News from the Boardroom – February 2016

Board Room 1

Following a review of Board Structures there are currently 15 Board positions:

Director Post Status Name
Chair (non operational) New Mike Kelly
Carriage and Wagon Existing Roland Hatton
Civil Engineering Existing Phil Bailey
Commercial New Vacant
Customer Services New Alex Walker
Development New Alan Lee
Finance Existing David Layland
Infrastructure New Vacant
Managing Director New Andy Morris
Ops, Health & Safety Existing Richard Law
Personnel Director New Vacant
Signalling and Telecommunications Existing Peter Duncan
Traction Existing Malcolm Kirkwood
Traction & Rolling Stock New Vacant
Non Executive Existing Colin Jones

I am pleased to announce the election to the ELLRCo Board of Andy Morris, Alan Lee and Alex Walker to new portfolios.

Andy Morris becomes Managing Director with responsibility for supporting the Chair and Board in order to deliver strategy and implement Company policies, the customer product and in maintaining good staffing relations with accessibility and visibility where appropriate to both paid and volunteer staff and overseeing the general business administration performance.

This post has no management responsibilities of other Board Directors.

It is necessary to accept that this is both a Board Director role and where the same individual has clear day to day operational responsibilities as the General Manager by acting in the capacity of a conduit back to the Board for a range of operational performance and service delivery responsibilities.

Alan Lee becomes Development Director – His areas of responsibility will to champion the growth of the railway within the ELLRCo Board and ELR Trust Board over the next 3- 5 years and will be within the context of the ELLRCo Business Plan and its annual review.

The Development Director’s new strategic role would be to:

  • Lead discussion on a review of the list of current projects in terms of progress made, continued relevance, and business plan priorities;
  • Future Business Plan development and Performance Framework – Red, Amber, Green (RAG) reporting system;
  • Project Risk Profiles.

Working closely with the Operational Management Team , the Board will quickly be informed of what future resources are required and in what internal or external areas of the Company’s activities the solution might lie.

Alex Walker becomes Customer Services Director – Currently this area is overseen by the Stations Director (post deleted). The Board felt the new title better reflected the importance of customer services at Board level. Operational elements the former Station Director’s responsibilities have been transferred to the Operations, Health & Safety Director with revenue and income protection transferring to the Finance Director.

Areas of responsibility include:

Stations Department                       Stations Standards

Passenger Services                         TTIs

Complaints                                     Customer Care – Training

A new  Director post  with responsibility for Bury Transport Museum will be considered at the next ELLRCo Board meeting.

Transition to new Board Governance

The transition to a new Board structure and formalising the work of the Operational Management Team will take time. Progress can only meaningfully move ahead when the new financial and operational support infrastructure is in place. As a result, progress will be incremental. Once fully operational, there will be no expectation on Board Directors with portfolios to micro-manage departmental managers. However, there will be an expectation that portfolio holders will have responsibility and ownership of areas allocated to them in the Company’s Business Plan.



5 thoughts on “News from the Boardroom – February 2016

  1. I’m enjoying reading your updates on the workings of the railway behind the sences and so far very impressed. It is also good to see that there is going to be a greater focus from the board into all areas of the railway. However, please do remember that this is a volunteer railway and the staff and customers have to have enjoyment from it. Keep up the good work. Sam


    1. Sam,

      thanks for your comments. If you have had chance to read my election address published in the latest ELR Magazine, you will see that supporting and valuing our volunteers is one of my top priorities. I am working with David Wright to progress the development of a ‘volunteers Charter’ which will, for the first time, enshrine in writing what volunteers can expect from the Company and what is expected of volunteers whilst on the railway. The changes at Board level are necessary if we are to ensure the past success of the ELR is sustained. Come along to the Society’s AGM where I am explaining these plans.


  2. Is this a final board structure or is there further refinement to come? The three positions of Carriage & Wagon, Traction and, Traction & Rolling Stock would, from their titles, expected to be combined under the one role of T&RS. Also is, Infrastructure differentiated from Civil Engineering, again these two would at first glance appear to be interchangeable?
    A modern, business focused board and Company ethos is to be welcomed; but as Sam says it is vitally important to ensure the volunteers that put all the work in, that allows the company to function, are on board and understand the changes. Passions within any hobby tend to run high and ensuring understanding is the key to keeping the company’s volunteer workforce on-side, and removes the opportunity for rumour and miss information.
    Keep up the information flow, its good to know a little of what happens about the decision making process of our railway’s management.


    1. Nick,

      Thanks for your comments. I have replied to Sam, assuring him and you that supporting and nurturing our volunteers is one of my top priorities. Come along to the AGM in April to learn more.

      On the posts you highlighted, we are progressively moving away from single area responsibility. This will take time and I will update through my blog.


    2. Nick,

      Sorry for not replying sooner but I have just picked this up. I am still getting used to this new blog stuff. The structure which you referred to is expected to be able to successfully cope with the planned governance and operational changes. I held three consultation meetings with Heads of Departments in the run up to the ELRPS AGM in April. I also made a presentation at the AGM, from which I received broad support. As you will have seen from earlier blog postings, we have filled most of the new portfolios, with a further appointment to be made at Board later this month for a Traction and Rolling Stock Director. I will be including this in my blog on ‘News from the Boardroom’ shortly after.


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