.Dey.MSP@parliament.scot

( 01241 873058

 

Wendy Chamberlain MP

Dear Bill Gray,

Thank you for contacting Wendy and for providing a copy of your letter.

I would like to confirm Wendy has written to the Secretary of State for BEIS about the energy scheme and park homes, as this has been an issue raised by our constituents.

Additionally, we have also written to the Scottish Government about pitch fees (need to move to CPI from RPI) , which I understand is one of SCOPHRA’s aims.

Kind regards,

Douglas Munro

Caseworker for Wendy Chamberlain MP

Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for North East Fife

Unit G1, Granary Business Centre, Coal Road, Cupar, Fife, KY15 5YQ

T: 01334 656361 | E: Wendy.Chamberlain.MP@parliament.uk

______________________________________________________________________________

 

 Dave Doogan MP
22 July 2022 11:05
To: SCOPHRA@outlook.com
Subject: Re: SCOPHRA Requesting your Support (Case Ref: DD7234)

 

Dear Bill,

Thank you for your email on behalf of The Scottish Confederation of Park Homes Residents Associations in relation to the 10% commission to site owners and the £400 energy grant.

As you may be aware, parliamentary offices are only permitted to undertake casework raised by constituents of Angus. Therefore, I would be grateful if you could provide with me your full address and postcode to confirm that you are a resident of the Angus constituency.

Our office has already made enquiries regarding the £400 energy grant after concerns were raised by local residents of residential parks with Angus. I have attached the response we received from the for Minister of State for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, Greg Hands MP.

I was very pleased to note that the UK Government are now exploring other options to allow residential park residents to receive support. You will note that the UK Government will be announcing further details of these plans later this summer. I will continue to monitor this situation and, with my SNP colleagues, continue to hold the UK Government to account by ensuring residential park residents receive comparative financial support at this difficult time.

I note from your email that you have raised concerns in relation to the 10% commission paid to the site owner upon the sale of a property. It maybe helpful to know that the topic of housing is devolved to the Scottish Parliament and legislation surrounding this matter may differ to what is reported in the recent UK Parliament report as this only applies to England.

I believe it may be best if any concerns regarding this topic be raised with the local Members of Scottish Parliament (MSP). Local MSPs can be located here - https://www.parliament.scot/msps/ - by entering your postcode in the “Find MSPs by postcode” search box.

I do hope the information provided in this email is helpful and if you require any further assistance with your enquiries, please do not hesitate to respond to this email with your full address and postcode.
 

Yours sincerely,

Cameron Long
On behalf of Dave Doogan, MP

Constituency Office | 01241 815330 |
26 Keptie Street, Arbroath, DD11 3AF
www.DaveDoogan.scot 
Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook

For details of Dave Doogan’s privacy policy and how your data will be used, please see: https://davedoogan.scot/privacy-policy/ 

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

FOYSOL CHOUDHURY MSP 

 

Fri 29/07/2022 16:10

 

Dear Bill,

Thank you for your email to Foysol.

After a quick search, Foysol was able to identity the following site which is in his region:

Willow Wood Residential Park in West Calder: https://www.parkhomesscotland.com/homes-for-sale/property/28

Do you also know of other affected homes in West Lothian, Edinburgh North & Leith and Edinburgh Western ? – as these are in Foysol’s constituency area.

Foysol fully supports this and has asked whether you could perhaps suggest any specific written questions he can ask the Scottish Government next week?

We look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks,

Nibal

Nibal Saleh | Admin Officer

Office of Foysol Choudhury MSP for Lothian Region

M1.14|The Scottish Parliament |Edinburgh| EH99 1SP

T: 0131 348 6761

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

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