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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    A good idea but I suspect that it would be viewed as a 'Trojan Horse' to take over the PLC etc etc.
     
  2. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    And so it would be, but only if the PLC reaches the brink of failure and the WSRA was in a position to launch a rescue attempt. If the PLC wants cash it isn't really in a position to turn down an offer to invest via share purchase and imho its only right that the WSRA should gain more influence if it was to be successful at fundraising via this route.
     
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  3. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Such though is the sheer animosity shown by some plc directors, and their supporters that that they would rather have the railway fold, than contemplate any deal with the WSRA,
     
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  4. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    I suggest a reread:
    (my bold)
     
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  5. D7076

    D7076 Member

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    Can only buy new shares via a rights issue as all shareholders have to be given the option of maintaining their ownership percentage .Cannot give selected shareholders the option of new shares at the expense of others .
     
  6. ikcdab

    ikcdab Well-Known Member

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    Only if all the shares have been sold.
    A few years ago, (2016?) the plc increased the share capital via a AGM resolution. I can't remember the figures, but it means there are a pile of unsold shares available ad hoc. It's only when those are all sold that the various procedures kick in to increase the share capital again. For now, anyone can apply for plc shares.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
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  7. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    I note that the latest WSRA board meeting minutes are available via Mr Edge's excellent website. I understand that a meeting has been sought with the plc's accountant for a number of months and this has still not happened.

    • "Working with the PLC – Trustees were disappointed to hear that the planned meeting between MS and Joy Boswell had not yet taken place. MS was asked to pursue this so that the WSRA has the information needed to best support the PLC."

    Why would a company in such dire financial difficulty not wish to meet with their major shareholder ? Perhaps the plc are not keen to have an increased shareholding under the direction of the WSRA ?
     
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  8. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Or is it that just maybe, the PLC can't risk anyone outside of their inner circle having access to the accountants records or finding out stuff that might be very damaging to the inner circles grip on power?
     
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  9. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Well, no one seems to have mentioned this yet; let's hope at arouses interest.
    WSR joins the 'Love Your Railway' 2021 campaign
     
  10. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    I presume that it isn't a meeting to open the books, just a friendly chat to see how the WSRA can help a dear friend in impecunious circumstances. With the appeal barely ticking over, I would say it's any port in a storm.
     
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  11. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    2018 Ian - £3,500,000.

    Yes, and £59,000 of shares have been sold in the 12 months May 2020 to 2021 to prove the point.

    By coincidence, the unissued share capital is £1m - just in case there's a white knight lurking, and below the 29.9% threshold at which they'd have to make an offer for the whole company (£1,028,498 of unissued capital at May 2021, which would amount to 29.4%)

    Patrick
     
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  12. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    reading the last few posts what strikes me is the mess , and the dysfunctional nature of the WSR . An all powerful Plc now with a puppet charity in the WSRHT to do its bidding and a piggy bank to periodically empty , and a second competing charity WSRA . The actions resulting from the Coombes report I suspect have weakened the WSRA position , and depending of the outcome of the QB will potentially weaken them further
     
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  13. Piggy

    Piggy Member

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    Not my bank, sunshine!
     
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  14. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The Coombes report did not envisage a hostile take over of the PLC, It envisaged mutual respect between all the various factions that make up the WSR, with everyone working together. Had the present board been in place at the time, there most likily had been no Coombes report.
     
  15. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    I didn't just mean track. I meant the whole railway - insurance, staff costs, and all the other fixed costs which have to be paid despite the reduced COVID revenue.

    The rescue grants which heritage railways have applied for (some successfully, others not) were for this, and I believe the current WSR appeal is essentially the same thing.

    It's interesting that the announcement of rescue grants for other railways (or the first successful WSR application) didn't get their members shouting about how vague they were.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  16. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    How many people got to actually read the content of those applications and/or awards? People have asked on the NYMR forum, for example, what the money awarded was supposed to be spent on and have never been favoured with a reply. It is public money involved so there should have been some openness imho.
     
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  17. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    We don't operate under direct democratic arrangements, and I would be asking the grant giving bodies what arrangements they are making to ensure compliance with the terms of the grants rather than expecting recipients to operate in the full glare of public scrutiny. None of which undermines the wider issue that bodies seeking to fundraise, from the public or using publicly funded grants, would be a lot more credible if they provided a degree of clarity over what they've raised for and how they plan to use it.
     
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  18. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    The CRF funding was given for specific activities and a portion held back pending the recipient proving that the money had been both spent in the time limit but also as per the original request

    There is a degree of scrutiny for such funds
     
  19. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    No-one envisaged a hostile takeover. Some people put themselves forward for a democratic election at the AGM of a railway trust, that is all.
    The incumbents, realising that the proposed trustees had different priorities than being the PLC's lapdog, started a smear campaign against the newcomers and in a slanderous missive sent out to all trust members claimed there was an attempt at a "hostile takeover".
     
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  20. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Er, no, it isn't. The rescue grants were being given out by the government. That meant that the applicants for the grants had to give the government sufficient information as to why they needed the money and what it was to be spent on to convince the officials who were administering the grants. This information didn't have to be, and in general wasn't, made public. The WSR Plc, OTOH, are asking for money from the general public. Therefore it is incumbent on them to give the general public sufficient information as to why they needed the money and what it was to be spent on to convince the public to give them their money. Judging by the response to the appeal, the information given out has not been sufficient. If the same, opaque, approach was adopted in the application for the second rescue grant, then that would explain why it failed.
     
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