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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    It is not unknown for an employer to attempt to make an employee redundant by the simple expedient of giving all their work to someone else, indeed, it happened to me, except that my employers were advised that that that course of action would be setting themselves up for a case of unfair dismissal. If it doesn't work with an employee, then it is unlikely to work with a volunteer, should volunteers be given similar rights to employees.
    Since a volunteer can always be persuaded to take his labour elsewhere by not giving them anything to do on the WSR, I suspect that the withdrawal of ID cards is as much about a desire to "encourager les autres" as to actually get rid of volunteers the board see as troublemakers.
     
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  2. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

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    Again, you do not address either of the issues.
    With regard to your two examples: the first (HOPS) is not already doing the job so cannot claim "continuity", the second, about not rostering, is really a different issue as the volunteer still has ID and can participate elsewhere on the railway, though not necessarily entirely happily !
    As for there being "no right to do (it) in the first place" : yes, it is true that there is no "right to volunteer" but, having done so, been accepted, appropriately trained and certified, and then utilised in a particular role, a court might well draw the conclusion that the volunteer had reasonable expectations of continuity.
    I'm surprised there is no case law on this.

    I presume you are unable to offer concrete information on whether or not the Plc has applied an investigation and disciplinary process in line with HRA guidance ?
     
  3. malcolm imps

    malcolm imps Member

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  4. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    I think it is a fair question to ask - if the WSR is a long way behind in routine maintenance of its track, is that down to lack of funds or lack of manpower -or both? I do not wish to denigrate the efforts of those holding the fort, but when I compare the accounts of what is being done on the PWay at the WSR with what is done at the NYMR. The impression I get is that the WSR is patching what it has, by spt sleepering and re-railing, whereas the NYMR goes for complete renewal of ballast, sleepers and rail. The difference does not seem to be due to volunteer numbers, or even that the NYMR PWay dept has invested in more modern technology.
     
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  5. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    I'm not involved so only those in the know can answer that question.

    HOPS is just an example of a mechanism by which you continue to volunteer. I doubt anyone is seriously suggesting that having once been accepted as a volunteer you can turn up and work whenever you feel so inclined? You may be given permission to work on that basis or to do specific rostered turns ( depending on the role) but it is surely fundamental that the entity responsible for the Safety Management System retains control over who volunteers, for what and when?
    Isn't an ID card just evidence of your ability to offer to do volunteer work ....an offer that can be accepted or rejected ?
     
  6. malcolm imps

    malcolm imps Member

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    Had a request from 6960 to put on the recent photo of 7828...at Churchlands & 9351 at Nethercott on refreshers .. IMG_0113[1].JPG IMG_0526[2].JPG
     
  7. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    So the same argument that PLC supporters use for the PLC board saving the WSR. Are you sure that it is the look you are going for?

    Absence of evidence can also be evidence of absence.

    Proving that something doesn't exist is difficult, proving that something did exist ought to be easy.

    If an someone claims to have moderated something but the end result is the same but by a different path then they've failed.

    'We've stopped them shooting one another, we convinced everyone to switch to stabbing.'

    Whether you think the HRA have helped, or I think the HRA has failed, none of this changes the fact that four people have lost their ID cards and their right to volunteer.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
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  8. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    Seaward way is a SCC project.
     
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  9. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    Yes, we understand your point of view - A volunteer has no legal right to continue volunteering if the organisation at which they volunteered has decided the volunteer is no longer wanted. And yes, that organisation can make that decision completely arbitrarily and for whatever reason it choses, including disagreeing with the management.

    However, should any organisation refuse a volunteer simply for disagreeing with the management, I would consider them to be morally bankrupt.
     
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  10. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The people who have had their PLC ID cards removed and in effect lost the ability to support their railway, are mostly people who have been active on the railway for many years, Andy Was a fireman, He gave years to the WSR, In that time he must have seen several chairmen of the PLC come and go, without I assume any disciplinary issues, others have also given many years to the WSR, with again no disciplinary issues to do with their duties or actions whilst on duty . I don't see how a person can be accused of bringing a railway into disrepute by following their right to stand for trustee ship, especially if the body they stood for has not initiated any charges against them, or they have not said or done anything to warrant such a charge, Its nothing more than An officer of the PLC, missusing their own power to get rid of someone they see as a threat to their own position.
     
