Cornish Manor Owners’ Association
Minutes of Annual General Meeting held on Sunday 13th April 2008 at De Veres Hotel Swindon
Present Jean Tolchard Chairman
David Lappin Secretary
Trevor Healing Treasurer
Paul Hunter, Les Rose, Barrie Hockley, Simon Arkell, Patrick Rooney Site Representatives.
Minutes The Minutes of the meeting held on Saturday 10th November 2007 at St. Ives Cornwall were received and approved as a true and proper record. Proposed by John Bennett and seconded by Mike Preece..
Madam Chairman opened the meeting by thanking those attending. The Secretary commented that 57 Members had pledged to attend but only 45 had made it. Since the meeting the Secretary received apologies from some Members who couldn’t attend at the last minute.
The Secretary took the opportunity to remind the meeting of the combined Building and Contents insurance now provided by JFH. Those members wishing to take advantage of the contents insurance should advise Jackie Marriot of the date their existing policy expires. The contents element can be arranged from May 2008 onwards. The renewal date for the combined policy is 15 October 200
All sites reported ongoing problems with external lighting being poorly maintained. JFH have written to the relevant mangers instructing them to address the issue. It is important that we all keep on top of the situation by reporting defective lighting and following through to rectification.
Members reported that private ownership notices have been disappearing from properties and not being replaced. JFH have written to all managers to ensure notices are present and up to date.
Concern was expressed by owners about the quality of the external repainting during the winter period, in particular preparation of the woodwork and removal of algae etc. JFH agreed to instruct Contractors accordingly and work will have to be redone if not up to standard.
JFH agreed to look at the sighting and access of these trees which may present a health and safety hazard.
It was agreed that owners’ vacuum cleaners must not be used to clean other houses. Mary Gee has been instructed by Martyn Fowler that the practice must stop.
JFH acknowledged problems with cleaning standards during 2007. They will make every effort to address the problem this season by recruiting better cleaning personnel
Entertainment at the site was criticised by members in respect of show times and content. JFH acknowledged the problem and have revised the entertainment programme for this season.
Fire Risk Assessment
The Secretary was asked to find out more information to clarify the requirements governing fire risk.
A safety booklet has now been sourced entitled “A short guide to making your premises safe from fire”. The law says that if we allow our property to be used by others we can put them at unnecessary risk in the event of a fire. Please read the enclosed booklet, which I am sure, will be of help.
Having taken advice from an expert, it is recommended that a dry powder extinguisher is provided per floor and where possible to have a permanently wired smoke detector installed.
Chairman’s report – see attached.
Treasurer’s report – see attached statement of accounts.
Statement of accounts – Proposed by Martin McLaren
Seconded by Les Rose
The Treasurer reported that Membership remained steady at 157. He advised the meeting that he was in the process of issuing receipts and a new membership sticker for 2008. The sticker has been improved to make it harder for souvenir hunters to remove. The Treasurer also appealed to those members who haven’t yet paid this years subscription to please do so. Chasing costs time and money.
Election of Officers
Nominations were received for the following
Vice Chairman Chris Townsend
- Ives Representative Liz Ashenden
Tolroy Representative Robert Crowe
As there were no other nominees they were voted in by acclaim. The rest of the committee offered themselves for re-election if nobody else wished to stand.
The new committee for 2008 is listed below.
Chairman Jean Tolchard
Vice Chairman Chris Townsend
Secretary David Lappin
Membership Secretary Mike O’Neill
Treasurer Trevor Healing
Kenegie Paul Hunter
Perran View John Youdell
Tolroy Manor Les Rose
St. Ives Liz Ashenden
Honicombe Patrick Rooney
Vacancies still exist on St. Ives and Perran View. If you are willing to help, please contact the Secretary. Mr & Mrs Rutter have offered their help on St. Ives but can only do so during the winter months. The committee agreed to accept their kind offer until a full time representative can be found.
Perran View (John Youdell) Copy report attached
The main problems raised were in connection with the appearance of the properties. The façade of the buildings are grey and look dowdy and tired in appearance. The members would like to know if it possible to brighten them up by for example colour washing. There is also concern that the meter box covers have been damaged over the years and look unsightly. In most cases new covers are required. There is also concern that the old reception is being used as a storage area and has now become an eyesore and not a welcome attraction for visitors.
Action: David Lappin
St Ives (Liz Ashenden)
External painting has now been completed to most people’s satisfaction. It was reported that the Manager Heather Mills was difficult to track down and that the maintenance staff although under pressure, were willing to help.
