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Author Topic: Changes at the TransWilts CRP - my personal involvement  (Read 191 times)
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« on: November 04, 2018, 07:40:30 am »

In response to a question asking where my TransWilts responibilites lie ...

For a while, some of the decisions at TransWilts (that's prior to August this year) weren't the decisions I recommended. I am very much happy to work with a proportion of elements carried and stongly supported by an active boar - that's collective responsibility - but some things start to hit principles and/or be personal.  A further set of decisions that weren't along the lines I recommended were made at the board meeting on 6th August - very largely specifiying how the Community Rail Officer job must be done in future - and as a result I resigned from the board on 8th August 2018.

* TransWilts decisions from earlier this year are not necessarily ones that I supported or would have supported at board.

* On 8th August, I resigned from the board of TransWilts, and board decisions after that date are not mine, whether or not I support them.

* From 8th October, the TransWilts Community Rail Officer role has been with Sophie Martin and any CRO actions and decisions from then have been made by or through her.

* Until 31st December, I remain formally available to TransWilts as outgoing CRO

* I intend to remain a member of TransWilts for the foreseeable future, and to be available to help them as a volunteer should they wish to make use of me. 

I appreciate that times have changed, and with times changing TransWilts is no longer looking at supporting and marketing a newly starting service; rather it's there and somewaht developed, and that a different approach and skill set may best for it. I remain fully supportive of the purpose of promoting the use and sustainable developemnt of the Swindon to Westbury (with onward services to and via Warminster) passenger train service, and the network of public transport around it.

Concerns have been expressed and questions have been asked of me about some  of the current TransWilts activities. I am, though, uninformed and really unable to comment as they move forward. Much (most) is excellent and there is / has been full support (for example) in raising substantial match funding for a CCIF bid for the Melksham Station Hub - however with some items I share the concerns and can do no more than express those concerns.  A members meeting after the board meeting on 26th November will be an opportunity for members to learn of plans and ask questions.

I am posting this thread with some reluctance; I'm reminded of the "Bucket of water" theory.
* Here's a bucket of water representing an organisation.
* Here's my hand and I put it in the water, representing me as part of the organisation
* I pull my hand out and depending on how I do it, there may be a few ripples and spalshes
* Quickly, the water fills the space left by my hand and the water settles back down - may be a little lower but no-one really notices or cares, and the bucket of water carries on as if nothing had been taken out.

Although the TransWilts CRP grew out of the Coffee Shop, the TransWilts CRP and its parent the TransWilts CIC are now fully fledged - and indeed required that the parent's closer connections with the child be removed.  This was done (lots of activity on the forum after 6th August) and although that was a lot of work it's good to have clear water between TransWilts and the Coffee Shop. The two are now truely separate; the Coffee Shop's ethos to partner and support CRP activity - all CRPs and user groups - remains.

Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2018, 08:01:20 am »

Historic - role of Community Rail Officer at TransWilts (in my time)

Written up to help provide a basis / checklist for the incoming CRO - as times change, some of these activities may no longer be relevant, some may be delegated, others may be added.  I have taken a very careful look at names and personal data in here and I don't think I have revealed any secret names.

What did I do in my role as Community Rail Officer for TransWilts?   
(Some overlap between items; some as side issues during other work; some automatic nature anyway)

* Knowing what's going on - feeling the pulse and mood
* Travelling regularly, advising of issues, being approachable by staff and passengers
* Station / poster / facility surveys and getting things updated
* Guiding and informing passengers - especially the regular ones
* Surveys / logging - formally and informally inc. arrangement and co-ordination
* Technical answers via phone and email; technical reports as appropriate
* Learning surverying and feeding back on services updates / changes
* Raising the TransWilts profile at ACoRP, RailFuture, DfT
* Updating TransWilts poster boards
* Preparing for / visiting with community and other groups to encourage public transport use
* Co-ordinating and taking part in events such as Party in Park, Food Festival, Carnival, Comm. rail in City
* Updating Facebook and monitoring / answering as appropriate
* Putting together occasional Facebook videos (Dog on train, John's Story, etc)
* Articles for MIN every fortnight, for BBC Wiltshire, Wiltshire times and other press
* Press release and data for newsletter to Membership Secretarty
* Encouraging people to join TransWilts
* Pastoral care for volunteers and sometimes others
* Watching for vulnerable youngsters and others
* Decide on which projects to pursue
* Logging train and line performance
* Produce literature, get it checked, and deal with printing and distribution
* Arranging volunteers for surveys and leaflet distribution
* Liaise with and assist other CRPs
* Engage with councils, community groups and organisations and user groups
* Feedback to / from councils and GWR
* Working with communities to ensure inclusion in core and neighbourhod plans
* Tracking and helping answer consultations
* Total travel sugegstions and partnering including ...
* Liaison with RailFuture, TravelWatch and others; raising profile of TransWilts there
* Keeping an eye on fare and routing structures and easements in order maximise real ridership
* Ensuring that the team is acknowldged / thanked / rewarded
* Award entries - esp. for volunteers - Lee, Peter, Bob and Paul all selected in recent years
* Writing reports for ACoRP, area boards, GWR Community and Stakeholder literature, TransWilts annual, etc
* Share experiences with other community rail partnerships; help nurture newer partnerships and friends groups
* Most of above short to medium term (tacical); also provide inputs to chair who has lead on strategic issues.
- Via Well House Contract, providing office, meeting and storage space, staff resource for above, facebook boost and leaflet printing for [amount redacted] per annum

What was my area of operation?

* Melksham and Chippenham are designated stations; I have been lead at Melksham station working with MRUG; Paul has lead at Chippenhmam with CHRUG
* Swindon - a much larger station, not a designated station so lesser involvement; Bob is a good lead there
* Trowbridge and Westbury. TransWilts is the junior CRP there and all none-service activities are with prior liaison with Catherine, Heather, Keith, Roger

And also:
* Dilton Marsh and Warminster - not on any regular CRP service but taken under TransWilts wing ("Swindon to Westbury with some service to Salisbury amd Southampton")
* Pewsey, which had a gap in Station friend's groups and Community Rail and we have helped get them started
* Frome, where working with Heart of Wessex we sorted out timetable and departure issues
* southwards via Salisbury, worhing with Three Rivers to look at joined up Swindon to Solent services

Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
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