22 January 2018 – Response to Los Claveles Independent Newsletter

Committee Update 22nd January 2018,
Response to Los Claveles Independent Newsletter Issue 1
Facing the Facts
Owners who were holidaying at the resort last week awoke to find a full colour newsletter pushed under the door that the night guard had been observed delivering from the reception to each apartment. Owners arriving at the week-end were handed a copy when checking in, while the Club Committee meantime is being discriminated against by being denied the use of the noticeboard to communicate with members. This newsletter was produced to coincide with the arrival of Roger Barrow, Las Casitas’ President and leader of the opposition to the committee at Los Claveles, for his first week at the resort since becoming an owner.   

The first rule of publishing a newsletter is to check your facts. In this update we list the errors of fact in that publication which can be viewed here.

1. Face the Facts: “Independent” is not a word that can be applied to a group whose leader has always been close to Mr Pengelly and who is now a Director of a WimPen company, Wimpen Properties Las Casitas S L.

2. Face the FactsThere is no distribution list mentioned for this “e-Bulletin”. 

3. Face the FactsDecisions are not made by the Committee. The Committee enforces decisions made by the membership at General Meetings.

4. Face the Facts: WimPen has no authority to carry on as “acting Administrator”. The Arbitrator and the Appeal Court Judge’s rulings that have been communicated to Ona WimPen confirm this.

5. Face the Facts: Establishing communication channels with an illegal administration brings this group into disrepute for deliberately opposing and obstructing Club Members’ democratic choice of arbitration as the means of resolving the dispute.

6. Quote:“We met with WimPen management yesterday.”

Face the Facts: No date is given of this meeting and “We” appears from the photograph to be Roger Barrow.
See the Committee Update of 19th January 2018 “Seeing things from Both Sides” on the owners website https://www.losclavelesowners.eu for the response to the 8 points from this meeting.

7. Quote: Roger Barrow: “I fear Los Claveles owners are being taken along a path which you may ultimately regret.”

Face the Facts: Club Members would take issue with this statement as it was they who decided, with an overwhelming majority, which path they wanted to take having been fully consulted and involved in the democratic process of decision making that the Club adheres to. The opposition group, in common with Ona Wimpen, has an agenda against the Club Committee who they consider are not representing the views of the majority of Club Members which patently is not the case.  

8. Quote: “German Castro, MD of Wimpen has offered a way out.”

Face the Facts: His way out is to put the results of arbitration aside and rewrite the Club’s constitution to have general meeting with an independent chairman. In other words he wants to derail arbitration and he wants to derail the elected Club Committee because he knows that he is losing his controlling grip on Club Members’ freedom of choice.

9. Quote: “Unnecessary expenditure on legal costs.”

Face the Facts: Ona WimPen’s non-compliance with the Arbitrator’s orders and awards, and their failing appeal, are expected to have financial consequences for them. The same will apply in Spain when they continue their case there. WimPen is accumulating unnecessary legal costs, not the Club.

10. Quote: “So please, let’s get the dispute over and done with.”

Face the Facts: In other words, let’s overlook all the bullying, intimidation, and illegal activities of Ona WimPen and trust them to behave with integrity while we allow them to control our resort. Not likely.

11. Quote: “This unfortunate dispute is causing many owners much concern and distress.”

Face the Facts: It is Ona WimPen’s illegal behaviour in continuing as Adminsitrator when it’s contract has expired that is causing owners distress. 2fOna WimPen cared about this distress it would not have engaged in all the bullying and intimidation behaviour it has so callously carried out.

12. Quote: “We should work with WimPen as acting Administrator and see what we can do.”

Face the Facts: The Members’ collective will is not to do so, and they are being rewarded for their stand against Ona Wimpen by the Arbitrator and the Appeal Court Judge.

13. Quote: “WimPen have made significant improvements in our financial health.”

Face the Facts: Our analysis of Ona Wimpen’s unverified financial figures which we shall publish separately tells a different story.

14. Quote: “We are challenging the way the dispute is being handled.”

Face the Facts: What they are actually doing is challenging the collective will of Club Members at Los Claveles.

