Cornish Manor Owners’ Association
Minutes of Annual General Meeting held on Saturday 12th November 2011 at Perran View Cornwall
Present Jean Tolchard Chairman
Michael O’Neill Vice Chairman/Membership Secretary
David Lappin Secretary
Trevor Healing Treasurer
Site Representatives: Paul Hunter, Barrie Hockley, Liz Ashenden,
Sandie Newberry, Paul Bennett. Christopher Nell
Attendance 96 Members
Madam Chairman opened the meeting and thanked all for attending, with a special thank you to JHF management team for taking the time and effort to attend our AGM. Madam Chairman took the opportunity to advise the meeting that JFH staff were invited guests and must be treated with respect and courtesy.
Before the main proceedings began the Secretary informed the meeting that Madam Chairman had made a gallant effort to be with us today, as she had recently undergone hospital treatment and was unable to drive or lift for a while. She had taken the trouble to travel by Rail, Bus and Taxi to join us and chair the meeting.
The Minutes of the meeting held on Sunday 27th March 2011 at Village De Vere Hotel Swindon were approved by Mr John Bennett and seconded by Mr R Ashenden as a true and proper record.
The Secretary was asked to write to JFH as to whether anything could be done to improve the approach to the site. It was felt that a first time visitor would not be particularly impressed and may think about turning around again. Thankfully Martyn Fowler is in agreement and has instructed Gavin, Perran View manager, to make improvements over the winter period. Gavin will advise members during the side meeting.
Tax changes for Holiday Homes
The Secretary confirmed that the Tax changes which were discussed at last year’s AGM are now on the statute books and enshrined in law. Please refer to November AGM Minutes 2010 for full details
The Secretary confirmed that Furston and Knapper have been appointed to represent and advise CMOA and its members on any legal matters. Full details will appear in the Service Providers booklet.
JFH Client Account
At the last meeting members were informed that JFH does not operate a client account on owner’s behalf, therefore if the company failed, then owners would not be protected from any loss. The Secretary was asked to clarify the legal requirements.
There are specific regulations for Solicitors, Accountants and Landlords who hold monies on behalf of clients. For all other concerns handling monies in a similar way the Secretary has been advised that it is considered good practice for the company to do so, but not mandatory. Currently JFH allow owners using their letting services to operate a debit and credit account. All charges for ground rent, maintenance etc. are debited against the owners account and letting income is credited as the season progresses. The credit balance is then paid to the owner. If CMOA insist on the company establishing a client account, then it is more than likely this facility would be lost and monies would have to be paid as they fall due.
Chairman’s report – see attached
Treasurer’s report – see attached
The Treasurer presented his report and referred to the financial accounts for year ending March 2011 that all members had received prior to the meeting and sought approval from the meeting to accept the accounts.
Proposed by Liz Ashenden
Seconded by Keith Sherren.
Comments were invited, with one member querying the cost of the website. The Treasurer referred the matter to the Secretary who explained that the cost incurred was for design and setting up, plus registration of the Domain address and on-going maintenance and support.
Some £900 including Vat was initially spent to establish the site. Maintenance, support and licence renewal is £150 plus Vat per annum. The member in question thought that the set up costs were rather high. The Secretary said that quotes of up to £3,000 had been received.
The Treasurer moved on to subscriptions and noted that some members preferred to pay online as it is easier than raising a cheque. Other members have requested to pay by Standing Order. The Treasurer called for a show of hands for those who favoured these methods. About 50% of the meeting showed approval. The Treasurer expressed his doubts in moving away from the traditional system; however he will investigate the alternatives and report back to the members. Action: Trevor Healing
Election of Officers
As required by CMOA constitution all committee members are required to stand down at the AGM and can if they wish stand for re-election.
Madam Chairman informed the meeting that all existing committee members with the exception of Les Rose (Site Rep – Tolroy) were willing to stand again, if no one else wished to stand for the relevant position, but emphasized that new blood was always welcome. Madam Chairman took the opportunity to thank Les Rose for his commitment to CMOA as a valued committee member.
Madam Chairman then proceeded with the election of officers. As there were no other nominations the following were duly elected.
Chairman Jean Tolchard
Vice Chairman/Membership Secretary Mike O’Neill
Secretary David Lappin
Treasurer Trevor Healing
Kenegie Paul Hunter
Perran John Youdell
Tolroy Simon Arkell
St. Ives Liz Ashenden
*Ted Hand (*Volunteered at St. Ives side meeting)
EPC’s Update/Fire Safety
The need for or not for an Energy Performance Certificate has been on the CMOA agenda a number of times over the last few years. Some saying that that all holiday homes required one and others offering a different view point. A couple of years ago a member established from the appropriate Government body that our properties were exempt. However last year due to an EU directive, that exemption was no longer valid.
