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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I’m afraid I see this as an admission that he has personalised a dispute that was fundamentally about principle, and found that the whirlwind reaped rather exceeds what was expected from the seeds.

    As it happens, he has my sympathy because I believe him when he writes as he does that he believes the approach he supports to be the right answer; my disagreement doesn’t diminish my respect for the sincerity with which the view is held.

    I do not, however, consider what has happened to have brought the WSR in to disrepute; or at least, not in the way that the post suggests.

    It is the course of action that the WSSRT leadership, or at least some of them*, have taken that has dragged the WSR further into disrepute. There is a legitimate disagreement on principle; the WSSRT trustees could have chosen to debate openly and seize the moral high ground from what was an aggressive move. They have instead sought to use procedural tactics to avoid that debate.

    * - I remain very alive to the reality that collective responsibility applies to boards of directors and trustees, and may mask considerable differences of opinion within those boards.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  2. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    I thought it was just to soon for the Plc to have got their act together to start spending that grant... Wonder how long it will take them? As a retired project manager I know just how long it can take to get any significant works started in normal times. With Covid restrictions in place that could take even longer...

    Lets see, I think the end date 31st March (can't be bothered to go back and look it up), whatever... I have not seen anything saying if this is when the monies have to be committed or that the spend has to be completed. So lets look at this; If it is 31/3/21 finish than that gives 13 weeks in 2021, 4 weeks in Nov and 2 weeks in Dec 2020 a total of 19 weeks. Given that it takes approximately 6 weeks for contractors to arrange their work schedules and get plant and manpower positioned, if the company had a work package specified now, ready to go out to the contractors the earliest you could reasonably expect a start is in the new year... But hold on... this makes no allowance for contractors bidding for works, No competitive tenders, no quotes to compare, no way to show due diligence that you are getting best value... Then if the requirement is for the monies to be spent by 31/3 you have to allow contractors 4 weeks for invoicing as almost all will only invoice at month end. So now we are down to 11 weeks at the start of 2021 to actually do whatever work. Throw in a bit of bad weather or any form of Covid increased restrictions and I'm seriously doubting you could get that value of work done in the time available.

    I suppose you could just order up however many miles of rail you could afford and think about installing them later but, other heritage lines have also had some good grants so they may be doing the same thing so how long will delivery take? Before 31/3? I would imagine that those railways with a clear plan in place have already got orders in place and contractors lined up to do the major works I wonder how far the WSR is with that process?

    Looks like there is going to be enough work to keep the volunteer P.Way gang busy for quite a while... (Ever thought about putting in a bid as an in-house contractor? I'm sure you could think of ways of spending, say, £500,000 before 31/3 on behalf of the company. ;))
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  3. Dennis John Brooks

    Dennis John Brooks Member

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    He had to go, the amouunt of cock-ups he made or allowed to happen, his position was untenable. There might be a couple more from the same side that have to be on their way.

    DJB.
     
  4. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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  5. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    For balance this is what Steve Edge's site has to say. Yes, some things in recent times should not have happened or probably been said but he has - like us all at one time or another - had successes as well as failures.

    http://www.wssrt.co.uk/2020/10/23/the-trust-chairman/
     
  6. D1002

    D1002 Part of the furniture

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    Most of the posts are sympathetic to the ex Chairman, but this one isn’t:

    JJP has behaved despicably throughout. The WSRA/WSSRT merger and takeover of WSR PLC can't happen soon enough.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  7. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    I will never support bullying and/or harassment anywhere. It just shows that those carrying it out have no respect and nothing else to give for whatever it is they are proposing.
    However I am saddened to say that criticism, where it is due, has to be faced by those being criticised. The WSSRT chair made several mistakes, chiefly I think, by allowing personal opinions to over rule professional requirements. The immediate cancelling of the AGM was not justified, the calling upon the Plc Board for assistance in a WSSRT internal matter merely provoked members to respond, I believe there were also completely unfounded suggestions about the validity of the candidates membership and then again about the validity of them being proposed which further caused reaction.
    The comments from the Plc Board and JB merely served to fan the flames when it was none of their business.

