Minutes of the AGM of the CRA held at the Sensol Hotel on Monday 14th November 2011
Bob Owen Chairman
Les Crook Vice Chairman
Joyce Stewart Treasurer
Sandy Allison Secretary
Jackie Drewe Membership Secretary/Admin
The meeting started at 10.00 am with 160 members in attendance
Chairman’s opening Remarks
The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming those present and informing them that they had copies of the agenda. Bob remarked on the brevity of this, as no proposals had been submitted. He continued to say, that it was not really surprising, as due to a new council being elected, everything was still very much ‘up in the air’
He asked for the minutes of the last AGM to be accepted as a true record. Proposed by Stan Long, seconded by Alan Muncaster and accepted unanimously.
Bob explained the things that the CRA had achieved over the last year, and our future intentions.
1. We had several meetings with the previous council, to try and get the best deal we could for Camposol after the surprise announcement of the abolition of the entity.
Following the announcement that Masa had been removed from the urbanisation, we seemed to be achieving a result with Sr Blaya Blaya, but then he lost the election in May.
There were many problems during the change over period, mainly the reporting of water leaks. Our main source of assistance – Jackie Galvez – had gone, but fortunately, Linda Biggs from the Sector A committee, offered invaluable help, until we devised our own system.
The new council arranged ‘Citizen Participation Meetings’, but these turned out to be something of a shambles, not least of all the lack of a sound system. Also the same questions were asked several times – albeit in a different guise.
The CRA finally had a meeting with the Mayor on 31st October 2011, where it was stressed that whilst the general meetings had their place, we thought it was necessary for us to have access to the Town Hall, to discuss in detail matters of more importance.
The Mayor did not fully understand at first, that our representation of 2600 members of the CRA, was not automatic as is the wont in Spain, but that residents had to apply to join the association.
However, when, after discussion he realized the situation, he agreed to monthly meetings with the CRA
2. The CRA had tried to get outstanding licenses from Masa, in regards to work carried out by Abril 28, but all applications had been ignored.
3. At the behest of the Council the CRA had compiled a list of properties which were derelict or abandoned. The idea was that the list would be given to the council, who would then apply to demolish the villas concerned.
Unfortunately, this project had to be discarded, as there was no guarantee that the properties identified, were in fact abandoned, and the CRA would have been responsible for any damage etc caused in error.
4. Bob and Les had a meeting with the Guardia Civil at the Business Centre to discuss the problems of security on Camposol, but due to lack of enthusiasm by the police, nothing was resolved. Bob then made a deal with the security company, which offered a discount to new members, but despite the discount not enough owners joined to make the service viable
5. The membership has increased over the last year from 2299 to 2554, an addition of 255 members. The breakdown by sector is:
Sector A 342
Sector B 471
Sector C 518
Sector D 1202
Not Specified 21
6. A list has been made of villas without water meters, so that when there is a change of water suppliers, we can inform our members immediately of the procedure involved, and help with any action required. This hopefully, will result in no disconnections being enforced.
7. The CRA were instrumental in getting the previous council to install a generator in the pumping station on Sector B when the electricity was disconnected, and also the repair of the road surface after the sewers had repeatedly overflowed
8. Jose set up a meeting at the Cultural Centre, with the Forestry Commission who gave all the necessary information about the prevention and cure of the Red Palm Weevil.
9. All members now receive an email containing a monthly e-newsletter, which was instigated by Jackie.
Due to the fact that not everyone is connected to the internet, we have also started issuing a newsletter, which was distributed outside Consum and in the Market on Sector A, and in the future hope to communicate more frequently with the residents of Camposol.
10. During the course of the year there were 55 incidents reported to the person manning the duty phone, plus those made to the Chairman’s phone. These related mainly to water leaks, and some, if not all, involved more than one call, sometimes as many as five per incident, depending on the severity of the problem.
11. Also in the last twelve months, there was a period when the water pressure was either non existent, or greatly reduced. Jackie set up a monitoring system, by which she received information on a daily basis about the situation which was then relayed to Aqualia, and led to the subsequent restoration of normal supply
12. In January, after discussion on the websites about the response times of the ambulance service, Bob set up the initial meeting in Trevis, about the possibility of doing something for ourselves. As a result of that meeting the FAST group was formed.
13. The CRA has also arranged for signs to be erected in the Commercial centre, forbidding the playing of ball games. This has been given the authority of the council, and is enforceable by law.
These signs will be available within the next week
14. We are also trying to get disabled parking to be made available, in place of the existing taxi rank
15. The CRA has had confirmation that no demolitions will be carried out on D23 and D32, and John and Bob will be going to see the solicitors at 5.00 pm tomorrow (15th November).
16. We have asked for Masa’s concrete sites on the dual carriageway on Sector C to be cleared. They have been used as an illegal dumping ground, and have become an eyesore.
17. We are also trying to get the Masa compound on the perimeter road on Sector B removed. Masa were supposed to have demolished this four years ago, and we don’t want the risk of them using it again when they are back on Camposol
18. Bob said that he would like to reassure everyone, that although it is not always mentioned, the CRA is continually pressuring the Council about the Rambla, escrituras and subsequently the increase in plus valia tax.
We have been told that when Masa amend the Plan Parcial, all this will fall in to place.
19. During the course of the year, Bob said he had replied to over 150 letters and emails from members and arbitrated in five neighbour disputes.
20. Thanks were offered on behalf of the committee to Val & Bob Taylor, for running the bonus ball (at present our only source of regular income). Also to Linda Biggs for her help with the water leaks, all the volunteers who had assisted today and Mike Bull Sector D Community Group for the sound system.
Bob said he would like to give special thanks to Jackie Drewe, for all the work and hundreds of hours that she spends on the website, forum and associated tasks.
