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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Probably this observation belongs in the S&D thread but as it concerns the behaviour of the PLC then I will make it here.

    In 2018 two organisations agree a new arrangement over a patch of land on a railway. Unless someone says otherwise, it was done openly, not under any duress and both parties were happy with the arrangement. It could have been just a 'gentleman's agreement' but was obviously much better to be formalised in some way, which it was.

    Down the line, one of the parties decides that it wants to row back on what is agreed. Had it been a 'gentleman's agreement' then it could have simply changed its mind. As it happens, it appears that it discovers a legal reason why it could do so or just decides to do it anyway. On the face of it, there is no reason for any action brought about by the other party to cause this to be done. But it may be that the arrangement needs to be amended. Either way it is stated that the land has suddenly become important to be used for another purpose that apparently is critical for one of the parties. All factual so far, I think.

    Forget the legality (or not) of this for a moment. Was it morally the right thing to do? Of course not. Does it portray the PLC in a good light? Of course not. Is it likely to result in other organisations viewing the PLC as a set-up to trust into the future? Probably not.

    Speaking personally, I am getting tired of individuals picking away at the legal detail of this action and what has emerged from the recommendations of a report. There is so much in the heritage movement that happens off the back of goodwill and collaboration. In that context there is simply no other conclusion you can come to about the behaviour of the PLC whether it was legal or not; it was unacceptable.

    So that leaves us with one final question. By evicting the S&DRT is this action by the PLC pivotal in securing the long term financial security of the WSR and its future? If so, why is that?

    Answer that question and you can probably draw a line under this debacle and probably also draw a line under (or through) the PLC.
     
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  2. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    Don't you have something important to say about harassment? I'll give you a clue: you were sceptical of charges of harassment and demanded evidence. Evidence was put forward. Is it not time to be an adult, show yourself to be in the wrong, or run the risk of the majority thinking of you as a shill? Or are you demanding names simply so that whoever @Monkey Magic and the others are can be treated the same as the "14"? Given what's happened to them, I'd be very wary of giving my name on this forum.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
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  3. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    Thanks for your helpful suggestion Steve but, No, that's not the issue.

    In answer to John Palmer the Notice to Quit was, as suggested in his last posting, issued on the basis of alleged breaches of the Extension Agreement by the Trust. Ergo the PLC accepted that both parties were bound by the Extension Agreement. John assumed otherwise and that is why I challenged his assertion.

    If the matter came to Court, or when the parties are deciding whether to come to an amicable arrangement instead, the basis of occupation of the Washford site beyond the expiry date of the original lease is a material issue. That is the matter on which I recommended they take legal advice.

    As Julian has appreciated the problem may not be unique to to S and DRT relationship.
     
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  4. twr12

    twr12 Member

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    As to any of this getting to court.

    If it does, as a civil case; it will be held behind closed doors, with a judge reading the submissions and possibly hearing verbal statements by all parties and making a determination.

    Thank God there won’t be a public gallery for some of you lot to attend the hearing, so you can race to be the first to post the decision on this forum!
     
  5. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    So will the WSSRT also be served with a notice to quit then? after all the lease they hold was of a similar duration, and therefore must be illegal , if we are to accept your assertion that the PLC were wrong to offer anything greater than a 25year lease, ?
     
  6. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    That's odd, I seem to recall that, at the time, it was issued on the basis that the head lessee wanted the site back as he had other uses for it, or at least, that was what was said. Perhaps it was in one of those hastily-retracted press releases.
     
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  7. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    Steve is also a very dedicated volunteer on 2 preserved railways. One one of them he holds a senior position. He has been volunteering for 60 years. You can even see his picture in his profile. I always listen or read what he has to say because I learn from it. I think some people who post on here need to think more carefully about what they write and be more objective. I understand that many people are upset about the fate of the West Somerset Railway but please take a deep breath and treat others with more respect



    Sent from my SM-A105FN using Tapatalk
     
  8. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    Mr Palmer made two statements in his first paragraph - one re the reasons for ejection and the other re the validitiy of the lease.

    Which are you referring to with your "assuming rumour can be represented as fact"?
     
  9. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    @Lineisclear made it clear that “No, that’s not the issue”. Other contributors have previously pointed out that, since a review of the SCC lease several years ago (and before 2018) there is no 25 year limit. The plc was free to offer a lease of any length up to the SCC lease expiry. But like @Steve I’m reluctant to spend my time scrolling back to find these posts.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
  10. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    I don't recall anyone on here doubting Steve's ability or dedication in real life. On line one is judged on one's behaviour on line and being an upstanding pillar of the community in real life is irrelevant
    And that comment could be taken on board by quite a few of the more belligerent posters on here....
     
  11. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    So much for justice being seen to be done. Secret courts are, of course, very much the preference of dictatorships, where the rulers have power without accountability and any dissent is banned. Now, why does that sound familiar?
     
