Camposol Residents Association – AGM
Monday 29th June 2009 at 11am
Greg Green, Chairman: The first thing I must do today is to thank the Fiesta Committee for the fiesta they have all worked so hard to put on for Camposol over the last two days. We as a committee admire their dedication and drive over the last twelve months or more to put this together, I have also heard they are already talking about repeating it again next year, we wish them well. This was applauded warmly by the CRA members present.
Greg continued. Today’s agenda, as published, covers a lot of areas but I am sure that you will find everything of great interest and informative. Because the agenda is wide, so that I can be as factual as possible, I will be using quite detailed notes, and at times to ensure the meeting remains within the boundaries that we have set I may well have to call a stop to some discussions that wander off of the point. So that remarks do not become personal could you please direct all remarks through the chair. A full set of my notes with additions as necessary will be published on our website and on the notice board from tomorrow.
My next task this morning is to introduce your new committee which you recently voted in.
I think most people now know me, but for those that don’t my name is Greg Green and I am your Chairman.
Sitting next to me are:
Jane Walters – Deputy Chairperson.
Joyce Stewart – Treasurer
Mary Cooper – Secretary
Les Crook – Membership Secretary
Also with us on the table I would like you to welcome Senor Fernando Del Canto and José Manuel Diaz Montes who will speak to you later.
The remainder of the committee are:
Mick Drummond : Communications Secretary (Website & Newsletters)
John Daw – Fund Raising & Social Secretary
Tom Carpenter – Fund Raising & Social Secretary
Geoff Nastri – With his Italian Mafia background we call him the CRA enforcer.
I would also at this point like to give recognition to two other groups of people working behind the scenes of the CRA. The first is a small group who come together and write letters and assist with our agreed lobbying activities. The other group is some ladies who I am sure most of you have been harassed by at some time or other, who spend their time in Rumours Post Room every afternoon selling raffle tickets for our weekly meat draw which as you will hear later provides money to cover any expenses that we may have.
I have one final thank you and that is to the owners of Rumours for allowing us the use of their facilities this morning free of charge. We have been criticised in the past for supporting Masa by using the hotel for meetings. In future we will be revolving our meetings around Rumours, Kinnelly’s & The Trevi Bar who have all offered their facilities free of charge.
Let me now move on to the Chairman’s Annual Report. Well the 10 months since the last AGM we held in August 2008 has certainly seen some changes.
In October we at last saw the publishing of the Garrigues Report. A lot has been said about this report but for €8,400 it has proven to give exceptional value for money. I have attended many meetings since its publication and it has been quoted many times by the Mayor, Jacqueline Galvez, Masa, lawyers, the media and many times by committee members of the CRA. I have never known it to be factually challenged and it has formed a sound base for many of our policy decisions.
We have called two EGMs each attended by over 300 members. The second of these was followed by a demonstration in front of the town hall when even with conservative estimates there were 500 people there. As you will hear later I’m sure that this will not be the last demonstration we have. The first was good humoured, the next will still be good humoured but much louder.
We were instrumental in organising the Camposol clean-up campaign. This has over the last 7 months expanded in to a great success story with the D Sector community group being formed and arranging not only clean ups but also landscaping areas with funds gained through social events and bucket collections. At the same time this project has created a great community spirit. This has now been followed by A Sector and C Sector and partially on B Sector. I say thank you and well done to everyone involved. I would also like to acknowledge the input from Zoe & Lawrence of Simply Networking for their assistance in many of these schemes, also the various companies who have sponsored the planting of the roundabouts. As you will hear in a minute there are also other projects in hand.
In the middle of March we had to call an early election for the voting in of a new committee. This was necessary due to the resignations of both the Chairman and Deputy Chairman due to ill health and also because two other committee members moved back to the UK. I have previously done this publicly during the last EGM but I would like to once again thank Roy Pugh, the retiring Chairman and Brian Tokely, the retiring Vice Chairman, for all the effort and work they had put in to the CRA over the previous years. I should also like to pass on thanks to Ken Richardson, Rathnait Mullen and Erache Merino for the work they put in on behalf of the CRA.
The one disappointing thing about the election was the number of people who voted. It should have been much higher and I would like to make this point. I attended a meeting with Mary some two weeks ago in Mojacar organised by AULAN a pressure group to support the Prior family, who I’m sure many of you saw on television having their house demolished, and many others like them in Almeria. There were many other pressure groups there from Malaga in the South to Valencia in the North who is fighting against the land grab laws. The biggest message for me from this meeting was that “Apathy is not an option”. We have to mobilise and fight our cause. The evidence in Spain shows that if we don’t do this for ourselves in Camposol then no one else will. That means casting our vote in every election and supporting every meeting and demonstration. It also means getting inside the local political systems and applying the pressure you have by using your votes.
