The National Traction Engine Trust

A letter from Steve Arrowsmith a member of the NTET in the latest edition of 'Old Glory' makes a number of allegations against the Chairman and Executive Committee of the Trust on their conduct of the AGM. In particular he criticises me for not allowing the use of proxy votes when voting for the new council members on the grounds that this contravenes our memorandum and Articles of Association.
Mr Arrowsmith is incorrect. Under Article 20 of the Memorandum and Articles of Association, the election of new members to the General Council is Ordinary Business not Special Business, similar to receiving reports, approving the accounts and appointing auditors, etc.
It is normal for Ordinary Business to be conducted and approved, or not, by a show of hands and this was the method correctly applied in each and every case, including the appointment of two new members to the General Council.
Furthermore Article 25 specifies how Resolutions should be dealt with and the application of a poll, which takes account of proxies. This was applied in the case of the motion put forward by Derek Rayner, which was a special resolution.
Any member may move a resolution at a General Meeting which is printed as it will be voted on in the agenda. Mr Arrowsmith asserts that, in the resolution under Article 16, the omission of ‘a significant part’ made it far more hostile than the original wording and virtually ensured that the motion was not carried.
The omitted material was sent to the General Secretary under a sub-heading. It was not part of the Motion which was printed verbatim in the notice of the meeting that would have been received well in advance of the AGM by Messrs Rayner and Arrowsmith. Mr Rayner, however, raised these matters at the meeting, at some length.
Mr Arrowsmith is critical of the overall management of the Trust and seeks to displace the existing management and also seeks supporters of his cause. This is his right.
However, he makes a serious accusation, perhaps he doesn’t realise how serious, in stating that I ran the meeting in contravention of the Trust’s Rules and the Law.

Robert Herring, Chairman

23 Feb 2012