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Lynton and Barnstaple - Operations and Development

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by 50044 Exeter, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    Thanks @pmh_74 - I left my email in case people wanted to discuss it; it's hardly secret!
     
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  2. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    It's fair enough as long as you are prepared for (a) flack from those who take the opposing view and (b) all the spam the internet can throw at you.
     
  3. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    Happy with (a), @pmh_74 , much better to debate than not. As for (b), that ship has long since sailed!
     
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  4. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Does the Charity Commision have the power to bar people from trusteeships, and how high is the bar, because i don't recall them ever actually taking so punitive a step, often they prefer the charities involved to sort out the problem of trustees who are unfit to serve, themselves.
     
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  5. 62440

    62440 New Member

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    Well now, what an extraordinary statement from “the six” - talk of hostile takeovers, police - whatever next? I thought it a remarkably tendentious document with the startling assertion, which strains credulity, that the proposed control of who can or cannot stand is in the interests of succession planning (conspicuous hitherto by its apparent absence). And all now requiring the urgency of an EGM. Really? Really?
     
  6. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    They do have the power, but also prefer to leave charities to resolve their issues internally. They are also clear that they limit themselves to issues of compliance, and don't get involved in disputes over direction.

    I have every confidence that they are taking these matters seriously (that the inquiry is still open after many months is a clear sign of that), but it would be foolish to rely on them to fix everything for the Trust and it's members. If nothing else, doing nothing might leave things too long.

    For that reason, members need to take the paperwork they've been sent seriously, and consider what the motions mean. They then need to look at what's been said by both "three" and "six", thinking hard about the implications of each being right. Then they should decide how they will vote, whether in person at Lynton on the 23rd or by proxy.

    I signed the public letter, and am proud to have done so. I firmly believe that the motions to dismiss Anne Belsey and Chris Duffell are nothing short of an exercise in bullying and, if the allegations did have any truth, the need for such motions would require, at least, the resignation of the chair who had failed to harness their energies for the benefit of the Trust. Similarly, my view is that although the Articles do need updating, the proposed changes turn the Trust from a membership based organisation where the board lead the membership in line with it's objectives, charity law, and the will of the members, into a form of private members club where a self perpetuating committee would be immune from internal challenge.

    I therefore hope that all members cast their votes against these motions, and use their influence to propel the Trust towards a more harmonious future, delivering on the potential of Trust and railway rather than condemning it to for ever be a vision of what might have been.
     
  7. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    An interesting sidelight. I've just received an email from the National Trust, inviting me to stand as a member of the Council. This is after a very contentious election process at the last AGM, and is without any intervention by a nomination committee.

    The comparison is stark
     
  8. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    The Chairty Commission does have this power, introduced in section 4 of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016. It's a high bar, as the Charity Commission explain in their policy paper. Of the six conditions, one has to be met for the Commission to consider removal: in our case, I think that two have been met - Conditions D and F:

    D: a trustee, officer, agent or employee of a charity was responsible for, contributed to or facilitated misconduct or mismanagement in a charity or the person knew of the misconduct or mismanagement and failed to take any reasonable step to oppose it

    F: other conduct, whether or not in relation to a charity that is, or is likely to be, damaging to public trust and confidence in a charity or charities

    Clearly the Commission would prefer us to sort this out ourselves - but the changes to the M&As are specifically designed to stop anyone standing that is not approved by 'the six'. Appalling behaviour, but they seem oblivious to the advice of being in a hole and ceasing further excavations!
     
  9. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    So now, let me see.....

    The 'six' post a message on the Trust website under the 'Trust Notice' section, thereby IMHO giving the (false) impression that it is some form of 'official' Trust communication. Only at the very end do you read "Distributed on behalf of the following elected Trustees:....." and it becomes clear that it is a personal message from six individuals. Yet the message starts by complaining that the 'three' sent out a letter to members which allegedly gave a false impression of being an official communication, despite the fact IIRC that it stated quite clearly at the beginning that it was from those three Trustees only. 'Pot', 'kettle' 'black' anyone?

    Then they complain (incorrectly) that the '3' breached the GDPR by using the Trust's membership list to send out their letter to members. So how did the 'six' manage to send out their unofficial messages which have reached some individuals today without committing the same 'offence'?

    Finally they write about 'erroneous' instructions for the EGM proxy voting, having previously given exactly those instructions on the formal Vote paper sent out in the post to members (still not got mine!).

    Do they not see just how silly they are making themselves look?
     
  10. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    Oh, and the Charity Commission *are* investigating the Trust, as 'the six' know full well.
     
  11. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    The problem is, we know that, they know that, but those who read their message may well believe what they say :-(
     
  12. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    That is why, in my view you really need an EGM, charging the 6 with misconduct and the secretary, also calling for their immediate removal and suspension, from the trust pending an investigation into their collective actions, where by if found to have mis used their positions, they face lifetime bans from the L&B
     
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  13. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    We have an EGM, where the "six" and secretary are seeking to advance their case. They need to be defeated, there and then after.

    I hesitate to suggest that, once deprive of power, any investigation should follow the pattern you suggest. If nothing else, it would be to descend to the level of their actions of the last few years.
     
  14. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    I'd agree, but I do want to have a forensic accounting of where the money has been spent, so we as members and an incoming leadership team know what we're dealing with.

    It's ironic that in the latest blast from 'the six' touts the success of OSHI as part of the L&B - having told the Trustees that it was an independent company and so they could therefore not have any sight of the management accounts to see how it's all going.

    It's time to call time on 'the six' and their attempts to permanently takeover the Trust's Board. Let's vote the M&As down in Lynton three weeks tomorrow.
     
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  15. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    No disputing the need for some forensic accounting. If the analyses from last summer are correct - and they appear to be - then both the numbers and the controls need to be properly reviewed so that plans can be set properly, and repetition avoided.

    But it can’t be about settling scores; just making sure no more harm can be done.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  16. Selsig

    Selsig Member

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    Am I going blind - the members section of the website, replete with hostil takeover post, seems to have disappeared...

    John
     
  17. Michael B

    Michael B Member

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    No. - Members, Trust Notices and hey presto. The accusations are just extraordinary, and unbelievable.
     
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  18. lynbarn

    lynbarn Well-Known Member

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    That is the point Keith, he does not need to be a Trustee and if the Railway needs more carriage then long live that part of the project. However we are running out of space and we don't appear to be getting anywhere with the construction of some much needed covered accommodation for the ones we already have at Woody Bay.

    The other issue is of course that the replacement Trustees may in light of the current lack of money in the trust may feel they need to save money on the workshop, I don't have the exact figures to hand but I will see if they appear in the accounts for last year.

    This also reminds me that this could be construed as trading if this comes up in the trust accounts. I know this is a grey area since no money is changing hands, but producing replica carriages is still considered to be a trade.
     
  19. Old Kent Biker

    Old Kent Biker Member

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  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    They're just saving some time - submitting the answers now so there is no delay once the resolutions are passed :)

    Tom
     
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