If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,433
    Likes Received:
    3,463
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Out there somewhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I would respectfully suggest that you make any response sooner rather than later as the cut off date for proxy voting is only 10 days away and many, like myself, will be returning my proxy vote well before that date.

    There was talk a week or so ago of one or two other candidates possibly standing who's applications were being contested. I take it from the lack of any announcement that this is no longer the case and that the candidates listed on the proxy voting form is the final and complete list of candidates. I would appreciate it if you could confirm this.
     
  2. WSSRTcandidates

    WSSRTcandidates Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2020
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    484
    Location:
    All over the country
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Understood and the urgency is noted, thanks.

    Two other candidates have been nominated, Dan Lehmann and Allan Pyne. These people support our aims. They are both members of the WSSRT and their nominations have been correctly submitted in line with the Articles of Association clause 35(2). The WSSRT leadership have thus far refused to accept these nominations. They have said, "Although Article 35(2) sets out the mechanism notification and timeframes for Trustee nominations, the Board of Trustees has received an unprecedented number of applications (10 of which yours is one) which exceeds by some margin the recommended optimal range of between 5 and 12 as set out in the Charity Commission Code of Governance. Since we are already facing a potential Board of 18 individuals, it would be ludicrous and nonsensical to consider any further applications at this juncture."

    However it is also noted that three additional Trustees / Directors were co-opted to the board between 22nd and 24th September (Matt Jackson, Helen Anson and Mike Thompson), yet didn’t appear on the original AGM voting papers circulated on 24th August before the AGM was ‘paused’. So the concern about having too many Trustees cannot have been that acute.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
    MellishR and Bionic_Woman like this.
  3. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    684
    Likes Received:
    3,900
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nr Bridgwater, Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I’ve sat and digested some of the views given in the last 24 hours and I’ve learned some new things so thanks to all including people like @Jamessquared Tom for reminding us of another way to achieve ‘one railway’ which just because it isn’t one of the two options being put forward currently doesn’t mean it should be ignored. We will only get one chance of getting this right so should look at everything with an open mind. Cleary, the expertise is out there often beyond the walls of West Somerset and we as the WSR need to break down the barriers and invite others in to help as a part of us moving forward.

    Also to add my thanks to @ikcdab Ian for setting out the WSSRT’s true fears and concerns logically so it can start a debate, that’s great. Whilst not always agreeing with all Ian’s comments (although I do some) I do recognise those fears and concerns and can understand why they would be there within the WSSRT Board. I feel they can be dealt with in turn and others have set out the remedies much better than I could. I would however like to pick up on one point Ian made regarding funding. The WSSRT made a project work and as Ian set out they have recognised that it was a stepping stone to larger funding in gaining a track record.

    In there are two important points in my opinion, one positive and one negative.

    Firstly, the positive: The WSSRT has succeeded and started down the road toward further funding, for me it’s another reason that all of the individual people involved should form a part of the future of the WSR and build on that success for the good of the WSR, and not walk away to form their own ‘GWR Carriage Charity’ whilst closing the museum doors behind them and handing the keys back to the WSR for them to open it again the next day.

    If there is to be peace in Somerset then everybody must be played to their strengths as individuals for both their personal enjoyment (the Hobby) and the greater good (the WSR). In order to do that we must forget what I’ve heard in the last 24 hours behind closed doors as “no I can’t do that because that person is a WSRA/WSSRT (delete as appropriate) person and the structure won’t allow us to work together”.

    So kick the structure down, amend it, change it, adapt it, get a solicitor to re-write the rules because its only words on paper and thoughts in peoples minds not a real barrier, do whatever it takes to get to one railway but don’t feel constrained by todays structure because everybody agrees it doesn’t work.

    In my opinion and to be blunt this is both physical and cultural. Change is coming whether anybody likes it or not, so be a part of the solution and include yourselves, the people of the current WSSRT are relevant and important if they want to be. Everybody is needed going forward and it only takes debate such as Ian has started for better understanding and compromise by all. Don’t sit in the corner being the victim screaming to everybody you are being done down, because if you do you will get trampled to death in the rush of the others running toward a different outcome.

    Secondly, the negative: I don’t want to belittle anybody’s efforts in the two funded projects, I know both the WSRA & the WSSRT worked hard and invested a lot of time and energy into them. The WSSRT Project succeeded, the WSRA Project failed. During the implementation phase of both projects which have been run more or less side by side, the PLC supported the WSSRT Project, the PLC didn’t support the WSRA Project. Is that a coincidence or do all roads lead to Rome ?

    Taking away any part any individuals may or may not have played the objective we all want is: ‘One Railway’. So why did we all allow that to happen, should we all have worked better together to allow both projects to succeed ?

    Gets coat to go off and buy new soap box because I just broke the old one by jumping up and down on it !
     
