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S&D Railway Trust and Washford Eviction Notice

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Andy Norman, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    Moreover, it would seem that it was set out in such a way that it only works out for everyone if the lessee is an organisation that can be trusted to do sensible financial planning.

    It's a bit like signing up for an interest-only mortgage. If you're someone who can plan sensibly to be able to pay off the capital at the end of the term, and the bank can trust you to be that person, then great! If the bank is happy to sign you up for one, but you can't plan sensibly as for how you are going to pay off the big liability that is going to hit you all in one go in a few years time, then it causes everyone problems.
     
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  2. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    What puzzles me about this press release is that (as a shareholder since 1984) I have not had any communication from the plc about the final situation; not even a request for money! Is it too much to expect at least an e-mail from the plc rather than relying on picking up information from a blog?
     
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  3. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    While I am not at all impressed by the plc's behaviour, especially with regard to the overhaul of 53808 that it is supposed to finance at the end of the hire, I think we should be careful about alleging 'massaging things to give a false outlook ...'
     
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  4. Piggy

    Piggy New Member

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    Supposed ... ? Actually contracted, I believe.
     
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  5. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    I believe you are right, just didn't want to overstate the case!
     
  6. baldbazza

    baldbazza Member

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    I had a shareholder email yesterday and one the day before. So assuming you've checked your spam folder for anything lurking in there it might be worth dropping Kerry Noble at the plc an email to make sure she has the correct email address for you.
    Barry
     
  7. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, I tried both of these suggestions, and still have heard nothing. Perhaps they don't need my money!
     
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  8. Maverick

    Maverick Member

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    Apologies for the cross post from the WSR Operations thread, but I believe this is relevant to this group as well!

    At the end of National Volunteers Week, a cross organisational group of concerned volunteers of the West Somerset Railway have written an open letter to the WSR PLC, WSRA and WSSRT. The letter can be viewed on change.org here: http://chng.it/Rtkc8y6z7q

    We would ask you to take some time to read and hope that if you agree with it that you sign the letter online to give your support. We will send the 3 organisations a hard copy of the letter on the 5th July 2020. Should sufficient support be shown this date may be brought forward.

    We are aware of the concerns of many active volunteers, so the ability to select an option to remain anonymous to viewers of the letter online exists. We will not reveal the signatories until a hard copy of the letter is sent to the 3 organisations concerned, at which point the list of signatories will be randomised.

    If you support us please spread the link.
     
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  9. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    Yes, a good petition.
     
  10. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Its Sad that it may come to this, but pressure has to be kept on the people at the top of all three organisations, to recognise they made a mistake, One that if not remedied, will end in Ruin not just for the WSR, but for each of these organisations,
    No railway, no organisations, it's as stark as that, But if some people are unable for what ever reason to find a way out of this then frankly, they should stand aside and allow others who can find a way out, to do so, the railway has enough problems to sort out, due to historic issues, without adding self inflicted ones to the list . Let there be no doubt, if some kind of agreement isn't reached, only the lawyers will win, as claim and counter claim, will empty the funds of both the PLC, and S&D group .
     
  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Are you only looking for signatures from active volunteers, more broadly WSR shareholders/members etc. or any concerned member of the public? Much as I detest online petitions I'd be happy to sign, but I don't want to muddy the waters if it's not supposed to be for me! :)
     
  12. Maverick

    Maverick Member

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    I for one believe the West Somerset Railway is very much a community asset, be that the railway community, local community or supporters. All signatories are welcome!
     
  13. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Righto, all done.
     
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  14. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    I wonder what they will do if they get the signatures?
     
  15. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    The petition is gathering pace, it seems. 163 so far.
     
  16. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Dig their heads further into the sand, cover their ears, pretend, if I can't see, or hear the problem I helped to cause, it will go away? the change can only come from the top, , either people admit, we screwed up, and change, or if they can't , or won't admit, it, they become part of the problem, not the solution,
     
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  17. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    The petition is addressed to the WSRA; WSSRT and the plc. As the largest shareholders the reactions of the Association and the Trust might, in the long term, be just as important. Nominations for WSRA Trustees are still open.
     
