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Rick Steer

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Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
« on: January 19, 2017, 09:39:12 PM »
All,

I am keen to see the level of interest within the forum for calling an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Vulcan to The Sky Trust to discuss the predicament we find ourselves in, and the future direction of the trust.

I, along with many of you, now believe Doncaster is unsuitable as a base for the future, and we should look at alternatives that are move accommodating - Bruntingthorpe or Elvington being 2 that spring to mind, but others can / should be considered.

We should negotiate with the owners of those sites we wish to consider to determine if they are willing to accommodate us, including the eventual building of a hanger, and regular fast taxi runs of the Vulcan (the Canberra should be mothballed for the foreseeable future, or sold to raise additional funds). Having secured a new home, we should then put every effort into exploring the possibility of a one-off ferry flight with the CAA. My understanding is that the requirements for a one-off flight are different to a full permit to fly, and can be granted subject to provisions being put in place. Should that not be possible, we may have to consider a move by road, which would almost certainly spell the end of XH558 as a live airframe - although specialists should be consulted to determine if there is a way to retain her structural integrity.

We should then look to start work at the new home, raising funds for a new hanger / visitor centre, although in the short term XH558 may have to be stored outside. We have free use of storage at Doncaster until the end of April - this may be enough time to secure funding for a hanger, so the period outside may be limited (subject to planning permission for construction etc.)

In parallel, the finances of the trust needs urgent review to cut costs to an absolute minimum. The current position where the CEO is paid more than £60,000 is unsustainable, and Dr Pleming should take on a role at no cost to the trust - in line with all other trustees. Savings here can go directly towards the upkeep of XH558 in her new home. If he is unwilling to do so, then we should thank him for his services and bid him farewell - we are a charity, but not for his benefit. we should look to retain engineering expertise if at all possible.

Under the Memorandum & Articles, any member of the charity (and I understand fully paid up members of the Founding Guardian scheme are members) can request such a meeting by writing to the chairman of the trust.

If there is sufficient interest from you all, I am willing to write such a letter to the chairman.

Like many of you, I am in full time employment, and frequently work evenings and weekends, so my time is very limited, but if you are with me, I can start the ball rolling. Much rather that, than sit back and see our girl rot away in the corner of an airfield that cannot or will not support our aims.

I await your comments.....

Offline dee

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Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2017, 09:03:13 AM »
Well investigated and well put together..
Something needs to be done and soon!!
That huge triangle against the sky like some monstrous angel trailing dark clouds of glory

Offline brains_mt

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Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2017, 09:27:16 AM »
I am aware of whats going on and will respond later.

Busy day today but watching closely.

Jane
VTTSC Co-Chair
Ex Club Co-Chair
Worked flat out to give XH558 as long a life as possible! Hoping for a positive future.
3601 posts on previous Forum

Offline jakspeed

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Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2017, 09:59:25 AM »
Brilliantly said Rick!
Something needs to be done, we can't just walk away from 558 now.
Any suggestions of what we might be able to do would be appreciated.

Offline PhillyJ

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Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2017, 11:05:00 AM »
Watching with interest to see what happens, let us know when you can Jane as it's all in our interests I guess.

Offline sickbag_andy

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Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 11:12:56 AM »
great post and great effort Rick, I support your effort in writing to the chairman.

One thing that now alarms me is that if there is a current shortage of cash and that situation worsens to the point that the Trust cannot pay it's rent to the airport even if the aircraft is stored outside, would the airport owners then be able to possess / impound the aircraft and attempt to sell it to settle the debt? The risk then (if it is a risk) is would then end up sold abroad (USA?) as mooted in one of the hours of crisis several appeals ago. The rules for flying historic aircraft in the USA are probably quite different to here so it's value might be much higher there which would appeal to the airport if trying to re-coup costs.
confacimus volatemum

the proud owner of the only Martin Withers signed sickbag of 558 flight vintage IN THE WORLD!

Offline 106500

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Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2017, 12:33:45 PM »
As a fully paid up member I do not support this action. We should have faith in VTTS and their decision making which has not let us down to date.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 12:36:14 PM by 106500 »

Offline planenut

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Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2017, 12:59:43 PM »
Some interesting points in your write up Rick, but again, this, the "appeal" and the move all come a bit late down the road after grounding.

Some of your comments will ruffle a few feathers, which will be sad bearing in mind the commitment that some of those affected have put into the project.

I note that some comments again relate to the myriad of suggestions made prior to the siting XH558 at Doncaster, and the criticisms of the move since.

It is extremely difficult and again the "workforce" are in an unenviable position of deciding where their loyalties lie in relation to the aircraft and their employers.