  4. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    14,485
    Likes Received:
    8,786
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St Leonards
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    That's why there will not be any meaningful change until the old PLC board and the chairman are made to step aside and a new board elected, until a new board voted in, Then it might be possible for there to be discussions about the future shape of the WSR, without the toxicity we see at the moment, as much of it comes from the PLC board , and their attitude towards dissent , and those who differ from their view of things, Under a new board , it's very unlikely that there would be any vengeful actions taken over any merger of the WSSRT , it would probably be welcomed, plus it would dial down the heat, but of course there will be some who because of the personality cult that's tried to taken over, who won't like it but the railway has to be bigger than any one persons ego.
     
  5. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    16,948
    Likes Received:
    15,583
    Location:
    1016
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Just to say that I really hope all those with concerns about the future and especially any folk with dogmatic (or vested interest) views are at least reading this thread and what has been discussed amicably over recent days.

    Is there a hope in all this that the railway community is about to find a way forward for the greater good that cuts out the small but powerful minority who may not deserve to be involved into the future?
     
  6. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,851
    Likes Received:
    5,763
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I am aware that the WSSRT is able to email members, but I was wondering if the 12 also have the ability to email members, and it might be an idea to respond to the last WSSRT email, with an outline of their proposals, otherwise, the last word that many rank and file members who maybe do not follow say NP or Facebook have will be the uncontested word of the WSSRT.

    To draw on an analogy from politics - what the 12 need is a rapid rebuttal unit to put out a response to anything that the WSSRT/PLC/Bailey/Price may put out. Otherwise the WSSRT/PLC/Bailey/Price are able to frame and set the narrative.
     
  7. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,563
    Likes Received:
    15,224
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The candidates were not, as far as I'm aware, granted access to an email address list, only postal, as this is all the companies act provides for.
     
    Bionic_Woman, ross and Monkey Magic like this.
  8. WSSRTcandidates

    WSSRTcandidates Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2020
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    484
    Location:
    All over the country
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    We do not have access to the WSSRT e-mailing list, so unfortunately we are constrained only to snail mail. It was requested under the Companies Act but we were told by the Trustees that they were only legally bound to give us the postal addresses, which is all we were given. The exception is where people have chosen to e-mail us at wssrtcandidates@gmail.com, asking questions, as some have chosen to do.
     
    Bionic_Woman and Monkey Magic like this.
  9. WSSRTcandidates

    WSSRTcandidates Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2020
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    484
    Location:
    All over the country
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    There have certainly been lots of useful contributions in the last few days, which shows that people have an interest and lots of good ideas about how the railway should be structured, which is all the more reason why members and volunteers should be involved in the discussion, rather than being delivered a 'fait accompli' or at most a light-touch consultation from the respective managements of the PLC/WSSRT/WSRA assuming they know what is best. This is at the heart of what we have been campaigning for.
     
  10. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,851
    Likes Received:
    5,763
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Doesn't make for a very level playing field when only one side has the megaphone.
     
  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,563
    Likes Received:
    15,224
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Quite. Mr Austen seemed very concerned about GDPR and not giving out members' email addresses, except where they happened to disagree with him of course...
     
    Monkey Magic and Bionic_Woman like this.
  12. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    684
    Likes Received:
    3,900
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nr Bridgwater, Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Oh dear, just when I thought I could see some light at the end of the tunnel.

    Are we moving toward an invalid WSSRT election? There seems to be plenty of evidence to point in that direction both potentially legally and certainly morally, the list just grows:
    • Deferring of an AGM saying Members standing is a hostile takeover bid and we need to stop it.
    • Refusal to allow Members to stand inline with the Articles.
    • Demanding Members be interviewed by the existing Board before being allowed to stand.
    • Stuffing the Board with your own co-opts just a couple of weeks before an AGM (why the urgency?) and then saying there will be too many people on the Board so the people who you have already said you don’t agree with can’t stand because the Charities Commission said so.
    • Continuing press releases with allegedly inaccurate statements in them.
    • Allegations of Candidates and Trustees being bullied into withdrawing.
    • Blaming the Charities Commission by claiming that the legal articles are ‘trumped’ by CC Guidelines so can’t be adhered to.
    • An acting WSSRT Chairman with so many conflicts of interest I’m getting confused in: Standing for election, being the person controlling the election process, the person who counts the votes, issues the papers, issues the press releases stating to all in public a clear aggressive motive to stop some Members being elected and who is also a PLC Board Member who have been very clear they will do anything they can to stop WSSRT Members they don’t agree with getting voted in.
    And now this ?

    This can only lead to an escalation of the war, it’s inevitable the Charities Commission will receive a complaint from one or more people and on the process conflicts alone, surely they would have to say “sorry WSSRT you have not followed your Articles so we cannot validate your actions” Or am I just being naive here ?

    Even if the CC don’t get involved, then a large sector of the WSSRT Membership will play merry hell for the foreseeable future and any new WSSRT Board will just get undermined until they are ineffective and that won’t help anybody.

