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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    Great news Seb, the railway needs every penny it can generate. If Christmas is do-able then how about Halloween ? It would be a useful preparation exercise.
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I don't think the WSR would be able to change to a private limited company. One big obstacle for a start is that the private company (ltd) is limited to 50 shareholders. Just how many shareholders are there in WSR plc? there are other obstacles besides this.
     
  3. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    Wasn't the change initiated by an expensive court case that involved both the MHR and a well-known locomotive owner that cost the MHR a large amount of money that led to a review of the organisational structure(s) ?

    An interesting parallel with the WSR methinks that a legal situation resulted in the MHR deciding a new (better) structure was required to meet situations different from that at inauguration. Perhaps the Coombes Report should have been regarded more than it appears to have been as a possible solution to the current internecine structure between competing bodies each with their preferred solutions to a long-standing problem.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
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  4. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    No. Absolutely no connection whatever.

    Sent from my SM-A405FN using Tapatalk
     
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  5. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Unlike the WSR, on the MHR, there was enough common ground for people to come together, and unlike the WSR, there was no banning of people by the PLC, except where they had broken the rules, and then due process was followed, some left of their own decision, but some re-joined, who had been thrown off the railway by the previous administration, and there was no recriminations because people put the railway first, Yes some people held deep feelings, but years later, enough water has flowed under the bridge now for wounds to have healed,
     
  6. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    I put it to you all this simply, one railway or no railway?
    JB is right, there is an emerging consensus.
    Either join the debate and accept that your way may not be the finally chosen way or continue to post here deriding the efforts of those trying to build the consensus and move towards structural change.

    A very personal comment, I find the demands of those who are not members of a WSR organisation for spoon fed information a little tiring. I had the huge privilege of standing in front of WSRA members to address them yesterday. They bothered to wrestle with the technology or book their places in the hall. In other words they put themselves out to engage. They were there, they know the results, heard the debate, gave their views. My huge thanks to all of them, it provides me with the energy to continue.
     
  7. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Could the shareholders not be asked to gift their shares to the new charity if they so wished, that certainly would reduce the number of shareholders down, another problem though is the number of dead, or inactive shares, where the shareholders have moved on, or died and the shares have been ignored/ forgotten, by those who were tasked with sorting out the deceased estate etc, especially if they amount to a large percentage of the issued share base.
     
  8. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Anything to generate Income!!
     
  9. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    As a WSRA member, I am sorry I wasn't able to "be at the meeting" yesterday and I look forward to seeing the minutes. However, up until they are published, the impression given is that the "consensus" extends no further than the current senior management, board members, and supporters of the Plc together with a few of the trustees of the railway's charities.

    Well, there are corresponding demands from the WSR organisations for non-members' money and labour. Wouldn't a little information in return be a reasonable exchange?
     
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  10. 5914

    5914 Member

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    One simple option, which is not in common use my many railways as it only became possible in 2005, is the conversion of the WSR plc to a Community Interest Company. There would be a number of benefits to this approach - one of which being the less restricted 'community interest test' rather than 'public benefit test'. This would require a simple resolution at a plc general meeting to amend the mem and arts. It would be possible to write these to allow for 'simple' membership - i.e. one vote per member, as is the case in member-based charities. This could be done and completed with the only limit being the notice period for calling a general meeting of the plc. Such an approach would create a not-for-profit, member-based body in control of the railway in one simple act. If a body with charitable status were required then the CIC could work either with an existing charity with sufficiently close aims, or a new CIC could be set up in partnership.

    However, this only highlights the true problem, as it would not solve the problem of personalities - which the option of creating a new charity would not do either.

    Sadly (for those of us not heavily invested in WSR, but reading this thread and other reports from Somerset with disbelief, but a fervent hope that the line survives), this probably means that there will be no structural end to the problem until either personalities can work together for the good of the railway, or the railway shuts. I very much hope it is the former - but my optimism levels are not high, and I am only left praying that it will not be the latter.
     
  11. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    Alas, I suspect a lot of people in Somerset are not similarly minded - and happy to say so.
    Perhaps. One can only reckon that those who are organizing it (who may well have had the same perception [as you] before setting out on their action) feel that the line's future is in jeapordy without a change - and they may be right. Damned if you do, and all that.

    Noel
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
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  12. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    You mean the people who are being asked to contribute money to the WSR; money that's crucial to its survival, and money that the WSR apparently can't raise from members of WSR organisations? It's this kind of attitude which is reconciling many of those people to what may be the inevitable loss of this jewel of the heritage crown.

    Noel
     
  13. twr12

    twr12 Member

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    Quick, everyone rush over to the Llangollen thread!
     
  14. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Where'd that be to, then?
    Edit: Ah, I see, it's Little Somerset Beyond Wales.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
  15. Alan Neil

    Alan Neil New Member

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    Fighting on here isn't gonna solve anything.
    Just makes it easier for people to see your flaws.
     
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  16. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    At risk of sounding like a stuck record I ask the question again ‘why should I donate to any one of the appeals to help save the WSR?’
    Please tell me why I should compared to say someone like the A1/P2 trust? Honesty and Transparency don’t cost much but are worth a fair old bit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
  17. Piggy

    Piggy Member

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    Now here's a funny thing ...... as a matter of curiosity I've just looked to see how many planned Santa trains have seats available for disabled people + 3 as a group and find that there are none available because every one is marked as 'Sold Out' ....... REALLY ?
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
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  18. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    It's an interesting option which I did consider. Just to clarify one point the PLC is already a "not for profit company" as a CIC would be, i.e. it can generate a surplus but everything is ploughed back into the business. Nothing goes to shareholders .
    The main disadvantages of a CIC are that it is not charitable so cannot itself benefit from tax advantages and Gift Aid. If you do form an associated charity to support the CIC then it would face similar limitations to those that the WSRA has in its fundraising efforts for the the WSR. It can only fund those things that are within the scope of its charitable objects. So if your CIC hits hard times you may find yourself far more restricted in the financial life support you can provide than would have been possible for a controlled subsidiary of a charity.
     
  19. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Fighting in the press , naming and shaming in the press is even worse of course
     
  20. bristolian

    bristolian New Member

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    So, now that the S&DRT supposedly agree to the result of the meeting, is their removal from Washford now being revoked?...
     
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