Cornish Manor Owners’ Association
Minutes of General Meeting held on Saturday 8th November 2008
at Perran View
Present Jean Tolchard Chairman
David Lappin Secretary
Trevor Healing Treasurer
Site Representatives: Les Rose Paul Hunter Barrie Hockley Simon Arkell Robert Crowe Patrick Rooney John Youdell
Attendance 64 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 13th April 2008 were received and approved. Proposed by John Bennett and seconded by Keith Sherren.
Following the trauma of price increases at the beginning of the year and the subsequent meeting with Martyn Fowler attended by your Chairman and Secretary, members were invited to suggest areas where improvements could be made.
- Improve the accuracy of invoices in respect of charges made for damaged or missing items.
- Introduce a deposit scheme
- Improve the layout of statements to make them more “user friendly”.
- Re-visit new charges levied at the beginning of the year.
After due consideration Martyn Fowler arranged a meeting with site management and accounts dept. to look at ways of ensuring accuracy of invoices and modifying the layout of invoices if possible.
He did not respond to the deposit scheme at this stage.
The excellent news was that he agreed to reduce charges for linen/cleaning services and removal of the leisure charge for owners letting through JFH. Members were circulated on the new charges, effective from the beginning of the year.
Members were concerned about the former reception area being used for storage, which looked unsightly. They were also concerned about the number of Electricity Meter cover boxes being damaged or missing and the appearance of the front of properties, which were now looking tired and shabby. Martyn Fowler passed the problem to Ray Rushforth to deal with. The Secretary has been advised of the following by Ray Rushforth.
1) The former reception building has been sold to a private developer and the problem no longer exists.
2) Electricity Meter boxes are now being replaced as required.
3) No decision has been made to improve the façade of properties, however it is being investigated.
Members raised concerns again about the future of the former Golf course. Martyn Fowler advised that development work by a private contractor would commence over this winter period.
Security was another issue. MF agreed to CMOA’s suggestion of erecting CCTV warning boards around the site. Heather Miles was to implement it.
The main concern was the re-painting programme being undertaken by Contractors and the quality of workmanship. The issues were raised by the Secretary drawing attention to the removal and treatment of algae on the woodwork before painting. Problems did occur after re-painting, however the Contractors redid the work where necessary.
Lighting on the site was again raised and members commented that promises had been made but little action followed. The site underwent a management change during the season with the departure of Samir, the incumbent manager and being replaced by Mary and Tim Gee, who now have responsibility for both Tolroy Manor and Kenegie Manor. Mary Gee wrote to owners on Kenegie assuring them of continued good service and addressing the problem of exterior lighting. The Secretary wrote on behalf of CMOA to Samir thanking him for his past services and wishing him well for the future.
The aim and purpose of CMOA is to represent all owners on JFH sites regardless of letting through JFH or privately. To this end Madam Chairman tasked the Secretary to look at ways of getting our message to non members. As we are unable to obtain owner details from JFH due the Data Protection Act, they kindly agreed to distribute information through their mailing system. To this end a leaflet was produced and sent to all owners. Postage paid courtesy of JFH. The leaflet has produced 12 new members to date. There are still more than 100 we need to attract as can be seen from the data below.
Properties Privately CMOA *Estimated % members
per site owned Members Non-members
172 118 73 40 62
69 53 30 20 56
110 102 61 36 60
112 71 12 53 16
*Estimated non-members based on owners having one than one property.
Madam Chairman suggested CMOA should continue with its recruitment efforts.
Update on proposed Kenegie Manor purchase
The Secretary informed the meeting that the initial interest from members on all sites to partake in the purchase was high. CMOA received some financial data for Kenegie and our Treasurer undertook to analyse it. The Treasurer then addressed the meeting and stated the information given related only to the operating costs and did not show contribution figures or payroll overheads, therefore without such information he could not advise members as to whether it was viable or not. In the meantime, the Secretary has written to Martyn Fowler and has been promised a set of Profit & Loss accounts. The funding of the purchase is to be provided by RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland), however due to the banking crisis it is unclear how and at what cost it will be funded if CMOA make a formal offer. It is hoped further information will be available before the AGM.
