Minutes of Spring Meeting held on Sunday 20th March 2016
at the Village Hotel Swindon
Present Liz Ashenden Chairman
David Lappin Secretary
Arthur Saunders Treasurer
Site Representatives Ted Hand Christopher Nell Simon Arkell
Attendance 46 Members
Madam Chairman opened the meeting and thanked all for attending.
Madam Chairman asked those present if they had received a copy of the AGM Minutes and if so, did they reflect a true and proper record. This was proposed by Mrs Kay O’Neill and seconded by Mr Arthur Saunders.
Shortly before the Spring meeting Madam Chairman and the Secretary visit Ilfracombe for a pre-season meeting with Martyn Fowler. This meeting took place on Tuesday 8th March. Another meeting attended by the Secretary with the new owner of Kenegie Manor Edward Newbold, was held on Friday 19th February.
The respective Park managers now attend the AGM and are able to answer most questions/queries during the Q & A session. This means that any issues remaining can be discussed in more detail with Martyn Fowler.
The Secretary reported in the last Minutes that it was hoped to inform owners who allow pets of the income they have received. Unfortunately due to the accounting package used by JFH accounts it is not possible to itemise pet income. An alternative solution has been put forward to show this income on the owners booking portal. It is hoped to have this in place during the coming season.
A number of queries about late or missing payments have been raised by members during the year. The main problem relates to third party bookings received by JFH such as Hoseasons. They pay JFH one month after the accommodation has been used; however, JFH booking system in its present form is not able to track it and can result in the payment not being credited to the owners account. In some instances notes have been attached to the statement for the payment to be made later.
There are other associated problems which do not affect owners in terms of payments, but do cause problems in reconciling payments. They have come to light now that the booking system is fully automated. They are now gradually being resolved.
Please check your statement carefully and if you have any queries please contact JFH accounts as quickly as possible. They’re not trying to diddle you
I reported at the AGM that JFH were running a trial at one of their caravan parks. Unfortunately the company appointed did not go ahead with the trial. JFH are now actively looking at other systems, but the main problem if using conventional broadband is the incoming speed provided. Most of the sites are away from townships and therefore are unlikely to have fibre optic feeds and rely on the normal copper cable telephone network, which in the main is relatively slow. Therefore any Wi-Fi distribution will also be slow and as more people connect to it the slower it becomes. Kenegie is a typical example as the incoming speed is about 1.2 Mbps. This has to be addressed before any Wi-Fi network can be put in place. The alternative system is via satellite but I gather the costs are considerable.
This subject comes up on a regular basis and so far no solution has been found. The main problem with taking a deposit is the administration. In an ideal world the property inventory should be checked before being let and then checked again at the end of the stay. Any items missing or damaged caused is then brought to the renters attention and the cost deducted from the deposit. That, as we know, doesn’t happen because the site does not have the staff resources to do it. Even if JFH etc. agreed to charge a deposit it would result in disputes or conflict because it is not properly policed. Edward Newbold, new owner of Kenegie is not averse to implementing a scheme, but would not have the resources to police it.
A couple of years ago CMOA introduced an “honesty envelope” scheme which for various reasons didn’t get off to a good start. Last season it was launched again on Kenegie. Christine, now Park manager, ensured that it was presented to all visitors and it was well managed. The new owner Edward Newbold is very impressed and is intending to laminate the notice with the forenames of the owners to emphasise that the property is privately owned.
Please refer to copy letter attached.
The Secretary has asked Martyn Fowler if it can be extended to the other sites. His response was very positive and enthusiastic. The Secretary will discuss the scheme with the respective managers to ensure their commitment and the schemes succes
Madam Chairman reported to the meeting about the annual discussion that took place with Martyn Fowler in March and remarked on how business-like and focused the company is to push the business forward. Firm plans and projections are now place, which should produce positive results for all owners during the coming months.
Madam Chairman also revisited the topic of communication and considered that this has improved and is working quite well on all sites. A request was made for all owners to support their site representatives and convey findings good or bad whenever they make a visit.
