Newsletter Spring 2021
30 years in the making!
Thirty years ago in 1991 the country was in crisis as the economy was in recession, companies going to the wall, unemployment rising at a fast rate of knots and the British Army was fighting a war in the Gulf; Desert Storm, to remove Saddam Hussein’ s forces from Kuwait. That was the year CMOA was inaugurated.
The recession caused businesses to collapse and unemployment to rise, the holiday business also suffered as visitor numbers to the likes of Cornwall declined. The then owners of the CMOA sites, Domaine Leisure were experiencing a cash flow problem and began to delay payment of letting income to owners. Domaine Leisure then went into administration a year later and the sites were run by the administrators until a new owner was found. John Fowler Holidays came to the rescue.
Thanks to the formation of the Cornish Manor Owners’ Association, owners were able to speak with one voice to ensure their interests were safeguarded during the administration period and beyond.
CMOA motto is Unitate Fortier “Strength in Unity”.
Thirty years on in 2021 the country is in crisis again, fighting a different type of war against a virus and thankfully winning. In the meantime businesses have suffered and unemployment is set to rise as the furlough and other schemes draw to a close in tandem with the easing of restrictions through the governments “road map”.
The world is changing as so are the challenges we face. In our own little world as owners of holiday properties, through CMOA a lot has been achieved during the past 30 years and as situations change and evolve it is important we stand together to address and overcome new challenges with one voice.
Vive le CMOA!
As chairman, I would like to extend to you a warm welcome to this edition of the Spring CMOA newsletter. First and foremost, I hope I find you and your families all safe and well.
As we are all too well aware, it has been a year where we have had to live with the unprecedented restrictions and disruptions to our lives, due to Covid-19. Sadly, the virus has changed the lives of everyone throughout the whole world, to varying degrees. As with many businesses, the hospitality and travel industry has suffered with prolonged periods of business interruption.
Some four months will have passed since the last CMOA newsletter. I am sure like me, you would all have been hopeful that by now we would be raring to go, with our units in sparkling order and soon to be opening up to welcome guests for the start of the season. We now know that the season will start on 12th April.
Therefore, it is with regret and disappointment, the CMOA Spring meeting at Swindon has had to be cancelled. Hence the cancellation has necessitated David putting together another newsletter. As I said previously in the last newsletter, it cannot in any way replace the human interaction, fellowship, information and enjoyment the meeting would have provided for everyone. Following the months of enforced lockdown, I am sure we were so looking forward to all meeting up again. However, I hope you will find this newsletter will be both interesting and informative and go some way to keeping you all up to date with all things CMOA. Also, what is happening with the owners/management/operations of our Cornish holiday parks.
Whilst there is light beginning to appear at the end of the tunnel, with the vaccine roll out being highly successful in the UK, the ongoing effects for the hospitality industry have been serious and far reaching. Some of the restrictions may well still be in place for at least the rest of this year. Any restrictions that stay in place may still have an impact on us as holiday homeowners, our guests and the site owners. At this point in time, it is difficult to predict what the impact of any restrictions will have for us and the hospitality and tourism industry, in 2021.
The CMOA website is kept current and up to date with changes that affect us as owners and is a very useful source of real time information. As international travel is still uncertain, the demand for staycations will therefore see a huge surge in demand. This is dependent on the lockdown measures being eased for travel within the UK. Prior to the pandemic Cornwall has always been one of the most popular of destinations in the UK for staycations.
With the G7 meeting of heads of governments planned for June of 2021 at Carbis Bay, the popularity and awareness of Cornwall as a holiday destination, will receive a further boost.
Interestingly and allegedly, there is a personal reason why Prime Minister Boris Johnson chose Carbis Bay for the G7 meeting. Apparently, in 1940 the pregnant grandmother of Boris was staying at her father’s holiday home in Carbis Bay. During the stay she went into labour (not the party) in Carbis Bay. Stanley Johnson, father of Boris, was later born in Penzance Hospital.
Assuming as owners we get anything like a full season, the popularity and demand for holidays in Cornwall will prove a massive boost to us for our bookings and income. So hopefully, we will all get a bumper season with our properties.
As you will be aware, with those owners who claim business rates relief, there has been a helping hand in the form of a grant from the Government’s business rates Covid-19 relief scheme.
Further grants for business rate paying owners have been given since the introduction of lockdown in November/December 2020. For further information and how to claim, please go to “Latest News” section on CMOA website. Just a polite reminder that these grants are taxable and must be declared to HMRC in our tax returns.
All that remains for me to say is please stay safe and well. These are difficult times and your continued support for the CMOA will continue to be vital to ensuring that as owners we get the maximum benefit and enjoyment from owning our holiday home.
Once again, I appeal to you to if at all possible, please step forward and become a rep for your site or a volunteer to serve on the committee. This is our CMOA and together we have achieved so much, but there is lots still to do.
I am sure there will be a different kind of hospitality industry going forward and the CMOA will need to be ready to meet the different challenges ahead and with your support we can.
Finally, may I take this opportunity to wish you and your families a fantastic enjoyable summer and a good season with your bookings.
