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Author Topic: [otd] 17th April 2010 - foundation meeting of TransWilts CRP  (Read 1176 times)
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« on: April 17, 2023, 06:32:17 »

Thirteen Years today since the foundation meeting of the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership - see (here) for my archive from my old "Horse's Mouth" blog.

Seven happy years, taking it from an informal group looking to work with local government and the train operator on a line with a useless service of 2 trains a day and 5 passengers a day to and from Melksham to a train service 8 times a day each way, with some trains full and standing on a daily basis, a Community Interest Company structure for the partnership, and a service secured and designated and secured with the Department for Transport, and membership of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships.

One progressively less happy year, as the team, objectives and budget changed. I found myself absent from the guest list put forward by the TransWilts board (apart from myself, all current or past Wiltshire Councillors or LEP» (Local Enterprise Partnership - about) staff by that time) for the Community Rail dinner in Swindon that celebrated the success. I was probably too personally involved to see whether that was a good decision and I was just being too big-headed to expect to be on the guest list. I also found myself with a requirement to pass all public comment through the board, and with a requirement to choose between continuing with my work at TransWilts or with the Coffee Shop forum, I chose the forum.

In retrospect, the Coffee Shop was the right choice. I still feel I should not have had to make it. Since that time, the new Community Rail Officer's role has been a very different one.  What started as a community organisation for the Swindon to Westbury service has taken over as the lead CRP (Community Rail Partnership) at Trowbridge and Westbury, and rising from one part time staff member to a number of full timers. Interests have become wider, looking at new stations for Corsham and Devizes which are not on the original line, and looking at many-million pound schemes for those. TransWilts is now accredited by the Department for Transport, and that they must have "objectives and activities that are supported by Government".  I wonder if that is why they sat silent when through trains from London to Trowbridge were withdrawn in December 2021 by government requirement.

Please don't get me wrong - I am still very much as supporter of Community Rail and of the work that TransWilts is doing. Their current news and events can be found (here). But I look at the current work and composition and say "it's not me". I feel far more in place in the community and in general rail and bus use support and promotion.

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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2023, 16:52:35 »

Graham I m reluctant to re-open this can of worms again.  However as I said before you WERE on the guest list for the dinner.   On the seating plan you were supposed to be sitting opposite me.  Why this message didn't reach you I don't know however.
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2023, 18:21:26 »

Graham I m reluctant to re-open this can of worms again.  However as I said before you WERE on the guest list for the dinner.   On the seating plan you were supposed to be sitting opposite me.  Why this message didn't reach you I don't know however.

I intentionally skipped past detailing that in public, Bob, but I suppose I had better clarify now.  We are both right in what we write.

The TransWilts board approved a list of guests, specifying that none of their limited places were to go to people with split interests such as TWSW» (TravelWatch SouthWest - website) - "up to them to invite their members - we have only limited spaces".  I queried that rule twice for my case, but it was upheld as a board already made and the list went in. I actually submitted it so I know I was not there.  TWSW has a board of 10 and as a very junior member of that board, I was scarsely likely to get an invite through that route either, and indeed did not. 

Now, yes, I do understand that my name did appear on the guest list and seating plan. It would seem that the GWR (Great Western Railway) organisers of the event thought it must have been an accidental omission that I was left off and assumed I would be coming along. Perhaps a fair assumption as I had been working closely with then and organised the meet and greet booth at Swindon Station that afternoon, but when that was done and the evening delegates had arrived, I took the train home to Melksham.  It hurt; as a messaging failure I could have understood but it was more than that.



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