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  12. Hampshire Unit

    Hampshire Unit Well-Known Member Friend

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    That is interesting, I don't recall this but with so many thousands of posts I probably missed this. Why did the Plc not know this two years ago, especially after all the fuss about buying the freehold around then? Was the previous lease affected by this?
     
  13. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    Although some types of application are dealt with in chambers, most civil cases (outside of family and social care issues) are heard in open court



    Sent from my SM-J330FN using Tapatalk
     
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  14. twr12

    twr12 Member

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    You may get your chance to be Court Reporter No1.

    https://www.judiciary.uk/about-the-judiciary/the-justice-system/jurisdictions/civil-jurisdiction/
     
  15. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    The assertion in respect of the Extension Agreement that “ so far as we (I.e. the PLC) are concerned we are no longer bound by it”.
    That may be a reasonable assumption to make but , as the terms of the Notice to Quit confirm, it is untrue. The Notice to Quit is expressly based on the terms of the Extension Agreement valid or otherwise.
    To represent John’s assumption as a fact is inappropriate.
     
  16. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    Thank you for your reply.
     
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  17. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Member

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    Without mentioning any names or groups there has been a cuckoo in the nest and i dont mean the SDRT for quite a few years.
     
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  18. John Palmer

    John Palmer Member

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    It comes as a complete revelation to me that the Notice to Quit was issued on the basis of alleged breaches of the Extension Agreement, and runs directly counter to the information I received from the S&DRT.

    Clause 26 of the Agreement lays down a clear procedure for dealing with breaches both of the Agreement and the 1991 Lease. If the S&DRT had been in breach of either of these, the procedure for the WSR plc to follow was to give the Trust written notice of such breach and require the Trust to remedy it within three months. Only after the expiry of that three month period would the right of the plc to serve a notice terminating the Agreement arise. I was led to believe by the information I have received from the Trust that no such notice was ever given, and that consequently the plc was not entitled to terminate for breach of agreement.

    I am confident that if any such notice had been given to the Trust by the plc then I would have been told about it and provided with a copy. Since neither of these things happened I was fully justified in my belief that the plc's right of unilateral termination had not arisen.

    In any case the plc is not relying on any such breach as the ground on which it will oppose an application by its tenant for a new lease. Section 30 Subsection 1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 lays down seven such grounds. Of these, the plc relies exclusively on Section 30(1)(g), which covers the case where the landlord intends to occupy the premises concerned for the purposes of its own business. This is one of the three 'no tenant fault' grounds. If the landlord succeeds in denying the grant of a new tenancy on one or more of these grounds but no other, then the tenant has the right to compensation for loss of its tenancy. By contrast the first three grounds for denial of a new tenancy set out in the Subsection deal with cases where the tenant is at fault. Of these, the relevant ground as set out in Section 30(1)(c) is:

    “that the tenant ought not to be granted a new tenancy in view of other substantial breaches by him of his obligations under the current tenancy, or for any other reason connected with the tenant’s use or management of the holding.”

    If the WSR plc was acting on the basis that the S&DRT was in breach of the Extension Agreement then this is the ground on which you would expect it to oppose the grant of a new tenancy to the Trust, the more so because, if the plc were to succeed on this ground, the Trust would have no right to compensation for loss of its tenancy. The fact that the plc did not rely on this ground strengthens my conviction that the Trust correctly led me to believe that it was never notified of a breach of agreement as required by clause 26, and that consequently the plc's right of termination had not arisen.

    If, as @Lineisclear asserts, the plc had accepted that both parties were bound by the Extension Agreement, then necessarily it had to accept that it was bound by the provisions of clause 26 and had to serve written notice of a breach upon the S&DRT before its right to terminate the Agreement could arise. Since, on the information available to me, it went ahead with termination without first serving any such notice, it cannot have accepted that it was bound by that requirement. Hence my inference that the plc no longer treated itself as bound by the Agreement's terms.
     
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  19. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Member

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    As to names on the profile section means, i know for certain because he is a friend that a members name on his profile is not his real name, he has over 3000 likes, so whats in a name, nothing. :)
     
  20. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    I'm having trouble following this. Although the validity of the new lease has been questioned, you tell us that "the plc relies exclusively on Section 30(1)(g), which covers the case where the landlord intends to occupy the premises concerned for the purposes of its own business". That is certainly the reason that the PLC has cited publicly, which at least suggests that it is treating the lease as valid. You go on to tell us that in this case (if I am following you correctly) "the tenant has the right to compensation for loss of its tenancy". We can all now speculate as to whether that is the substance of the positive discussions reported by John Bailey. Compensation would certainly be a major step forward, but in the present state of the PKC's finances what compensation could it possibly provide, either in cash or in kind?
     
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