Members present wanted to know what was happening to the former Golf Course, despite being told that it would be developed. The Secretary was able to answer the question, as the subject had been raised at a recent meeting with Martyn Fowler. Assurance was given that a private Developer is undertaking to build upmarket holiday accommodation on the site in the near future. Talks are underway to agree the programme with JFH.
Security on the site, particular during the winter period was raised again. The Secretary will raise it with JFH.
Action: David Lappin
Honicombe (Patrick Rooney Copy report attached
It was reported that Honicombe has not yet found a new buyer and is still to be run by Domain Leisure. Security cameras have been installed and a charge of £50.00 per annum has been added to owners’ bills. Bookings have increased by 60% compared to this time last year.
Tolroy Manor (Les Rose and Simon Arkell) Copy report attached
The external painting programme did not go as planned. Members present reported that guttering had been painted over and brown paint found its way onto the white cladding. House cleaning was also considered to be at a poor standard.
The core time of the Tolroy meeting was devoted to the proposal by Penwith District Council to provide a permanent site for Travellers in nearby Water Lane. The plan is part of a redevelopment initiative for the Hayle area. The plan has been met with hostility by the Hayle community and several public meetings have been held. The Secretary confirmed that a letter has been sent to the Council on behalf of CMOA members setting out our objections to the proposed location. JFH have also registered their objections. It was suggested that CMOA may wish to seek legal advice; however it was considered that the residents of Hayle’s voice was stronger at this time.
Kenegie Manor (Barrie Hockley and Paul Hunter) Copy report attached
Problems with the external lighting were raised again. Barrie Hockley reported that he constantly makes Samir aware of the situation, but there are more promises than actions. CMOA had received what appeared to be a second planning application to sight another Wind Turbine on the farmland adjacent to Kenegie Manor. After investigation, the application was to formalise the re-sighting of the existing one as a result of CMOA objections. A separate application has been submitted by another nearby farm to erect large outbuildings. Detailed information is contained in site report.
Proposal to purchase Kenegie
At the meeting held with Martyn Fowler on 2 April 2008 attended by Madam Chairman and the Secretary, an offer was made to CMOA members only by JFH to purchase Kenegie Manor freehold. The outline of the proposal was put to Kenegie members initially and then to the general meeting. The proposal is as follows: JFH are willing to sell the site excluding the Manor House properties for £1.34m. They are willing to arrange the funding to spread the purchase over a number of years. In essence each member will be able to buy a share for the initial sum of circa £3000.00 Approx 100 shares will be issued and members can purchase more than one share. All future income from Kenegie will be transferred to CMOA and/or the shareholders and be used towards the remainder of the purchase after deduction of running costs.
Many questions were raised by members: however your committee does not have answers at this time. To this end it was agreed to establish a sub committee to pursue the matter.
Next step – Important
If any member is interested in becoming a shareholder of Kenegie Manor, please contact the Secretary in the first instance. Please remember expressing an interest is not a commitment. The offer is open to CMOA members only.
Brian Robinson of JFH informed CMOA that there had been little change in market selling prices, however there is no sign yet of the impact of the credit crunch, which is affecting the residential housing market, spilling over to holiday properties. JFH released their own properties on to the market at Perran View and Tolroy Manor. 3 property sales and 3 offers have been achieved on Perran View to date. Tolroy properties have been withdrawn from the market, however if an offer is made JFH will consider it. Important note: Holiday property is not subject to “Home Information Pack” (HIP) legislation.
See attached list
New Letting Agreement
The Secretary informed the meeting of the events which have taken place since the issue of the new letting agreement by JFH. Martyn Fowler informed the Secretary late December of the intention to revise the charges. A reply letter was immediately sent outlining members concern in seeing their potential income levels fall further. A plea was made to keep the new charges as low as possible and also to raise the market letting prices particularly either side of the peak weeks of July and August.
A special plea was made on behalf of Kenegie to reduce the facilities fee as it does not enjoy the entertainment provided on other sites. As members know new letting agreements were falling on their doorsteps during the Xmas period and the beginning of the New Year. The wording and setting out of the new agreement caused confusion and understandable anger. This was further exacerbated when members contacted JFH for details, which left them further confused. The Secretary wrote to Martyn Fowler again giving a detailed breakdown of cost increases that were greater than JHF accounts department were telling members. Martyn Fowler then requested a meeting with CMOA. Madam Chairman and the Secretary attended the meeting at Ilfracombe on 2 April 2008.
