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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    I don't think it would be controversial to say that this question was put to the WSR plc Chairman on Saturday. He reminded the meeting that each mailing to the shareholders costs £4-5,000. The obvious point was made that this cost could be reduced by gathering e-mail addresses and a start was made there and then. Something that could have been begun years ago, but has not been. That lack of action cannot be laid at the present regime's door.

    More can undoubtedly be done in both press and internal communications but it goes too far to say 'secrecy is the order of the day' given how public the present Chairman has been. A little balance, please.

    Robin
     
  2. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    The relevance is quite straightforward. One message is that we are up the proverbial creek without a paddle to the extent that making the details public would risk the operation. The other message is that we have not found it necessary to access a temporary loan.
     
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  3. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    I used to be involved in sending out bulk mailings, and it isn't cheap.
    To whom do I send my e-mail address please?
     
  4. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Both PLC and the unofficial web site reads:

    The plc Chairman Jonathan Jones-Pratt outlined the very serious financial situation the WSR was in last year which put it at risk of insolvency, and stated that the 2018 accounts would make for dismal reading when finally published. But the threat to the WSR is now diminishing thanks to some drastic cost-cutting measures and prudent management of resources, and the railway had not had to use its overdraft facility.
    Which is not surprising. Banks are not philanthropists and a company on the verge of insolvency would need a very strong case, as far as I can see, to be given overdraft facilities: additionally the threat to the line is not over, it is said to be diminishing.
     
  5. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    It seems to me that it is quite possible to be in a situation where you are not indebted but know that you cant borrow as your income would not be sufficient to cover any repayments, if that makes sense
     
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  6. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    A company with a good rating at Dun & Bradstreet should not have any problems securing an overdraft.
     
  7. Anne C-B

    Anne C-B Member

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    It doesn't need to be a general mailing. Periodic reports and items on the company website or those of the supporting organisations would be sufficient. What I particularly object to is reading comments here based on stuff from the railway press which hasn't been generally released by the railway to its supporters.

    So little comes out of the railway I don't know how else to describe it.
     
  8. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    That is an inference but something that could be used positively if handled correctly
     
  9. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Are you a Shareholder if so contact the Company Secretary via Minehead Station
     
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  10. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and thank you I'll do that.
     
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  11. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    So am I reading here that the WSR is just starting to make a concerted effort to collect email addresses? What a great example of celebrating the past by living in it, until recently.

    That said, I know from experience that there are still people who do not have an email address. Unsurprisingly they are almost certainly seniors and the chances are that a few of them will have the depth of pocket that a heritage railway might appreciate.

    A while back I took the step of telling members of a group I'm connected with that email will be used to send some information - usually immediate communications - and if they didn't give an email address then they would miss out.

    Harsh but......
     
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  12. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    At the EGM attention was drawn to the cost in writing to everyone in paper postage etc and the suggestion was made why not do so via email and additionally that we used our voting slips to pass this on to the plc at the meeting. The suggestion was accepted but that was only available to those present.

    Perhaps those Shareholders on here and those who know other Shareholders could write to Minehead giving the Company Secretary details of their email address so this cost can be addressed ASAP
     
  13. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    I'm still confused. Not about the perilous financial state but by the actions being taken.
    As I understand it this is an extraordinary event of comparing finances over a 15 month period due to a change in the financial year end. If that is so then it's only going to be of a concern this year because from now on the year end will occur at the same (new) date.
    So, my question is:- If this is a once only event why did it need a permanent change to the Articles? Why didn't the Board simply put the problem to the shareholders and ask them for dispensation for this year only to delay the accounts? It seems as through there has been much more of a change to the Articles than was necessary to simply effect a one-off comparison of financial results.
    Can you explain why this was necessary please?
     
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  14. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Possibly a December date, after a seasons trading, may yield a prettier picture than an earlier one?
     
  15. mvpeters

    mvpeters Member

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    I'm not so sure this was a good idea as it identifies the ballot which is otherwise not attributable to an individual.

    Preferable would be ConstantContact or MailChimp. A couple of physical postal mailings are required by law each year - Annual Reports, notice of GMs etc..
    If a link were provided in one of those, shareholders could Subscribe, or not, to notices or newsletters.
    Maintenance at the Plc end would be pretty minimal other than providing the content. I do note that the Newsletter section on the Plc website was last updated in 2017! A monthly bulletin shouldn't be too onerous. What happened to the monthly 'Online'?
     
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  16. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    The ballot papers identified the shareholder by name and indicated the number of shares held and so were deemed suitable to use in terms of the provision of an email address. The vote held was by means of a show of hands of those shareholders present only.
     
  17. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    So (a) it could be seen who voted against or abstained, so it wasn't an anonymuios ballot anyway and (b) according to the report all but two voted in favour, and those two could if they wished have used other means to give their email addresses.

    As for "those shareholders present only", what about proxies (of ill repute at the WSR)?
     
  18. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    As I said the vote was determined by a show of hands by those present
     
  19. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Having not been on site for some time I am catching up with my reading. The above figures make very interesting reading!

    As they are both a source of contention the Lydeard Shop and Williton Workshops were going to be discussed by the WSRA Trustees last Monday I do so hope that these issues can be resolved quickly in the spirit of 'one railway'
     
  20. Anne C-B

    Anne C-B Member

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    Why can't they email the company with their email address?
     

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