Cornish Manor Owners’ Association
Minutes of General Meeting held on Saturday 7th November 2009
at Tolroy Manor
Present Jean Tolchard Chairman
David Lappin Secretary
Trevor Healing Treasurer
Site Representatives: Les Rose Paul Hunter
Barrie Hockley Liz Ashenden
Attendance 85 Members
Madam Chairman opened the meeting and thanked all for attending. A special welcome went to our new members and included established ones who were attending for the first time.
Minutes The Minutes of the meeting held on Sunday 26th April 2009 were received and approved by the meeting.
The Secretary reported back to the meeting on matters that were raised at the last meeting and that had been addressed with JFH
Cleaning of gutters
The meeting had been informed at the AGM that JFH were no longer able to clean gutters on health and safety grounds. They offered to provide an annual cleaning service using specialist contractors. Some members were convinced that their lease stated that the Lessor i.e. JFH and not the Lessee was responsible for keeping the gutters free of debris. Several Leases were checked and unfortunately there was no reference to support this belief. The only reference to be found was under the Lessees responsibilities, which appeared under the Fourth Schedule and referred to Lessees Covenants Section 4., which reads:-
“ At all times during the said term when and as often as need shall require well and substantially to cleanse repair support and uphold the holiday home and the condition and decoration of the surfaces of the external parts therof”
The Secretary then asked the meeting for a decision to resolve the perennial problem for good. That was to establish the cost of the service JFH would provide.
At this point members reported that they had already been charged £20 for the service. Other members were concerned they would have to pay against their wishes, particularly those owning bungalows and properties not affected by nearby trees. The secretary agreed to pursue the matter with JFH and report back.
Over the years the subject of establishing a deposit scheme has been raised and each time addressed with JFH. All our suggestions have been unsuccessful despite coming up with systems put forward by members. Earlier this year a compromise scheme was agreed to introduce an “Honesty envelope” system. With the help of members at the last AGM a draft of the notice was submitted to JFH and approved. See attached “Important Message”
JFH arranged for printing and distribution with the first issue going to Kenegie and rolled out to the other sites. Sadly this did not happen because although JFH staff had received them on site, they were not aware of the scheme and therefore the notices remained in the box they were delivered in. Kenegie management have agreed to implement the scheme at the beginning of next season. In the meantime the Secretary will check on implementation on the other sites with JFH.
During August 2009 the final transmission of analogue terrestrial TV took place and full switchover to digital began. JFH had provided a comprehensive list of solutions which in the main proved largely successful and ensured a smooth switchover thanks to the efforts of JFH staff. However there remain one or two problem areas. Some flat screen TV’s require a higher signal input than the Freeview boxes and it has been necessary to reinstate the boxes with the portable TV. On St. Ives some of the properties are fed via sky satellite analogue TV and have not been affected by the changeover, however visitors will not enjoy the full range of TV programmes available, which they may have access to in their own homes. The Secretary will now follow these issues with JFH.
Action:- David Lappin
Chairman’s Report – See attached
The Treasurer reported that he had transferred £1,000 from CMOA current account to CMOA’s Building Society account. Membership was currently at 175 and of that some 10 members had yet to pay this year’s subscription. He asked if any members present at the meeting hadn’t yet paid he would be happy to receive it today.
Change to Constitution
Madam Chairman reported to the meeting the result of the postal vote to move the AGM from April to November as proposed at the April AGM 2009.
Madam Chairman outlined again the reason for the change and what it entailed.
Total Number of votes received 40
Percentage of members voting 26%
Total votes in favour of the motion 40
Total votes against the motion 0
The votes were counted and verified by Paul Hunter, Kenegie representative.
Madam Chairman then informed the meeting that the next AGM will be November 2010 when all the committee members will stand down and a new committee will be elected by the meeting. CMOA accounts will continue to operate from the 1st April to 31st March. The Treasurer said he would issue the accounts with subscription receipt payments. A copy will be included with the AGM Minutes.
Due to these changes it has become necessary to amend the Constitution accordingly.
Sub section a. of Annual General Meeting now reads
“The AGM will be held in November and at least 21 days notice shall be given in writing to all members”
Madam Chairman used the opportunity to propose the removal and reference to Vernon Knight Association from sub section b. of section 2 Aims and Objectives.
The reason being that Honicombe owners had transferred to a new Honicombe Owners Group and were no longer members of CMOA.
The above was proposed by John Bennett and seconded by Richard Ashenden.
Copy of amended Constitution attached.
The Secretary informed the meeting of the need to make some changes to the Service Providers list as it is now no longer practical to produce an ever growing list in its present format without reducing the print size and it becoming unreadable.
The proposal is to produce it in booklet form, which should be handier for members to use. However as it costs more to produce, it will be issued once a year in future in hard copy. The Secretary reminded members that it was also available on the CMOA Members section website and in future will be updated throughout the year.
Madam Chairman called for a vote and with a show of hands the proposal was carried.
At the AGM the website was launched for members use. The site provides members the following.
- Current Minutes
- Services Providers
- Link to JFH owners bookings
- Message Board
- General information about CMOA
Since it was launched the site has received 1186 visits – see attached statistics sheet.
The site has attracted 6 new members and through the message board has endeavoured to keep members informed and updated on issues that could affect them. The weakest link has been JFH owners booking system. JFH issued all owners with a user name and password earlier in the year for owners who used the JFH letting scheme to check and monitor the letting of their property throughout the letting season. Sadly the system suffered some problems as it did not reflect the true bookings or vacant weeks correctly. CMOA made JFH aware of the problem and a notice was attached to the login page, which remained there for the season. The secretary will readdress this with JFH and endeavour to get an assurance that next season it will be fully functional and reliable.