One other area of concern over the last 9 months, especially for those involved, has been the lack of advancement on the subject of escrituras for those polygonos without them. We know the reason why these are not available it is because Masa have not built certain polygonos in line with the original plan parcial. We know the solution is the passing of the revised plan parcial which should have been signed off by all parties last October. We are told that this revised plan is delayed by the Confederacion Hidragrafico in Murcia. We have been given the name of the man in Murcia who is responsible for signing the plan off and have been asked by the Mayor if we can help. That is amazing in itself!! We are currently awaiting an appointment with Senor Fransisco Rosello of the Confederacion Hidrafico to try to find out exactly what the delay is. Once we get this we will update all of those involved about the situation.
Well what else has your committee been up to since the election?
• We have been very active attending meetings with several groups of lawyers. This will be discussed later on.
• We have promoted the issues on Camposol through local and UK press, the local Spanish press and local Spanish Radio & Television.
• We have hosted visits by several political and media parties on a tour of Camposol highlighting the many problems we face. I think I am safe in saying that they were all shocked at the situation that some homeowners have to live in. If you saw the condition of some of these villas them I’m sure you would all understand why I say “apathy is not an option”.
• We have attended meetings such as that in Mojacar representing Camposol and the CRA.
• We have had meetings with the Mayor and Councillor Jacqueline Galvez. All of these have been reported on the website and on our notice board.
• Through the lobby group we have had meetings and put forward a lobbying plan soon to be published.
• We have now got our own premises in the shape of the CRA Cabin. Not ideal but soon to change as we will soon be taking up a permanent position in the Mapfre office. The cabin will remain in place for the present time and used for notices etc…
• After a request from members we are in the process of establishing a remembrance garden which will provide a peaceful area for reflection and remembrance.
• We have negotiated with Inside Out for the construction of two permanent bins areas to be built opposite the commercial area on sector B. This will take the bins off of the road, tidy up the area and hopefully make it a more pleasant environment to visit. This work is about to start this week.
• With the sponsorship of Mercers we have created a new Respect Camposol leaflet. This is not intended to lay down the law or put rules and regulations in to place but rather to act as a reminder to everyone who lives here or just visits of how we can make life in Camposol that little more enjoyable. We have printed 5,000 of these leaflets. Hopefully you all have a copy which was placed on your chair.
• Just two weeks ago we took the cases of many of our members with problems villas to the President of the Murcia Consumer Association and his legal team. They are very interested in taking our case on and we are waiting their proposals.
• Within the next two weeks we will have a new updated website at www.cracamposol.com. This will be much improved from the old website at www.thenewcamposolcourier.com and will include a forum where discussions on all issues concerning our members will take place.
• We have also been busy putting together the long awaited discount scheme. This will be talked about by Jane in a few minutes and I think that you will be very pleased at what benefits will become available to you as fully re-registered members of the CRA.
To conclude my Chairman’s Report I would like to say that trying to get anything resolved in Spain is a long, painful, drawn out and often frustrating process. We all need to understand this and show patience. I understand that this can be difficult but we must stay united and remember “Apathy is not an option”.
I would now like to hand you over to Joyce who will give you an update on the current financial situation within the CRA.
Joyce Stewart, CRA Treasurer:
As those of you who follow the minutes will already know, the CRA has 2 bank accounts.
The General Account is held at Cajamurcia Bank.
The only income to this account is from the weekly raffle, and this money is used to cover running costs and any projects agreed by the committee should other sponsorship not be forthcoming.
The committee has agreed that the balance in this account should generally not be less than 500€ to allow for emergency situations.
The Balance of this account stands today €821.52
Currently we have €610 cash in hand.
The Lawyers Fund Account is held in La Caixa Bank.
On the day of the EGM in February the balance stood €4,383•08
The collections tub on the day, after expenses, raised €225.00
Since then the Bonus Ball run for us by Val and Bob and donated goods sold at a boot sale by Mary Pugh –Roy’s wife have raised €950.00
Re-Registrations and Donations have raised€11,720.27
The bank has kindly charged 9€ for their services giving a balance today of
The current bank statements are here to be seen by anyone who wishes to, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions after the meeting.
