Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Anthony Coulls, Jun 22, 2014.
Might be time to wait and see what happens now?
Like it or not, statutory duties are statutory duties and the only ways through this one are to comply with legislation, or to "do a Jack Howey" ("My railway runs trains, it doesn't serve cups of tea" ... or words to that effect!), or farm the function out to someone else, who'll have to do their own returns. Whichever way, HM Revenue & Customs will have their pound of flesh (and that, even supposing some raving beauracrat doesn't extrapolate the lack of compliance to indicate dodgy arms deals are being financed with ill-gotten gains and sends in heavily armed men in black!).
it is course a cheaper form of closing a company to a full blown liquidation ..... I follow an individual who has used that method before
One worries that if they can't cope with the minimal requirements of running their companies, can they safely run a railway? At what point should concerned onlookers notify the ORR so that accidents involving the general public could be avoided?
At the expense of repeating a point I made on the WSR thread yesterday, the ORR is increasingly looking at the 'competence' of railway management so failure to file accounts does count against them.
I can hardly raise the interest, but in the spirit of sharing information:
THE BUSY BEE CAFE LIMITED
Company number 09643910
23 Jul 2021 Compulsory strike-off action has been suspended
There has never been any indication as to whether the company" The Busy Bee Café Ltd" is anything to do with the café of the same name on the line or if it is a company totally removed from the railway. Whichever it is reading this in the strike off action notice:-
should be of sufficient cause of concern to the trustees of railway to ensure that that they have proof of ownership of everything to do with 'their' Busy Bee café just in case someone tries to infer that this unknown company owns it.
Just out of interest; This is the second striking off order that someone has objected to. Is there any company legal person out there who could advise if there is a limit to the number of times striking off orders can be objected to before Companies House decides to go ahead anyway?
it seems to be railway.
Ever since this Company was incorporated on June 17th 2015 it has raised a number of unanswered questions. The 2 directors are the TVR general manager Ivor Mcfadzean (2 shares) and the bookkeeper Nikki Cox (1 share). The Company's address is the Station Yard at Henllan - the TVR address. The Company exists to operate a cafe business. Each shareholder "has full rights ... with respect to voting, dividends and distributions." This implies that any profits made by the cafe will be shared between these 2 people, whereas previously either the cafe had been operated by railway personnel or under some kind of franchise arrangement.
The first Accounts of the Company for the period ending June 30th 2016 were very late and warning letters were being sent by Companies House, but eventually made it in September 2017. They showed only that the Company had £4,868 in the Bank and owed £234, and had made a profit of £4,531. Presumably this was shared by the 2 directors, but it is impossible to tell whether this is the case or not.
The second Accounts were not for June 2017 but for July 2016 to end December 20017 and got to Companies House in February 2019. The cash in the Bank was down to £4,162 and the profit down to £3,920, even though the Accounts cover more than 12 months. Nothing since.
What I find remarkable is the lack of any comment from the Railway Society or the TVR Company directors about the loss of income. The cafe Balance Sheet does not show that it owns any assets, like a building, its furniture, equipment or decorations. It has no employees and pictures on the TVR Facebook page show TVR volunteers manning the counter. So is the Busy Bee Company paying rent? With only abbreviated Accounts to go on, impossible to tell.
One possible conclusion from this lack of transparency might be that the cafe and railway are being run for the benefit of the Directors, perish the thought…Lets hope that there are enough good people at the Teifi to make the railway the success it deserves to be.
There are several examples of U.K. railways being run in less than transparent ways. There is no morally sound reason for Directors to be so secretive about the general commercial arrangements of the organisations they are custodians of. The heritage railway sector brings out the best and worst of people! Maybe it’s the nature of the organisations (trading so heavily on the goodwill of volunteers, members and staff) and the perennial shortage of people to fill roles that allows mediocre people to secure influential positions.
To correct an error: the profit in 2016 Accounts was £4,631 not £4,531. My mistake.
