Minutes of Spring Meeting held on Sunday 24th April 2022 at the Village Hotel Swindon
Present Ted Hand Chairman
Martyn Dale Secretary
David Lappin Membership secretary
Attendance 27 Members
Mr Chairman opened the meeting and thanked everyone for making the effort to attend this first Spring meeting since covid lockdown in March 2020 when the scheduled spring meeting was cancelled. After briefing on Hotel fire procedures and toilet facilities, he called for a proposer and seconder to verify the minutes of the AGM held at Perran View in November 2021.
Approval of the minutes was proposed by Simon Arkell and seconded by John Robson.
The Chairman had asked members present at the AGM held at Perran View in November 2021 to complete a feedback form to raise questions or issues which were of concern to them. The points raised have been followed up and addressed at a meeting with respective site managers and the results listed by site are below.
Issue – High level of damage caused by guests
Response – Severe damage reported by cleaning staff is pursued and guest invoiced. On a couple of occasions a successful outcome has been achieved.
Issue – Bus service for Kenegie.
Response – There are only 2 buses per day that pass Kenegie Manor; the rest are routed via Gulval Village. First Bus cannot change the system as it is paid for by the council.
Issue – Poor Management communication.
Response – The management believe they have a good communication system with owners and emails are dealt with quickly. The site has its own website portal for owners use via ICat.
Issue – Service Charges – what is included?
Response – Service charge covers items as per owners lease
Issue – Better communication by management before major work undertaken.
Response – Apart from the Winter Works schedule it may be necessary to carry out costly repairs if reported by guests.
Management are authorised to carried out work up to £100 without reference to owner. Owners are advised if the expenditure is greater.
Issue – Poor window cleaning standards.
Response – A window cleaning service is available for owners who wish to take advantage of it. The service is carried out on a 6 weekly cycle during the season.
Issue – Poor Mobile reception.
Response – The management has no influence on mobile operators on coverage. The user needs to take up issues directly with their provider.
Issue – Need to improve management communication with owners
Response – Christina has recently taken on the management role after a difficult year for managers in 2021. Emails are now being dealt with speedily and a regular newsletter is going to owners.
Issue – Site tidiness
Response – Corral fencing is being erected to house general waste bins around the site.
Issue – Poor state of roads
Response – The front entrance road has been resurfaced and work will continue to improve the service roads.
Issue – Wi-Fi non-existent.
Response – The subject of Wi-Fi coverage was addressed at the AGM last November and minuted.
Response – A programme is underway to fell a number of trees considered to be dangerous or too close to properties.
Issue – Cigarette smoking
Response – Controlling guests smoking in units is difficult to police. Owners are advised to have a ‘No Smoking’ notice displayed in a prominent position as well as in their visitor book.
Issue – Invoices not matching Owners Portal.
Response – Invoices raised by the site are for some reason not always synced with head office data. JFH IT has now corrected the problem.
Issue – Cleaning standards
Response – This is an annual problem in securing quality cleaning staff. Christina has recruited cleaners early this season and is providing hotel standard training.
Issue – Short breaks; JFH should supplement income for owners.
Response – Income earned on short breaks is not always economically viable, particularly out of peak season. Owners need to advise JFH, if they do not wish to participate in short breaks.
Issue – Property security during closed season.
Response – There is no physical security on site. Owners can improve security by removing any valuables out of view. Having good locks on windows and doors which comply with fire safety. Invest in double glazed windows and doors which offer greater levels of protection.
Issue – Hedge maintenance
Response – This has now been addressed and the usually immaculate hedges are now in their former glory.
Response – This was addressed at the AGM and has been minuted.
Issue – Electricity upgrade
Response – Owners have complained about lights dimming when high energy users such as showers have been turned on. As in common with other sites, each unit is supplied by a 60 amp cable feed. When first built the supply was more than adequate.
Today with modern gadgets, showers, dishwashers etc, the supply demand has increased. In some cases the house wiring has been incorrect with more than one high consuming unit being on the one circuit. If owners are experiencing power cuts when say the cooker and shower are operated together it should be checked out by a qualified electrician.
Issue – Short breaks
Response – Similar problem to Tolroy.
Issue – Newsletters
Response – Amanda intends to provide regular newsletter updates. She will endeavour to speed up replies to emails.
Issue – Swimming Pool
Response – The pool is in the process of being upgraded
Issue – Sub Letting – Long term occupancy
Response – This is an acknowledged problem and every effort is made to remove the long term occupant. Owners who let to long term tenants are in breach of their leases.
