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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. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    But West Somerset Rly is the best line for her - a decent stretch for her to run over, and historically at least in the right county. I really hope that the plc's crass behaviour does not lead to her leaving the WSR.
     
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  2. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    Do you really think that that the average passenger gives a toss about this?
     
  3. D1002

    D1002 Well-Known Member

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    The headboard says it all really:

    AD51C8DF-A15E-4F57-83A7-1F468EB7B6C3.jpeg
     
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  4. jma1009

    jma1009 Member

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    The S&DRTrust have been very managed in their responses officially the last 3 days, in direct contrast to the inflammatory statements of the WSR PLC on 16th February and today.

    A few thoughts today at this very unhappy time for the S&DRT...

    The protestations via '1472' on here and the WSR PLC statement today that the S&DRT wanted to do something to cause problems with the WSR PLC SMS just doesn't hold water, and in any event would be covered by the terms of their lease and common sense, and if the WSR PLC statement is to believed (which personally I doubt) it was only ever "suggested" by the S&DRT; and a 'suggestion' cannot be a legal reason to terminate a lease.

    The 'bad faith' shown by the WSR PLC board over one contract (lease) with the S&DRT clearly has implications for the separate agreement for S&D '88' loco. The implied duty of not acting in 'bad faith' in what must be considered mutually linked contracts is something the WSR PLC board seems not to have considered.

    The PR implications for the WSR PLC do not seem to have been thought through, neither the legal implications on both contracts.

    It would not surprise me to hear in due course that the WSR PLC' board's 'Notice to Quit' is of no legal effect, and is a bit of stunt. They have no decided formulated plan for a vacant Washford, only 'we might do this, we might do that'. That is very poorly advised if the S&DRT invoke the Landlord and Tenant (Business Premises) Acts.

    If the above Acts apply, the S&DRT can require considerable compensation from the WSR PLC for any improvements they have made which the WSR PLC as Landlord will now benefit from. Arguably, this could cover restoring a derelict station and much else besides.

    I really don't think the WSR PLC board has thought this through, or has been very badly advised.

    Furthermore, the WSR PLC board has no specific mandate as to the 'Notice to Quit' from it's shareholders and stakeholders for this extreme action.

    Cheers,

    Julian
     
  5. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I am no fan of the WSR plc's action, but am disinclined to agree with your views on this - as below.
    Without the contract in front of us, none of us can be sure of what is or is not a legal reason for the action of the plc. I agree however that escalation of this kind is, being charitable, inappropriate.
    Indeed, there are implications for the relationship between the two organisations, and what the S&DRT might consider doing. The S&DRT have however stated a very reserved position, and will have a variety of factors influencing whatever action they may take.
    Some quick googling suggests you've raised an interesting line of enquiry around the governing legislation, though that also highlights that the effect of the legislation can be excluded. As I am not a lawyer, I hesitate to react further - and know enough to know that the devil is in the detail of contracts, and is therefore inaccessible to the likes of you and I.
    I'm not sure why you think they must have such a mandate, or what restrictions legally apply to the action the board can take in these circumstances. As a shareholder - the only variety of stakeholder with real power in this - my power would be retrospective in the event that, with enough others, I judged the board's actions to be wrong.
     
  6. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    If @Andy Norman is correct about his phone and email, then I suggest the ability to attract and retain volunteers may also be a question. However they approach or are approached, good morale breeds success, and poor morale does not. Deliberately alienating part of your support is a high risk strategy, and guff about "the average passenger" fails to note that the most valuable passengers are not the average ones.
     
  7. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    So your solution for a line which is cash strapped and volunteer short is double heading with all the extra costs associated with it. Excellent joined up thinking there from you, that will really help the profit margins.

    That’ll show ‘em. Now which instrument do you want to use to cut off your own nose?
     
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  8. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    All businesses will confirm that its success is only as good as its staff and their willingness to support / commit to the business will reflect on their service to customers; in the case of the WSR this means the support and commitment of a workforce that includes a large number of volunteers. In the present discussion the passenger goodwill is a product of the staff relationship and not of the railway product and the WSR will lose sight of that difference at its peril. The WSR's treatment of the S&DJR will - I suggest - tend towards the negative end of the staff management spectrum especially if it leads to the question of "who next ?".
     
  9. jma1009

    jma1009 Member

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    Not quite; a lease of 7 years or more is compulsorily required to be registered with the Land Registry, and can be accessed and provided for a £20 fee.

    It would be nice, 35B, if you could add a name sometimes; just a first name to reply to. I've provided my full name on here from time to time in contentious posts, to avoid any accusation of hiding behind a pseudonym... '1472' on here might like to take note.

    Cheers,

    Julian
     
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  10. BrightonBaltic

    BrightonBaltic Member

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    WSR PLC themselves have invoked the possibility of the railway closing and being turned into a cycle path as emotional blackmail to open wallets and for JJP to get his own way. Turnabout is fair play.
     
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  11. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Vice Presidents tend to be honorary positions. I'm fairly certain that David Morgan will not be taking part in any board meetings. If he is at the HRA conference he may take part in informal discussion on the subject, just like me, you and anyone else who is interested.

    For the avoidance of doubt, I don't think that this has been well handled by the WSR but I suspect that there is more to this than is being said. It is not good to wash dirty linen in public, whichever side you are on. How often do you hear lame excuses when people and organisations part company, rather than be told the real reasons?

