Here is the second round of our comments on the “Not True” document.

We feel the membership need to look very closely at both the remarks made by the so-called “dissidents” and the replies made by the Trustees.

Dissident Members’ Statement Trustees’ Reply WSRA+ comments
Proxy votes were counted prior to the meeting by the very trustees whose removal was sought and may not have been allocated correctly. NOT TRUE. Proxy votes were not counted by the Trustees whose removal was sought. Ths Trustees assisted others with the verification and data entry process and were not directly involved with the counting of votes…which was done by three members of the paid staff. FAIR REPLY. There is no proof that the Trustees were involved in the counting of votes. BUT SADLY THE REPLY RAISES FURTHER CONCERNS. The Trustees whose removal was sought should have been seen to distance themselves (in every respect) from any counting, verification and data entry processes.
The trustees lost a vote of no confidence. However, they have ignored this. David Williams, the then Chairman, told the meeting that he would resign from the Board but following the EGM in contempt of the vote, he and Vice

Chairman Peter Chidzey merely exchanged roles.

NOT TRUE. The vote of no confidence WAS taken seriously and David Williams resigned as Chairman at a Trustees meeting on the following Wednesday. NOT ANSWERED. The audio recording confirms David Williams gave a clear statement that he would not be a Trustee by the time the Trustees select a new Chairman. The reply does not cover this. Furthermore, David Williams was then inexplicably elected as vice Chairman.   The result is a far cry from what was implied at the EGM and is hardly the sweeping changes that ought to be seen following a Board receiving a vote of no confidence from the membership.
The motions to dismiss three trustees were narrowly won by the trustees – but the voting was questionable. Proxy votes were counted incorrectly, some members did not have their votes counted at all and the counting of hands in the hall ‘averaged’ the numbers. NOT TRUE. The voting was conducted in accordance with our solicitor and show of hands was counted by two people independently. NOT FULLY ANSWERED. If the WSRA’s solicitor was happy to average the two counts, then we feel the WSRA needs to change its solicitor as that method is simply not good enough. The audio recording reveals at least one proxy vote held by an attending member was not counted. Given the closeness of the results, sloppy “averaging” methods and the Chairman’s clear ignoring a clear signal about a missed vote from an attending member, makes for a poor quality system and untrustworthy results.
The trustees have resisted efforts to have the vote verified. Trustee Ian Coleby made arrangements for himself and his legal representative to inspect the EGM voting forms, but the day before the inspection he was illegally suspended by the other Trustees. NOT TRUE. ANSWERED. BUT. An administration with nothing to hide would have welcomed Ian Coleby to inspect the EGM paperwork, and even postponed the discussion about Ian’s alleged earlier wrongdoings.
[We were hopeful that after the EGM the trustees would change their approach and seek peace with the members…]

To begin with it looked as if this might happen – but our hopes were dashed when the trustees announced that four members – people who had been in the lead to reform the association – were to have their memberships illegally terminated and expelled without proper justifications. There has been no change of behaviour by the Trustees.

NOT TRUE. The Trustees have correctly and legally advised four members that their membership will be considered for cancellation on the grounds of bringing the Association into disrepute. The four members were given more than 28 days to respond to the charge when the Trustees will either rescind the removal or approve it. This is the absolute discretion of the Trustees. POOR REPLY. For one thing the correct procedure as laid down the the Articles was NOT followed in that the four members did not get notification of the date of the meeting at which their fate would be decided. Next, whilst the membership would expect the Trustees to consider terminating the membership of any member “bringing the Association into disrepute”, it would be good and proper to provide the affected members with the details of the wrongdoing. A simple “bringing the Association into disrepute” is simply not enough for anyone to properly respond to.   We know the members requested details but the Trustees and the Co Sec failed to respond.
The only way now is for complete renewal in the board of trustees. We need to remove the intransigent

trustees and replace them with fresh blood, with people who have the best interests of the whole railway at

heart, people who can work across the WSR family so that we can pull together rather than against each

other.

NOT TRUE. The current Trustees already have the whole Railway’s interests at heart, not just the Plc, including active participation in the Partnership Development Group[PDG], the Bishops Lydeard Development Group, Williton Development Group and the Taunton to Bishops Lydeard Link Group. The constant bombardment of misinformation coming fron the members of the dissident group has caused more damage to this relationship than any other single factor. FAIR REPLY. We are please the WSRA is actively participating in all these (and presumably other) groups. It should be no surprise to anyone. But we are disappointed that the area leased by WSRA at Williton, Sherring’s Yard, is excluded from discussion at the Williton Dev Group, as stated at the recent PDG by the WSRA Chairman who said it was WSRA’s business alone how that area was used. Also, the WSRA will not discuss the freehold at the PDG. So it may be “active” participation but it clearly comes with strings firmly attached.
Our motion which we urge you to support is to remove all of the trustees except for Ian Coleby who is the only one to have stood up for what is right and the only one who has the respect of the PLC. NOT TRUE. Two Trustees are long-serving guards on the railway as well as other Trustees making significant contributions to the whole railway. Another example of misinformation spread by dissident members, Ian Coleby is not currently volunteering as a Signalman. NOT ANSWERED. Whilst we applaud the volunteering efforts of the two Trustee guards and acknowledge the contributions made by other Trustees that is not the point of the reformers here.   Do the Trustees have the respect of the Plc. Seemingly not, by the tone of the Plc’s recent letter to the Trustees. We may not approve of the Plc’s tactic in making that letter public and we may not agree with some of the points raised in the letter, but we can see that the Trustees do not have the Plc’s respect at this time. We’re not sure why the reply found it necessary to mention Ian Coleby .

We hope WSRA members find our comments stimulate further and deeper consideration.

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