Members might like to know that the Trustees via the Company Secretary on 5 June 2015 served membership termination notices, by attachment to email, to four WSRA members who also happen to be formal members ot the WSRA Reform Group.

We have viewed the four formal letters from the WSRA Company Secretary. Each letter starts with “Dear” but does not address the member by name. Upon closer inspection, we note the WSRA email address in the letter heading is wrong. Oh dear, oh dear, truly sloppy.

Section 7.9d of the WSRA’s Articles are quite clear on the termination process:

“a Member is removed from membership by a majority resolution of those present and voting at a meeting of the Trustees provided always that no member shall be removed unless:-
(i) the Trustees resolve that, due to the Member’s conduct or otherwise  (at  the Trustees’absolute discretion), it is in the best interests of the Association for membership to be removed;
(ii) such Member shall have 28 clear days’ notice in writing of the date of the meeting and of the grounds upon which the Member’s removal is sought;
(iii) such  Member  has  been  given  the  opportunity  (by  himself or herself or itself or through his or her or its nominated representative) to make representations to the Trustees; and
(iv) each Trustee has been given at least 28 clear days’ notice that the business of the meeting will include the removal of a Member.”

The termination letter is clear about those representations and time limits.

The grounds for termination vary slightly in the letters we have viewed but this is typical:

“Your sustained personal condemnation of individual Trustees and the Board in general are prejudicial to the orderly conduct of WSRA business”.

“Your attempts to bring undue pressure on members and Trustees.”

(We trust the recipients, by way of already making public the contents of the letter, will be happy for us to reproduce the above)

On the face of it, the mass termination of memberships seems a drastic measure and WSRA+ feels the action will no doubt fan the flames of the reform, prolong the agony of all who love the railway, destroy friendships, discourage volunteers and perhaps eventually start affecting the commercial viability of the railway itself.

Whilst the Trustees might see this action as the only way to prevent the four members from active participation in WSRA matters, we don’t know why they have taken this course, and the membership in general might feel it will only harden the resolve of other reform supporters to continue and intensify their mission for change.
We have asked the Trustees for a public statement and if it arrives we will add it to this posting.

EDIT: The four members concerned have pointed out that the termination letter is invalid as it should state the date of the Trustee meeting at which the decision will be made, and there is no such information provided on the letter. We agree. Another poor piece of work from the administration.

EDIT: The WSRA Chairman replied by email on 16 June 2015 saying “We met with our legal advisors yesterday and were assured that the manner in which we have conducted the matter of removal of memberships was correct. The members involved have tried to cast doubt on the process for their own ends, but have failed. The date of the meeting at which the termination would be considered was in the first letter and it is disingenuous to suggest that the meaning was not clear.”