Chairman’s Report attached
The Treasurer reported to the meeting that last year’s membership stood at 205.
The letters for subscription renewal were sent out at the beginning of March and he was pleased to report that over 50 renewals have been received so far for 2016/17. Renewal letters were only sent to those who pay by cheque. Members who have set up standing order bank payments will receive their receipts shortly. A cross check of payments received will be carried out on the 10th April. Reminder letters will then be sent to those members who have yet to pay.
The Treasurer would like to remind members who wish to pay online to ensure your name and membership number is clearly quoted in order that your payment can be correctly identified.
The Treasurer then informed the meeting of the current cash balances held by CMOA.
The current cash balances are as follows: –
Nat.West A/c. £ 2,551.34
Britannia B.S. £18,317.34
The Accounts of the Owners Association require Auditing, if there is anyone willing to Audit the Accounts could they please contact the Treasurer.
Council Tax – 10 Month rule.
The majority of properties were originally provided with a 10 month occupancy provision by Cornwall Council which meant that the property could not be let during January and February. Some owners over the years have applied for and been granted 12 month occupancy. Those owners who do not claim business rates and pay council tax instead need to ensure that if they have a 10 month provision on their lease that they are only paying for 10 months and not the full 12. Most owners are aware there is no longer a 10% reduction for holiday homes. It is suspected that some properties that have changed hands with the new owners opting to pay council tax may be paying too much. If any owner falls into this category then they should contact Cornwall Council, but need to provide proof that the property has a 10 month occupancy clause.
An important development has occurred on Kenegie Manor. The owner now wishes to start the season in time for the February school half term. So any owner who has a 10 month provision regardless of paying business rates or council tax will be in breach if it is let for gain. If you wish to let your property during January or February, then you will need to apply for 12 month occupancy.
The Chancellor announced that business rate relief would be permanent as from next year (2017) also if the rateable value is £12000 or less than the relief will be 100%.
As from 1st April 2016 stamp duty will be levied on second homes and buy to let.
As most of our members properties do not have residential status and are therefore classed as commercial then a prospective buyer will not have to pay any stamp duty.
Stamp duty however has now been extended to commercial property and will start at 150K and will attract 2% duty.
There are only a couple of properties that are likely to attract 2% commercial stamp duty when sold.
The Secretary then addressed the subject of buying and selling. This market has been quite active during the past 12 months resulting in a number of properties changing hands. If it is a CMOA member selling and invariably it is, then CMOA has to recruit a new member.
At present a welcome letter from CMOA is sent to the new owner via JFH. However the process can take some time. When a property changes hands JFH have to be informed by the vendors solicitors on completion of the transaction. There can sometimes be a few months time-lag from the property changing hands and JFH being informed. Only at this point will the new owner receive CMOA letter. A more efficient method is for owners selling to supply details of the new owner to the Secretary. A letter will then be sent inviting them to join, following your recommendation.
If as an owner you are intending to sell in the near future your support and co-operation is requested in this recruitment process.
As often mentioned CMOA represents approx. 50% of all owners on the 4 sites. The Secretary informed the meeting that CMOA will be mounting a recruitment drive on St. Ives, Perran and Tolroy. The letter should only be received by a non-member, however if you receive a letter in error please ignore it.
New membership window stickers will be issued by the Treasurer together with your subscription renewal receipt. The Secretary requests members to display it in a prominent window position on your holiday property as soon as you can. Site managers are willing to help if you are unable to get there within the next month or two. Displaying the sticker is important as it does create awareness of CMOA and help with recruitment.
This years’ sticker features a 25 in the centre to commemorate the 25th anniversary
Review of CMOA Website
At the AGM members were informed about the new look CMOA website and were shown the pre-launch version. The site went live in December. During the last couple of months members have had the opportunity to navigate the new site. During this period a couple of other changes have been made. The secretary used the opportunity to give the meeting a tour of the nearly finished product.
- Home page – informs new or potential owners about CMOA and how to contact.