I know several volunteers on the line have been upset about comments regarding the railway that have been posted on here and I'd like to reassure them that whilst making comments and raising concerns on here I am not in any way criticising the work they have done in getting the railway back to where it is today. I believe you should be proud of what you are achieving.
The concerns others and I are raising are simply attempts to ensure that there is never a repeat of what has gone before - things that practically ruined the railway at that time.
The sad fact is that there is some significant (and not very nice) history from way back, before the woodman ruined the track, and some of the people involved are still involved with the railway even after action was taken against them at the time (so I'm afraid it is not possible to say it's done and gone, lets move on... because of this). That history has caused a complete lack of trust in certain people amongst those who remember or were involved at the time and there are some strong concerns (suspicions even?) that what has happened before may be happening again.
The problem is that, with micro company's accounts there is never enough detail for anyone to actually see what is happening. Add to this the fact that the Society members and trustees appear to do nothing but rubber stamp board decisions and neither they nor the board ever offer any information when asked.
It is a sad state of affairs where a little openness could go a long way
That is why it was so encouraging to see the recent Facebook post showing Byron visiting the Ffestiniog. So they are open to some advice from others about steam locos if nothing else.
Sorry to say there is no improvement in administration since July with accounts still missing
Elizabeth …. Please can you stop with the negative nonsense.
I have heard enough. if you really cared for the railway, get behind us and encourage us.
Share the positives we achieve.
At the end of the day we are there week after week on the ground and working hard.
You only see what’s on the web and believe me that’s only a tiny percentage as you should know. Show us and everyone on here that you support us? Not the individuals but the railway as a whole?
Although the Busy Bee Cafe Ltd. and the Teifi Valley Railway Ltd. are private limited companies their directors are nevertheless subject to a certain amount of public scrutiny in that they are required to file accounts as a matter of public record. Quid pro quo in return for enjoying the privilege of limited liability. It’s not much to ask therefore no-one should complain if someone points out that the directors have repeatedly failed to fulfill their public duty.
Elizabeth does care about the TVR and via her posts shows just that, although she is still ostracized by the likes of TVR Volunteer and his cronies. At the very least she continues to give the TVR management kindly reminders, through NP, of their legal failing where matters of company law and submissions are concerned.
Unfortunately it is the attitude of the likes of TVR Volunteer and his associates that successfully puts off any would be volunteer (or potential financial donor?) from becoming involved in what has become a railway with serious administrative failings. It is not a matter of "negative nonsense" as TVR Volunteer puts it. The reality is simply a matter of publicly available records and information being placed in a more open part of the public domain.
To quote Miff in posting #716. "It’s not much to ask therefore no-one should complain if someone points out that the directors have repeatedly failed to fulfill their public duty".
As matters stand. The TVR management and its dire administration are publicly demonstrating all of the skills required to develop an apparently failing project completely into the financial / administrative ground.
To reiterate an extract from the latest writings of TVR Volunteer: You only see what’s on the web and believe me that’s only a tiny percentage as you should know.
This rash statement serves to prove that it is only the writings of Elizabeth that inform us of the tiny percentage that we do actually know. Will this management attitude and lack of information ever gain the TVR the additional volunteers and supporters, plus the vital skill sets, it so badly appears to need?
I have never visited the Teifi Valley and I have no axe to grind. But what I do know is that if a business is failing to perform its statutory functions or the underpinnings are not right or there is general incompetency in the management, then no amount of volunteer effort is going to solve it. You just cannot hide these things and hope they will go away. Having read this thread, and knowing no more, I support @Elizabeth Perry on this.
Agreed, with the caveat that I'm not clear what the postings intend to achieve other than saying "it's all going to hell in a handcart".
There are two sides to every story, we seem to only hear one on here, instead of moaning about what Elizabeth is saying, my opinion is what the TVR should be doing is engaging and dispelling some of the misgivings.
Separate names with a comma.