The situation was not totally crystal clear and the secretary referred the matter to Mark Randle, JFH Health and Safety Offer, who in turn referred it to ‘Visit England’ for their assistance. The Secretary also spoke to Tim Baxter at the Department for Communications and Local Government, who advised that an EPC should be obtained even though the legislation was grey in parts. JFH then proceeded to inform owners letting through their scheme that an EPC was required and arranged for the work to be carried out over the winter period. Owners are of course free to arrange their own provided the assessor was suitably qualified and registered
Special Offer – £30 until the end of the year.
Nick Raymond an Accredited Energy Assessor Tel No. 01736 331688
All owners who let their property are now aware of the need for additional smoke detectors and emergency lighting which requires a permanent electricity supply and not being powered by battery only. By the beginning of next season all properties in the system will be completed.
Just when we thought that headache was out of the way, along comes a new requirement to fit “Thumb Turn” locks. The lock is required to comply with Fire Safety emergency access door in the event of a fire. It is no longer permissible to have lock that requires a key to open it from the inside in the event of an emergency, if you have paying guests. Please refer to HM Government book enclosed with Minutes entitled “Do you have paying guests?” The Secretary demonstrated a thumb turn cylinder lock for use on PVCu doors as an example. Throughout the various JFH sites different locking systems are used. The managers of the sites will discuss the issues and requirements at the side meeting with their respective owners.
A member raised an issue about insurance as to whether removing the key would invalidate the insurance cover. The Secretary will investigate and report back.
Action: David Lappin
The Secretary then went on to remind members of another HM Government booklet entitled “A short guide to making your premises safe from fire” which was issued to all members a couple of years ago.
Both booklets recommend that owners carry out a risk assessment on their property and retain it as a record. The assessment should also be updated whenever a change to the property is made. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure your property is safe. JFH Health and Safety Officer carries out an annual review and maintains records for properties in the JFH scheme. However it is recommended that all owners have their own records. A sample risk assessment form is enclosed with the Minutes for owners use.
Madam Chairman welcomed our guest speaker from Honicombe Mr Ian Read, Chairman of the Honicombe Owners Group, who had kindly agreed to give a talk on the trials and tribulations of the group since its formation. Some of the owners were members of CMOA before they formed their own group. Refer to attached.
Tolroy – Christopher Nell – see site report
The side meeting was attended by Kevin Waite, the newly appointed manager for Tolroy
and his wife Carenza.
Among the topics discussed at the Q & A session was the loss of star rating awarded by the English Tourist Board and also the problem of vacuum cleaners disappearing together with other items from properties.
Members also voiced their concerns about the upkeep of public spaces and the need to make them attractive to visitors.
During the programme of changing locks to Thumb Turn, Tolroy management wish to take the opportunity to introduce a Master Key system to alleviate the need for staff to carry large bunches of keys for owner’s properties. A Master Key system would also reduce the risk of keys being mislaid and therefore increase security. New Keys could not be cut without the authority of the key company.
Perran View – Paul Bennett – see site report
Gavin, the Perran View manager attended the side meeting and held a Q & A session with Perran owners.
Gavin advised the group on changing door locks and also wishes to introduce a Master Key system, however if the work has already been undertaken or owners wish to do the work themselves then Gavin doesn’t have a problem with that providing he is informed. Gavin outlined his plans to improve the appearance of the site as raised in matters arising from the spring meeting.
The other areas for concern for owners were reports of furniture items going missing, excessive use of electricity by visitors leaving owners with large bills and defective external lighting. Gavin agreed to investigate the points raised.
Action: David Lappin
St. Ives – Liz Ashenden and Sandie Newbury – see site repor
The St. Ives group meeting was attended by the manager, Ray who conducted a Q & A session with the group. Ray informed owners that he had a 3 year plan for St. Ives and all agreed that considerable improvements had been made during the past 12 months. The number of complaints has reduced from a flood to a trickle; however there is much work still to be done. During the side meeting Mr Ted Hand volunteered to represent members on St. Ives alongside existing representatives.
Kenegie – Paul Hunter and Barrie Hockley – see site report
Site manager Heather and her husband Paul attended Kenegie side meeting and conducted a Q & A session.