Finally, on behalf of the committee, can I ask you all to show your appreciation of Val and Bob who run the Bonus Ball to benefit the Lawyers Fund, and of Ros, Roisin and Sue our raffle ticket sellers, without their help the general fund wouldn’t be as healthy as it is. They all do an excellent job in what are difficult times for all of us.
Greg Green: The next section of the AGM is designed for the committee to layout its ideas of the way forward and will also give you an opportunity to ask questions and share your views. As I mentioned earlier please keep your questions and points within the subject being discussed at any time.
Firstly I am going to hand over to Les to take us through the current membership and re-registration of members as we stand today.
Les Crook, Membership Secretary: The current number of members on the register 1997
Of these members there are 520 new and re-registered members who have paid the agreed €10 administration fee which goes straight to the Lawyers fund.
Unfortunately only 337 of these are re-registrations”
Greg Green: As you can see we are now left with a problem. At the last EGM it was proposed from the floor that all members re-register and pay a 10 Euro admin fee. As Les said we currently have about 520 members under the re-register scheme who have each paid 10 Euros. Only about 337 of these are actual re-registrations the rest being new members. This leaves some 1400 other members who have not re-registered. I now want to put this situation out to the floor and get your reaction on how you wish to proceed with this process.
Some discussion took place on this subject some of which were:
Lesley, “there are many holiday homes near to where I live and I feel that it is up to permanent residents to ensure when these homeowners do visit that we as members speak with them and encourage them to re-register their membership, is it possible that people could pay their dues by direct debit?”
Greg Green, “we could look into this for the future”
Pauline, “it is very important that we build a membership and pay a yearly fee, could we put some leaflets in the post room etc? We are all fed up and we all live here and the fee should be paid individually, not per house?”
Stan, “I agree in part with Pauline and suggest that we do a mail shot to those who have not re-registered asking them to re-register by return of mail”
Greg Green: “Yes, a good idea but unfortunately the original membership register did not have details of UK addresses which is one of the things that we are including in the new register along with email addresses”
Alan, “may I suggest that if members hear of people who are returning to the UK to live, there are a few in my area, then we must be responsible for passing their details to the CRA so they can be removed from the register”
Richard, “why not put an article in the Journal with a copy of the registration form for those who wish to fill in at home and return?”
Greg Green, “a good idea we will look into this. What is your general view about yearly fees? Does anyone have any further views?”
Gordon, “annual fees are what give you a good idea of actual numbers, we must have yearly fees”
Brian, “I think a low yearly fee might be acceptable then leave it up to the individual to decide if they have had value for money and to make their individual donation accordingly”
Further discussion took place and it was suggested that all members who have re-registered for this year will not have to pay again until March 2010, if by this time there are still members who have not re-registered then they should be removed as members. Those members who have re-registered should have the privilege of the various benefits on offer to CRA members. It was also suggested that poligono reps. should be recruited to help boost membership and to keep members informed of what is going on.
Greg Green asked the floor to show their support, or not, for the charging of yearly fees. A fee of €10 would be charged to each individual and not per house, the membership year would run from March to March and dues must be fully paid by the 1st of June each year. It was also requested that a reminder of the above should be published each year.
Proposer, Peter Mendham – Seconded, Stan Long agreed by the majority present with the exception of 3 who were against the proposal.
Camposol Residents Association – Standing Rules: Reference the above agreement the following details will be added to Chapter 2 of the Camposol Residents Association Standing Rules under Membership Obligations.
4. To pay annual Association Dues in the amount established by Assembly.
(A membership year will run from March – March and dues must be paid in full by 1st of June each year)
Greg Green: As a member of an association the size of the CRA there has to be benefits to be gained. One of these is the buying power that numbers can buy. We have been contacted many times by local firms wishing to offer our members a good deal on their products. To deal with each one individually would have taken huge administration resources which we don’t have. So that we can all benefit from this situation we have decided to start a discount scheme listing all local businesses who will give some kind of benefit to you for just being a member of the CRA. To outline this benefit I am going to hand over to Jane.
Jane Walters, Vice Chairperson The discount scheme comes in 2 parts, part one being commercial businesses and part two being community projects or for want of a better word community gains.
The CRA have approached and been approached by a number of businesses within the area that feel they can offer members a discount. These businesses are listed on our notice board. To name a few such as A1 Excavate & Build, the Calida Group Alarms systems etc and as an association we feel that the more businesses that take part in this scheme the more we as a community benefit.
Due to the man power of the CRA we have encouraged each business to negotiate their own individual discount for the CRA consumer group which can be obtained on request.
