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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    reiterating my question from yesterday , any smoke signals from the WSRA or WSR
     
  2. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Many areas on roadsides have been left uncut allowing wild flowers and nature to flourish. Thanks to the very dry weather since mid March, in the South West, growth has not been so vigorous and it has meant no local authority employee has been spraying poisons on footpaths and public paved areas. Public grassed areas have been cut but that is not harmful.
     
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  3. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Let's just hope it's not the Plc burning money......:)
     
  4. 45076

    45076 Member

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    Today's Vlog from the Chairman.

     
  5. Maverick

    Maverick Member

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    What an interesting and enlightening vlog from the PLC chairman today. One in which I believe supports my previous posts and the reason behind my FOI request to Somerset County Council. The PLC chairman openly states that the current PLC fundraising effort, cannot attract Gift Aid and then goes on to justify this by stating its because money raised by the charities cannot then be used by the PLC in the manner they wish. Surely, all organisations are currently working towards one aim, as they should be, the survival of the West Somerset Railway through the COVID-19 crisis.

    The PLC chairman states that the PLC as the leaseholder and the operating licence holder are the only ones able to direct the money they need to be spent, this is just wrong in every way! Just think the £42,710 announced yesterday as website donations would in fact be £53,387.50 if it had been raised through a charity and Gift Aid claimed! There is no excuse for missing out on such a large amount of added funding! All because one person / board can’t control how its spent! Is that really the attitude to have when trying to save a community asset! I'm unclear how the attitude displayed in this vlog demonstrates that the 3 organisations are working in harmony. I am sure the trustees of the two charities are and will be working their socks of to raise funds to support the railway and i'm sure a simple conversation with them would support funds raised going to support the needs of the operating company!

    Again I am drawn back to the organisational structure of the West Somerset Railway. It is time as I have stated before for all to come together and address the current failings and a new single charitable organisation lead the West Somerset Railway out of the COVID era and onwards into the future. Let’s have a charitable organisation that protects the West Somerset Railway for the community, as the Freeholder and prime fundraiser with an operating arm to hold the license. For those that say this will never work, such a structure has precedence in other UK Heritage railways such as the North Yorkshire Moors!

    Another added benefit would be that the leaders / trustees of this new organisation would be bound to the code of conduct and rules of the Charity commission. This can only improve the experience for staff and volunteers alike. Accountability would then become the natural norm across the management of the railway! Such a organisational change would go a long way to changing the culture of the West Somerset Railway and im sure would lead to greater support from the community and those who have become disaffected over the last 3 years!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  6. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Did he also say that all employees had been told they are at risk which suggests redundancy and there is little chance of any running in 2020
     
  7. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Funny - were not the ex-6 at the WSRA also supposedly accountable as Trustees and look what happened there !
     
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  8. Piggy

    Piggy New Member

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    Yes.
     
  9. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Maverick is correct to say that the present WSR structure denies railway enthusiasts and the wider community in West Somerset the chritable benefits enjoyed in Swanage, Pickering, Kidderminster, Tenterden, Keighley, Buckfastleigh, Bodmin, Alton, Sheffield Park, Havenstreet and so on. But presumably they all have it wrong..

    Robin
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  10. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    and imagine if every WSR supporter nominated the charity and the £1000 that is up for grabs on Movement for good
     
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  11. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    Reading your statement above Robin, can we assume that you have made those feelings clear both directly to the plc/JJP and also within the WSRA (ie that the WSRA should be taking a stand on such subjects and not kowtowing to the plc)?

    Keith
     
  12. Maverick

    Maverick Member

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    And a quick google shows you just how much each of these are managing to successfully raise through a single Covid fund led by a single supporting charity.

    Whilst the WSRs current figure is great and shows just how much people care about it, the figure raised fades into the background compared with these well oiled organisations that form those railways that apparently have it wrong!
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  13. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yes. We, the membership, brought them to account when we sorted ourselves out and acted co-operatively and as a community.

    Robin
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
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  14. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    It suggests the company is worried they might have to make people redundant. It doesn't say they necessarily will do, just that they can see it's a possibility on the horizon and they don't want there to be any risk that if it does happens they are judged to have done it unfairly.
     
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  15. Piggy

    Piggy New Member

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    Sadly, it's a fact of life that without income there is little employment no matter how big the company ...... like Rolls Royce, today. In which case it would have little to do with 'fairness', just harsh reality.
     
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  16. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    So is something like that going to happen again this time or not? So far there hasn't been much sign of it.
     
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  17. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    ...but, unlike the WSRA, the Plc is not a charity and does not have a paid-up membership.
     
  18. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    If the WSRA and WSSRT were so minded, they could get together, call an EGM, remove the current board and then completely reform the structure of the WSR into one charity (potentially holding the land) and which would control the plc (which holds the operating licence and does the day to day operating) via appointments to the plc board.
    It could be done if the will was there. Alas...

    Keith
     
  19. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

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    It does, however, have shareholders.
     
  20. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The majority of whom do not actively vote and give their vote to the chair to make decisions for the railway, in the expectation that it has the good of the railway first, and not personal agendas.
    My view remains that the present structure is flawed and its going to take an nuclear option to sort out the structure,
     
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