Committee Meeting Minutes – Wednesday 1 June 2022 @ 6.30pm
Present: Paul Peros (PP), Simon Hathaway (SH), Trevor Lambert (TL), Ian Coleman (IC), Michelle Young (MY), Maurice Earp (ME), Ali Wolfe (AW).
Apologies: Jemma Hayward (JH), Ben Heath (BH).
Minutes of last meeting (6 April 2022) and matters arising:
1. Minutes: Accepted.
2. Supporter of the Year presentation: This was held on 28 April and the trophy presented to Michael North. Our thanks go to Chris Williams, Niall McWilliams, Karl Robinson and Gary Bloom from the club who kindly gave of their time to support the event.
3. Liaison with OUSP: BH had attended the April 13 meeting of the Supporters’ Panel and PP had attended the May 24 meeting.
4. Next Trust AGM: Discussion on planning and timing to continue outside the meeting.
PP and AW updated the committee on recent developments.
We noted that there are many discussions ongoing with the different stakeholders and interest groups regarding the new stadium, and that it will be some time before a planning application is submitted. The previously stated target of the end of 2022 for submission is the aim, but we would not be surprised if there were some slippage. Work is, we understand, ongoing to develop a video presentation for trial with supporter groups later this year, prior to it being put in the public domain. Meanwhile, the committee will continue to develop its personal and organisational contacts with local politicians and decision makers, to encourage the widest possible understanding and support for the Stratfield Brake proposal.
Ticketing and next season
On 4 May we asked members for comment on the season ticketing announcements for 2022-3, and a report was written by TL jointly with the Supporters Panel and sent to the club on 10 May, with an email to members on 20 May summarising the key points. These mainly concerned the lack of clarity about price increases, the introduction of digital season tickets, charges for physical tickets, and the management of group bookings. In recent days substantially increased prices had been announced for lounge access, with changes including the withdrawal of parking spaces and half time refreshments, sparking fresh criticism.
We discussed these issues at length. Clearly nothing can be done now to change plans for 2022-3, and we felt the focus must be on the future. The key requirement is early consultation, communication, and feedback with supporters groups in confidence next year. This should happen, we felt, some months ahead of significant announcements, to ensure that any problems are anticipated. An example raised by AW was the idea of introducing a designated singing section – if implemented, it would need early planning, given it would involve potentially some season ticket holders moving their seats.
Newsletter issue 3
SH has articles and is assembling this issue, which he hopes to complete shortly.
Trust membership and finances
TL reported no significant change in membership and finances since the April meeting. Outside the meeting we would discuss ideas for growing the membership, given the value of doing so at this important stage in the stadium discussions.
Fundraising and Projects
We are exploring possibilities for fundraising events both for the Beauchamp family and for mental health charities.
PP had spoken with the co-ordinator. We will consider further involvement alongside the club in the coming months.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
RW will consider what is needed to activate our involvement.
Oxford Food Bank
We will pursue a plan for a collection at a match early in the new season.
End of meeting
The meeting closed at 8.30pm. Date of next meeting to be agreed.