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Peak Rail Annual Report and Action Group

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by huochemi, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. unslet

    unslet New Member

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    I've also given my proxy to PRAG.
    Have to agree with previous post.
     
  2. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    AFAIK an auditor's job is to assess whether the accounts present a true and fair picture of the company's financial affairs, not whether the finances are healthy or being well managed.
     
  3. Breva

    Breva Well-Known Member

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    True, but the directors this year say the accounts are prepared on a going concern basis and the company clearly illiquid, with low levels of cash at the start of the non-operating season. It isn't clear how they will settle all the related Grinsty payments / what has been paid / what is still to be paid, and I would have thought that might make the auditors comment. No provisions for costs of the court cases were made - if you know you have a future cost, you should provide for it once the fact is known.
     
  4. Lax ambition

    Lax ambition New Member

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    Observe note 8 on page 16 of the Summary Financial Statements - "The company is not considered to be under the control of any one individual.
    There was a comment regarding late delivery of the "Audited Accounts" at the PRA's AGM and I see that the excuse for the PLC's AGM being on a Tuesday in 2017 was because of timing of receipt of the audited accounts. I think that the meeting will last longer than 51 minutes this year, unless there's a mass resignation of the existing board.
    It's possible that the shareholders vote against every agenda item, a situation that could lead to an EGM.
    There is a difference between a "dictator" and one person's vision ( who is able to pull people in a common direction ) to enthuse an organisation in to achieving great things, look at the new GCR bridge at Loughborough or visit the Statfold Barn Railway to see what can be done!
     
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  5. Jamie Glover

    Jamie Glover Member

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    Quote from Lax ambition: Observe note 8 on page 16 of the Summary Financial Statements - "The company is not considered to be under the control of any one individual.

    More wool pulled over an auditor's eyes. The reason for holding a shareholder's AGM at an inconvenient time is simply one of the many ploys adopted by the PR Leaderene and her puppet assistant joint managing director to ensure that as few shareholders as possible can actually attend the meeting. PR management is well aware that many small shareholders have jobs from which they cannot easily absent themselves to attend the PR AGM.

    If the AGM was to be held on a Saturday afternoon then I'm sure that the attendance would be very much different.

    The reality is that one dominant person does indeed control the management of PR Plc and has done so , mainly through the use of gerrymandering tactics, for a lengthy period of time. However at this year's AGM there is the chance that the current PR board's luck may run out as they find themselves up against a well organised and determined group of shareholders who have both business experience, a knowledge of company law and, even more importantly, good railway management skills.

    Jamie.
     
  6. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    The issue, though, for an auditor is not how control is exercised, but the dominance of any particular shareholder. If, as suggested, the current management have power disproportionate to their holding, the auditor’s statement could be entirely correct while also not reflecting the reality on the ground.

    As the WSRA saga demonstrated, dislodging an entrenched management group requires persistence, skill, wit and resilience. While the timing of the AGM obviously begs questions, if the governance of their investment matters to the shareholders, significant numbers will arrange to be present at the meeting.

    While complaints may we’ll be valid, the insurgents’ message will be far more effective if the focus is on what they will do right, rather than what the existing lot do wrong.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  7. jnc

    jnc Member

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    One can hope. However, in previous such situations, it has taken a number of attempts before final success.

    Unless, of course, the money runs out....

    Noel
     
  8. Sheff

    Sheff Well-Known Member

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    Just sorting out my proxy with PRAG too.
     
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  9. snappertim

    snappertim Member

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    As a fairly recent resident of Matlock, but being neither a shareholder of PR or a member of PRA, I have followed this thread with some interest although there will be those who say that it has nothing to do with me.. Perhaps they are right!
    However I did see first hand the WSRA troubles referred to in earlier posts, and whilst they are different cases there are some similarities. In both cases there appears to be a be leagued management who are trying to repel all boarders, presumably because they feel they are the best people to take their railway forward. Those on the outside are considered to be, let us say, troublemakers!
    AGM's are, in my experience, very structed meetings, with the incumbrant directors/trustees holding most of the trump cards. Anything not on the order paper can be dismissed as not part of the meeting, and usually the chair has a fistful of proxies to get their way. It takes a great deal of organisation to overcome this, especially as I suspect any organisation or individual will have great difficulty in gaining access to the shareholders register.
    It took WSRA 2 EGM's to make the changes that the membership wanted, as well as time and money, all of which should be spent on improving the railway.
    I do not know the rights and wrongs of the issues on PR, but clearly the railway after some 40+ years should be in a much better state than it is now. I wish it well, but the omens are not great in the short term. The WSRA situation , in my view set the WSR back some 2 years but it has come through and is much much better now. Lets hope PR can get over the present difficulties and move on.
     