Members Section – password protected
- Latest News – Keeping all members on a site per site basis up to date
- FAQ’s – Contains history of minutes – site reports etc. Enter question into FAQ box to search archives.
- Forum – open to all members to comment – raise issues – provide information etc. on a site by site basis or general.
Madam Chairman once again emphasised the importance of good communication. The Forum is an ideal communication system and members are encouraged to enter a comment whenever they visit their site. It doesn’t have to be a complaint. Your comment can be about anything even if it’s just to say the weather is wonderful! Your comments will provide useful feedback for committee members to address with the respective managers. Site representatives will also inform members of meetings held with managers
To access CMOA website and comment on the forum remember you can do this easily anywhere anytime with your smart phone.
Important – Change of Login.
Effective from Tuesday 3rd May 2016 you will be required to enter a new login for CMOA website.
There will be two boxes to complete. The top box requires an email address. You will be supplied with the address by the Treasurer. Please do not enter your own email address.
The next box will require your new password which again will be provided by the Treasurer.
Owners booking portal – JFH
A new facility has been added to the owners booking portal accessed via the link on CMOA. This facility provides a history of past bookings, i.e. bookings for 2015, so that you can compare the number of bookings and duration. To access go to the top left hand of the screen and click on 2015 or 2016
If your property has been recently regraded then the history of bookings will not be available. There is a note on the portal to this effect and to contact JFH.
JFH Letting rates /Tariffs
The season has got off to a good start with bookings up by 13% on last year. You may recall this time last year the business was struggling; however it all came good as the season progressed.
At the AGM it was reported that in most cases bookings for those who let through JFH saw an increase in the 2015 season, however whilst that was largely true a number of owners complained that their net income was down. The problem again lay with the automated booking system. The marketing department decided to discount JFH owned accommodation by up to 25%. This discount was automatically applied to all properties, which was not intended. This season the maximum discount applied to the published tariff for privately owned properties will be 10%.
The new owner Edward Newbold operating as McKinnon Jardine Leisure has been busy over the winter period and owners who have been on site have noticed improvements in the grounds and buildings.
The current situation is the site does not have a live booking website as yet. There are some technical issues to be overcome before its launch – hopefully by April. The working site does not have a members booking portal at present. Owners letting through MJL will need to keep in regular contact to establish the bookings they have.
A brochure has now been produced.
Bookings – The full marketing machinery is not yet in place, so the bookings so far are from the previous bookings database, repeat bookings and third party agents such as Hoseasons. The picture so far is that bookings are good up to June. There are big gaps for July and August – which is not unusual and it is looking healthy for September and October.
Wi- Fi – As mentioned earlier there are technical difficulties in getting a system up and running however the broadband incoming speed at Kenegie is extremely slow. This needs to be addressed before establishing a distribution network
There are other issues on Kenegie, which I will appraise the Kenegie group at the side meeting.
Ted Hands presented the meeting on the arrangements so far planned and confirmed to celebrate CMOA’s 25th Birthday.
The celebrations will take place at St. Ives Holiday Park.
Date – Saturday 29th October 2016
Venue – St. Ives
Party Theme – 1960’s
Who is invited – All CMOA members
Cost – Nil courtesy of John Fowler Holidays.
The meeting was reminded that at the 21st Anniversary celebrations CMOA raised money for the RNLI. Ted proposed that a similar charitable donation be made to another worthy cause perhaps the Cornish Air Ambulance Service. The money will be raised through a raffle on the night. A show of hands was called for supporting the proposal, which was carried unanimously.
Full details will be sent out to members with the AGM notice later in the year.
The Secretary informed the meeting that the AGM will take place the next day Sunday 30th October at St. Ives.
Side Meeting and Representatives Report
John Youdell kindly chaired the meeting for the Perran View group in the absence of site representatives for Perran.
John reported that a new entrance porch has been built and the small onsite shop has been moved into the main building. The shop is now open from 8.30am till late, which is much more convenient.
John also raised the question on behalf of the Perran Group as to where the money levied for roads is spent.