The Second part to the scheme is more of a community welfare gain aiding everyone from young to old.
The ICA medical centre based on sector B2 has offered their hall facilities for various community groups. The hall/ under build is a good size with good access and will benefit many of the gardening groups for meetings etc. The scouts and brownies will be taking advantage of these facilities from August.
This hall will be managed and booked through the CRA, all enquiries to a committee member please.
In addition to this the ICA has offered a discount on their GP and Nurse medical care, this entails unlimited visits to the Doctor and Nurse each month for only €15, of which €2 goes to the CRA for further fund raising.
This offer is organised and will be monitored by ICA Medicas.
For both schemes your membership card with valid ID must be produced.
Any further questions/information can be gained after this meeting or will be available from the CRA office at our usual opening times.
Greg Green: The way forward in regards of proposed legal action.
This section can be broken down in to two parts:
1. The completion of Camposol by Masa in line with the approved plans and the acceptance of all sectors of Camposol by the Council.
2. The second is the legalisation of all of your properties so that you have full escrituras (deeds), signed architects reports, licences for all extra work completed by Abril 28, certificates of habitacion and your 10 year guarantee.
In the last EGM you unanimously agreed to raise up to 84,000 Euros with the intention of taking legal action against the council to force Masa to complete Camposol. As you have heard we have to date collected just over 17,000 Euros. It was originally agreed that we could not start legal action until we had security of the full amount in the bank. As this has obviously not happened as quickly as we would have liked we have been back to the lawyers and they have agreed to break the procedure down in to financially manageable stages. The first stage, as agreed in the original plan, was for a meeting with our lawyers to be held with the Mayor and his legal team to negotiate a plan to get Masa to finish Camposol and get it taken over by the Council in a reasonable period of time. The Council would be informed that if they did not agree to this way forward then further legal action would be taken against them. The lawyers would proceed with this process up to the point of further legal action if required for a payment of 11,000 Euros. There would be a down payment of 6,000 Euros with the remaining 5,000 Euros being paid at the end of this stage.
To undertake this process it is not possible for the action to be taken in the name of the CRA, it must be in the names of individual villa owners. A class action would be started in the names of those who volunteer with the lawyers acting in one action for all. The aim is to put the council in a position of legal responsibility by showing that legally they have allowed us to live here and that can be proven by the issuing of deeds and accepting of taxes.
If you volunteered what would be expected of you.
a. You would need to provide copies of your escrituras and any paper work issued by the council such as licences, IBI, car tax & utility bills.
b. You would need to give the lawyers power of attorney to act in this case ONLY on your behalf.
How many volunteers do we need? The more the better!
Currently we have just a handful of volunteers who have come forward. What I want to do now is to get your views and for you to say how you wish the committee to proceed or not proceed with this process.
The chair asked for a show of hands of those who are willing to volunteer to put their paperwork etc. forward, there was a good response.
Further discussion took place and questions were asked regarding the responsibilities that would be applied to volunteers, it was explained that anyone who volunteered would do so at no risk monetary or otherwise to themselves as the legal fund would cover all costs.
The general consensus of opinion was that the CRA must continue to take legal action and that we need to raise our profile with more demonstrations outside of the Town Hall, we have to stand up and be counted! Reference was made to the action that took place around the stopping of the postal system and the instant action taken by the Correos.
A proposal to continue to take legal action was put forward by Lesley Dunton and was seconded by Winston Stott, this proposal was agreed and carried by the majority with the exception of one member.
Greg Green: stated that this discussion on this subject was now finished. But if members wanted to know more and are willing to volunteer they should hand in their details at the end of the meeting and the CRA will arrange another meeting, with the lawyers present, as soon as possible to give out more information.
Greg reminded the membership once again that, “Apathy is not an option”. This affects us all.
Greg Green: As mentioned earlier the second part of the legal situation is the legalisation of all of your properties so that you have full escrituras (deeds), signed architects reports, licences for all extra work completed by Abril 28, the 10 year guarantee and certificates of habitacion.
Some two months ago I had a meeting with Gerard from Mercers who were obviously trying to sell properties on Camposol. Unfortunately in most cases it was impossible to sell a house due to one or more of the documents mentioned not being available. Mercers decided, as all of these documents came through Masa, that the legal route was not an option to most people. It was expensive, takes too long and even if you get a judgement against Masa they were likely to appeal or even ignore the findings.
