I guess all new jobs have an element of learning and meeting new people.
Last week was a bit like that, starting with meeting Mike Hulme the MD of Alstom, who also happens to be a member of the ELRP society.
Mike currently has six of his apprentices working down at Baron Street. As Mike said to me “they will probably learn more about the fundamentals of engineering at the ELR rather than working on modern locos where there is a lot of computerisation, telemetry and so on”.
I also met with our key local authority partners to discuss progress on their regeneration plans for Rawtenstall (extending the buffer stop with outside seating and erecting a new canopy), Castleton (construction of a cross platform at the mainline station) and Heywood (broaden the visitor experience). I think we have to accept that making quick progress will be a challenge for our partners given the huge level of budget cuts that have to be made. However, both Leaders recognise the great work the ELR does in their local communities with the Residents Permit, regeneration and tourism. They both reaffirmed their commitment to working with the ELR for the longer term.
Got the consultation underway with the first, of three consultation meetings with our heads of department.
These meetings give me a chance to start to explain the Board’s ‘First Principles’ proposals for making the ELR sustainable for the future by firstly consolidating and then strengthening our financial, operational an decision making infrastructure.