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. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,526
    Likes Received:
    40,674
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    If you follow that line to its logical end, you essentially grant the plc a veto on who can and can't stand for election in other organisations on the railway. As I see it, anyone who meets the eligibility criteria can stand for election and can do so on any manifesto they choose (subject to that manifesto being compatible with the charitable objects of the charity). It is then simply down to the members if they elect that person or not. It has nothing to do with any other body.

    Only in Somerset, it seems, could the simple act of standing for election be seen as "bringing the railway into disrepute".

    Tom
     
  2. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2019
    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    820
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Alton, Hants
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I think he did, but in a subtle way.
    Pat
     
  3. John Palmer

    John Palmer Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    638
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Yet you are evidently aware of what those findings were, as you tell us that sanctions were based on them! Confidentiality here seems to have been stretched sufficiently to warrant an enquiry into the legitimacy of the process you seem to be commending to us.
     
  4. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    16,697
    Likes Received:
    13,665
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    In general, I agree - which is why I am so opposed to the process initiated by Steve Williams's complaint, believe that the plc should have refused to engage, and that Steve Williams abused his position in pursuing this given that the election was a direct challenge to him personally. However, the manifesto adopted by "the ten", which I supported, and which caused me to join the WSSRT, was explicitly targeted at changing the governance of the plc. As such, it absolutely was connected with the plc - the existence and behaviour of the plc were fundamental to the candidacies.
     
    jnc and Greenway like this.
  5. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,640
    Likes Received:
    16,445
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    If, speaking entirely hypothetically, I were to be subject to a form of disciplinary process, I would be highly likely to respect the confidentiality of such a process until it had been completed.

    What I then might choose to do would be very likely to depend on the result, the way the process had been conducted, any public interest I felt there was in those things being made public and any further action I might contemplate.

    I am a firm believer in the disinfectant powers of daylight.
     
  6. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,675
    Likes Received:
    3,515
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South Hams
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    We have lawyers and "barrack room" lawyers here. It seems to me that there are too many of the latter. :D
     
    Lenny and jnc like this.
  7. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2020
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    600
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I think that's over egging the pudding Tom.
    As I understand the situation no one has suggested, or found, that the standing for election to a distinct support organisation brought the PLC into disrepute. However during that process public comments were made about the PLC and its management by PLC volunteers who were standing as candidates. Had they been made by the support charities as shareholders (with the necessary internal approvals) they would not have been actionable. Any shareholder has the right to criticize the management of the company they hold shares in.
    However the comments appear to have been made by the candidates in their personal capacities.
    Consequently the questions to be addressed as part of a disciplinary process are :
    1) Could the comments by candidates who are PLC volunteers be said to have brought the PLC into disrepute?
    2) If so, is that conduct justifying withdrawal of the opportunity to volunteer?

    .
     
  8. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,202
    Likes Received:
    2,063
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Over the hills and far away
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    "Justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done."
     
    ghost likes this.
  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,526
    Likes Received:
    40,674
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    And if those people happened to be private shareholders in the plc? Would they not then "[have] the right to criticize the management of the company they hold shares in"?

    I think the despair from looking in from outside is that it feels that the railway is being driven onto the financial and reputational rocks, yet it has neither the pan-railway organisational resilience, nor seemingly a set of trusted elder statesmen, with the ability to bang heads together and say "enough is enough".

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
    Squiffy, tom-bex, Matt37401 and 16 others like this.
  10. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    16,697
    Likes Received:
    13,665
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Sometimes a typo says more than the correct spelling; the use of repititional strikes me as one of those times!
     
    Bluenosejohn and Jamessquared like this.
  11. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,495
    Likes Received:
    1,649
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    London
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Perhaps the former are too closely involved as well?
     
    Greenway likes this.
  12. Piggy

    Piggy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2020
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    306
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    deleted
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
  13. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    6,452
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer

    This would be Steve Williams Acting Chair of the WSHRT, who is also a Director of the PLC, so he was in effect asking himself to carry out action against people. Just a different hat on.

    Seems a bit Kangeroo Courty to me or is this perfectly normal?
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
  14. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    5,975
    Likes Received:
    3,658
    In a way, perhaps, but only because those comments helped to publicise the harm that the PLC management was doing.
     
  15. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,406
    Likes Received:
    3,660
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Rather like what the S&D were doing. A quick recap includes providing one of the most visually appealing spots on the line, lending their site for fund raising activities, paying the correct commercial rate for rent and providing the most useful loco ?

    I do hope that the WSRA have a plan B and rinfenced funds should they ever find themselves in a similar position.
     
    ghost and Piggy like this.
  16. Piggy

    Piggy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2020
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    306
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Both examples are literally incorrect if the original was intended to be 'reputational'.....
     
  17. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    6,452
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Or alternatively, the PLC could have prioritised the financial survival of the railway, concentrated on Seaward Way Crossing, developed coherent funding appeals. In short, for the good of the railway bury the hatchet, move on and adopt the same approach of post-Franco Spain of amnesty via amnesia.

    I can't help but think that the WSR would be in a better position if it had followed this approach rather than going for unnecessary retribution which does nothing to help the railway as an organisation or to detoxify the organisational culture.
     
  18. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,640
    Likes Received:
    16,445
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    If any WSR organisations are looking for a theme tune, I believe the rights to the following are relatively cheaply available:

     
  19. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,640
    Likes Received:
    16,445
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Local residents watch today’s excursion pass Eastcombe.

    5B044EA8-A3D9-413C-A375-6D4D4E295C6B.jpeg
     
  20. John Palmer

    John Palmer Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    638
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    So you do know what the findings of the process were! Wish you had told me that when I asked rather than suggesting it would be normal for these to be confidential.
    Yet, according to the quoted extract from Steve Williams' letter, the basis of the WSRHT's formal request to the WSR plc was that:

    “The actions of the four individuals in relation to the impact on the Trust and Trustees was both serious and totally unwarranted and you should be under no illusion that this behaviour was absolutely unacceptable in the context of a small charity and good decent people who are trying to do the best for both the charity and the WSR as a whole.” (my emphasis added)

    Not one word of any impact on the plc of comments made by WSRHT candidates. And since the comments in question are said to have been publicly expressed and thus accessible to the plc, it was for the plc to initiate any process relating to alleged disrepute brought to the railway, not for the WSRHT formally to request it.

    I have no idea whether the investigation and disciplinary process in relation to comments alleged to have been made by candidates for WSRHT office would have been appropriate or proportionate if it had been initiated by the plc rather than being launched at the request of the WSRHT. But that is irrelevant because what I perceive instead is the spectacle of one organisation acting at the instigation of another in a way that brings trouble on the heads of these four individuals, and it is this that I find so repugnant.
     

Share This Page