Flag is Up and VAT is Down
The Union Flag was raised today at Highlands End ready for the Jubilee celebrations this weekend. I am sure that the majority of our guests will be having a party and toasting the health of the Queen.
We have two other reasons for raising the flag.
Firstly, the Government has listened to the economic evidence provided by the industry during the consultation period and decided to change the budget proposal to introduce 20% VAT on caravan holiday homes. The revised proposal is a rate of 5% which many in the industry appear to accept is more acceptable and it will be introduced on 1 April 2013 not 1 October.
Obviously we would have preferred to remain at ‘zero’ VAT, but if we accept that VAT is to be levied at 5% the later implementation date should be more suitable for the manufacturers and parks. The first proposal of 20% would have had a devastating impact on manufacturing and parks with predicted high levels of redundancies and unemployment. The government u-turn has avoided this and although the 5% will result in a reduction in demand the outcome should be far less and more manageable at all levels – there is relief all around the industry.
Secondly, this evening we received confirmation of the planning consent for the re-organisation of the caravan holiday home layout and to extend the park into an additional area which will provide space for 10 lodge style carvans. This application was submitted before any VAT proposals so over next few weeks we will looking at the details to see how we can take the development forwards.
It will need some rapid decisions if we are going to have the exciting new devlopment of Lodges on the hire fleet next year!! More details by end of July……
Rescue of Paraglider
Lots of excitement at Highlands this evening with the rescue of a paraglider who landed on the side of the cliff. Paragliding is very popular along our coastline and many take off from the edge near the camping area.
We had a very impressive range of the emergency vehicles serving West Dorset parked in the play area near the cliff edge.
Seeing some of my old colleagues from the fire station in action together with the Coastguard and Ambulance Service reminded me that I have been retired for nearly five years – the younger members must be thinking who is that old chap taking photos!
The man was succesfully rescued and it was good for the crowd to see our emergency services working together. We often take it for granted and to see a real rescue highlights how important the services are in a rural area and the majority of the people involved have full-time jobs and are on call for the emergency services.
Great weather in Dorset over the last few days and hopefully it will last to the Bank Holiday Jubilee Weekend which will be busy if we have lots of sunshine.
Camping and Lobby against VAT on static caravans
A customer who had returned to Bridport for a school reunion gave me this photo today which shows his mother and family enjoying a camping holiday at Eype – you can see that cliffs have changed and there is no sign of shorts and T-shirts.
They look very happy and like many of the owners of Caravan Holiday Homes on our parks are enjoying the Dorset coastline. However, our owners are now concerned about the introduction of VAT on caravan holiday homes from 1 October 2012 which threatens their future enjoyment – if you are concerned please contact your local MP or add your name to the e-petition http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/32781
The good news is that the sun is now shining and our phones have been very busy today. The other good news is that the District Council have granted a ‘certificate of lawful use’ for the camping is Big Berries at Golden Cap – so no change; we can carry on doing what we have been doing for the last 30 years with tents welcome during the peak season. The council can now close the file……