Hindsight is a great thing, but sadly when it comes to what should have happened, well that's wasted brain cells.

I have not put anywhere near the amount of effort and finance into this project as many others, but honestly, since the last landing, my interest has really dived as within the distance, there are other worthy causes.

There would be nothing lost, if after Jane's later information, it is still necessary to forward the letter suggested by yourself, and I'm sure it can be worded more tactfully and articulately than my postings.
I said "no more passwords" and look what happened!

Rick Steer

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Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2017, 02:07:15 PM »
Thanks to you al for your feedback.

I'll await more information from Jane.

I realise it is a very difficult time - and my frustration is not aimed at those employed - more at the high level decisions that have placed you (and the rest of us) at the point we now find ourselves.

My aim is to find a way to safeguard XH558 and allow us all to see her as a live aircraft, and by implication hopefully that will have a positive impact on those still working with her.

I've been a supporter since she was delivered to Bruntingthorpe all those years ago, so while I realise some of my comments are controversial they are borne out of immense frustration at the latest turn of events...I apologise to anyone I have offended.

Offline Gully

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Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2017, 03:22:45 PM »
For clarity, we Founding Guardians are not Members of the Trust and so do not have the ability to call an EGM of the Trust. This legal position is clarified within the Annual Accounts of the Trust, where it is expressly stated 'The Trustees are the only Members of the Trust'.

However, that does not stop a letter being sent to the Board of Trustees expressing concerns.

I would also highlight that the CEO role is being reduced to a 'part-time' position going forward as stated in the announcement.

Regards,

Gully
Vulcan To The Sky Club Secretary

Rick Steer

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Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2017, 03:43:59 PM »
Thanks for the clarity Gully.

In that case, I'll get writing in my capacity as a long standing supporter.

I should have realised the trust would have been set up in such a way that the supporters who fund it don't get a say!!

Offline Sarah Abbott

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Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2017, 05:16:13 PM »
I agree dialogue with the Trust is worthwhile. It would be interesting to see what options had been explored. I know road move had been looked at by VTS and Mapps in the past (quite recently for Mapps following the housing threat)  and conclusion from those with engineering knowhow was it would not be possible to do and retain live capabilities. Can't remember exact reasons. I personally think it would be almost impossible to get insurance to cover a ferry flight should a very jumpy CAA allow it post Shoreham which would leave a need for passionate team based reasonably locally to ensure 558 has a future. Mapps achieve this.  FGs seem a logical support network.

Rick Steer

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Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2017, 08:57:20 PM »
Just seen the latest e-mail update, and feel exasperated.

A year in storage with no engine runs, and only a hope that free storage will be extended past April. Taff to keep her in current state - I've no idea how the systems will be kept live if there are no engine runs - I suspect she is being mothballed, so everything will stop working for at least a year, and then cost a fortune to bring her back to her current state....Another last ditch appeal no doubt.

The new hanger is being leased by the trust not owned by it - in the same way we leased Hanger 3, and look where that has got us. No information on the length of lease - is it a perpetual lease, and what safeguards are there to prevent us being kicked out when another tenant offers them more money for the use of it? 

Apparently all the obstacles to taxi runs have been resolved - just in time to be moved into storage! Why not taxy her there in front of us all?! Nothing in the Q&A to indicate if the airport will allow spectators onto the airfield? They weren't interested in allowing this for the final flight, so what has changed?

The Q&A's are an insult to anyone with any knowledge - Bruntingthorpe not suitable because of the runway - which of course is why the Cold War jets all use it twice a year without issue. Oh and because we cant fly the Canberra from there - sorry to point out the bleeding obvious, but the main reason we wont fly the Canberra is there is no money to restore or operate her, so thoughts about the suitability of a runway are irrelevant! No mention of any consultation with the CAA on a one-off ferry flight to somewhere people can go and see her - even though it is possible given her current state of maintenance.

According to the last accounts Dr Pleming drew between £70 -£80K in the last year - doing what exactly? Why is he paid at all - none of the trustees are. His salary is close on 25% of the total expenditure of the trust - How on earth is that acceptable to anyone? 

I really feel those at the top have lost their way, and let everyone down.

I'm sorry to say I'm done with this project.....Good luck everyone - I hope you are successful, but I will be truly amazed if she ever taxies again, let alone in front of her loyal supporters.

Over and Out.....

Offline Trev

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Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2017, 11:34:24 PM »
I'm still here watching with interest.  >:( :'(

Regards to all Trev

Online eddief

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Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2017, 12:07:53 AM »
Southend Trev per chance..?
985 posts on last forum - so I get the \'hallowed 1000\' for just 15 on this one (yippee!)