Plc Board Meeting - January
There was a further meeting of the Board at the end of January, and the following is a summary of the matters which were discussed and dealt with.
Arrangements were made for a meeting with representatives of the Racecourse to deal with various outstanding issues relating to the use of our car park, and access across the railway on different occasions throughout the year; both during Race Week and otherwise
As a part of his report to the Board, our Safety Manager Chris Webb had expressed concern about unsuitable photos appearing in blogs, and we discussed how to monitor and avoid that happening. Chris Sparks, our Volunteer Liaison Director will take it up with representatives of the various departments.
Chris Webb had also proposed delivering an IOSH Safety Management course to all directors, to emphasise our continuing commitment to promoting safe working practices on the railway. It was agreed that it would be held in February, and that all Plc directors should attend if possible.
We reviewed the draft 2016 budget which had been circulated by our Finance Director Chris Bristow. It was approved after some discussion. The proposed budget requests made by a couple of departments had had to be trimmed back after discussion with them, and they were now in agreement with what was proposed.
We were told that the Race Trains in March this year were now full, with waiting lists. We expect to be asked to provide greater capacity next year, which is a nice problem to have. Richard Summers expressed concern at being able to fill all volunteer vacancies on all trains. We need up to 40 volunteers each day to act as stewards. It was agreed that we should make a further request for volunteers by issuing a Volunteer Announcement.
There was a discussion about the use currently being made of the booking hall at Winchcombe, as various volunteers and several members of the public had expressed disquiet about so many items being offered for sale; much of it not railway related. It was agreed that further discussions with the Friends of Winchcombe were necessary to resolve this.
We approved the proposed manner of construction of the new platform at Hailes Abbey Halt. We also approved the proposed layout of the station building at Broadway. There is insufficient room for both a shop and a cafe, and the proposal which we adopted was that there should be a shop with modest refreshments for sale. This is on the basis that OTC already provide refreshments on trains and at Winchcombe.
The eternal issue of the poor state of the yard at Winchcombe was discussed again, on the basis that we have been told previously that no permanent solution is currently viable for a number of reasons. We agreed to a temporary fix, which should at least improve it in the short term. That should be done by a contractor immediately the work in P2 is completed.
We were told that plans are in hand for the launch of the Share Issue in late March, by our president Pete Waterman. The actual date will depend on his availability, and we await further details of that.
We discussed the proposed agenda for the then forthcoming HOD's meeting, and suggested various changes to seek to make it more inclusive.
We were told that all work on the proposed re-laying of P2 at Winchcombe was going to plan and should be completed in time. We were told that the programme for funding the purchase of additional rail for Broadway is quite tight, and does not leave much leeway for the work to be completed in the proposed time frame. All depends upon the success of the Share Issue.
We had had a request from the Steam Gala organising committee to arrange for the surfacing of P2 at Cheltenham in time for the Steam Gala, but this was declined on the basis that funds are not currently available for this. Surfacing will have to deferred until the platform can be brought into operational use, and that very much depends upon the installation of a footbridge.
I hope that you find this brief summary of interest.