15. Quote: “We wanted answers to some questions we were unable to obtain from the committee.”

Face the Facts: Where are those questions? Making statements like this without presenting evidence has no credibility.  The Committee is willing to answer most questions openly and honestly provided they do not impinge on Arbitration confidentiality or  the Club’s financial situation as this could benefit OnaWimPen to know this with its aim of running the Club out of money.

16. Quote: “We want to see a full general meeting of all owners under an impartial chair.”

Face the Facts: Then they should bring forward a motion at a general meeting, not try to circumvent the democratic process.

17. Quote: “The committee must meet and include the founder members from WimPen.”

Face the Facts:The Arbitrator ruled that Mr Pengelly is the only founder member, and he has been suspended from the Club for behaviour that has brought the Club into disrepute. Club Members have also voted to remove founder members from the Club Constitution, and the Arbitrator has confirmed the legitimacy of this action.

18. Quote: “We want to see fresh elections for chair and committee, and we want to undo the changes made to the Constitution.”

Face the Facts: In other words, we disagree with the overwhelming majority of Club Members who took the time and trouble to consider and approve these actions, and we disagree with the independent Arbitrator and Appeal Court Judge.

19. FAQs: Why is there a dispute?  Quote: “Owners disagreed with some of the changes that Onagrup tried to make.”

Face the Facts: Not “tried to make”. Onagrup made changes to rental terms without consulting owners’ representatives. These changes were in conflict with the Club Constitution. The Committee was told that it would have to wait 2 months before it could meet the Onagrup MD, and when it did, the Onagrup MD would not allow the committee to raise owners’ questions and concerns.

Face the Facts: With regard to the Onagrup MD’s presentation to the 2015 joint AGM, this was not on the agenda, and could not be heard because WimPen’s registration arrangements were totally inadequate, as was the booking of the room for half a day when WimPen was advised by the Committee to book a full day, which it disregarded. The opposition group blame the Club Chairman when it was WimPen’s arrogance and incompetence that is the root cause of the problem of the 2015 AGM.

20. Quote: “There are also some aspects of the vote in 2015 that we believe were undemocratic.”.

Face the Facts: For the second time, the opposition group make a statement with no details to back it up.

21. Who do we pay for access to our villas?  Quote: “WimPen remain acting administrators.“

Face the Facts: WimPen has no authority to act as Club Administrator. It is illegal. The Arbitrator has told Ona WimPen that the Committee’s actions in appointing a new Administrator is legal. The Appeal Court Judge has refused Ona WimPen leave to appeal against this. Ona WimPen is perfectly aware of all of this and yet it persists in preventing the legally appointed Club Administrator from taking over. Mr Pengelly as President of the Development  Owners Association which is responsible for paying wages, and running the resort, etc. refuses to carry out his statutory duty to calculate and invoice the Club for its share of the common services charge. Yet the opposition group is advocating that owners give Ona WimPen a chance!

22. Do we have to pay twice?   Quote: “No, you should just pay WimPen.”

Face the Facts: The opposition group is inciting owners not to follow the Club Constitution which clearly states that maintenance is due to the Club.  Paying maintenance to Ona WimPen in the first instance is a very serious matter and owners who do so face the very real possibility of losing their money if the dispute is resolved before they go out to Los Claveles. Ona WimPen is an illegal organisation at Club Los Claveles.

23. Quote: “Some owners have paid both the club and WimPen.”

Face the Facts:  In order to mitigate the illegal actions of Ona WimPen, who are currently blocking entry to villas unless Club owners have paid their maintenance to them, the Committee has a strategy in place.  Options are given to those who have properly paid the Club and assurances made which minimise any possible distress on arrival at the resort and afterwards.  It is correct to say that some owners have chosen to pay both the Club and Ona Wimpen. This was a personal choice based on a decision to support the Committee.  The net effect is that the amount of maintenance payable is the amount on their Club invoice. They will not be out of pocket for the second illegal payment to Ona WimPen.