Issue – Road improvement
Response – A programme to install Lodges will commence over the winter period, this will necessitate changing the road structure on site.
All managers have agreed to help and support in recruiting new and existing owners to become members of CMOA. CMOA has provided content to be included in future
Perran members suggesting contacting Camel Estate Agency as they handle the majority of sales. The Membership secretary has now made contact and provided information about CMOA which will hopefully be passed to new owners buying through the agency.
Kenegie Manor kindly provided names of new owners, but under GDPR rules they were unable to provide addresses. Individual recruitment letters have been sent and Kenegie management has kindly addressed them.
CMOA has now helped owners who purchased in recent years to reclaim stamp duty.
To date circa £20,000 has been claimed back from HMRC.
The Chairman gave a power point presentation titled “Going forward together”.
- Just take a moment to look around
- Isn’t it amazing to see us here again today after the virtual meeting world we had got used to.
- Words that have been overly used in the last 2 years are: Unprecedented, Restrictions, Changes, Surge in bookings.
- However, here we are having come through this most difficult and challenging of times and thanks to you, our CMOA remains as strong and resolute as ever, which is a tribute to all members both present and past.
New Members 2020/2021
Mr Chairman then welcomed members who have joined CMOA in the last two years.
CMOA 30th Anniversary
- 2021 happened to be the 30th Birthday of our CMOA
- 31 years ago some like minded owners got together to form an association to promote and protect the interests of owners; our CMOA was born.
- 1991 – 138 Members; 2021- 187 Members (15 members have sold)
- Inaugural meeting with Domain Leisure held 4th October 1991.
- Looking at the first sets of minutes, very little has changed with the issues
What has CMOA achieved?
- In that 30 years our CMOA has accomplished so much Achievements:
- Securing electricity at the standard domestic rate with no uplift or handling charge by the site.
- Pets Charter
- Hotel TV Licencing
- Securing the right for owners to arrange their own contents and building insurance
- Informing members of the existence of business rates
- Removal of the surcharge
- 2020/21 temporary VAT reduction
- Helping owners resolve issues affecting them
- Assisting owners in the sale of their property / Helping new owners to buy
The list goes on, but none of this can be achieved without the support and backing of owners like each and everyone of us for our CMOA.
- All for 38p per week
- We live in a difficult period so there is still much to do going forward in the challenges of the future. Our CMOA needs to be stronger to meet those challenges and we need to ensure we are fully represented at all sites.
CMOA: The Future
- Our CMOA Needs Each and Everyone of US
As the Treasurer was absent from the meeting his written report is below:
I hope that everyone out there has kept safe and well over the last 12 months in what have proved to be very difficult circumstances. At last we seem to be heading in the right direction and hopefully things will return to something like the “old normal”.
Last year our membership total was 169. We have gained 20 new members this year and we have had 1 old member returning. It means that approximately 30 members have failed to renew their membership although they have still received the updates sent to all members on our list. If you are thinking of selling or have sold your property it is important that you let CMOA know so that we can keep the records up to date. I am expecting the results for the year to March 2022 to show a loss, in part due to the additional costs for the website as discussed at the AGM. I will include the costs of the spring meeting in the accounts as they have all been paid during the accounting year even though the meeting did not take place until after the financial year end.
The letters for subscription renewal were sent out at the beginning of March and I am pleased to report that I have received over 100 renewals so far for 2022/23. If you pay by direct debit /standing order can you please check that you will be paying the correct amount as a few unfortunately paid the wrong amount at the beginning of April. Could I also please remind you that if you are paying direct into the bank account, you make certain that your name and membership number are clearly quoted so that I can identify you and therefore allocate your payment correctly and send out your receipt and window sticker. Martyn Dale has kindly agreed to collect any payments on my behalf that you may want to make today, please see him after the meeting.
The current cash balances are as follows:
Nat. West A/c. £2,556.41
Nat West Savings A/c. £18,456.86
Thank you once again to Janna Britton for checking the accounts of the association. As Jana has now sold her property and therefore no longer a member, could I please have another volunteer to check the account this year.
Finally, due to a change in personal circumstances, I will be stepping down as treasurer at the AGM. We will therefore need a new person to take over in November. If you are interested please give me a call and I will explain how little work is involved.
As part of the governments levelling-up initiative, Second Home owners are being targeted. In particular owners who claim that their property is a holiday let but only use it for themselves and for family and friends.
