Author Topic: We are Not the Only Authority Divesting Itself of Assets  (Read 1967 times)

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Offline Richard Symonds

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We are Not the Only Authority Divesting Itself of Assets
« on: February 04, 2014, 04:44:12 PM »
The Cabinet of Somerset County Council has decided to sell its freehold in the West Somerset Railway

http://www1.somerset.gov.uk/council/portfolio%2015/2014/Notification%20of%20proposed%20West%20Somerset%20Railway%20decision.pdf

This action comes after the West Somerset Railway Association approached the Council with a view to acquiring the freehold.  Reading the above makes me wonder if they and for that matter the West Somerset Railway plc may have unearthed a hornets nest of cost!!

This bit is of particular concern to me as someone who was involved in the very early days when everything hung by a thread for many years.

. If an objection were to be made it could result in a public inquiry
and the Council would seek an undertaking from the purchaser to pay all costs
incurred in dealing with an inquiry.



All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline Muggins

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Re: We are Not the Only Authority Divesting Itself of Assets
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2014, 06:26:25 PM »
I don't think this is the local council divesting themselves so much as the Railway wanting to buy the freehold and I guessed why - to enable them to raise money probably by donation for this below (from their business plan): 

"6. The West Somerset Railway PLC has been in negotiation with Somerset County
Council for some considerable time over the purchase of the freehold of the WSR, or if
not available the extension of the current lease to 2063 with right to sub let and of first
refusal to purchase if the freehold were to become available. As well as securing the
freehold for the future, this would allow the plc to both invest further resources in railway
Infrastructure, and to demonstrate security of tenure
for existing and new partners who
wish to bring additional jobs, prosperity and growth to the railway. The Company would
hope for these negotiations to have been completed with SCC as we move into 2014,
providing a solution that is acceptable to the PLC and support groups sharing the
railway.

Although they accept volunteer hours and donations they are, for some reason, not a charitable trust.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: We are Not the Only Authority Divesting Itself of Assets
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2014, 06:34:50 PM »
Do you know much about the West Somerset Railway and its history then M?

because I do and have been involved with it since the early 1970's

and yes the Council does want to divest itself of this responsibility with coastal erosion and further capital cost pending.  Nothing would please them more than this sell off

The Railway had the 'ideal' situation with a 99 year lease until certain individuals decided they wanted to rock the boat and the CC have taken full advantage!

and the Public Limited Company by its very nature cannot be a Charitable Trust whereas the West Somerset Railway Association is one and this relationship is extremely contentious presently as I am sure you know.
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline Muggins

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Re: We are Not the Only Authority Divesting Itself of Assets
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2014, 08:02:00 AM »
Then I bow to your greater knowledge Richard, However the piece I printed, is from their own business plan as per their website:

"6. The West Somerset Railway PLC has been in negotiation with Somerset County
Council for some considerable time over the purchase of the freehold of the WSR
, or if
not available the extension of the current lease to 2063 with right to sub let and of first
refusal to purchase if the freehold were to become available
. As well as securing the
freehold for the future, this would allow the plc to both invest further resources in railway
Infrastructure,
and to demonstrate security of tenure for existing and new partners who
wish to bring additional jobs, prosperity and growth to the railway. The Company would
hope for these negotiations to have been completed with SCC as we move into 2014,
providing a solution that is acceptable to the PLC and support groups sharing the
railway
.

So to me that reads they have been trying to get the freehold for some considerable time - because it says so! And the reasons why, because it says so!
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: We are Not the Only Authority Divesting Itself of Assets
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2014, 08:47:38 AM »
Then I bow to your greater knowledge Richard, However the piece I printed, is from their own business plan as per their website:

"6. The West Somerset Railway PLC has been in negotiation with Somerset County
Council for some considerable time over the purchase of the freehold of the WSR
, or if
not available the extension of the current lease to 2063 with right to sub let and of first
refusal to purchase if the freehold were to become available
. As well as securing the
freehold for the future, this would allow the plc to both invest further resources in railway
Infrastructure,
and to demonstrate security of tenure for existing and new partners who
wish to bring additional jobs, prosperity and growth to the railway. The Company would
hope for these negotiations to have been completed with SCC as we move into 2014,
providing a solution that is acceptable to the PLC and support groups sharing the
railway
.

So to me that reads they have been trying to get the freehold for some considerable time - because it says so! And the reasons why, because it says so!

M Do you always believe what you read in the papers or on internet sites? 

I can assure you that this statement results from an unwanted initiative by the Association and had never been spoken of previously as the present arrangement is a win win situation of which the rest of the Railway Preservation Movement is extremely envious.

and by the way I have wanted to become a Councillor ever since I took up residence here in 1991...............

just repeat that one to my sister :coffee:
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline Muggins

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Re: We are Not the Only Authority Divesting Itself of Assets
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2014, 09:21:13 AM »
Not normally Richard, but this is written in a Business Plan are you saying they are not telling the truth in their business plan - the one they have written probably to use to achieve partnerships and funding?

This 10 year plan is dated 2014 onwards, it would be interesting to see the previous one.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: We are Not the Only Authority Divesting Itself of Assets
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2014, 10:16:24 AM »
Not normally Richard, but this is written in a Business Plan are you saying they are not telling the truth in their business plan - the one they have written probably to use to achieve partnerships and funding?

This 10 year plan is dated 2014 onwards, it would be interesting to see the previous one.

Yes M it is the 2014 10 year plan and I think we are at the beginning of February 2014 unless I am mistaken.

I am unaware of any partnerships or funding unless you can tell me otherwise.

This business of acquiring the freehold had not even been contemplated this time last year unless you can correct me on that as well!!

What funding or partnerships have you been able to organize in Penhill recently, I am sure readers are more interested in that than the WSR?
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline Muggins

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Re: We are Not the Only Authority Divesting Itself of Assets
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2014, 11:05:57 AM »
Yes, I note it's a draft business plan out for consultation - are you going to tell them that they are not correct in what they are saying. Because they are saying in writing:-

"The West Somerset Railway PLC has been in negotiation with Somerset County
Council for some considerable time over the purchase of the freehold of the WSR"

This thread has absolutely nothing to do with Penhill, why would you bring it into it?  Although partnerships and funding are happening all the time. 

Obviously to West Somerset Railway, less than year is a 'considerable' time.  The partnerships and funding will be within their intentions in a 10 year forward plan.

They are saying: "and to demonstrate security of tenure for existing and new partners who wish to bring additional jobs, prosperity and growth to the railway".   I believe this sentence covers it.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)