24. Quote: “There is no guarantee you will receive a refund from the Club.”

Face the Facts: This is simply not true. No one who follows the Committee’s suggested process will ultimately be out of pocket as a result.  Owners who choose to pay Ona WimPen instead of the Club will have a debt to the Club which will become payable in the longer term.

25. If we pay WimPen what will happen to our money?

Face the Facts: Owners have no visibility of the resort’s financial accounts, and Ona WimPen has refused owners’ constitutional rights to inspect these accounts. Therefore, the opposition group’s statement that owners’ money will be safe has face value only.

26. Why were some staff sacked?  Quote: “In any event, employment and staffing is entirely their (Ona WimPen’s) business.”

Face the Facts: Sacking staff is not “entirely their business”. There is an Agreement between WimPen and the Committee that it would not dismiss staff without the approval of the Committee. Ona WimPen disregarded this and it has already settled out of court with the reception staff that it dismissed, knowing that it would lose its case at the employment tribunal. The manager’s case is ongoing. Owners look forward to its widely respected manager winning his case and wish him every success. The Club Chairman has appeared as a witness for him.

27. What changes have been made by the committee of recent meetings?  Quote: “In our view, decisions made at these (general) meetings are not legitimate.”

Face the Facts: The independent Arbitrator and Appeal Court Judge have come to the opposite conclusion that the decisions made by Club Members were entirely legitimate. The consequence of appointing a new Administrator is that, by law, the Club has to set up limited companies in the UK and Spain to conduct the Club’s business including collectingmaintenance fees.  These companies will comply with their obligations in UK and Spanish company laws in reporting their annual accounts.  The Club Chairman is registered as a significant person for these companies. Currently this is Albert Fletcher. This will change if and when a new Chairman is elected after a 3 year term, which was brought into line with those of Committee Members’ at the 2017 AGM. There is nothing untoward in any of these arrangements, but sadly the opposition group cannot bring itself to accept this.

WimPen has illegally delayed the AGM which elects the President of the DOA.

28. The AGM in 2016 selected a new Administrator, why don’t you accept that?

Face the Facts: The opposition group refuses to accept that the Club Constitution caters for the situation that we find ourselves in where Ona WimPen is preventing the Club Committee from inviting all Club Members to general meetings. The independent Arbitrator, on the other hand, ruled that the Club Committee was and is entirely compliant with the Club Constitution, once again leaving the opposition group out on a limb and at odds with both the Club Constitution and Club Members’ wishes. Once all the Club’s property is returned by Ona WimPen, all members will be invited to take part in general meetings.

29. Quote: “We don’t believe there was sufficient vetting of the new Administrator.”

Face the Facts: The opposition is at odds with both the Club Committee which carefully vetted the new Administrator, and the Club Members who received his statement and had the opportunity to assess him on a video link at the AGM.

30. Quote: “We understand that the intention was that the committee and club would actually administer the resort, rental, sales, etc. and we don’t agree with that.”

Face the Facts: This is a complete misinterpretation. The Club Committee is the governing body that will appoint a manager who will be accountable for delivering Club Members’ requirements and meeting all legal and compliance issues. Efficient, cost effective outsourcing of services will also be part of the manager’s role if recommended.

31. If WimPen handed over the member Database the committee could arrange a full general meeting.  Quote: “We want a meeting held under an impartial moderator.”

Face the Facts: This comment goes to the heart of the opposition group’s purpose. It is to unseat the Club Chairman because they hold him and the Club President accountable for the dispute. The overwhelming majority of Club Members take an entirely different view and have expressed this at successive AGMs and SGMs over the past 3 years.  More votes than at any AGM held in the past by WimPen.

32. You are just an unofficial, unelected group of owners. What gives you the right to challenge the constitution and the committee?  Quote: “We have opened up constructive communication channels with WimPen, so we hope we can find a way through to end this unnecessary and expensive dispute.”

Face the facts: It is one thing to disagree with decisions taken democratically, it is something else entirely to take unilateral action against these decisions. Consequently many Club Members are extremely angry with the opposition group which has no legitimacy and could be considered to be harming the Club’s chosen strategy of arbitration for ending the dispute.

