Sunday, May 13, 2012

"Here is a message I have received from a group of people at Crich, who are urgently seeking the support of fellow TMS members:"

In every business there is a need to plan for the future. It is usual to devise a 5 or 10 year strategic plan as a rolling programme, updated as necessary according to the way the plan develops and the business progresses in line with market forces.
There is no strategic plan for the Tramway Museum even though the Board has been working on creating one for over ten years. Special Board meetings have been held to address this subject on 25 January 2004; 16 January 2010; 4 February 2010 and 5 February 2011 and a presentation on strategy has been given to the Board by the General Manager of the Ffestiniog Railway. Little or no progress has been made towards setting a strategy and nothing has been communicated to the membership about any progress that might have been made at these meetings.
The role of the Board is to set policy and determine strategy. Over the last 10 years the Board has
demonstrated that it is incapable of acting in this capacity. It has concentrated its efforts on micro-
managing the staff and dealing with the minutiae whilst ignoring the big picture.
Part of the problem may be that some Board members have been in office too long and no longer
present any new initiatives or lack the necessary drive to make dynamic decisions. It is proposed to
table a Special resolution at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to alter the Articles to ensure that no Board member serves more than three consecutive terms (maximum 9 years) and that the Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer serve no more than six consecutive years each. These amendments to be retrospective. Members are asked to support this proposal by voting in favour of the Special resolution.
The operating results for the year to March 2011 showed that the Museum lost £120,000 and the
prospects for the year to March 2012 are likely to be even worse. It is only bequests and donations
that keep the results in the black. This financial situation cannot be allowed to continue without some
intervention, otherwise the Museum will ultimately be facing bankruptcy. However, without a business plan, the Board is not addressing the problem and is allowing the situation to deteriorate.
The current position is that individual Board members are given responsibility for managing parts of the business with no one person having overall control. Most of these Board members have little external experience of managing the parts of the business that are devolved to them or the staff who report to them and none of the Board members has any experience of managing a commercial business in the tourist industry, such as the Museum. In order to survive it is imperative that the number of paying visitors is increased and the resultant income used to improve and develop the Museum. Year-on-year overheads are rising and revenue is falling. If this trend continues the Museum will be facing insolvency and closure It is clear that the current Board lacks the competency to properly manage the commercial aspects of the business and the present management structure is unworkable. The Board has already agreed that a general manager is needed and assurances were given at the 2011 AGM that a suitable manager would be appointed. As no progress has been made in this regard it is proposed to table two Ordinary resolutions at the EGM requiring the Board to adopt a business strategy and appoint a general manager by 1st April 2013 at the latest. Members are urged to vote in favour of both resolutions. For more information, and a copy of the requisition form, please email

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