Chairman’s Report 18th March ‘18
Welcome to you all and thank you for being here.
As you know, as every year, prior to this meeting, David and I meet with Martyn Fowler at Head Office to hear his assessment of the past season and his plans for the business, particularly where they affect us, and of course, to bring your concerns to his attention. This year we met at the new offices just outside Barnstaple. We also met with Ed Newbold at Kenegie in the same way.
As we had heard at the AGM, on the whole, it was confirmed that bookings for last season were up on the previous year, and as of now, it is looking as though advance bookings are already well up on this time in 2017, which hopefully bodes well for the season provided the weather doesn’t cause more cancellations or site closures!
I may be duplicating with “matters arising” but you should be assured that we do pass on your concerns at these meetings. For example, we mentioned your concerns about excessive discounting by JFH and Dr Fowler has told us that he is moving towards introducing a system of variable pricing, whereby the price will increase, the closer it gets to the date of the holiday. Obviously, this won’t happen this year, so we can only watch this space!
We also passed on your observation that whatever the reason may be, many members were finding that despite an increased number of bookings, the final amount you received at the end of each year seems to be going down and that this was causing considerable dissatisfaction. He listened carefully to this and appeared surprised. He has now said that he is going to analyse some random individual owners’ income over a historic period to see if he can understand what was going on. Obviously, I didn’t have any specific examples to show him, but he is addressing it.
Another concern we put to him was the suspicion that owners are being charged an inordinate mark-up on replacement items. Again, he was adamant that the company does not set out to make a profit on replacements but for the sake of standards, the managers are restricted to specific retailers and where they don’t have items available on park, a charge has to be made to cover the time and admin involved in physically getting hold of things. It is no secret that it will always be cheaper for you to buy any replacements yourself, but obviously if you aren’t local this isn’t usually practical.
For those of you at Kenegie, once again, in your side meeting David will keep you up to date with Mr Newbold’s plans for the site and his responses to concerns raised on your behalf.
Whichever park you are on though, we can only put your concerns to John Fowler Holidays and the company that owns Kenegie if we know the specific details.
It is particularly disappointing that all our sites are very under represented, at the moment. Please do consider whether you could volunteer to represent the owners on your park. Ideally, we need volunteers who do visit the site and who, between them are able to have at least one rep at most of the meetings. We need to be working together with each other and with the park managers.
If we are to make full use of this association, we need everyone to use their eyes and ears and then communicate…… not only complaints and groans but also the good things that occur at your park. If you have concerns that are specific to your unit, address them individually to the park manager, but if they are general to your park, pass it to the rep, and if you think they are of general interest to all members, then the reps can address them to David and myself who can take it further as appropriate. Also for park or general matters put it on the website! The forum is there for you.
If you have specific billing concerns or suspicions, do phone Head Office and ask for Carrie who is always keen to clear up any misunderstandings with owners.
Please remember that we are all on the same side. It is in everyone’s interest to have a successful season with lots of satisfied holiday guests!
We hope that you will find this meeting informative and helpful and we wish you a trouble free and successful season.