Under present rules small business rate relief can be claimed by simply declaring an intent to use the property as a holiday let.
New rules will come into force in April 2023 which will require proof that it is a genuine holiday let. A member present said that Cornwall Council has started the process of requiring proof.
To help owners meet the letting criteria to qualify for business rate relief, the minimum number of letting days will reduce from 105 days to 70 days. However, valuation reviews will be carried out every 3 years instead of 5 as part of the audit on complying with business rate rules.
To dissuade second home purchases in popular holiday destinations such as Cornwall, councils will be charging at least double the annual council tax. The Welsh Government has announced that they will be charging 3 times the annual council tax levy to second home owners.
Reasons for change:
As discussed at the AGM, CMOA was informed by the existing website provider of an increase of 700% on existing annual charges which equated to nearly 50% of CMOA subscription revenue.
The website was not secure and to make it so would have cost an additional £720 including VAT.
CMOA were dependant on the service provider to upload Newsletters and other content, which in future would be carried out on an hourly charge basis.
CMOA were informed that failure to agree to the new charges would mean the website would be closed down. The provider refused to allow the website to be transferred to another provider.
Legal advice was then sought to establish CMOA rights. The laws appertaining to website ownership and use are unclear, however, it was established that CMOA owned the data content and domain address. The provider was advised accordingly.
Due to non-cooperation by the existing provider a new website had to be developed from scratch, which was time consuming.
The site is now operational and was demonstrated to members present and provides the following benefits for CMOA members
- CMOA has total control on content and data.
- Changes-updates carried out by CMOA at no cost.
- Site is secure.
- Each member able to login using own email and password.
As covered in the minutes of the AGM in November of the requirement of the installation of fire safety equipment such as Smoke Detectors, there is also a requirement on owners who let their property for gain to have the electrical wiring tested by an authorised electrician every 3 years. Lodges require an annual test. A test certificate is required and must be supplied to the site manager. Some owners have failed to do this and apart from putting their property at risk from fire, guests are also at risk as well as compromising building and contents insurance.
Facility charges were re-introduced in 2019 following a long campaign by CMOA on behalf of members to remove the “surcharge” system which owners didn’t understand and caused confusion. Now a new situation has developed mainly affecting owners who do not use the letting scheme of JFH or MJL.
Owners on the letting scheme are automatically levied a facilities charge with every booking. Owners own bookings for family are exempt and as a result, some owners do now seem to have rather large and extended families!
Guests of owners using agents or direct with owners will be required to register with the site and pay the facilities charge if they wish to use the facilities on offer.
Unfortunately guests are not always informed and object to paying, as they consider it to be inclusive with the letting charge. Owners are asked to make this clear with their booking agent or if they wish it to be included to make arrangements with the site manager for their account to be debited.
This year we are faced with increased costs all round.
- Electricity & Gas
- JFH current fixed price contract runs to the end of October 2022.
- MJL expired earlier this year. The new tariff will increase the cost per unit to 18/19 pence.
- Domestic unit cost with current price is circa 21pence.
- Price for bottled gas is subject to market forces.VAT back to 20%
Electricity and Gas
Both JFH and MJL buy electricity on 3 – 4 year contracts.
Each year ground rent and maintenance charges are increased by the rate of inflation (RPI) in February. RPI was 8.6% in February which has now been applied.
The Government has now removed all subsidies applied during the pandemic.
As from 1st April all billing will be subject to VAT at 20%. Electricity remains at 5%
Site rep: Debbie Croucher – site report attached
David Lappin chaired the meeting with the Kenegie group and reported on the meetings held with Ed Newbold in February.
Debbie Croucher also held a meeting with Christine and Andy. (see site report). Debbie will hold a couple of meetings during the year; the next one is scheduled for June.
If members have issues they wish to raise, please contact Debbie direct. (Click on committee member photo of Debbie to send email)
Owners Booking Portal
After 5 plus years a booking portal is finally available showing dates and booking name via Kenegie ICat link for members who let through the booking scheme.
Jet washing of patios and common areas is now underway and is continuing as work in progress.
End of season get together
Kenegie management team would like to have an end of season get together with CMOA Kenegie members. Members present were generally in favour, if they were on site to attend the AGM. David will forward this information to Ed Newbold.
Parking space allocated is deemed to be too narrow, as over the years cars have become wider. During busy periods owners have difficulty in opening cars doors sufficient to allow easy access. A request to allocate a wider space was made.
Action: David Lappin
Electricity & Electric Cars
As this year will see a considerable increase in charges, members present voiced concern about visitors using their property’s electricity to charge their vehicles.