33. Quote: “The constitution has been changed, illegitimately we believe, so we do not recognise it.”

Face the Facts: Once again the opposition group placing themselves at odds with the Arbitrator and Appeal Court Judge’s rulings.

34. What is happening at other WimPen resorts?  Quote: “All other Wimpen resorts have seen an improvement in their fortunes, and have renewed their contracts with an overwhelming majority. Where are we going wrong at Los Claveles?”

Face the Facts: Los Claveles is not like any of the other former WimPen resorts. Its structure is quite different and its financial position is strong, unlike the others, many of which were causing the old WimPen considerable anxiety. Long story short, Los Claveles Club Members are not prepared to trust Ona WimPen’s intentions for the resort and are not prepared to accept the risk that the other resorts have taken.

35. We are told that Onagrup employees assaulted our president, and some members, is that true?  Quote: “This is just hearsay.”

Face the Facts: Wow! Claiming that the assaults on our President, Carol Parkinson and Club Members is hearsay is the most appalling, offensive statement in the whole newsletter. Roger Barrow claims that 5 individuals attested that Carol’s account is incorrect but he refuses to name them. It is shameful that anyone would lie about this. Temporary manager Jesus Gomez was not an employee. He was on loan to Onagrup from a company akin to “Rent a Thug”. His assault on the President in the reception area was witnessed by several Club Members and audio recorded by one of them. This lying thug reported Carol to the police, claiming that it was she who assaulted him. Carol was arrested at the LC pool bar; Interviewed, fingerprinted,ncarcerated, and bailed. She attended a Court hearing the next day (a Bank Holiday), was bailed and returned home. She had to return to Tenerife for a further Court hearing. Unbelievably the case was dismissed for lack of evidence. Gomez got away with it.

At least one Club Member has given a full account of the treatment he received from the same aggressive, verbally and physically abusive manager brought in by Onagrup as part of a “heavy squad” to deal with owners who stood up for their rights. There is also plenty of evidence available of Onagrup targeting both the Club Chairman and President to make it impossible for them to gain entry to the resort. Owners learned a great deal about the police and the justice system in Tenerife from these experiences which were all referred to the British Consulate on the island. None of this is hearsay. It is all documented. If there is one statement in the whole newsletter that will put undecided Club Members off the opposition group, then this is it. This statement exposes the depth of hostility that members of this opposition group hold towards our President and Chairman.

36. How will the dispute end?  Quote: “We believe that only a full meeting of everyone, under an impartial moderator, can decide the future.”

Face the Facts: Club Members decided democratically that the dispute would be resolved through arbitration, not the Committee. Far from being unnecessary, the arbitration process was the only way, after months of futile negotiations in 2015, to get Ona WimPen to accept any contract that complied with the Club Constitution. It was “their way or no way” then, and it is thesame now. For example, the Club Chairman recently agreed to unconditional talks brokered by RCI with Snr Castro but he responded with a long list of conditions. A further example of what Ona WimPen is like to deal with when they are not getting their way. Mr Pengelly told the Chairman that Ona WimPen would defeat the Committee at arbitration by running it out of money to conduct its case. That is exactly what Ona WimPen has attempted unsuccessfully to do. Snr Castro knows that he is losing and he has switched tactics to get the results of arbitration put aside in favour of talks on his terms, retaining all of the levers of power over Club Members by withholding the Club’s property so that he can continue to hold the Club to ransom. That is what the opposition group is advocating i.e. throw away all the gains made through arbitration to recover control of our resort and allow Ona WimPen to rewrite our Constitution and democratic processes. It makes no sense at all.
The Committee will answer any questions you have. Register on the owners’ website at https://www.losclavelesowners.eu to keep yourself fully informed.
Your Committee, all long standing owners at Los Claveles:
President Carol Parkinson (president@losclavelesowners.eu)
Chairman Albert Fletcher (chairman@losclavelesowners.eu)
Committee Members Ann Burston, Roger Lindsay and Terry Smith (committee@losclavelesowners.eu)
22nd January 2018

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