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  11. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    I recently had a thought about this, which I haven't seen here; I thought I'd share it. It is that this apparently happened quite some time ago - why are we only hearing about it now?

    One possibility is that those affected didn't think there was anything useful to be done about/with it; they'd stepped up and tried to change things, and been rejected. Life's short, time to move on, and all that.

    Another, intriguing one is that they fully realized that news of this would produce (as it did, when it finally leaked out) another wave of denunciation of the WSR; and they really care about the WSR, and didn't want to see it further damaged. So they quietly 'fall on thir swords'. Deeply ironic, if so.

    Noel
     
  12. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I agree, the role of factions within the board is important. However, that is relevant to my analysis of peacekeepers' effectiveness - in such discussion, there is usually reference to "moderates" and credit placed in their influence; credit that is frequently misplaced as the dominance of the "hotheads" or "extremists" becomes clearer. I don't say this to advocate "war war", but to suggest the long run view despite some twists and turns remains unchanged. The faction in control of the plc board have control, wish to maintain it, and do not wish to be subordinated to other forms of accountability.

    However, those who consider this approach unacceptable have limited choices open to them - in essence, to fight, to tolerate the status quo, or to give up.
     
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  13. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    The question is whether recent changes in the make up of the board has strengthened one faction over another. Invariably, outcomes such as the one we are witnessing point to the hardliners being in a position of dominance and the relative weakness or absence of moderating forces.
     
  14. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    ...or a third possibility is that they are still in a process of trying to fight this and have decided that it would be better to do it out of the public gaze in order not to inflame the situation with the Plc.
     
  15. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    Thanks, Malcolm.

    I saw these images last week when they were published on Steve Edge’s site and thought that they deserved to be viewed by a larger audience.

    I think the second image, of 9351, is an absolute cracker.
     
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  16. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member

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  17. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    so apart from the elite level self promotion?

    That's all nice, but it didn't stop the SDRT from being evicted and it hasn't stopped 4 volunteers from losing the ability to volunteer. So all those networking occasions, backslapping award ceremonies and seminars haven't really helped the issues in hand have they? Hasn't improved the behaviour of the WSR PLC (unless you count not drunk texting press releases as a major victory).
     
  18. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Out of interest, how do concrete sleepers wear out?
     
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  19. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Just because Plc supporters/Donald Trump/Margaret Thatcher/Adolf Hitler/(insert hate figure(s) of choice) use an argument doesn't make that argument invalid. Beliefs are not responsible for those who believe in them.
    Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence just because you say it is. If you are unable to prove that something didn't exist, why should proving that it did exist be any easier? To prove whether or not the HRA representatives had any influence on the board, you would need to know what the board would have done absent the HRA. No-one knows what might have happened in any situation, although plenty of people think they know, usually what they would prefer to have happened. Although is a common delusion, it is still a delusion, nonetheless.
    Yes, I know four people have had their ID cards removed and no, I don't think that that is a good thing, especially since it indicates that the hotheads are back in the majority on the board. Pointing out the flaws in your arguments does not automatically make me a Plc supporter. Again, despite it being a common belief, it is not the case that everyone who is not with you is against you.
     
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  20. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Alternatively, as a thought experiment, what if the truth were that those 4 were part of a much larger group, and the influence of the HRA was instrumental in limiting the damage to a few for whom there might, possibly, have been a case? There'd be no evidence of their work in the public domain, but it would still have achieved something.

    I am with @Bayard on this - the HRA do not deserve to be treated as accomplices. Even if they have achieved little - and I would personally give the HRA and, presumably, @Lineisclear, reasonable credit for managing some level of settlement around Washford, even if far less than would have been ideal.
     
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