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Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
held on 19th May 2006

The Committee met from 7:35pm to 10pm.  Gerry Brown, Sam Bee and Nicholas Pryor were absent.

Neil Glaskin was welcomed and congratulated on his successful election at the AGM. Thanks were conveyed to Simon Baker for his 21 years service to the Society, serving as Assistant Membership Secretary, Membership Secretary and finally as a Trustee.

Membership Matters: Membership numbers currently stood at just over 9,600.

Finance: Society subscription/donation income for the first four months amounted to £69k compared to £60k in 2005.

Direct Debits: A successful meeting had been held with the bank but there is now a legal issue with the plc which needs to be resolved. The issue arises because the Society uses its subscriptions as a loan to the company with a view to buying shares at a later date. We need to ensure that, if the company acts as guarantor for Society subscriptions collected by Direct Debit, it is not deemed to be assisting the Society to buy shares in the company as this is illegal.

Society AGM:  A remarkably quiet AGM considering the rumbles of discontent that emerged when the 08 shunter arrived. Lewis Nodes' display boards and the information paper on the locomotive situation had been well received and the issues understood and he was congratulated both for this and for coming top of the poll. The lack of a display stand for Volunteer Recruitment was disappointing.

Concern was expressed at the delays and problems with the Woodpax project which were revealed at the AGM. It was noted that the Environment Agency had not only moved the goalposts since the project's inception but had increased the number of hoops we had to jump through beforehand. It was reassuring to note that the SVR had taken three years to get from Stage 1 to Stage 2 for their Kidderminster HLF project.

The Committee would seek a presentation by the Fund Raising Committee as the plc Board seems to be under the impression that this had been done. The news that the contract for the East Grinstead Station site was ready for signature was welcomed but the delays with WSCC over the tip contract were regrettable. The Infrastructure Director (Chris White) would also be asked to attend a couple of Committee meetings during the year so as to keep us up to date. Some useful comments had been made on the Sheffield Park plans and these would be considered in due course.

Trustee Responsibilities:   It was agreed that Neil Glaskin would take on Volunteer Recruitment and Volunteer Accommodation (the Social Sub-Committee has since been added to his portfolio). Chris Cooper would take the Infrastructure portfolio (including security and property maintenance). The Preservation Standards remit would be passed to Sam Bee. All other responsibilities were unchanged. A list would be circulated around the railway [see "Who's Who" page of web site].

Director Nominations:  The Committee did not propose to make any changes and endorsed Chris White as a non-Trustee Director.

Applications for Trust Funding: The Committee noted that the request submitted by the Class 2 project had been withdrawn and that the Trust had agreed to support the replacement of the ëPeckhamí building in the C&W yard.

Sheffield Park Plan:   The Committee discussed two requests for buildings in the Loco Yard and discussed the impact this would have for storage of boilers etc and for existing workshops, such as Wainwright Villas. The requests were referred back to the SPAR team for consideration within the overall context of the Sheffield Park Plan but it was felt that a single building, sub-divided as necessary, would be preferable In any case, until decisions had been made about the location of the washout pit, no progress could be made on this.

Sheffield Park Canopy: The Committee agreed to allow fund-raising to take place for this project, subject to validation of the estimated cost of this project.

Volunteer Sleeping Accommodation: A brief outline proposal requesting permission to start fund-raising for a permanent building was rejected with a request for a more detailed proposal.

Long Term Plan:  The Society Long Term Plan was due for revision at the 2007 AGM and the General Secretary would lead the consultation process.

Next Meeting: The next Committee meeting will be held on 28th July but the Fund Raising presentation may take place before that, subject to availability of the people concerned

Gavin Bennett
General Secretary


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