New members have raised queries on the admin charge and VAT. The Treasurer informed the meeting that the system was introduced a few years ago to provide a level playing field for VAT registered and non-VAT registered owners.
Please refer to site report for further information issued by Judith Hasell.
St. Ives – Ted Hands
Ted Hands reported back to the main meeting on behalf of St. Ives.
He reported that the site was clean and tidy and welcoming. There was concern about large gas bottles attached to the new lodges which detracted from their appearance.
Please refer to full comprehensive site report attached.
Tolroy – Christopher Nell and Simon Arkell
Simon Arkell reported back to the main meeting on behalf of Tolroy.
The inevitable pot holes have appeared at the end of the winter. The site manager Gavin has put a resurfacing programme into operation. It was also reported that Seagulls are taking up residence again and are now becoming a pest. A control programme was initiated by the previous Manager Kevin, but had to be abandoned due to cost.
The use of disposable barbecues was again raised as a safety issue and the danger to outdoor furniture and possible building damage occurring. A call was made for there to be a designated barbecue area.
The management of trees on Tolroy is often raised as an issue, which causes loss of light and damage to property. The trees on Tolroy are all protected under tree preservation orders and permission has to be sought from Cornwall Council before any action is taken. If members have a particular tree problem, they should draw it to the Managers attention in the first instance.
Members are very pleased with Gavin and consider he is doing a good job.
Tolroy site report unavailable.
The Secretary chaired the meeting with the Kenegie group.
A meeting was held with Mr Edward Newbold on 19th February when a number of issues were raised. Some being outstanding matters coupled with plans to move forward.
Mr Newbold kindly responded with a summary of planned actions plus additional information as follows:
- A commercial Jet Washer will be purchased and used to clean the paved areas and patios. Starting with areas that are considered a safety risk due to the formation of algae.
- A new ride-on Lawn Mower will also be purchased.
- Pot holes have been filled in the Old Court area and further attention is required to strengthen roads in certain parts of the site.
- Yellow line markings will be completed as soon as the weather permits.
- An apprentice to the Groundsman is to be employed.
- A shrub and flower planting scheme is planned.
Works carried out to date
- The bottom part of Old Court has been repainted. The remainder during the coming weeks, weather permitting.
- Housekeeper/Launderette and Club House buildings have been repainted.
- The site now has a coffee bar in the pool area. There are some problems with high humidity, which is being addressed. The changing rooms will receive a face lift.
- The new owner has provided part time work for the existing team over the winter period and employed three full time staff on grounds and general maintenance.
- Invoices due on 1st April are being prepared.
- Letting scheme payments on debit and credit basis will continue as normal.
- A new lower electricity tariff has been negotiated, which should result in average reduction of £20 per owner.
- The management is in discussions with building and contents insurers to provide cover from renewal date later in the year for those who require it.
- The bar menu and facilities have been revamped to appeal to a wider audience including local residents. The menu and bar is modelled on Weatherspoons.
- A take away service is available.
- Sunday lunches are on offer.
- Bar opening hours extended during the season.
- 10% discount on offer to owners.
The management are keen for owners to promote the service as the more profitable it is more money can be invested in site facilities.
The site opened for business on 13th February (School Half Term) and had a number of bookings. The management may decide to open over Christmas/New Year. A decision will be made in June and owners will be informed about the arrangements.
A proposal was made to jet wash roofs to remove moss and algae. However, having been advised that this process would do more harm than good, it has been shelved so that the management can do more research.
The pebbledash exterior on most buildings looks drab and in need of a face lift. Edward Newbold has no objection, if owners wish to have the exterior repainted to improve the appearance. The painting would of course have to include in the case of the Bungalows the adjoining property. If you are interested please advise Kenegie management.
Kenegie reps Joy Polglase & Hazel Jones see site report
Madam Chairman called for any further questions. As none were forthcoming she thanked all again for attending and participating and closed the meeting.
Sunday 30th October at St. Ives – Meeting will start promptly at 1pm.