Committee Meeting Minutes – Monday 26 June 2023 @ 6.30pm
Present: Paul Peros (PP), Ali Wolfe (AW), Jemma Hayward (JH), Ben Heath (BH), Trevor Lambert (TL), Maurice Earp (ME), Michelle Young (MY).
Apologies: Ian Coleman (IC), Simon Hathaway (SH), Robert Weavers (RW).
1. Minutes of last meeting (8 February 2023) and matters arising:
PP and AW had discussed season ticket pricing overall with Adam Benson following his appointment, and TL had participated in a discussion with Adam, Lee Barton and OUSP immediately prior to the announcement of prices. Members were given details of the discussion with Adam in May. In the last few days we have been consulted on match day pricing and admin and postal charges, and OxVox and OUSP will comment jointly. TL was collating views from JH, ME, BH and others. We will seek more notice in future from the club, to enable us to give proposals a more considered view.
This is not an issue currently, as the status quo is retained.
We intend to hold another match day food bank collection in the new season and will explore the possibilities.
The County Council consultation survey on the Triangle will close at midnight on 23 July. We will make further efforts in the next weeks to encourage all supporters to complete the survey, to demonstrate the wide level of positive backing for the new stadium.
The exhibition sessions are going well, but we will continue to press for visuals to supplement the text information on display boards. While acknowledging the reluctance to be too specific, the time is coming for images, digital walkthroughs and similar demonstrations to give residents and supporters a clearer idea of how the stadium will look in its local setting. Our view in discussion was that this would allay many of the concerns and counter myths that critics of the stadium plan have voiced.
All agreed with MY’s comment that the main concerns of many Kidlington residents were traffic management and parking issues on match days once the new stadium was in operation. Detailed modelling and communication of the stated plans to minimise car use was needed and we will continue to stress this issue with the club.
Looking forward, PP said that meetings in the coming weeks would be directed towards preparations for the September County Council meeting which will make the decision whether to lease the land. Beyond that, assuming a positive outcome, activity turns towards a planning application.
The Oxford Mail has featured 3 OxVox columns so far, on alternating weeks with the Supporters panel. So far we have covered the stadium project (27/5/23), match day travel and the new stadium (10/6/23), and community (24/6/23). AW is likely to write the next one.
In SH’s absence we did not discuss the Vox Newsletter, except to note that Issue 4 was completed last month, and we need to publicise it widely along with the earlier issues.
We are collating issues for the next Safety Advisory Group which AW will attend. We will put out a call for suggestions of potential safety issues of which supporters are aware.
Full members continue to receive all our emails, Associates are only sent emails relating to the new stadium.
Regarding communications from the club to supporters, PP noted the recent improvements in presentations, visuals, and messaging following Adam Benson’s appointment. Recruitment also appears to be going well under Ed Waldron and associated videos with new players are good.
Questions that remain include the reasons for the loss of the 1893 club; the date for the next fans’ forum; the need to give higher priority and substance to the role of Supporter Liaison Officer; and the apparent lack of access to players for interview noted by the team in the BBC Dub podcast recently.
4. Membership and finance
There are now 1033 Full members and 197 Associates, reported TL. Cash reserves are approximately £14k. Accounts for the year to 30 September 2022 are drafted and awaiting signoff by our auditor. We will add SH to the signatories on our bank account.
5. Play It Forward
The fundraising page to support tickets for deserving fans had raised £2,387 in its first week of operation, reported TL. It will run for four weeks in all, till 18 July, and we and OUSP will further publicise it. Allocation of tickets under the scheme will be made by the club. It is our view that the Community Trust may be best placed to advise. We agreed that supporters, having donated money, should in due course have confirmation of it having been used to provide additional tickets.
6. Supporter of the Year
We will issue a call for nominations this week and hold a poll as soon as possible, with the aim of making the award in pre-season or very early in the season.
7. Reward Scheme
We discussed this scheme for life members to obtain discounts from local businesses. We agreed to contact the businesses listed to confirm whether they remained interested in offering discounts.
Acute Homes and Polythene UK remain sponsors and would be extended for the coming year. We agreed to offer recognition to Liam Faulkner’s company given they have recently assisted us with domain and website hosting, and offer continuing support.
9. Any other business
MY mentioned that a Family Day/Open Day had been discussed previously but had not been scheduled. The opportunity had probably been missed but we felt that there were possibilities of inviting groups to the training ground which the club could explore.
Match day stalls
We would plan one for an early game, using it as an opportunity to collect comments about the stadium plans and to sign up new members.
Disabled facilities at Grenoble Road remained limited and this topic could be revisited in conjunction with OUSP.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
No progress update available in RW’s absence.
Possible future involvement jointly with OUSP, no convenient date yet found.
End of meeting
The meeting closed at 8.45pm. Date of next meeting to be agreed.