As Paul Henry had been unable to attend recent meetings and was concerned there were unanswered questions he needed to deal with he suggested that if the Secretary collated a list of specific questions requiring a response he would, in turn, answer those questions and circulate his response by email to all on the FOHS mailing list
Reference was made to the problem two of the Friends had encountered on Sunday in their role as Ambassadors whereby they were obliged to assist Northern passengers awaiting the Bus Replacement Service at the station which unfortunately had not appeared. Passengers were becoming a little agitated and as they were only in possession of a general enquiries number for Northern they were unable to get an explanation for its non arrival. The bus eventually arrived twenty minutes late but the situation seemed unsatisfactory where we lack appropriate numbers to make contact with Northern. Paul said there were internal numbers and he would investigate this problem.
There were in fact numbers in the paperwork in our possession on which we could contact Northern and Network Rail for emergencies.
Friends highlighted the fact that there is no formal pickup point indicated, buses park in a variety of places and passengers can be found both inside and outside of the station and need rounding up.It was considered that there was probably no communication between the driver and Northern which was part of the problem whilst it was maintained that the timings for the buses from station to station was, in all probability, unrealistic. Drivers also needed to be made aware that ticketing was not an essential.
Attention was drawn to the deplorable state of the other platform and it was decided that the outstanding issues to be presented by Paul Henry would encompass:
weeds, sliding doors bins, poster case, presence of new leaks from the area around the third pillar from the wooden fence at the north end of the station.
Station Cleaning and Station Rota
There must be a standard to which all conform in that cleaning must be completed at least twenty minutes before the first train and prospective absences should be notified in advance and a replacement arranged.
A suitable letter would be composed outlining clearly the standards and expectations we have of our cleaners and Ambassadors. Despite the fact we are all volunteers we should rigorously fulfil our duties or should withdraw if interest in the position had been lost. If anyone was not prepared to fall in line with the requirements of the role they had undertaken they could be invited to give up their passes in favour of others who may be prepared to act in the same capacity.
Interchange Council Response
Despite a couple of emails to Peter Frost no reply had been forthcoming regarding any developments or feedback from the bus companies. It was possible Peter might be in attendance at the TCG meeting where contact could be made.
The original website under the name of the Friends had now been suspended presumably as a consequence of the Seaton website going live. Progress towards completion had been stalled because of illness and contact had ground to a halt.
Information forming the home page was circulated as well as information explaining the Grand Central Ambassador scheme.
Tribute was paid to other members of the Friends who had been extremely helpful in doing some investigative work at the library supplying a number of old station pictures as well as photographs of their own.
It was agreed that a group photograph would feature on the website so a photo session would be convened at the station just prior to our next meeting.
Grand Central Ambassadors:
There was little to report and some GC fact sheets were circulated
It was noted that the Grand Hotel were now advertising their restaurant which had been re-christened Grand Central and Friends speculated on the reaction of GC to this development.
Transport Champions Group:
A brief update was given, referring to the last meeting which was the first of the themed meetings and was given over to Health/ Hospitals. A lot of ground had been covered but time ran out and it was decided to continue the discussion at a further additional meeting. This additional meeting scheduled for the 26th June was in turn cancelled to be replaced by 17th July.
Vic reported that the Coastliners committee had met on Monday 20th May and the next open meeting would take place on the 30th July and would host Paul Robson, the council officer who chairs the TCG meetings who would give an overview of transport issues locally and regionally.
Any Other Business:
The next meeting was scheduled to take place at 9-13 Scarborough Street, Hartlepool, on Friday 27 September 2013 at 10.00 a.m.