Now that the CMOA website has established itself the Secretary asked members present for their ideas and thoughts as to how we can make better use of this facility. Members were asked to discuss it at their side meetings.
Perran View (John Youdell – Fiona Devlin) copy report attached
In the absence of site representatives for Perran View the Secretary chaired the side meeting.
One of the issues of concern was the security of keys to properties with members reporting that keys are in open view and easily accessed. One member cited an incident of requiring someone to enter their property to close an upstairs window. The person called into reception which was not manned at the time and no one could be found, helped himself to the key and then returned it later to reception without anyone knowing that it had been removed.
Members also enquired if anything could be done to improve the façade of properties as the weather has taken its toll on the pebble dashing over the years.
In general members were satisfied with the overall management of the site.
Action:- David Lapp
St. Ives (Liz Ashenden – Patrick Rooney) copy report attached
The following issues were raised as main concerns. The site report covers other issues.
More and more potholes are appearing in the road network and are in urgent need of repair.
A number of members complained that they have not received the flat screen TV’s as ordered. It has been discovered that the TV distribution system on parts of the site are provided by Sky Satellite but only using the standard BBC 1 & 2, ITV, Channel 4 & 5 on the existing analogue system. For properties supplied this way, then a digital flat screen is of no use.
As reported at previous meetings members have difficulty in locating the site Manager, however once found, she was helpful and courteous. The frustration is caused by the search.
Golf Course Development
Members would like to know when the promised re-development of the course will begin. JFH had informed CMOA some two ago of its development plans. An update from JFH will be sought; however the credit crunch may well have affected their plans.
Clubhouse and Entertainment
Again members and visitors alike consider that the entertainment commences too late in the evening. It is also considered that the clubhouse is in urgent need of decoration, as it is looking tired and dingy.
Visitors have the opportunity to comment on their visit online. Many of the comments do not show St. Ives in a glowing light. The trend is to comment on the accommodation being damp, smelly and dirty. Clearly this concerns members about the image of the site and its potential to attract visitors.
A valuable suggestion was made to make better use of the CMOA website. The suggestion was to add a forum page which will allow members to talk to each other on a site by site basis for such things as sharing common problems and solutions and offering practical help and advice to each other.
Action:- David Lappin
Tolroy (Les Rose – Simon Arkell) copy report attached
Trees and overhanging branches are now becoming a problem on parts of Tolroy. The overhanging branches and foliage are restricting light from properties and also causing damp patches on interior walls.
Members are concerned about the possibility of the site suffering another power failure as demand increases to the point that the supply system cannot cope. Members consider that the supply system needs to be up-dated.
The large seagulls are an ever increasing problem on the site as they swoop down to steal food from people. Members would like JFH management to provide notices around the site asking visitors not to feed the birds and hope that they look elsewhere for their food.
Some members have not been supplied with flat screen digital TV’s as ordered. Again this is due to signal levels not being good enough for the TV’s. JFH site management have to install a Free View Box which will work on lower signal levels.
Kenegie (Barrie Hockley- Paul Hunter) copy reports attached
After a difficult start and change of operating system at the beginning of the season that resulted in overgrown grass and unkempt tree and bush areas, which caused frustration for owners and visitors alike, the site management were able to overcome the problems during the season and everything is now back on track. The management are confident that the grounds will be in good order at the start of 2010 season.
Each year the potholes are filled in and each year they re-appear. Members would like JFH to have the roads re-surfaced and remove the annual problem for the foreseeable future.
Sale of Kenegie
Barrie Hockley reported on behalf of Chris Townsend on the latest position on owners acquiring the Kenegie Manor site. A questionnaire was sent to Kenegie owners which unfortunately not all owners received, asking if they were interested and the level of investment they would commit to. Please refer to site report for full details.
The Secretary advised the meeting that he had received notification from JFH that the accounts department, currently based at Tolroy Manor, will be moving to head office at Ilfracombe.
It is intended that the new accounts dept will be operational as from 1 January 2010. All future invoices, statements etc. will come from Ilfracombe. Sadly the services of the current staff will be lost. A notice has gone on CMOA webpage Message Board.
Electrical Wiring Testing.
CMOA has been informed that a change in electrical inspection and wiring test affecting commercial property letting has come into force. Holiday homes are considered to be commercial.
Change means that instead of a five year test it must now be carried out annually. This will now mean that both the electrical wiring and portable appliance test will be carried out each year.
Some members were concerned about the poor booking during the peak season July and August. Given that fewer families were holidaying abroad this year and the reported rise of UK holidays, the lack of booking went against the trend. Some members felt that JFH filled their own properties first at the expense of owners letting through them. The Secretary agreed to pursue the matter with JFH.
Council Tax/Business Rates
Some members and Madam Chairman who claim Business Rates are concerned and confused by the new scheme which comes into force April 2010. The new scheme will run for 4 years to 2014. It is unclear as to how this will impact on the present rating system. However apart from increases levied by Cornwall Council, the amount charged will also be affected by the profitability of owner’s properties whereby two identical properties may pay at different rates, also it will be affected by the retail price index for the previous September. The RPI for September was negative. Some members have already received their new rateable value assessment, which in most cases has resulted in a substantial increase.
With the change of AGM date from April to November there is no requirement to hold a meeting in April and therefore this could be held at any time in the spring. Members were asked for their preferences and the consensus was for the middle of March.
With no other issues to discuss Madam Chairman brought the meeting to a close. She thanked Mrs Gee and staff for allowing CMOA the use of facilities at Tolroy and providing such good catering. Everybody was wished a safe journey home.