The meeting was advised on the costs of changing the various types of locks in use on Kenegie. Due to the small number of properties let through the JFH scheme there is no need for a Master Key system. Paul indicated that the cost of changing a cylinder lock on a PVCu type door would be in the order of £25 plus Vat. Wooden doors with mortise locks would be more expensive as the locks cost more and probably some carpentry would be required. The estimated cost is £71 plus Vat. Owners will be informed of the cost on an individual basis. The programme for fitting Smoke Detectors etc. is underway and will be completed over the winter months.
Heather and Paul outlined their plans to improve the grounds and acknowledged that it had been a task keeping up with the requirements during the year. With the help of Tolroy and St. Ives ground staff they made headway.
Use of Facilities
A couple of years ago CMOA were successful in getting concessions for Kenegie largely because it did not offer entertainment etc. that was available on the larger sites. The concession meant that owners letting through the JFH scheme would have free use of the Leisure facilities available i.e. swimming Pool. Policing of the system has not been helped by the management changes and therefore Heather wishes to establish a controllable procedure to ensure that only owners and their families and friends letting through JFH will have free use. Other owners and clients of owners will have to pay the standard charge. Heather will be writing to all Kenegie owners in the near future with details of the scheme
Bookings at Kenegie
Heather is also aware of the lack of bookings for the year which is exacerbated by the lack of marketing support through JFH advertising. To combat this Heather intends to establish a “Facebook” page to promote and advertise the virtues of Kenegie. She is also concerned that she has had to turn bookings away due to the lack of short break accommodation on site. She would like to appeal to owners to consider opting for short breaks as it will increase the owner’s lettings and revenue. JFH now charge on a daily basis so the longer they stay the more the income. There is strong evidence that visitors booking shorts breaks increase their stay because they enjoy Kenegie.
Change of Email address – Secretary
The Secretary informed the meeting he now has a new email address which is firstname.lastname@example.org. The new address has been established for the following reasons:
- Easier to remember
- Can be used by future secretaries
- Allows the existing Secretary to change his service provider
- No cost to CMOA
New Member recruitment progress
When CMOA was formed it had a strong membership, but as the years have passed and owners sold on, numbers have reduced. As there was no means of making contact due the restrictions of the Data Protection act, word of mouth was the only vehicle available and owners generally didn’t socialise on the various sites.
With the agreement of JFH a newsletter was included with the sales pack to potential new owners. This helped to stem the tide, but there was an army of existing owners who had no idea that such an organisation existed, so with the help and good officers of JFH, CMOA have been able to build on a programme of awareness.
- Mail out to all owners – members and non-members alike.
- Mail out to Perran owners only as percentage of members only 10% of total owners.
- Mail out to all non-members
- All new owners now receive an introductory letter and welcome from CMOA when they finalise their property purchase.
This has only been achieved by establishing trust and bonding with JFH to win their support and demonstrating the benefits of owners and management working together for a common good. At the start of the programme our membership stood at 104, today we are 201 strong. On the down side there are some 400 properties privately owned on the 4 sites, so there is still a tranche of owners who are reluctant to come on board. The Secretary stated that it was his aim to achieve 100% membership and would like all owners to keep spreading the word whenever they come across a non-member. Through the forum an owner suggested including CMOA website details with the Members Window Sticker. This suggestion has now been taken up and the new Window Stickers for 2012/13 will include the website address. The Secretary thanked the member concerned.
Honesty Envelope Scheme
After several false starts the Honesty Envelope Scheme has been running at Kenegie during the past season. The scheme is a compromise to a deposit system that all members would favour, but due to various difficulties CMOA have been unable, so far, to win the support of JFH.
Heather is in the main happy with the scheme and some visitors have put money into the envelope to cover breakages etc. The money received has been credited to the relevant owner’s account. However it must be said it is only a few pounds. It seems that the main use for the envelope it to use it for the return of keys. As a result stationery costs have soared leaving JFH out of pocket. A different type of envelope will be used next season to prevent wastage. The good news is that breakages and losses have reduced at Kenegie, so maybe the message on the kite card is getting through to visitors. The Secretary asked for feedback from Kenegie owners. It was also noted that owners who let privately were also taking advantage of the scheme.
The Secretary asked for the meetings approval to ask Martyn Fowler to roll it out to the other sites next season.
The Service Providers list put together by you our members, has now been running for a number of years. It has now become a booklet and is re-issued on an annual basis after updates and amendments. The Secretary said it’s time for a thorough overhaul. The information it contains has to be accurate and useful otherwise it just becomes a list of addresses and of no value. To this end the Secretary wants to recruit your help to update and will provide an update form with the Minutes. Members who have recommended trades people and suppliers are asked to please check that the information is still valid. Also it is a good opportunity to add new suppliers or remove ones who are not giving good service. A supplier was removed earlier in the year as the service provided did not match the owner’s expectations. Once the update information is to hand a new booklet will be produced and issued with the Minutes after our Spring meeting.