Chairman’s Report see attached
The Treasurer confirmed that our current membership stood at 171; however he was concerned that some 20 members had yet to pay their subscriptions for the current year and asked those members to let him have the appropriate cheque ASAP.
In view of the present financial turmoil the issue of guide prices is meaningless. Following discussions with Brain Robinson the Secretary reported that sales are about 70% down on last year with some owners trying to sell with reductions of up to £20K. Brian Robinson’s advice is to sit tight if you do not have to sell and wait for the market to return to normal!
The Secretary reminded members that holiday properties did not require a Home Information Pack (HIP). At this point a couple of members stated that an Energy Efficiency Certificate was required costing in the order of £60-£100 and would be valid for 10 years. After some discussion it was agreed clarification would be sought by CMOA. Initial findings are that a certificate is only required if the property is rented out for residential purposes and the owner effectively becomes the landlord. If used purely for short term holiday letting and is ongoing, then it is exempt. Further clarification will be reported on at the next AGM.
Income and Expenditure
Les Rose gave an enlightening talk on how to control income and expenditure by demonstrating a spreadsheet model he had developed, which also proved very useful for those dreaded Tax returns. See sample attached. If any member would like further information or advice then please contact Les direct. Refer to committee list for contact information.
Council Tax – Business Rates
The Secretary drew member’s attention to a questionnaire sent out by the Valuation Office Agency earlier in the year requesting information from owners who claim Business Rates.
Every five years the Rateable value for properties is assessed. The next change will be 31 March 2010. The questionnaire asked for property income levels, expenditure and net profit. This information will be used to determine the Business Rates payable. Impact of this change could mean that two identical properties on a JFH site could pay different rates if say one is let through JFH and the other privately. It is important therefore that the financial information submitted, reflects the true net profit attributed to the property. Please find attached guide issued by the Valuation Office.
Digital TV – Switchover
The demise of analogue TV transmission in Cornwall is set to end from June/July 2009. All transmissions will then be digital. During the past 12 months CMOA have had discussions with JFH as to how the changeover can best be handled. Members who let through JFH have concerns about the responsibility/reliability of the “Freeview Box”. Members felt it was better for JFH to supply the box and in the event of a problem this could be rectified by JFH at no additional cost to owners.
During the past year CATV systems have been improved to accommodate digital transmission; however JFH decided to eliminate the need for a “Freeview Box” by converting back the digital signal to analogue. This would provide viewers with the same 5 channels currently available and no access to interactive channels which are a feature of digital. The Secretary wrote to JFH seeking clarification and has been informed that they are awaiting further advice from their technical people on the best solution. In the meantime it is understood the picture quality is of a poor standard and does not compare with the quality of digital. It is hoped the situation will be resolved before the AGM.
Another quote for the CMOA website had been obtained by the Secretary. He reported that costs were similar depending on the requirements of the site. After a long and protracted discussion by the meeting, a vote was taken as to whether CMOA should have a fully operational site at the outset or start off with a more basic one and add to it later. By a show of hands the meeting voted as follows:-
Those in favour of a complete system now = 24
Those in favour of a basic system now = 33
The basic system will now be proceeded with, it is hoped members will be able to comment by the next AGM.
Confirmation was given by the Secretary of the availability of Wi-Fi internet access on JFH sites within the area of their internet cafes. The system was tested by a member of the committee on the Perran View site, which proved a success.
Honicombe (Patrick Rooney) Copy report attached
One of the issues raised by Patrick Rooney is the lack of representation of CMOA on the site. Traditionally the site management have stated they do not recognise CMOA. The issue had been raised at the earlier committee meeting. Membership on Honicombe is 6 out a possible 150. Patrick Rooney would like CMOA to canvass owners as to their desire to belong to a lease owners association. The committee agreed to mail out to Honicombe owners. Contact details provided by Patrick Rooney. If successful, CMOA would attempt to develop a rapport with the current owners, i.e. Club Domaine.
