Members of the WSRA will be relieved to learn that the members of the Review Panel acted completely independently. That means they did not represent the bodies from which they were nominated (WSRA, WSR Plc, WSSRT and so on) but acted entirely as independent members of the Panel.

A few members have contacted us wondering why, then, were the Panel members not simply chosen at random by the Review Chairman? The answer is that the Resolution, passed by the membership, required the Panel to enlist part of its membership by way of nominations from those named bodies.

We have had some discussions with a couple of Panel members who assure us that all members acted independently and did not report back to, or receive instruction from, their respective bodies, and furthermore, the Panel’s deliberations and conclusions were based solely on the submissions evidence. Hence the importance of making a submission to the Panel to ensure all areas of concern were covered from all angles and viewpoints.

Thus we can indeed treat the Review Report as independent.

We have also put some queries about certain parts of the Report to the Panel Chairman and one of the Panel Members. But, our queries are matters of detail rather than error and in no way affect the Panel’s recommendations or diminish the overall value of the Report.

We strongly urge members to read the Report and then express a view on the Report to the Trustees. One deadline for comments was to be 11 January 2016 but we believe all comments, even if late, will be considered.

We also strongly urge members to pay attention to subsequent reports, letters, statements, call to meetings and the like, from the Association. At this time, more than ever, the Association needs an informed, questioning and participating membership.

Oh, and may 2016 bring some peace to our Railway…