They decided to contact a legal company called Konsilia from the Costa Del Sol. This company have great experience in these matters and rather than litigate against the developer, as their name indicates, they prefer to conciliate between the developer and the owner to come to a beneficial conclusion to both parties. I have had several meetings with Konsilia and I know they have had several meetings with the legal team from Masa.
The CRA committee would like to offer this option as a solution to getting their members villas fully legalised. It is an option you have open to you. You all have differing situations. When you have the details the choice is yours and yours alone. There is no financial gain in any way for the CRA.
I would like to hand you over now to Fernando Del Canto who is a Spanish Abagado is also a UK Barrister, he will explain the options available to you.
Fernando Del Canto: gave a presentation to the members on the details of what services are available through his company for individuals to allow them to legalise their properties. Fernando explained that one to one meetings will be set up over the next few weeks and interested parties were invited to speak with him and his colleague after the meeting.
Fernando also re-iterated to the meeting on the subject of the legal action being taken by the CRA that it is a must!
Greg Green: Regarding the Sector A Homeowners Committee. Over the last 3 months Mary and I have attended a meeting with Chairman of the A Sect Homeowners Committee and one of its members. We requested that, as we have a common purpose, their committee have regular meetings with the CRA and agree to the CRA playing a full part in the negotiations with the Council in the takeover of Sector A and subsequently the rest of Camposol.
Some weeks later the ASHC wrote back to us saying that they were willing to have regular ‘informal’ meetings with the CRA to exchange views but fell short of allowing the CRA to be part of the takeover process.
The fact that they have agreed to regular meetings is a step forward but we know many of our members, some of those living on Sector A, are not happy with allowing the ASHC to negotiate a takeover with the Council which will directly impact on the whole of Camposol when the remaining sectors are taken over.
Without doubt in their own opinion and in the eyes of the council ASHC are the only party able to represent A Sector in the negotiations. Although they try to distance themselves from the word ‘Entity’ they have evolved from the original Entity commmittee which is still legally in place. That said over the last few months many concerns have been raised about the ASHC. Some of these are as follows:
1. The ASHC only have one person voted in by the homeowners on sector A. The rest have been handpicked and given places on the committee. This is not democratic.
2. The statute of the Entity demands an AGM be held every 12 months. Not one in the last 3 years has been called. This is not only against their own rules but also not democratic. The committee apparently use the excuse that a referendum was held to keep what was the original committee in place until the immanent takeover by the council. That was nearly two years ago and there is still no sign of any takeover by the council?
3. The ASHC have talked of a watered down entity. What does that mean? What exactly will the homeowners be expected to pay for. Who will administer this system and who will be accountable to the homeowners.
4. It is known that the Entity are already in debt. Money is owed to the original administrator and lawyer. How much is owed? Who is going to pay it? Are the original administrator and lawyer still under contract to the Entity. If not who dismissed them. The rules of the entity say that this can only be done by the members vote in an AGM or EGM!!!
We on the CRA committee are happy to meet with the ASHC but if they remain unelected, undemocratic and questionably illegal then, on behalf of our members living on A Sector, we demand that they call an immediate AGM to answer all of the points above to all of the homeowners of A sector. We also request they reconsider their position of excluding the remainder of Camposol from their negotiations with the council about the takeover.
A proposal that the above should be taken forward was put forward by Stan Long and seconded by Peter Mendham, this action was agreed unanimously by the remainder of the members present.
Greg Green: Members proposals. I have two members’ proposals received by 22nd June which are therefore eligible for discussion at this meeting. Can I call on Mr Sears to stand up and introduce his proposal.
Mr Sears put a proposal forward that residents should refuse to pay IBI bills which he felt were due to be applied to properties on his sector in the near future.
Greg Green: The CRA cannot encourage any illegal action. You will have to pay eventually with fines which will be added to your house deeds if not paid. This is for individuals to make themselves”.
Greg then called on Mr R Sutton who lives on Camposol Sector A to put forward his proposal. As Mr Sutton was not present at the meeting Greg read his letter out to the meeting, the subject of which was to take action against Flights Fantastic who carry out stunt flying over the urbanisation.
Greg Green: stated that “The CRA believe this needs an individual approach initially as a denuncia to the police by Mr Sutton with a question as to the legality. Should the meeting decide to start a petition then we need Mr Sutton and others to help”
The unanimous decision from the floor about this proposed action was that this action should be dismissed.
Greg Green, then closed the meeting and said can I please remind you all that
“Apathy is not an option”.By being here today you have demonstrated that you care. Please go out and spread the word to your neighbours and friends. The meeting was then closed at 1pm.