You all stay safe and well and hopefully we will look forward to us all meeting up again at the November 2021 AGM.
JFH Owners Portal
The owner’s portal has now been comprehensively upgraded with more facilities to be added during the year.
Owners can access the following:
- Bookings – presented in calendar and booking name format.
- Facility to make own booking
- Account owners address and contact details.
- Statements – running list of income and expenditure, invoices and credits
- Facility for queries including technical support
Services to be added later in the year:
- Owners will be able to order and pay for things like gas bottles, drain downs, winterisation, etc, through the portal
- There will be a section where owners can see all of the correspondence between themselves and JFH
- Owners will be able to upload and view any documents relating to insurance, sublet agreements, grading etc
Kenegie Owners Portal
After a long wait owners will be able to access bookings via the I-CAT link.
The bookings will be in calendar format only displayed as “Pitched Bookings” and do not provide a booking name. For this information and to make own booking please contact Christine at Kenegie.
I-Cat website also provides discussion/community facility, which covers topics such as:
- Leaseholder Information
- Swimming Pool & bar facilities
- General Grounds Management
There is also a forum for owners to ask questions and share information.
A quick access link via CMOA website will be provided as soon as the site is live.
The hope was that we would be over the worst by now and we could start to put the Covid virus behind us and enjoy something more like normality for this year. Alas as we all know this is not the case.
Our Spring meeting cannot take place so David has put together this newsletter which along with the website (I would urge all to check this regularly) will go some way to keeping us all informed.
There is cause for optimism however, our saving grace being the inoculation programme which is proceeding apace and there are now well over 20 million people who have received their first injection.
We have the “Roadmap” for easing of restrictions even though precautions will still be necessary for quite some time yet and the good news from the point of view of CMOA owners is that people can rent self-catering accommodation from the 12th of April. JFH and MJL have stated that their parks will re-open on this date.
This of course raises another quandary, I am sure there will be owners (myself being one) who are desperate to get to their property to finish winter works which were started before this current lockdown was announced. At the present time, until the 12th it will still be illegal to travel unnecessarily and to stay away from home so rather than risk the wrath of the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary that must be the time to go to finish off as quickly as possible.
Many people are desperate for a holiday and even though many will head straight to the airports, I am confident that we will also see an increase in bookings especially after last year’s surge which was very welcome.
That said, we can only hope that some holiday makers now know that “self-catering” means just that and there is not a maid to clear up after them. I am sure JFH and MJL will do its utmost to provide holiday makers with a great experience regarding socialising, catering and facilities within the rules at any one time.
The new JFH owner`s portal is now up and running, it holds much more information and is a big improvement on the old site. MJL at Kenegie are launching their own version in the very near future.
I assume that everyone knows that Cornwall is to host the G7 summit in June this year when the leaders of the 7 nations will descend on Carbis Bay from the 11th to 15th June complete with their retinues, not to mention a huge security presence and the worlds media.
It remains to be seen what effect this may have on bookings (if any) but I think it is safe to say that Carbis Bay is best avoided between those dates.
Finally I would like to wish you all a successful year with a sincere hope that we may all overcome the recent difficulties and look forward to something much more like normal by the end of the year.
Park Rules JFH sites
Members on JFH sites recently received via the Owners Portal a list of Park Rules. The rules caused some concern as they referred to paying commission to JFH on the sale of a property. Now that the owners portal is being used for all communication to owners, all owners received the rules. However, these rules apply only to Caravan sites and Lodge owners on St. Ives, they do not apply to all other properties on CMOA sites of Tolroy, St. Ives and Perran.
CMOA has now arranged in consultation with JFH for a set of Park Rules applicable to CMOA sites to be sent out. This is now available on the owners portal.
The CMOA site rules do contain some anomalies, which may cause concern, however JFH do not wish to correct them at this stage, as from their point of view nothing has changed.
Buying and selling property
The pandemic has caused a shift in the housing market as more people are wanting to live in rural areas, rather than Towns and Cities. It has also increased the desire to have a holiday home bolthole and this coupled with the changes in the buy to let market as covered in CMOA AGM minutes November 2019, has culminated it seems in a demand surge for holiday homes.
One local estate agent has reported some 13 sales are going through for Tolroy and 4 for St. Ives. It is not in CMOA’s interest for members to sell as a member is lost, however the time comes to us all to move on and if these are your thoughts, this is probably the best time to maximise your asset. As well as estate agents, CMOA will also help in promoting your property to other owners through the “ Properties for Sale” section on the CMOA website. Just provide a photograph and a description and its done.
Stamp Duty; If you have bought a property during the last few years and have been charged stamp duty. This is incorrect, please contact CMOA for further information.
There is one Estate Agent listed on CMOA suppliers list, who is offering a discount to CMOA members who wish to sell.
Cornwall on the World map – G7 Summit
During the last 6 months or so there has been a plethora of Television programmes about life in Cornwall, living and working there and the tourism industry, with plenty of wonderful Cornish scenery. From Cornish Fishermen to personalities touring around the coastline. Even the French are getting in on the act by comparing Cornwall coastline to Brittany, but stating the food is better and cheaper!
