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ALBUM: Fit for the Future

October 31, 2018

Dear Member

The Executive have been looking at how we ensure that ALBUM has a sustainable future during these difficult economic times.

In the past twelve months we have lost members with the changes in ownership at Rosendale Transport, EYMS and Nelsons Independent Buses along with the demise of Avon Buses in Merseyside. It would not be unreasonable to assume that other ALBUM members are lost as the difficult trading conditions continue to pinch. Our traditional membership base is slowly disappearing and unless we address this then ALBUM will eventually cease to have a critical mass it needs to offer members the benefits of membership

In the past twelve months we have tried to recruit new members from our traditional market segment, asking each Company MD to recruit one new member. This resulted in two new members joining. We have also attempted to talk to community transport operators who have an O license and operate local bus services. We were unable to recruit anyone from the CTA although we intend to continue to talk to major operators in this market segment.

Following considerable work by a small working group comprising members of varying size and ownership, The Executive are proposing that membership is widened to include the next tier of company ownership that is, members from operators not owned by one the big five groups. This would include such companies as Transdev, Rotala and RATP but we would exclude any company  operating solely on TfL contracts which are in effect franchises. We have already been approached by two of these operators so we know there is interest.

At the moment the view of the membership seems to be that recruiting from the big five groups would be step too far, since their goals are less well-aligned with our own.

In order to recruit from the companies mentioned we need to change ALBUM’s Constitution. This can only be done by the members voting through an EGM. We do not need to hold a physical meeting but propose to hold an electronic vote asking you to vote for this change. A copy of the amended Constitution has been emailed to all members, with the changes highlighted. If you need a copy, please contact Thomas Knowle.

This also includes changes to the support functions brought about by impending retirements, as well as the addition of a suppliers’ representative. These are all due to take effect from May 2019. At the same time we are also changing the Constitution in an attempt to improve the corporate management of ALBUM through the Executive, making it more transparent and open. Again these changes are highlighted.

Please use your vote to give ALBUM a sustainable and long term future by return your voting slip as requested

Many thanks

Bill Hiron, Chair, ALBUM