The Secretary gave a quick update on the forum and its use and was pleased to inform the meeting that more members were making good use of it and getting valid and useful responses. An example was given earlier about the suggestion of including the website with the Window sticker as an aid to awareness and recruitment. The Secretary reminded members it was there for their use and encouraged all to visit and use the website.
Coming of age
Madam Chairman addressed the meeting to inform them that CMOA wasn’t as old as had been thought. Instead of being in existence for nearly 25 years, it has now been discovered that next year 2012 it will be 21 years young and because of this milestone a celebration is called for. The topic was raised at the spring meeting back in March after discussions with Martyn Fowler as to whether CMOA could use their facilities. He kindly agreed to let us have the use of Tolroy for the occasion and also agreed to provide entertainment. Madam Chairman outlined the proposals for the party to begin after the AGM probably on Saturday 10 November 2012, but needed the help of members to come up with ideas and suggestions. It is intended to form an entertainments committee for the occasion, however volunteers are required. Madam Chairman asked members not to be shy in coming forward. Until we start to put meat on the bone it is not known what the likely costs are going to be. At this point Madam Chairman asked the meeting for a show of hands from those in favour of the celebration. The vote was unanimous. Madam Chairman suggested that Mini Buses are provided to ferry people to and from the other sites.
Members would like to know how keys for the new thumb turn locks are going be issued to owners. The Secretary agreed to find out.
Action: David Lappin
Mr Keith Sherren addressed the meeting to discuss and propose that members of the committee are reimbursed for reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred. He stated that he and his wife are long standing owners and members of CMOA and it had not dawned on him that committee members were not recompensed for the work they undertake on members behalf. It was not until he scrutinised the accounts that it became clear to him that no payment was made.
He went on to praise the committee for their hard work and behind the scene efforts on member’s behalf and proposed that the committee consider making an out of pocket payment or allowance and for the committee to produce a proposal for the membership at the next meeting. The proposal was seconded by Martin Mclaren. He then asked for a show of hands in support, which was unanimous. Madam Chairman agreed to the proposal.
Action: Jean Tolchard
A general discussion took place on the poor level of bookings on sites during the year and members wondered if it was partly due to adverse comments made on internet sites such as Tripadvisor. St. Ives have under the management of Ray Rushforth endeavoured to addresses problems and have made significant inroads, but it does take time to win back confidence.
Tolroy has apparently lost its star rating. Hopefully this will be won back with the help of Kevin Waite, Tolroy’s new Manager. Owner’s who let privately reported that their bookings were holding up well. However the economic climate is also playing its part. It was also discussed that the holiday trend has been changing and continues to change with families opting for short breaks instead of the traditional one and two week holiday. There was also evidence of larger families or two families sharing accommodation to save on costs.
JFH and the management team are determined to do all they can to improve facilities and service for visitors, however owners are being encouraged where possible to release their properties for short lets. Vice Chairman Mike O’Neill reported that his bookings had improved with short lets this year and with no additional losses or damage being incurred. Please refer to Kenegie section for further information.
Owners have also been asked to carry out upgrade work on their properties to match the expectations of today’s holiday maker. Problems occur when families compare similar accommodation and price paid, which sometimes means the family having to be moved to one with better facilities with the owner then losing out.
Any Other Business
A member wanted to know why property sales were not on the agenda. The Secretary explained he had not done so, because after speaking with Jackie Marriott, JFH sales, she informed that sales this year were few are far between and with very little activity in the market. However she was confident that things would pick up next year.
A member enquired about the Association name and what it meant to people. When he first heard it, he thought it was an association of people who owned Manor Houses in Cornwall! and wondered if it could be changed to something else. No alternatives were proposed at this stage. The Secretary did agree it was a bit of a mouthful.
Campaign to reduce Vat
The Secretary informed the meeting of a campaign by Tourism and Business leader Francis Clark to get the Government to reduce Vat for the tourist industry to 5%, which is the level enjoyed by most European countries. Under current rules the Government must consider a debate in the House of Commons if more than 100.000 petition signatures are received.
We are all urged to register our petition online by going to
As there was no other business Madam Chairman proceeded to close the meeting and thanked all members for attending and contributing to the AGM. She also thanked her committee for their endeavours and reserved a special thank you to all JFH management staff for taking the time and effort to join us today. Finally to our host Gavin and his wonderful catering staff for providing fayre suitable for a King.
The meeting ended at 5.30.pm
The Spring meeting to be held in Swindon on a date to be advised.