Now that the G7 conference of world leaders will be held at the beginning of June at the Carbis Bay Hotel, Cornwall will be put on the world map.
It is estimated to boost the local economy by some £70 million during the 3 day conference. The only downside is that President Biden will not be able to use the presidential limousine, as it is far too big for Cornwall’s narrow roads.
I do hope that everyone out there has kept safe and well over the last 12 months in what has proved to be very difficult circumstances. At last we seem to be heading in the right direction and hopefully things will soon return to something like the “old normal”.
The current membership stands at circa 200, which includes 26 new members. There are some 30 members who have yet to renew their membership so far this year. If you are thinking of selling or have sold your property, it is important that you let us know so that we can keep our records up to date.
I am expecting the results for the year to March 2021 to show a profit, in part due to cost savings from the pandemic, no spring meeting, and partially from the increase in subscriptions introduced this year.
The letters for subscription renewal were sent out at the beginning of March and I am pleased to report that I have received over 20 renewals so far for 2021/22, with payments from another 30+ members who pay by direct debit/standing order due around the 1st April. 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 last April.
Could I also please remind you that if you are paying direct into the bank account that 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.
The current cash balances are as follows:
Nat. West A/c. 1,368.16
Nat West Savings A/c. 18,438.65
Thank you once again to Janna Britton for checking the accounts of the association.
I look forward to meeting up with old friends and new members at the AGM in November.
CMOA Website Password Change
The annual password change will be on Tuesday 4th May 2021. Details will be sent out with subscription renewal payment receipts.
Business rates support grant
Members who are registered for business rates have received a government business interruption grant due to Covid-19.
The grant has now been extended to 30th June with a further reduced grant for those businesses that qualify.
It is important for members to note that all grants received have to be declared on end of year tax returns and will be taxed as profit after expenditure. This is covered under:
Section 106 of the Finance Act 2020
To help the hospitality industry, holiday accommodation and attractions, last year the government reduced VAT from 20% to 5% for these sectors which was due to end on 12th January 2021.
This has now been extended to 30th September 2021 followed by 12.50% VAT levy for a further 6 months to 31st march 2022.
The reduced rate has been applied to the following services provided by JFH and MJL
- Ground rent
- Service charges
- Management/ Facility charges*
*Note – MJL has now agreed to apply the reduced rate and are issuing credit notes to owners affected
News from around the sites
Amanda and her team have been busy preparing for the reopening of the site and Amanda is pleased to inform owners that the swimming pool area has now been refurbished.
All other scheduled work is in progress.
Darren and his team have been getting to grips with a backlog of work and are hoping to have the bulk it completed in time for the opening.
The planned redevelopment programme is ongoing.
Paul and his team have their noses to the grind stone to ensure that everything is spick and span for launch day on 12th April.
Christine and her crew have been refurbishing the Old Forge bar and restaurant amongst other things. A new digital food ordering and payment system is in the process of being installed.
Annual maintenance is also underway with external painting on Old Court properties.
Much needed pressure washing of paved areas and patios is underway. Some of the work has been delayed due to bad weather and may continue after the reopening.
Disposal of rubbish
Some owners who have carried out their own refurbishing work have been depositing the waste by the normal refuse and recycling bins instead of taking it to the recycling centre at St. Erth.
Not only is it unsightly, Kenegie management has to arrange and pay for its removal, a cost that all owners will have to bear in the long run.
Subject to all Covid-19 restrictions being lifted, members will be invited to attend the first AGM since November 2019 at Perran View on Saturday 6th November 2021.
JFH & MJL will close the holiday season 30th October.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
This past year has been hard for everybody and something that nobody foresaw or ever imagined would happen and experience, but we have.
We know all too well of the tragic loss of life and those still suffering the after effects of so called Long Covid.
The number of people in the population affected are huge and our small group of CMOA members will not have come out of this unscathed. We know of members who have been affected and thankfully fully recovered, but there are others still carrying the scars and having to deal with the loss of loved ones.
If you or any member of your family has suffered in any way during this terrible time our collective thoughts, condolences and prayers are with you.
Latest news on travel and overnight stays prior to 12th April.
Travel restrictions are being eased as from 29th March. Owners who normally carry out their own winter works and prepare things for the coming season are concerned that overnight stays away from home will not be allowed until 12th April unless there are special circumstances.
CMOA has now obtained a ruling from Cornwall Council and Police that overnight stays are allowed for business purposes.
Statement issued by Cornwall Council:
“The legislation allows people to stay away and travel (this element is expected to be relaxed on the 29th March) if part of a work activity, but this should not include the extended family and only applies to those carrying out the work activity.
You may be asked by the police to provide evidence of the work being undertaken. Where possible we would ask that local contractors carry out any work and that people are mindful of Government advice to minimise travel.”
Owners who need to travel and stay overnight can do so on the basis it is to carry out essential work and not just for a holiday break.
It is important for owners contact the site manager at least 48 hours prior to travelling to site.