21. Bob continued by saying that our aims for the coming year were very similar to the past year.
a. Concentrate on the completion of the infrastructure and obtain legal paperwork for everybody.
b. Make a list of priority jobs for the council for the urgent work that needs to be carried out – the unmade roads and the big dip on Sector D, so that when Masa return, we would like to see these works completed first.
22. Bob said that there was a new volunteer to join the committee, and if there were no objections he would like to welcome him on board. Elections were not needed, as no one was standing down, and we had a vacancy. There being no objections, Ernie Prior was greeted as the latest member of the committee.
23. Regarding the change of Sector names, Bob explained that although he had contacted the council twice, and also spoken to Kelly, no reply had been received to say whether it was possible or not.
In view of the situation, any discussion would be held when and if we knew if it was allowed
24. In the future if there were any problems, members were advised to go directly to Tatiana in the Cultural Centre, either in person or via email. She is the representative of Pepé Gomez, the Councillor for Foreigners and can deal with any queries relating to Camposol, in particular water leaks
Bob stressed that it was important to use her services, to ensure
that she remained in the position – in other words – use it or loose it!!
If by any chance Tatiana was not able to resolve a problem, or the office is closed then the CRA would do all that they can to help
25. Finally Bob wanted to speak about the Cultural Centre which was completed by the previous administration.
The centre can only be used for organized groups, such as CRA, gardening groups, PALS etc. It was not permissible for weddings, parties and funerals to be held there!!
Bob, as chairman of the CRA is responsible for the Centre, but a lady called Wendy Cohen does the bookings.
There being nothing else to add, Bob passed over to the Treasurer
Joyce stated that she was only giving a résumé of the accounts, as the year to date was itemised on the board by the committee table, for members to view and comment on.
At the start of this financial year there was 20.270,14€ in Caixa Bank, of which was 14.018,29€ legal fund and 6.251,85€ general fund.
To date we have received 135€ specified donations from new members to legal fund and 1.731,50€ from the Bonus Ball, and made refunds of 90€ giving a current legal fund total of 15794.79€.
The general fund at start of year was 6.251,85€ to which was added 395€ donations. However the expenditure exceeded the income and the present balance is 5.402,35€
Joyce explained, that all expenditure was paid from petty cash (withdrawn from bank) and again if there were any queries, she would be happy to answer them at the end of the meeting
To date, the total at the Caixa bank is 21.197,14€, of which 15.794.79€ is legal funds and 5402,35 is general fund
Question 1. Now that residents have direct access to the Councillor for Foreigners through Tatiana at the Cultural Centre, how do you see your residents association serving you in the coming year?
I would like the committee to continue as you have done for the past twelve months representing us in the same manner.
The CRA has achieved a lot of things since it was first started, including obtaining a legal report, which is as valid today, as it was when it was finalised four years ago. Although at the moment we seem to have a good working relationship with the council – do not forget this report.
I think that the work of the CRA is absolutely essential. However, do we know when Masa are coming back – if ever?
At this point the Chairman intervened to say that Masa had started work that morning on Sector A. Beryl Holland had informed us that she had spoken to a Masa employee, who confirmed that he was there to fix the street lights.
The work of the CRA is much appreciated, and must continue, and I hope that everyone in this room is willing to back them and offer help in any form
Question 2 It has been suggested by a local firm of solicitors that they are able to take Masa to court to enforce the issue of plus valia being paid by Masa.
If you are affected would you be interested in a class action, costs of which would be borne by the individuals concerned
Bob explained that those residents who already had escrituras had paid the plus valia tax themselves, which a few years ago was not a huge amount of money. However the costs of plus valia have increased enormously – tripling in some cases, and people who through no fault of their own, have not got escrituras, are expected to pay this inflated charge.
If anyone is interested, could they please put their name, phone number and email address in the book provided at the rear of the conference room, and the CRA would contact them when further information was available
Bob stated he would be seeing the solicitor tomorrow, and would mention it, as costs could be reduced considerably by class action.
He continued to say that if you don’t have your escritura, there is a risk that an embargo could be imposed on your villa. A couple of members have already had this experience, as when Masa have lost a court case, it looks as though the property was still owned by Masa. However, the embargo has been lifted on appeal. If anyone else finds themselves in the same situation, Bob advised them to see Luis in the Business Centre on Sector A.
Repair of Pavements after Water Leaks
The question was raised about who was responsible for ‘making good’ the roads and pavements after water leaks.
Bob replied that it was Aqualia, but recently, they seemed to have made a start on repairs.
Joyce stated that she had put a list into Tatiana, of the work needing to be carried out on Sector B, and to date, a lot of the work has been done. However, the road at the bottom of the dual carriage way on B was probably the responsibility of Masa, who repaired the leak there. She advised members to input their own lists, with a marked map.
The Use of the Cultural Centre
A member was concerned that at least one group who were using the Cultural Centre were passing on charges to the public, and wanted to know if this was legal
Bob asked the member to provide him with names, and he would make enquiries.
Activity on Sector D
There was electrical cable being laid near D35, and there was some concern in case it was Masa carrying out the work.
Bob made the reassurance that the Mayor had stated specifically, that Masa would not be allowed to build again until they had satisfactorily finished the existing infrastructure.
Keith Donovan, who was worried about not having his escritura, told us that he went to the bank to obtain a small mortgage, and the bank obtained the escritura for him.
Keith concluded by saying that he truly appreciated all that the CRA were doing for the residents and asked for a round of applause.
Bob ended the meeting at 10.50 am, by asking everyone if they were happy, to which he received a very definite affirmative, and promised to continue working on their behalf
There being no further business the meeting closed at 10.50