    This is really easy:
    • Allow any Members who wish to, to stand for election in line with the Articles. The articles are the rules agreed by all, so no more hiding behind CC Guidelines which are just recommendations.
    • Do that in an open and transparent way to stop any Members calling foul now, at the election or beyond the election to stop this coming back to haunt you.
    • Talk to all the people who want to stand, no interviews, no selecting, no pre-conditions just talk to them. Agree a way forward which you are all happy with and make peace now.
    • Then go back to your Membership and in public and say jointly “we have sorted it out and this is what is going to happen’ that will take the sting out of anybody calling foul later.
    • Give all Candidates all email addresses or if you feel you can’t then agree to email out each Candidates messages for the members to see together, unaltered, evenly and fairly.
    • This will allow the members to decide who and how many Members are elected. Anything that anybody could see as gerrymandering must be eliminated totally.
    • Oh and lastly ensure each Candidate’s name is on the election papers, it seems they have been sent out (although I’ve not had mine yet !!!) so not all Candidates can be on them as the deadline for submission has not yet passed, perhaps I might want to stand yet !!!!
    Please, Please Please stop this now. Do the right thing and most importantly be seen to be doing the right thing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
  13. WSSRTcandidates

    WSSRTcandidates Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2020
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    484
    Location:
    All over the country
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Andy, whilst not disagreeing with anything you have said about the highly disappointing way in which Trust matters have been handled in recent weeks and months, we should say that we have reached out to the WSSRT Directors/Trustees to seek a mutually acceptable way forward, and discussions are ongoing. Hopefully this will save another dozen pages of acrimonious tit-for-tat.
     
  14. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Messages:
    760
    Likes Received:
    1,789
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Titfield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I contacted the WSSRT on friday, suggesting that in the interests of clarity, and avoiding any claims about the validity of any election, an entirely independent person ought to act as returning officer. I have recommended a man who is of unimpeachable character, and apart from being relatively local and aware of the significance of the WSR to the local economy, is entirely uninterested in the railway- all railways, in fact. So far, sadly, I have received no response.
     
  15. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,350
    Likes Received:
    2,281
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Atlantic
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Maybe they've finally perceived that some of their public releases did more harm than good to their initiatives.

    Anyone know what the SDRT are up to on the move? The clock is ticking.

    Noel
     
  16. ikcdab

    ikcdab Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    1,171
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    WSSRT Trustee
    Location:
    Taunton
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Ross thev fact that you have not received a reply must be an oversight. Some trustees have been away and our inboxes have been very full. Please can you pm me the details and I'll look into what happened to your message.
    Ian C
     
  17. rodders154

    rodders154 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Messages:
    627
    Likes Received:
    743
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Health care assistant/ Grumpy old man
    Location:
    Yeovil
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    When the WSRA ex6 saga was going on the Charity commission declined to become involved. This meant that the legal action launched by the people wishing to overthrow the ex 6 was thrown out on the technically that to take action against a charity needed CC approval which was not forthcoming. I cannot see this permission being given this time should anybody decide to go to law. The CC haven't got the time, staff or inclination to become involved. The last action to get the ex6 to court cost the WSRA IIRC around £20K. Lets not forget that the 4160.shares debarcal has cost so far in excess of £18k and with it going to arbitration that money I would suggest is lost forever.

    Sent from my VOG-L09 using Tapatalk
     
    Triumph 2500S likes this.
  18. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,325
    Likes Received:
    3,466
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I believed that to be true at the time but I think further investigations have revealed that permission was not needed after all. It's a complex area however someone not too far away is better equipped to comment.

    I found the day in court to be very interesting and the take away memory is that it is to be avoided if at all possible. The 6+1 seemed to think otherwise.
     
    Bionic_Woman likes this.
  19. John Palmer

    John Palmer Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    444
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Have I missed a response to the enquiry made in the 'Crewkerne' post at https://www.national-preservation.c...eral-discussion.508987/page-1702#post-2613179?

    Wisely or otherwise the Articles of the WSSRT expressly provide that there is no maximum to the number of its directors, unless determined otherwise by ordinary resolution. The number of persons proposed for appointment as directors may well be 'unprecedented', but it is impossible for the Trust's Board to know in advance how many such candidates will actually be approved for appointment at the forthcoming general meeting. Some, all or none may be approved. If two additional candidates have been proposed for appointment in accordance with the Articles' requirements, it is the greatest foolishness on the part of the Board of Trustees to prevent such proposals being put to the general meeting. That looks like a sure way to bring about a complaint to the Charity Commission of wrongdoing on the Board's part.
     
  20. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,246
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    ynysddu south wales
    I think the new WSSRT candidates ought not to 'over egg the pudding' by adding Dan Lehmann and Allan Pyne to the list.

    Especially now that the current WSSRT trustees is reduced in number by 2 with the resignations of Chris Austin and David Baker.

    The problems Andy Norman explained today can then easily be avoided, and there is a lot to be said for not getting people's 'backs up' other than already necessary.
     
    Triumph 2500S, jnc, tom-bex and 3 others like this.

Share This Page