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  10. Breva

    Breva Well-Known Member

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    These difficulties are of their own making, which is why we need change. My shareholder's money has been wasted on legal costs. How can we be sure there are not more in the pipeline?
     
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  11. Vulcan Works

    Vulcan Works New Member

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    That's exactly the point. PR has achieved a lot in its history but largely without much in the way of a structured, costed plan with achievable goals to inspire people to contribute. Even accepting the obstacles to further extensions we still have an attractive line in a tourist hotspot and we ought by now to be a top notch short railway with decent visitor and engineering facilities, an interesting loco and rolling stock fleet and dare I say, a collaborative relationship with other nearby attractions including our friends over the hill in Wirksworth. We still could, but not with the present regime.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2018
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  12. Vulcan Works

    Vulcan Works New Member

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    It isn't just the legal costs (bad as they are) it's the defensive culture of the current Board and it's tendency to swiftly resort to legal letters and threats as many past supporters and staff know only too well! Most of it done in secret with very little information released to Shareholders or PRA members. And yes, I believe there are further legal costs that have either just been paid or are still outstanding, plus an unhappy loco owner is considering their options regarding a claim. The Board ought to reveal what it knows at the AGM....we'll see.
     
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  13. Breva

    Breva Well-Known Member

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    All that with £18k in the bank (per YE2017 Summary Financial Statements) and the start of the non-running season?
     
  14. Jamie Glover

    Jamie Glover Member

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    There is one slight problem concerning the reference to our friends over the hill in Wirksworth.

    The EVR is an extremely successful heritage operation that owes much of its success to the extreme skills and enthusiasm of its volunteers. The interesting point is that many of the EVR volunteers are former PR volunteers . In most cases people who were driven away from PR by the outlandish behaviour and attitudes of the notorious leaderene and her sidekicks.

    Had these volunteers remained at PR and not been abused by the PR Board's lack of respect for it's supporters? Then the current state of PR and its finances would probably not have occurred.

    Under its present regime PR Plc is probably financially doomed. All that can be done to save PR is a swift surgical removal of the existing management next week.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2018
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  15. Midlandsouthern

    Midlandsouthern New Member

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    Another claim on the horizon to battle, cant be much left to fight with now
     
  16. FearOfManchester

    FearOfManchester Member

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    I am resigned to the fact that even the most organised fight for change against the current management will be stalled, delayed and most likely borne out over a few EGM's which could take a long time, but time waits for no man and things are changing at the buxton end, a golden opportunity with a vacant station road site meant a chance for a well organised Peak Rail that could have made some moves, and the townsfolk would have loved them for it but the council and a few other actors are set in stone about what they want for the site, and the railway is not part of their plan beyond the tiny, inconvenient strip of land that PR own. A united Peak Rail could've fought against the plans but I see now that they are in no state to do this.
     
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  17. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    Moderator Comment

    A bit of housekeeping has been done on the last few posts. Apologies if something relevant has been lost. Please post again if it's missing.
     
  18. gwilialan

    gwilialan Well-Known Member

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    The annual return to Companies House should contain a list of shareholders - but that may only give you the names and number of shares held. Getting all the contact details would be more difficult but, if there are sufficient shareholders (whose details are known) to call an EGM then the company has to supply a full list to those calling the EGM in order that they may send out a calling notice (assuming you have fairly standard Articles) with the 1000 word document detailing the reason for calling the EGM.
    A lot will depend on exactly what the Articles say about the calling of an EGM
     
  19. jnc

    jnc Member

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    It's worse than that. Per the latest 'Weekend Rails' post, "PR has undertaken to pay Grinsty's Part 36 costs within 14 days. ... now amounts to £29,500." So that 18K, and more, is already spoken for. (That 29K is due to the court, who, if it's not paid on time, don't need to go to court to have action taken...)

    I rather get the feeling that current management will refuse to let go of the tiller ... even as the boat sinks out from beneath them.

    Noel
     
  20. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

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    Certainly grim reading, but the money is due to Grinsty, not to the court.
     

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