PRESENT T Thompson (Chairman), J Adams, I Jackson, R Henshaw, B Pretty, R Hartley, D Bathurst, A Hutchinson, R Patching, D Dixon, D James
APOLOGIES received from 14 members (too many to list here)
Chairman welcomed our guest MALCOLM HOLMES, Chief Executive of WEST MIDLANDS RAIL EXECUTIVE who gave an excellent presentation with hard copies of up to date activity that affects our group. He explained the problems relating to performance in 2019 (largely staffing/holidays/industrial dispute) and that an improvement plan was showing encouraging signs helped by better relations with staff and the rail unions.
He confirmed that i) four trains per hour to LTV will be re-instated in the May timetable and ii) our MP, together with the MP for Burton upon Trent had countersigned an application to the Ideas Fund of Restoring the Railways for a Feasibility Study to restore passenger services between Lichfield and Burton. Good News on both counts, especially as the application was on behalf of Lichfield District Council. We will write to I Eadie, Cabinet Member, to express our delight and offer our support TT
Malcolm noted a suggestion that when trains which should stop at Shenstone are turned back or cancelled there should be a protocol in place to ensure that the next train stops there. Parking issues, including price were also mentioned by the membership.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING BUSINESS
Chairman summarised his and the group activity during 2019
Independent Examiner presented the accounts for year ended 31st December 2019 which showed an overspend of £41.52 – a combination of increased cost for updating website, reduced subscription income, and no grant from City Council.
Treasurer advised that City Council had approved a grant for 2020 in the sum of £75. Recommended that annual subscriptions remain the same at £8 or £10 per couple, payable 1st January 2021. Approved. A few subscriptions for 2020 remain outstanding.
Election of Officers the chair was taken by David Dixon and the following appointments were approved by the meeting
Chairman – T Thompson; Secretary – J Adams; Treasurer – I Jackson; Independent Examiner – R Patching; Committee members – D James and R Patching
Covid 19 epidemic. Government guidelines about self-isolation, social-distancing and public places. It was decided that our AGM should go ahead. The meeting agreed, however, that it was too early to decide if future monthly meetings should be held. If necessary the Committee could meet and ensure that members are kept informed of activity.
R Hartley had received a satisfactory reply from MP about the problems his son had experienced last month in getting back to Lichfield from Edinburgh.
Rail Trespass Awareness week – 23rd -27th March https://learnliveuk.com/trespass-awareness-week/ (NB this may now be thwarted following the decision to close schools w.e.f 20.03.20)
DAVID DIXON advised that he was leaving Lichfield for the fresh air of Cumbria to be near his family. The Chairman thanked David for his excellent service on behalf of the group.