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  18. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    From the Joint statement 8 June:

    We have also agreed that the WSR ‘Partnership Development Group’ [involving the West Somerset Railway family[1]] will restart soon too, and which had been under discussion internally for some time. So far, this has already included discussions with the two local Councils about their renewed participation, confirmation of the Terms of Reference, and we are now finalising the first meeting. During this period, the leasehold issue between the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust and the West Somerset Plc -- which occurred pre Covid 19 -- has not been resolved, but an independent review has been completed by the Heritage Railway Association, and which we hope will lead to a conclusion. This has not been a matter for the WSRA & WSSRT to determine, but all parties have been involved and assisted in the review.

    [1] The West Somerset ‘family’ is made up of the Diesel Electric Preservation Group, Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust, West Somerset Railway Association, West Somerset Railway Plc, West Somerset Steam Railway Trust and the Friends of the Stations groups

    Patrick

    EDIT: Note it refers only to the leasehold issue, not the loco agreement.
    It refers to a 'review' with the 'hope' it will lead to a resolution, which as described sounds like a mediation rather than arbitration process.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
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  19. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum New Member

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    but an independent review has been completed by the Heritage Railway Association, and which we hope will lead to a conclusion. This has not been a matter for the WSRA & WSSRT to determine, but all parties have been involved and assisted in the review.

    As there is a person in common between the WSRplc Board & the HRA Board, hopefully they can clearly show that the review has been independent.


    It's interesting to go back to the Joint & Position Statement regarding Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust. 1st May 2020.
    https://www.west-somerset-railway.c...ement-regarding-somerset-dorset-railway-trust

    The WSRA and the WSRST were invited by the PLC to understand how the dispute had arisen, and they said they wished to provide any assistance they could to find an amicable solution to the dispute.
    The WSR PLC was keen to explain the reasons for their decision to terminate the S & D Trust’s lease of the Washford site,....

    The PLC’s reasons are set out in the attached statement.



    So, the WSRA & WSSRT either had that Position Statement, or at least the contents of it.
    Yet we now know that major sections/statements within it are factually incorrect.
    The WSRA didn't publish the Position Statement, the WSSRT did.

    > What are WSRA & WSSRT going to do about the Position Statement?


    The PLC briefed the Chairs of the WSRA and Steam Trust on the direction we were taking before the legal statutory notice was served. They were both aligned at the time with the PLC action.

    So this must have been prior to 7/2/2020.
    There is no mention of this in either organisations published minutes.
    > Did the chairs brief their boards?
    If so, what was said? If not, why not & what action are the boards taking



    13/1 - WSRA Board meeting. No mention of SDRT/Washford (or is it redacted?)
    16/1 - WSSRT Board meeting. JJP attends. No mention of SDRT/Washford

    7/2 - formal notice to SDRT issued

    16/2 - News from the Board Room https://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/news/detail/news-from-the-board-room
    18/2 - Mark Smith (plc & HRA) attends a WSRA Board meeting. No mention of SDRT/Washford (or is it redacted?)
    22/2 - Statement from SDRT http://www.wsr.org.uk/sdrt24feb2020.pdf
    24/2 - Statement from WSRplc https://www.west-somerset-railway.c...et-railway-board-statement-regarding-washford

    17/3 - WSRA Board meeting, Martin Brown from the plc joined.
    19/3 - WSSRT Board meeting. "The current situation with regard to the Washford site was noted and would be monitored as further developments occurred."
    21/4 - WSRA Board meeting, where SDRT is raised in AoB. https://www.wsra.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/200421-Board-Minute-for-publication.pdf

    1/5 - Joint Statement from WSRplc, WSRA & WSSRT

    15/5 - Statement from SDRT https://www.sdrt.org/images/files/news/press_release_15-05-20.pdf
    20/5 - WSSRT Board meeting. "The latest developments with regard to the S and D Trust and the Washford site were reported including the involvement of the HRA in seeking a mediated settlement."
     
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  20. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Quote from the new Joint Statement:-

    "...The charitable WSRA and WSSRT are both actively fundraising for heritage track components,
    heritage rolling stock and our historic buildings, but this has to be in line with the objects of both
    charities
    , and so cannot go to the general support of the railway...."


    What a shame that the Plc seemed not to have the same 'understanding' viewpoint when they expected the S&DRT to cough up money for them.

    It may seem very 'telling' that they specifically list the S&DRT in their explanation of the 'family', but then they could hardly omit them from the list without causing yet more aggravation. Given that families often fall out, I would not read too much hope into that at the moment.
     

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