Nomination of Directors to Bluebell Railway PLC board for 2014/15
In line with the Society rules, the Officers and Trustees met soon after the BRPS AGM on Thursday 29th May to consider the roles of the Plc Directors for the forthcoming year. This was in accordance with Society Rule 12c) which states "at the first meeting following the Society's AGM the Committee shall nominate candidates to be Directors of the Company".
The position after the 2014 Elections provided an unusual conundrum in that neither the Infrastructure Director (Chris White) nor the Operations Director (Russell Pearce) are elected Trustees of the Society. None of the existing Trustees were able or willing to undertake either of these key posts due to existing or indeed other personal commitments.
As the majority shareholder, the Society has a wider responsibility for the railway as a whole and has to recognize the needs of what is now a significant business. Competent management is essential to ensure the safe, efficient and effective running of the railway and these posts have to be occupied without interruption.
The means by which Directors are selected needs review and the current situation proves exactly that. Nor is our current process delivering candidates willing to undertake key roles at Director level and secondly, the requirements of our safety management system demand people to be of a good competency to suit the job.
A working group led by Sam Bee, the Society's Vice Chairman, was tasked some time back with undertaking a Corporate Governance review of the whole Bluebell Railway structure (Society, Trust and Plc) which is to include the issue of Succession Planning. The findings and recommendations of this group are to be presented to the Trustees by the end of August 2014.
After lengthy debate, the Trustees decided to await the outcome of this review and recommendations before implementing any fundamental changes. Accordingly the Trustees unanimously agreed that the existing Infrastructure and Operations Directors should remain in situ for a period not exceeding one year which will take us to the next Rule 12c) meeting following the Society's AGM in 2015. All the other Directors were also confirmed in their current roles for the next 12 months.
In the intervening period both the Infrastructure Director and Operations Director will be required to attend Society Committee meetings to ensure that the Trustees and thus the Society is kept fully appraised of matters relating their relevant mandates. Furthermore that by exercising a watching brief over these remits and of other company business, the Trustees ensure that the Society's aims and objectives are met.
This is an interim measure and the Trustees are very much aware that they are elected to represent the interests of the membership and manage the relationship between the Society and the Plc. We will report back as soon as the review process is complete and communicate what the next steps will be.Trustees and Officers of the
Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
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