Reports of Committee meetings of NELPG Ltd and NELPG Enterprises Ltd
11 April 2016
Present: John Hunt (in the chair), Martin Lloyd, Michael Chyriwsky, John Hall, Nigel Hall, Paul Hutchinson, Chris Lawson, Richard Wheeler. John Hunt declared an interest as an employee of West Coast Railway Company.
The quotes for the fire alarm work at Hopetown were considered as matters arising, in the light of comments from Nigel Hall. It was agreed that it was important that Colin Bowman and Trevor Wilford be fully involved as Hopetown caretakers, but with Colin taking the lead in view of his electrical background. The one item missing from the quote was the cost of a separate phone line - estimated at £140 per year. It was agreed that this should be installed to enable the fire alarm to be split from the intruder alarm system. The quote should therefore be accepted, confirming Colin Bowman as the contact, with Nigel Hall as Director liaison and the Treasurer to advise on the phone installation as necessary.
Following an examination of the Support Coach carried out at Carnforth, there was now no need for one to be undertaken by NYMR C&W at Grosmont, and the Chairman confirmed that he was continuing to discuss with the printers the options for reducing the production and distribution costs for NELPG News.
There was a brief discussion about the desirability of establishing the full administrative costs of running the Group, bearing in mind that not all Committee members claimed for all expenditure they incurred on its behalf. It was pointed out that not all Committee members wished to make claims for a variety of personal reasons, and it was agreed that claiming expenses should continue to be a matter for the individual choice of Committee members.
The Monthly Financial Report was noted, with a number of possible high interest savings accounts with varying terms of notice having been identified, all covered by the FSCS. It was agreed that a one year notice period would be appropriate and the Treasurer was given discretion to open those he considered most suitable. The outstanding invoices for the J72hire in 2015 were expected to be cleared by the Wensleydale Railway in the next couple of weeks. A new Standing Order would be requested to cover 2016 invoices to ease cash flow and avoid the build up of a large debt. The invoice for K1 winter maintenance at Carnforth had now been received from WCRC, and the Treasurer reported his intention to make a presentation on financial issues at a future meeting.
The Trustees Annual Report had been finalised and issued in the AGM Supplement in time to meet the notice period for the AGM. Its future production and distribution, both narrative and accounts, would be reviewed after the AGM, taking account of a possible change to the SORP for 2016.
The Secretary went through the arrangements and agenda for the AGM. Following the previous Committee meeting, further consideration of the proposed subscription increases had resulted in agreement to retain the Life Membership category, but with the subscription rate being available on application, and calculated on a formula based on age, life expectancy, and the annual subscription rate.
Succession planning continued to be a difficult issue to progress, the only bright spot being the continuing development of the Junior Volunteers under Bryan Orange’s leadership. It was noted however, that the Shildon Shed Bash in July would be an opportunity to try and attract new volunteers, and that Jon Bradley had expressed a willingness to help with IT work. A proposal to approach the Redcar Task Force to explore possible volunteering opportunities for the ex SSI workforce should be pursued, as would the development of a CME job description. There was also a need for caretakers to be identified for the Q6, Support Coach and NELPG car. This emphasised the need for work/job descriptions to be written for roles across the Group
It was reported under Health and Safety that the new version of Section 10 of the Locomotive Maintenance Policy: Safety Policy was now ready for circulation and comment. Work on the asbestos register was still outstanding. The Support coach was believed to be asbestos free but its status was difficult to determine in certain areas. The position needed to be recorded, and the freedom from asbestos of the four locomotives, Deviation Shed and Hopetown needed to be confirmed. Separately, the NELPG safety policy statement needed to be reviewed and updated as necessary. It should then be placed on the website as well as on workplace notice boards for volunteers.
A one day Carnforth PTS renewal course was being arranged, as were medicals for those requiring renewal. All those concerned had been advised. There was also still a need for some of the Grosmont volunteers to go through the Grosmont site safety course. The implications of the Working at Height Regulations for volunteers at all working sites, but particularly at Fort William, needed to be assessed and would be pursued by the Chairman.
The normal locomotive updates were provided, and the latest position is reported in the current issue of NELPG News.
For locomotive hire the possibility of a delayed move to Fort William for the K1 would be explored at a meeting with David Smith on 15 April to enable the K1 to be available for the first weekend of the NYMR Gala, on the basis that the NYMR would then pay the additional movement cost. A possible increase in the daily hire rate for the Jacobite would also be raised at that meeting. A signed copy of the J72 contract had yet to be returned from the Wensleydale Railway but its terms were deemed to have been accepted following the locomotive’s entry into service. The Chairman would explore with the NYMR the possibility of some photo charters following the NELPG 50 special weekend at the end of October. The Nene Valley Railway had been advised of the unavailability of the K1 for their Gala.
As Any Other Business, the Secretary reported that the LNER Society would be visiting Hopetown during their AGM at Head of Steam on 5 November, and disappointment was expressed that the 50th anniversary Tea Train had not been to the standard expected. The Secretary would raise those concerns with Paul Brown, NYMR Commercial Manager.
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