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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Reading the news post, i see the WSRA has decided to postpone the AGM until August, because of concerns that its membership would not understand electronic voting etc, Or is it to try to put off as long as possible being held to account by a membership who might be at odds with the support the PLC position some of their trustees seem to have taken ? seems the management of the WSR are repeating the same set of mistakes as made by the former trustees, who wanted power for themselves, ignoring the views of others,
     
  2. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    I wonder if we might ever see a similar statement which read:-

    The plc wishes to be open, honest and transparent with all the supporting groups on the WSR and the consultation process with their members evidences that.

    :)
     
  3. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    That seems a tad unfair Martin. The charities commission has allowed charities to postpone their AGMs because of the current crisis, and the WSRA along with no doubt many other charities are making use of that. Seems fair to me.
     
  4. Steve Edge

    Steve Edge Member

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    Yawn.

    Steve
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Vast numbers of organisations in the sector are postponing AGMs, there being little alternative in many cases but to do so given the restrictions on movement and gathering.

    While there are many criticisms one could make of the WSR, it doesn’t automatically follow that every action inevitably has some nefarious ulterior motive. We are afterall living through somewhat unprecedented times, and to a degree many organisations are having to improvise on the fly.

    Tom
     
  6. nick813

    nick813 Well-Known Member Loco Owner

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    he

    hello, thanks for the corrections. :)
     
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  7. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Absolutely. Churches too, and better that by far than the travesty of agms from a lot of large companies in these conditions.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. Piggy

    Piggy New Member

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    Thank you for your acknowledgement.

    Keep well !:)
     
  9. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    I cant imagine that the WSR is the only 'Heritage' 'Hospitality' 'Tourism' 'Public Transport' 'Other business' etc to have sent such letters.

    Sad, but I can understand why it had to be done
     
  10. Great Western

    Great Western New Member

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    I’ve been following the various threads about the WSR for a year or so now, I’ve withheld comment as I’ve no connection with the railway other than a visitor three years ago.

    I’m lucky in that I’m a 38 year old with a family who are interested in trains to degree at least, and I ha e some spare money to potentially donate to my l9cal line (South Wales) in this troubling time.

    As a strictly outsider I have to say I’m totally dismayed how a fun, enjoyable hobby has seemingly fallen into something resembling a bad storyline from Eastenders!

    What right do I have to comment ?

    The railway needs donations from your average joe public, well I’m him. Would I give to the WSR after reading hundreds of pages on here of the troubles? No chance, I fear my donation will be used to line the pockets of legal firms, turn the railway into a private Paignton Steam Railway set up or just be wasted when the railway is closed down.

    Im left not knowing what or who to believe, trust between the various arms of the railway and the average interested job public is fast dying out, without us you have no railway.

    Please guys sort it all out, there’ll be only one winner at the end of all this turmoil....the law firms, no one else.

    Until this situation is settle I won’t riding the railway, nor donating.
     
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  11. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Episode 1 of a really delightful film made on the WSR in 2019. Are you an incurable romantic? We are.

    Robin

     
  12. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    It is noted that the PLC reads NP, despite them believing this thread was removed. :D
    However, the post by GW is a serious comment and is from someone close enough to West Somerset to visit the line with his family and spend money the PLC badly needs. I believe he represents many other potential visitors to the WSR, who may read but do not post here. I believe the PLC ignores this at their peril.
    I cannot see the WSR ever becoming the success of the Paignton line. The 'idyllic branch line ethos' (many branch lines were actually quite sleepy' in the time between trains, as those of us who remember them will know), but the WSR is too long, not adjacent to a main line connection and bus station and does not have the advantages of popular destinations at all stations. The hoped for charters are also under review at present.
     
  13. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The point I am making is that there may be some, that will welcome the opportunity this current crisis gives them to delay membership scrutiny of their actions, if they are concerned, that the membership may not agree with that action. in most cases, I would agree that it makes sence to delay any AGM, Etc until such time the conditions allow such meetings to go ahead, But we should also be mindful of others who will misuse those same conditions to try and hide from accountability.
     
  14. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I agree. There seems to be the thinking among some people, and I've seen it before and I suspect it's what Mr Jones-Pratt thinks too, that the P&D is so successful because it has paid staff. No. It is able to have paid staff because it is so successful. Paying more staff and expecting visitor numbers to increase purely because you can then run more trains/more days just won't work.
     
  15. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    It may well be that certain individuals are relieved about the AGM postponement, but that's quite a different proposition to using COVID-19 as an excuse to postpone it.
    I keep coming back to this, but there's more than enough concrete stuff to criticise the WSR for (potentially illegal, certainly immoral S&D eviction, no HR policy and kicking volunteers out, freehold acquisition to raise a loan against it). Trying to drag more stuff in with at best tenuous arguments for malevolence merely weakens all the criticism against the WSR.
     
  16. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    with the best will in the world and from experience across my career a company does not start a consultation without having an idea of the outcome , the new structure and the available roles .

    the more fundamental point though is that the situation is rapidly changing . July 1st is being mooted as the day tourism starts to reopen . The GCR had 78018 out on a test run yesterday

    upload_2020-5-23_17-0-42.png

    Other railways are actively looking at restarting operations , bringing people off furlough

    SVR and ELR have sent out questionaires to gather insights into whether people will travel and what extra precautions they would like or expect

    the WSR instead announces closure to March 21 and consultation for its staff

    as one chairman said to me , Adapt or die
     
  17. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    45 employees at risk - I'm not sure of the consultation period in the letters.

    Receiving a letter doesn't itself necessarily make redundancy likely or unlikely. I've been in one exercise where everyone in the Company was at risk - including me, who was delivering the message to staff! The total number of roles ultimately lost was a small proportion.

    Mine too. The process of consultation is a legal nicety and it's seldom anything of the sort.

    If you're looking for a light at the end of a tunnel which isn't an approaching headlight, one railway had a redundancy programme around 2012 and a team at risk successfully put together a business plan of taking on contract work and other work that would otherwise have gone out to contractors, and so turned the decision round. It can happen.

    Patrick
     
  18. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I can't see the March 21 closure in the letter, but agree that the tone is one of looking inwards, and defensively, rather than seeking what opportunities may be available.
     
  19. mikechant

    mikechant Member

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    *No* posts that I've seen have either implied or stated "that the money given to the railway is lining the pockets of the board or individuals?".

    Based on previous posts the actual concern is that the money will *effectively* end up spent on legal fees in attempting to evict the S&DRT

    And there would not be *anything* illegal about that if it was done as follows:
    (e.g.) WSRA gives WSR £500k specifically for track renewal.

    WSR was intending to spend £500k on essential track renewals but is now free to redirect *that* money to legal fees.

    WSRA money has been spent exactly as intended, nothing illegal, but donations by the WSRA have *effectively* funded the legal action.

    I'm *not* taking a view on whether this at all likely/possible etc. but I believe it's a legitimate concern for donors.
     
  20. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    That’s in the chairman’s VLog.
     
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