The joint owner of two family run park homes sites in Cornwall has been fined more than £11,000 by magistrates in Plymouth after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety and caravan site licences.
Jeffery Small Junior is one of three family members who jointly own JB and J Small Park Homes which runs the two sites in Cornwall.
The case was brought by Cornwall Council’s licensing compliance team after the owners chose not to work with the authority to ensure that levels of public safety are maintained at an acceptable level. Following the guilty plea Jeffery Small Junior was fined £8,400 for the health and safety offences and £990 for the caravan site offences. He was also ordered to pay £2,200 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
“While the majority of owners and operators of caravan sites are keen to work with us on protecting public safety, a small number choose not to engage in this process and can sometimes become obstructive” said Graham Bailey, case officer and the Council’s Senior Licence Compliance Officer.
“This can result in situations which can expose employees, members of the public and residents of park homes to risks which can threaten their health and well-being.
“In this particular case JB & J Small Park Homes chose not to fully engage with the council. Despite being given adequate periods of time to carry out remedial works, they did not take any action, leaving the authority with no choice but to bring the case to court”.
Although expressing disappointment at the low level of fines awarded by the court given the seriousness of the breaches, Mr Bailey welcomed the strong criticism from the magistrates over the significant level of risk faced by elderly residents at a result of the behaviour of the owner.
“I hope that this case will serve as a warning to other caravan site operators who choose to ignore informal advice and formal interventions by caravan site compliance officers. “