Action: Patrick Rooney
Perran View (John Youdell) Copy report attached
Cleaning standards were again a concern and the negative impact it may have on visitors re-booking with JFH. External lighting on the site was another issue from the past. There are apparently a number of permanent residents on the site, which members feel should be addressed.
Action: David Lappin
Tolroy Manor (Les Rose, Simon Arkell & Robert Crowe) Copy report attached
The site suffered total loss of electricity during the last week of the season. Members were concerned that the management were not particularly adept at handling the situation, which may have left a bad impression with the visitors. The cause of the problem is not clear, but members would like assurance from JFH that remedial work has been carried out to prevent a recurrence.
External lighting on parts of the site is apparently supplied by owner’s properties instead of the site supply. The owner is then paying the cost. Loss or theft of property is also a cause for concern. Members were asked to keep track of charges on their invoice.
Action: David Lappin
St Ives Copy report attached
Lisa Dowell kindly stood in for Liz Ashenden and presented St. Ives views to the meeting.
The standard of cleaning was also raised by members as well as some instances of reporting maintenance/repair problems on properties incorrectly. A number of fences are in need of renewal/repair by the Trevacroft houses. A member reported a charge had been imposed to carry out an electrical wiring test. The members stated that such a test had been carried out by their own qualified Electrician last year and the appropriate certificate issued. He was informed that this was an annual requirement. The Secretary agreed to pursue the matter, as a full wiring test is only required every 5 years, whilst the PAT test is an annual event.
Members on St. Ives took the initiative to suggest out of season activity weekends for JFH’s consideration. The suggestions as listed in the site report will be passed on to JFH.
Action: David Lappin
Kenegie Manor (Paul Hunter and Barrie Hockley) Copy report attached
The housekeeper resigned in August and for the first time members complained that the quality of cleaning leaves a lot to be desired.
Mary Gee now has responsibility for Kenegie as well as Tolroy. Mary wrote to all owners assuring them of continued good service and promising to rectify the ongoing external lighting problems. Barrie Hockley reported that to the best of his knowledge the lighting had been fixed. Members have since reported problems with the main entrance lights. This has been passed on to Mary.
The noise generation problem of the Wind Turbine erected in the field adjacent to site appears to have been resolved. A modification/repair was carried out by the manufacturers and now the Turbine cannot be heard even during high winds. CMOA and JFH protested to Penwith District Council about the problem.
A number of points raised by the site meetings were aired again.
Deposit scheme – members are bemused as to why a simple deposit scheme cannot be implemented by JFH. Such schemes are common place on Holiday sites. The Secretary will again raise the issue with JFH and express member’s deep concerns.
Cleaning – unfortunately all sites have issues with the standard of cleaning, which will be taken up with JFH management.
Smoke Alarms – The Secretary issued a fire safety booklet, which recommended Smoke Alarms have a permanent electricity supply rather than relying on batteries. It appears that it may become a legal requirement for holiday properties in the near future. Members were advised it may be a wise move to consider installing hard wired Smoke Alarms on each floor sooner rather than later.
A member enquired about the rules relating to the Smoking Ban Laws and how this affects owner’s properties. A discussion took place with various view points being aired. The Secretary agreed to seek clarification. Initial findings say that if self contained accommodation is offered then it is not covered by the law on smoking and therefore cannot be enforced. Members can put up no smoking signs in their properties, but if a visitor chooses to ignore it there is little that can be done.
Action: David Lappin
Venue for AGM.
Some members said they had difficulty in locating the venue in Swindon and suggested consideration should be given to another location. Madam Chairman discussed the issue with the meeting and the consensus was to stay with Swindon. The venue may change again as CMOA seeks to secure the best Hotel conference price. One member proposed that the AGM could be held in Cornwall and the date moved to November. The Treasurer pointed out that CMOA accounts run from April to March and members have to ratify the accounts at an AGM. He also said it is possible to move the accounting date, but this cannot be done without a vote to change CMOA constitution.
At this point there was no other business and Madam Chairman closed the meeting, thanked our hosts at Perran View and wished members a safe journey.
AGM date TBA.