Chairman's Report - August 2011
Dear fellow members
Perhaps the major item this year has been the weather. The heavy and prolonged snow was a problem in the early weeks, the difficulties caused were overcome by the wonderful efforts of the staff – brilliant! and thank you to everyone. After the snow let’s just say it has rained and rained, maybe nature has given Kenmore all the rain that East Anglia has been crying out for?
Another important item is the VAT situation. John Lapthorne our Accountant Committee Member writes:
“Regrettably I must inform you that the engagement with HMRC regarding the VAT registration of the Kenmore Club is continuing.
After a protracted examination of records HMRC has expressed an opinion that the club should be registered for VAT. In their letter HMRC implied that this opinion was based on the fact that the Kenmore Club turnover appeared to have exceeded the VAT threshold limits over a number of years, HMRC has requested details of income and expenditure since the formation of the club in 1992.
As HMRC has offered no explanation as to their rationale for reaching this opinion, which contradicts the written HMRC advice given to the Club in 1995, we have requested further
details from them. We have also informed them that as a result of changes in the Management Companies over this period the records pre 1998 are apparently, not available.
The potential outcomes are that:
• HMRC will provide substantiation of their rationale for requiring VAT registration.
• The Kenmore Club will have to assess the strength of the HMRC case from knowledge of circumstances in other timeshare clubs, recent legal decisions on this issue and the evidence of the HMRC advice in 1995.
• Subject to the scale of any HMRC assessment of back dated VAT; consider the need for, and the potential cost of, professional advice on the matter.
As these matters are unlikely to be resolved in the near future, the committee is of the opinion that it will be necessary to again include a provision for a potential VAT liability in the
Management Charge invoice for 2012.”
Despite the weather there has been much progress with cottages 11, 12, 14, 15 and 35 being fully refurbished and cottages 4, 10, 36 and 40 having new furnishings, carpets and painting. All but three Phase 1 cottages have had paths (damaged by the weather) replaced with slabs. In addition many cottages now have bedroom TV’s. The grounds look better than ever and (weather permitting) the new barbeque area should be very enjoyable, especially for families. We also at last have excellent TV reception!
This has been my final year on your Committee and I am pleased to say that the resort is now well managed both by Alex and by Diamond Resorts. The Committee is working on a detailed long term plan to care for the structure and services of the cottages as well as refurbishing the interiors – an aspect that has been ignored by previous management companies. As weeks at Kenmore are owned in perpetuity rather than on a lease, this is very important for the Club’s future.
We are delighted to announce that RCI is supporting our AGM mailing this year. If you are not already a member of RCI you will find a leaflet enclosed which explains the new benefits of the RCI exchange system as well as a special new RCI membership and exchange offer. A representative from RCI will be in attendance at our AGM this year so if you have a question you wish to put to them or if you want the new ‘Deposit Credit’ system explaining now is your chance to come along and ask them in person.
My time serving on your Committee has been interesting, sometimes difficult but above all very rewarding. I wish our Kenmore Club a great future – it is very special to all of us.
Chairman, The Kenmore Club Committee
Chairman's Report - January 2011
Dear fellow members
The Kenmore Club has enjoyed a very positive 2010. The Resort now looks excellent and is very well maintained. Jim and his maintenance staff have earned much praise for their work, especially during the long period of very bad weather! The first stage of improving the reception area is complete and further work on this area will begin soon – our aim is to make it attractive and welcoming with a social area enjoying the magnificent views across the Loch. Alexa and her reception staff have also received many appreciative comments from Owners and guests.
We now have efficient management both at Diamond Resorts and locally with our Resort Manager, Alex Cibelli. Many positive ideas and changes have been implemented and all the staff are now more motivated and offering a first rate service. We have still to find a solution in housekeeping as no applications have been received for the vacancy of Head Housekeeper following the retirement of Rhoyas MacGregor due to ill health and we are looking for other solutions to resolve the problem. There is a new barbeque area ready for some sunshine next year which can be found down by the jetty. Alex has also implemented many cost saving measures which together with no longer using ‘Sky’ TV have helped us keep our management charge increase to 6.5%.
We do have one major factor to contend with which affects the actual management charge increase and came as a shock to the Committee and Diamond Resorts alike. H M Revenue and Customs have indicated that they are reviewing the decision as to whether The Kenmore Club should become registered for VAT – a reversal of their decision made in 1996. As yet we have not been notified of their reasons for this suggested change and are currently awaiting this explanation and their final decision. Please refer to the separate note about this VAT issue from John Lapthorne, a Committee member who is a practicing Accountant.
The decision to include VAT has added a further 9% to the management charge bringing the increase on last year to 15.5%.
Should the outcome be that we remain de-registered for VAT a credit of the additional VAT element paid will be made to your account against your 2012 management charge.
At the AGM in September a question was raised relating to mooring of boats on the section of the Loch adjacent to the resort. The committee advised that they would investigate the situation and report back in this letter. We have investigated however, the local council is unable to provide us with a definitive answer as to who owns the mooring rights as there is currently a dispute with a local resident who claims to own the mooring rights on the loch in totality. We will therefore continue to investigate and advise the members of the position when we know the outcome of this dispute.
The committee has also looked at the position with regard to fishing rights on the loch. Alex advised that the cost of the loch levy, to enable members to fish in the loch, was not being recovered by the income for fishing permits issue to members. This is because most anglers prefer to fish in the river on the other side of the Kenmore Bridge as this is where the salmon are caught. Therefore anglers simply buy a fishing permit from the Kenmore Post Office. From 2011 fishing permits will no longer be available from the resort and anyone wishing to fish will be directed to the post office.
Chairman, The Kenmore Club Committee