Martyn Fowler apologised for the way the exercise had been handled and expressed his concern as he had no intention of alienating owners. He then went on to explain the rationale behind the new charges. JFH have over the last few years expanded their business by acquiring additional holiday parks. There was a labyrinth of different charges, so the exercise was to homogenise the charges, which meant some enjoying a small reduction and others increases.
Martyn Fowler offered to revisit the current charges for all services provided and intimated that he may be able to offer a concession, but could not promise. CMOA members are asked to suggest areas that could be looked at again. It is important to note JFH will not amend the new commission or facilities charges. ie. Laundry etc.
A general discussion then followed with members making various suggestions such as:
Inventory charges – It is important to check that missing items are charged for correctly. Examples were given of the same item being charged for at least 3 times during the season. Another was the abbreviation used of SP meaning special clean following a let. It is not uncommon for the accounts department to charge this as a spring clean at a much higher rate.
A proposal was made again to charge £10.00 per let to cover damage/breakages etc.
If any member wishes to address a charge considered unfair or unreasonable, which is outside the new letting charges, please contact the Secretary. A member pointed out that a concessionary price of 5% was offered by JFH for on-line bookings. Members wish to know who pays.
Action: David Lappin
Website & Information Technology update
The Secretary took the opportunity to remind members of the changeover to digital transmission of television pictures and the switching off of existing analogue transmission. The changeover will take place during June to September 2009. Visit www.digitaluk.co.uk for current information. JFH have been updating their CATV systems to improve signal distribution. JFH have acknowledged that there is a need to provide common “Freeview boxes” for those owners who let through them. The Secretary will seek clarification from JFH and will advise members at the November meeting.
A new service has been provided by JFH. An information TV channel has been added to the CATV system. The channel provides visitors with information on JFH facilities and local events.
Action: David Lappin
JFH have established Internet Cafés on all sites. Laptop users will have free access to the internet within the confines of the internet area. A charge will be made to use JFH computers.
JFH have almost completed the update of their web site. During the summer members will be able to access booking on their properties. A password will be issued to gain access.
The Secretary advised the meeting that he had carried out further research with the help of Lisa Dowell. After further investigation, the cost of establishing a web site in the first year still equates to circa £3000.00.
A general discussion then followed with members suggesting again that costs could be reduced. Robert Crowe volunteered to provide the Secretary with details and costs of establishing a website to CMOA requirements.
Madam Chairman called for a vote from the meeting to establish support. A vote by show of hands was taken with the majority voting in favour.
Some members consider the statements issued are not easy to read and understand and asked if JFH would consider simplifying the layout to make them more “user friendly”. The Secretary will raise the matter with JFH.
Action: David Lappin
New Membership CMOA stickers are being issued and Madam Chairman encouraged all members to display them in the window or doors of their properties. It was reported that some of last years issue was taken by visitors as perhaps souvenirs. This years stickers have a stronger adhesive backing which will hopefully deter would be collectors. Simon Arkell suggested a permanent metal wall mounted plaque denoting CMOA and incorporating the house number. They could be provided at a cost of £18.00 each, if enough members were to place orders.
Madam Chairman addressed the issue of attracting new members and making all owners aware of CMOA existence and asked the Secretary to investigate ways of improving awareness. The Secretary advised the meeting that there was no major problem in recruiting new owners as Brian Robinson was making them aware of CMOA. Also an information leaflet is included with every sales pack; however an update will be issued to JFH. The main problem lies with owners who have had their properties for a number of years and have never heard of CMOA. Madam Chairman asked all members to spread the word to other owners. CMOA are well represented on Tolroy and Kenegie. The Secretary took the opportunity to thank Barrie Hockley for his recruitment efforts on Kenegie.
Membership by site
Kenegie Manor 56%
Tolroy Manor 62%
St Ives 57%
Perran View 13%
The above represents the number of properties as a percentage of membership as some members have more than one property.
Making CMOA more visible
- Display stickers
- Notify Treasurer/Secretary of new owners’ details when selling.
- Talk about CMOA to other owners. Pass details to Secretary for information pack to be sent.
The Secretary informed the meeting of the new rules affecting Business Rates on empty properties and the good news was that it does not apply to holiday lets only to residential properties.
The November meeting has been set for 8th November at Perran View (Subject to confirmation).