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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. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    I'm not sure who Quantocks Man is and I can't see his post but lets put some facts into this.

    The HPC Project was agreed with the PLC, WSRA and external working partners this included a number of schools along the WSR, Julie Norman led on supporting the WSR with hers and others schools.
    The KPI's, budgets and exact activities were in place and agreed by all via a contract in order to justify the £96k and all signed up to that.
    As Julie's open letter states those activities have not taken place and it is reported from the WSRA that the PLC stopped them happening without consultation to the partners involved.
    Given all the schools involved agreed as schools it is very appropriate that as a school the school writes to the PLC asking to justify it. Julie was clear in her letter in which capacity she was writing and why.
    The Schools Governors are fully briefed on the letter.

    Its simple 18 schools in the area were promised educational trips on the train twice both year 1 & 2. None of those trips have taken place, the schools have not benefited, no community interaction has taken place along the WSR and the other 40 community visits also seem to be 'unaccounted for' (by all accounts something is happening away from the WSR in Bridgwater) and the WSR CEO is not doing what those partners signed up to.

    Again people seem to be saying "sack the person who speaks out", "they are wrong and need to be removed", whilst a certain set of people are not adhering to a contract it appears. There is a clear theme here.
    Needless to say the PLC have not responded to Julie's letter although many others have. And of course the PLC are pointing back to the WSRA as the problem not them.
    I also note nobody has replied to Julie about the 'others leaving' part of her letter and the impact that is having on her community.

    Lastly Julie has asked me to say: I won't be intimidated by keyboard warriors and I will stick to the facts. I'am an Headteacher who should be receiving services from the WSR which were promised and paid for by a bid which I was a part of gaining. My schools have not received anything and I will only discuss the matter directly with the recipient of the letter who I will be pleased to go and meet if needed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2020
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  2. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    As already picked up above. You don't need to add anything up to know the answer. I declared the relationship clearly and the capacity in which we both speak as independent people.

    You may notice at the top of the school letter head the moto is: 1 Corinthians 16 : 13 "Stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong". Sometimes you have to stand up to what you feel is wrong.
     
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  3. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    >>>.... the suggestion that the PLC wish to site some manner of small animal attraction on the site, because nothing works better next to a working railway with lots of noisy smokey steam engines than lots of animals....."

    Perhaps they have been learning from the experience of the Totnes Rare Breeds next to the SDR ? :)
     
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  4. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Ta for the clarifications, makes more sense now. As for who 'Quantocks Man' is, no idea, its just a BTL comment on the newspaper story as linked above my post, its not taken from on here.
     
  5. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    Ah, Thanks, yes I see where it came from now.
     
  6. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I'm relieved to read this clarification, especially the emboldened words. As a school governor, I would be concerned if the headteacher were to write in public in this way without at very least the tacit support of the governing body.

    The wider issues raised by the letter, and the responses from plc and WSRA, suggest to me, yet again, that the WSR is falling into that very dangerous grey zone between the end of what is "moral" and the end of what is "legal".
     
  7. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    It's a very foolish man who gets on the wrong side of the redoubtable Mrs Norman.

    ( She does make a lovely cup of tea :) )
     
  8. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Agree entirely, especially when it was clear the "unnamed volunteer" didn't have a clue what he was talking about when it came to Plc ID cards, I'm inclined to suspect the rest of what he said was rubbish too. Pretty useless stuff from SR.
     
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  9. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    I spent the later years of my working life in a senior role in a public authority.

    I would have been in serious trouble if I had written a letter about an issue such as this on that authority's letterhead and made it public, especially if there was a clear conflict of interest because my spouse was involved in a dispute with the subject of the letter.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2020
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  10. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Not really because the core of the issue is the failure to deliver the on the school trips. As a head teacher of a school involved she has the right to complain and the right to use the letterhead. As someone involved in the local community they have a right to voice their concerns.

    A cursory glance at the local letters page of almost any local newspaper and you will find head teachers writing in on all sorts of subjects and writing as local head teachers.

    Moreover, there is not a one size fits all approach at public commentary by those working for public authorities. Schools have a different position than refuse collection.

    Let’s be honest though, your opinions are compromised anyway because as a WSR management loyalist, you’ve a conflict of interest here too.
     
  11. oldmrheath

    oldmrheath Well-Known Member

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    Why do I suspect that a gang of meerkats ,normally known for sticking together, would somehow manage to fall out with each other in the rarefied air of West Somerset ?

    Jon
     
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  12. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    If you were an officer of a public authority and had written on your own authority, that trouble would have been well deserved. A headteacher, especially of an academy, is not under the same level of authority - hence the tone of my comment about the governors’ support

    Assuming the claims are accurate, I also see no obvious clash with the Nolan Principles, as the dispute is corporate rather than personal. I have however encountered the use of conduct requirements, especially in relation to conflict of interest, to either prevent legitimate complaints being made or to undermine them.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  13. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    You fail to address the issue of the conflict of interests arising from the spouse's dispute with the subject of the letter.
     
  14. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I acknowledge it. But I don’t believe it is such as to disqualify the letter writer from writing on headed paper where it is a matter affecting the schools.

    And if that connection is enough to disqualify the letter writer from commenting on failure to deliver what she helped campaign for, then I presume you would equally regard her connection with, and professional support for, the grant application as inappropriate?


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  15. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    >>>>If you were an officer of a public authority and had written on your own authority, that trouble would have been well deserved....

    Interesting that. In my time once long ago it was standard practice for even the most lowly civil servant in our Department to sign every letter "For, and on behalf of, the Director General xxxxxxxx..." You did not have to ask authority to do that, you were required to do that as a matter of course. Then, if any problems arose as a result of what you had written, the legal flak was directed at, and handled by, the DG's office rather than the poor unfortunate scribe. Rather reassuring really.
     
  16. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    My wife was employed by said public authority from the time she left the University of London and she remembers those days when she signed letters in that manner. However, I joined later and in a more senior position and I signed my letters in my own name and title and took responsibility for the contents!
     
  17. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    No comment
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2020
  18. 60044

    60044 Member

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    From what I have read here Mrs Norman has every right to complain, if the application that she helped to write was accepted and then failed to deliver. After all, her first port of call should have been the person who collaborated with her on writing the successful grant but he has had all his links with the WSR severed by their action. I do not see anywhere a suggestion that he is using any of this in an attempt to regain his position so I cannot really see where the conflict of interest lies!
     
  19. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    I think, these days, that it is finally realised that spouses are two separate persons and can hold different opinions on all matters and that one is not bound to mirror the views of the other. Admittedly it might have been better if Mrs Norman had found someone else to have written the letter, given that there are so many potential readers with, shall we say, old-fashioned views on the relationship between a man and his wife, but you can hardly claim that the complaints made in this letter have less substance because she didn't.
     
  20. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Pretty sure Julie Norman wrote the letter herself, Andy merely drew attention to it here, it being an open letter.
     

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