December 14, 2019

Churchill Retirement donates £150,000 to Conservatives. To retain ground rents, by any chance?

Tory parliamentary candidate for the New Forest Sir Desmond Swayne, who has spoken in favour of retirement ground rents in the Commons, with the McCarthy family opening McCarthy House, an office for Churchill Retirement Living. The McCarthy family have been highly influential in creating the retirement housing sector we have today. Churchill was set up by the McCarthy sons, Spencer and Clinton, while father John McCarthy, sold McCarthy and Stone, ostensibly for £1 billion. His self-published biography Building a Billion is an amusing read of how he created his company.

Churchill Retirement, which belongs to the McCarthy family who founded McCarthy and Stone, yesterday gave £150,000 to the Conservative party.

Churchill Retirement has led the rear-guard action to exempt retirement housing from the government’s three-times repeated promise to reduce new ground rents to zero.

McCarthy and Stone, on the other hand, more or less conceded that the time for ground rents was over, as it moved to a long-term management business of the assets that it built.

Ground rents, and leasehold, makes little sense if you build and manage retirement housing for the long-term.

Indeed, the trade body Association of Retirement Community Operators opposes ground rents. Its members included posh private retirement housing providers such as Audley, and outfits such as the ExtraCare Charitable Trust and the Methodist Housing Association.

http://search.electoralcommission.org.uk/English/Donations/C0413588

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