    With regard to No.88, I have no idea what the terms of the agreement are but I'm willing to bet a small Mars Bar that the SDRT are not responsible for the maintenance of the loco. If that is the case, it is quite likely that the loco is on a run and repair basis and the Trust would be very much the loser if it decided to pull the plug and terminate the contract part way through.
     
  12. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure that even that many would bring in enough to pay for the upkeep of infrastructure such as p/way. Line after line (all of them shorter than the WSR) has found they also need individual donors - who are invariably rail enthusiasts.

    Noel
     
  13. jma1009

    jma1009 Member

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    Really, Steve, do you think this with the NYMR already offering a home for S&D '88'?

    If the WSR PLC now don't want to play ball with the S&DRT, and have deliberately inflamed matters, and if the WSR PLC's contracts with the S&DRT are so badly written that they can serve a 'Notice to Quit' validly and legally enforceable on the S&DRT for the lease, what surprises are there in store for the agreement with S&D '88'? I have already set out some of my thoughts on the matter on here from a legal point of view.

    I personally feel very sorry for the S&DRT; they have been very badly treated by the WSR PLC board in the last 3 or 4 days.

    Cheers,

    Julian
     
  14. WSR_6960

    WSR_6960 New Member

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    [QUOTE="
    It would not surprise me to hear in due course that the WSR PLC' board's 'Notice to Quit' is of no legal effect, and is a bit of stunt. They have no decided formulated plan for a vacant Washford, only 'we might do this, we might do that'. That is very poorly advised if the S&DRT invoke the Landlord and Tenant (Business Premises) Acts.
    [/QUOTE]

    Given your intricate knowledge of the law surrounding business tenancies, I'm sure you will also be aware of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. Specific attention should be drawn to section 25 whereby the landlord can serve notice upon the tenant for a number of reasons, one of the most common being that the landlord wishes to occupy the site themselves (I suspected all along that this would be the reason sited). They have not mentioned redevelopment of the site which requires evidence and in some cases planning permission before it is a valid notice (compensation can also be due if this is the reason given and then the development does not occur). In any case, this notice shall still apply even if the contract was to fall within the security of tenure provisions as also contained within the act.

    As unfair as the situation may seem on the surface, I would be very suprised if the SDRT's representation are able to find any legal loophole that would invalidate the section 25 notice/notice to terminate.

    Compensation in relation to chattels or fixtures are another matter, but not guaranteed unless specifically stated in the lease. I would suggest that given the trust will have to vacate and the concerns they have raised regarding their membership and income levels I think it would be unwise to pursue for this given the financial risks involved and the relatively low return should they 'win'.
     
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  15. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    The NYMR is offering 88 a home? I must have missed that one in my daily discussions with operational management. A loco that can't go to Whitby is of little use when it already has 29, 2238, 65894, 80136 & 92134 vying for the limited non-Whitby mileage available to them.
     
  16. jma1009

    jma1009 Member

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    Dear WSR_6960,

    You don't have to remind me of the provisions of Part 2 of the 1954 Act; I can recall them intimately, and if they apply to the current debacle created by the WSR PLC, I am of the opinion on the basis of what I currently understand that the WSR PLC would not win in a Court case and would be ordered to pay significant compensation plus all legal costs to the S&DRT.

    Cheers,
    Julian
     
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  17. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Member

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    Given your intricate knowledge of the law surrounding business tenancies, I'm sure you will also be aware of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. Specific attention should be drawn to section 25 whereby the landlord can serve notice upon the tenant for a number of reasons, one of the most common being that the landlord wishes to occupy the site themselves (I suspected all along that this would be the reason sited). They have not mentioned redevelopment of the site which requires evidence and in some cases planning permission before it is a valid notice (compensation can also be due if this is the reason given and then the development does not occur). In any case, this notice shall still apply even if the contract was to fall within the security of tenure provisions as also contained within the act.

    As unfair as the situation may seem on the surface, I would be very suprised if the SDRT's representation are able to find any legal loophole that would invalidate the section 25 notice/notice to terminate.

    Compensation in relation to chattels or fixtures are another matter, but not guaranteed unless specifically stated in the lease. I would suggest that given the trust will have to vacate and the concerns they have raised regarding their membership and income levels I think it would be unwise to pursue for this given the financial risks involved and the relatively low return should they 'win'.[/QUOTE]
    Mmmm New member eh, now I wonder who that might be, mmmm :rolleyes:
     
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  18. WSR_6960

    WSR_6960 New Member

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    Mmmm New member eh, now I wonder who that might be, mmmm :rolleyes:[/QUOTE]

    Lets not start any NP conspiracy theories based on the forum classing me as a "new member" and because I havent immediately jumped to the defence of the SDRT.

    I'm not certain of who or what exactly you're alluding to here, but suffice as to say you're probably incorrect. I have no allegiance to either party, I'm just stating that I believe the Plc were lawful (not necessarily correct) in serving notice despite what others may think or feel about the situation.
     
  19. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Member

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  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed, that is my thinking. FWIW, the last few sets of accounts for the S&DRT say:

    "It [53808] is subject to a long term hire agreement with West Somerset Railway plc whereby the hirer is responsible for all maintenance and overhaul costs. The current agreement expires on 30 April 2030. The locomotive returned to service in 2016 after a major overhaul and remains fully operational."​

    From a cursory reading of the accounts, I can't see anywhere that the S&DRT are either incurring any costs or recognising any income from 53808, which would support that statement - in contrast to "Kilmersdon" where steaming fees are credited to the income, and the cost of the previous overhaul was noted, along with a designated fund for future repairs.

    Tom
     
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