    If only people had reacted by the book. If only the WSSRT Board had said "...We don't agree with this but it has been done by the book so we will leave it to the members to decide." If only the Plc and JB had had the integrity to say " ...not our business, it is for the WSSRT to decide." 90% of the recent argy-bargy need not have happened. What a shame, what a waste of energy and talent...
     
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  8. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    The Culture Recovery Fund isn't solely about track laying. It s split into three parts, it is all there on the WSR web site. It does mention getting people back to work so, in that case would they need contractors? It mentions mechanical engineering and of course the need to compensate for loss of income.
     
  9. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    a probably inevitable conclusion given the trusts shareholding which made it the pawn in the battle for the WSR . Accusations of bullying and intimidation are flying from both sides . having seen how one WSR connected forum member took rapid umbridge to a comment posted pages back and waved the legal card is the wolf being called by both sides as part of the race to the bottom and compounding the unedifying spectacle it has become
     
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  10. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    So how would you suggest the company manage to spend £800,000+ in 19 weeks (that's over £42,000 a week) bearing in mind there will be a break of at least 2 weeks around Christmas and the new year? Oh, and at the same time ensure that they are getting best value for money to meet due diligence requirements?

    It's all very well to criticise others suggestions, where are yours?
     
  11. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    So Steve Williams is on the PLC Board and acting Chairman of the WSSRT now.
     
  12. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    If of course the PLC's HR Policies had not been withdrawn a mechanism would exist for dealing with these allegations..........
     
  13. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    This nonsense of withdrawing of cards has got to stop.

    Time for a new rule: anyone who calls for others' cards to be withdrawn will have their own card immediately pulled. (They can hardly complain about something they themselves are calling for.)

    Hopefully we'll never hear of card pulling ever again, for anyone.

    Noel
     
  14. Mike S

    Mike S Member

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    Indeed, couldn't make it up.
     
  15. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    As like most here, have no real idea what needs to be done in the next few months. I leave it to those who do know the line and what needs to be done and whose responsibility it is to account for the expenditure. Maybe it was a criticism but you homed in on just one aspect of the grant; it looked, to me, like another stick to bash the WSR. There are enough sticks kicking around already without more. :)
    Those who wish the line well, whether supporters or watchers, should be pleased that they got the money. How it is spent is the WSR's decision and accountability.
     
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  16. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    In the light of the statements made about me in Chris Austin's resignation statement, I have felt it proper to put into the public domain the exchange of e-mails between Myself, the present WSSRT Trustees and Chris on Wednesday at 10:48 and 20:33.

    I will leave it to others to comment but just note the lack of action to make good on the promises made in the e-mail from Chris Austin at 20:33 on 21.10.20. Two days ago and in which time the WSSRT voting papers have been sent to members.
     

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  17. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    at least on the WSR you won't have to worry about when you can get a possession
     
  18. D1002

    D1002 Part of the furniture

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    As far as Mr Austin’s resignation is concerned, this email I received today is a total justification for his departure:
    8AE72A8B-FDBC-45D7-A578-A13BFE0EED90.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  19. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    And Steve Williams is also the PDG Chairman which is supposed to be an independent cross railway group. That is too many conflicts of interests, especially given the current circumstances and the issues that will shortly escalate on the WSR which has the potential to separate these three parties directions.

    It would seem sensible for him to withdraw from two of the three positions given the storm that's coming down the tracks. If he doesn't my opinion would be he will also find his position as untenable as Chris Austin's became, because after all the actions which lead to Chris feeling he had to resign are also the actions of Steve Williams as Vice-Chair at the time and Acting Chair now given he was a party to them

    He now has to face: His Members, a legal issue, The complaints to the Charities Commission, the ICO's potentially looking into the GDPR breach where a simple 'sorry' is not likely to cut it, plus of course an AGM with validity issues left right and centre, and that's just in his WSSRT role let alone the other two !!

    I wouldn't want to be in his shoes !!
     
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  20. nick813

    nick813 Well-Known Member Loco Owner

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    What a very sad sorry state this has become.......and with no end in sight.
     

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