Two charging EV points are planned to be installed by Kenegie during the summer, however, owners should be vigilant and report to Kenegie management if they see trailing leads connected to a vehicle. Ed Newbold will be asked to advise visitors via the information pack that it is not allowed.
Action: David Lappin
The lighting for Old Court is not considered to be adequate and needs improving. David Lappin has now addressed this with the site management and been informed the main problem is on a cable feed being damaged and the lighting pole broken. It is a major repair and will be undertaken before the autumn.
Site Rep: Claire Hensby
Ted Hand chaired the St. Ives group meeting and a range of issues were discussed.
Lighting & Pot Holes
The lighting in parts of the park are not working and requires attention and during the winter pot holes have developed in some roads.
Ted Hand has now addressed this with Christina and has been informed that work is underway and work will commence shortly to back fill the pot holes.
Owners asked why lights are left on in the properties when cleaners have finished servicing them. With high energy costs could the lights be turned off when the cleaners have finished the service?
Action: St Ives Rep
Lack of WIFI
This is an ongoing problem. A possible solution is a portable WIFI enhancer called MyWIFI. This is available from any network supplier/mobile phone shop. Contracts can be from 30 days to 2 years. Typical costs are circa £10 per month for 4gb of data. As the piece of equipment is small (about the size of a smartphone) it is recommended only suitable for owners/families/friends when staying at their units, as it could be easily stolen.
There are large WIFI enhancers available with prices ranging from £50 to £1000. Again, these would be at risk of being stolen. Perhaps the larger equipment potential could be explored with JFH?
Owners in some of the lodges have been experiencing poor water pressure. Members questioned if it was down to the provision of hot tubs in several lodges?
Action: St Ives Rep
Some owners have had complaints left in their guest books of dirty windows on the outside of their units.
Members would like to know if there is the possibility of an optional window cleaning service being made available to St Ives Holiday Village in the future.
Action: St Ives Rep
Walkways Treva Croft
The paths in the area from Unit 205 onwards are in a dangerous condition with risen and uneven paving slabs, which are a danger to disabled and able-bodied guests. As the slabs slope the wrong way, the water runs into the front of the units.
Owners asked if a tarmac pathway the same as that situated in front of the units in the area 235 to 244 Treva Croft could be installed. If the tarmac pavement was installed slightly away from the 205 properties, it would help mitigate the flooding in front of the properties.
Action: Ted Hand
A lodge owner asked why their unit had been downgraded earlier than the period stipulated on the leasing contract.
Site Rep: John Harris
Martyn Dale chaired the Tolroy side meeting.
Paul Miller has left JFH employment. Denyse Gummow and Karinda Taylor have been appointed as managers. Denyse Gummow is now in situ and Karinda Taylor will be joining as soon as a suitable replacement is appointed to her role at JFH Sandaway site in North Devon.
Both Denyse and Karinda, who are from the west country, have been with JFH for the past 3 years. CMOA and Tolroy members wish them every success and look forward to establishing a long relationship.
Renewal of items etc.
Members present reported property items and equipment were being replaced without reference to owners.
This will be addressed with the new management.
Members again raised the issue of the condition of the car parks and kerb stones.
This will be discussed with the site management as well as JFH.
Members also reported that lighting in some areas is in need of improvement.
Facilities at the pool are in need of improvement as well as the showers as the water temperature is not constant.
There have been a number of initiatives over the years to contain the seagull population and stop them being a pest. Members suggested that more visible signage advising Not to Feed the gulls should be employed around the site to reinforce the message for visitors.
Action: CMOA Perran View
Site Rep: Katheryn Hewitt
Perran was represented by two new members, who had to leave early, therefore no side meeting was possible.
David Lappin raised the issue of the costs and attendance numbers at the Spring meeting. Over the past few years and prior to Covid-19 lockdown the attendance figures for this meeting have been falling, whilst the venue cost has been rising.
There are a number of factors that determine attendance, but one of the main factors appears to be due to a shift in geographical ownership. A graph was produced showing nearly 30% of members now live in Devon and Cornwall. The question was asked whether CMOA need a Spring meeting in Swindon. If not what should replace it?
Mr Chairman suggested that it should be discussed in open forum at the AGM in November. As there was no other business Mr Chairman closed the meeting and thanked members for their contribution and attendance, wishing them a safe journey home.
AGM at Tolroy Manor – Saturday 5th November 2022. TBC.