My correspondence with a local council ....
The TransWilts Community Rail Partnership has arranged for Santa Claus to be in the waiting room at Swindon Station on one weekend day in December when the train from Westbury arrives, and to meet with the children and their parents / guardians before it returns, giving them gifts and having a brief chat with them.
It [ac] Ä s been suggested that I let you know, as the interpretation of Chid Protection rules differs between authorities, and I feel that any questions you have should be resolved ahead of time. All of the children on the trip will be accompanied by their parents or guardians at all times, and they will have pre booked the trip in the anticipation of their children meeting Santa. The trip is being arranged with the help of First Great Western who are adding an extra carriage to the train that day, and their station manger has approved and is assisting at Swindon Station.
An enquiry last year along similar lines, when Santa was in Wiltshire, informed us that we were find under their interpretation of the rules - but I thought I had best check.
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Dear Sir / Madam ...
Attached below is a copy of an email I send to you about an hour ago, asking whether I needed to let you know about a certain visitor to Swindon one coming weekend.
In view of my message being return (as far as I can make out) as spam - i.e. an email you don't want - may I assume that I don't need to notify you further? I did try calling in, but neither Zxxx on the switchboard nor Rxxxxx in Child services were able to give me a clear answer, nor were able to advise me on ho to re-send the email. Perhaps you could call me if I need to take it further?
Thank you for your email dated 20th November 2014.
Can you supply us with a little bit more information regarding who the visitor will be or why they will be visiting? So I can forward your enquiry onto the right team.
Swindon Borough Council
Err .... I'm not sure what more there is to tell.
The gentleman visiting is the former chair of the Xxxxxxxx - Pxxxxx Jxxxxx - and he will be dressed in a red costume with a (fake) white beard, as it traditional in the UK at this time of year. The purpose of his visit will be to help bestow the season's spirit on the children, and to provide an appropriate gift to each of them. The gifts, and the rail travel from Westbury / Trowbridge / Melksham to Swindon will have been pre booked by parents / guardians of the children, and the children will in every case be accompanied at all times by that person or another family member or similar who the parents / guardians choose to let take the children.
My original email, which came back as part of your initial rejection of my message, contained the further details I felt you might require, and remains copied on the bottom of this. I'm sure you'll appreciate that to copy them in a more prominent place in the email might well result in my message being rejected by your automated system once again.
Thank you for your email dated 21st November 2014.
I can confirm your request has been passed on to our licencing department, who will be in contact regarding your enquiry.
Firstly I apologise for the length of time it has taken to respond to your initial enquiry and the confusion over which department would be able to respond to you.
We can confirm that it is not necessary for you to make a formal notification of this event but thank you for bringing to our attention. As 'Santa' will not be left unsupervised we have no child protection issues.
I look forward to seeing many happy children and their parents and guardians on the trains from Westbury, Trowbridge and Melksham to Swindon on Sunday, 14th December 2014!
. See http://twcrp.info/santa
for more details. pre booking required
if you want to see Santa! (written 2014-11-25, updated 2014-11-26)
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