MLAG AGM 3 May 7.00pm

Dear MLAG Member,


The Committee gives Notice that the eleventh Annual General Meeting of the MarshLink Action Group is called for:

Wednesday 3rd May 2017

at 7.00pm

in Rye Town Hall, Market Street, Rye, East Sussex


The AGENDA of the Annual General Meeting will be as follows:

  1. Welcome and introductions
  2. Apologies for absence
  3. Approval of Minutes of the last AGM held on 15 April 2016
  4. Chairman’s report
  5. Treasurer’s report
  6. Nominations for the Committee
  7. Election of the Committee
  8. Resolution to increase the Membership subscription from £2pa to £3pa
  9. Any other business and conclusion of formal AGM


Following the formal Annual General Meeting (at approximately 7.15pm) there will be presentations and a Q&A session with 3 senior Southern Managers:

  • Martin Grier – Head of Operations
  • Stuart Meek  – General Manager Operations
  • Gavin Bostock – Head of Public Affairs


All members of the Group are entitled to attend and vote at the meeting.

Item 3 – Copies of the Minutes of the formal part of the AGM held on 15 April 2016 are available on MLAG’s website (

Item 5 – The Income and Expenditure Account for the calendar year 2016 and the Balance Sheet as at 31 December 2016 will be available at the meeting

Item 6 – Please advise the Chairman at the earliest opportunity if you wish to stand for election to the Committee

Item 7 – Subject to the re-election of the existing Officers, there are vacancies for:

– Secretary

– Press and Publicity Officer

– Commuter Representative (to try to tap into the knowledge of daily users of the line)

– Chairman Designate (to have a successor in place at the end of the current Chairman’s period of office).

In addition, we would like to have a representative from each station (Appledore and Ham Street are currently not specifically represented). Nominations are invited for these roles.

Committee meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every other month apart from July (i.e. January, March, May, September, November) and on other occasions, as required.


Stuart Harland (Chairman)

Monika Betson (representing Doleham and THWART (Three Oaks and Winchelsea Action for Rail Transport)

David Bookless (Treasurer/ Membership Secretary)

David Carver
Richard Holmes (immediate past-Chairman)

Rhoderick Powrie (consultant)

Ray Prewer (Rye Town Council representative)

Lorraine Sawyers

John Spencer

John Stedman
Christopher Strangeways (representing Rother Environmental Group)

Richard Williams


At last year’s MLAG AGM, the difficulties being encountered with Southern Railways’ services on our line were high on the agenda. Unfortunately, since then, issues have continued but the main reason for problems has changed to the argument between Southern and the rail unions about the operation of the trains. The acronym banded around the media (national and local) for the problems has been “DOO” (Driver Only Operation of the train doors): but, in your Committee’s view, the argument is really about passenger safety, should there be a second safety-trained member of staff onboard to deal with issues that might arise (and, let’s not forget, revenue protection – even if Southern are in the unusual position of having their revenue protected without anyone onboard checking fares by the management contract they have in place with the Department for Transport). At the time of writing, the RMT continue with strike action and a forceful attitude towards their argument: meanwhile, the management of ASLEF and their membership seem to have different opinions on the issue with the management making agreements with Southern only for the members, when balloted, to reject the management’s proposals. However, strike actions have now been institutionalized with Southern applying countermeasures so that a large proportion of scheduled trains do manage to run (though, generally, not our Rye Shuttle). The strange thing is that our Class 171 diesel trains cannot operate DOO so the argument is somewhat sterile on the MarshLink. As to where we go from here, we wait to see – we trust our representatives from Southern at this year’s MLAG AGM will be able to express Southern’s views and respond to members’ questions.

The other main subject discussed at last year’s AGM was the prospect of the HS1 service between London St. Pancras and Ashford being extended to Rye, Hastings and Bexhill (perhaps even to Eastbourne). This has also been a continuing issue for your Committee throughout the year and still is (and, hopefully, will be for several years to come as the project develops to fruition). One significant development this month has been the publication of consultation documents which will determine whether there will be a future for this project.

Stuart Harland, Chairman, MarshLink Action Group

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