Minutes of Quarterly Meeting with Ben Kensall 30/10/2019

Present:

Ben Kensell, Lynette Hannant, Andy Batley, Robin Sainty, Kathy Blake, Gary Field, Glenn Bate.

Safe standing:

This is very much a work in progress with NCFC at present involved in a fact-finding project, while with the help of Jon Darch they are lobbying the sports minister. They are currently assessing two different suppliers of rail seats, one of whom has installed the rail seats at Wolves, and the other at Shrewsbury. The club are visiting both and have drawn up estimated costs which are expected to be around £400,000- £500,000. There would be no capacity change and so this would be a question of satisfying demand rather than gaining a commercial benefit. No decisions have been made and won’t be until more supporter consultation has been carried out in the relevant area of the ground.

Yellows:

At present the venue is available for hire for one off events. The Trust would like to see it up and running as a multipurpose community based focal point with a tenant (possibly the Canaries Trust). Discussions are ongoing and BK will consult Delia as Yellows is effectively part of the restaurant complex.

On the Baw:

Vending machines will be installed in ladies’ toilets at all grounds by the end of November and should be up and running for the Arsenal game. BK passed around photos of what other clubs had done. These varied between sophisticated dispensers to just a labelled basket (not necessarily according to the financial status of the club). The Club realises it could have simply provided boxes of items but wanted to provide a better standard of service although the machines are obviously more expensive, and this is to be applauded. AP pointed out that it needed to be made clear that no money was needed as vending machines gave the impression you needed to insert cash. BK felt that it already was. AP pointed out that former committee member Mandie Thorpe had put a lot of work into this and asked if the Canaries Trust logo could be incorporated into the display. BK said this was impractical but that the Trust would be invited to the launch.

Pointless Plastic:

KB said that this was a hot topic generally these days and that sports venues had a huge amount of plastic waste. There was an online campaign called Pointless Plastic. Cricket grounds had taken steps to improve things. Could NCFC be a trailblazer? BK said this was already in progress and Stuart Cox (Catering) and David Hanwell (Sustainability Projects Manager) had made inroads. Biodegradable straws, wooden stirrers, wooden sporks, and milk jigs were already in use and plastic bags and sauce sachets had been phased out. The big issue is plastic glasses. Difficult to collect up and unlike at cricket not suitable for retaining. The Club are determined to find a solution.

Shares/Mills & Reeve

Problems
Documents have been lost at the club. 3 lots had been sent to Ben Dack and had been mislaid.
Mills & Reeve have showed an unhelpful attitude and don’t appear that the Trust members dealing with them are all volunteers. BK to discuss with Mills & Reeve.

KB said things had improved since Rebecca Shearer had been involved.

Roy Blower

KB had been approached by a Trust member regarding a permanent memorial for Roy Blower. She was aware another fan had also approached BK but this was separate from today’s discussion. The suggestion however was a sound one i.e. naming the press room after him. BK pointed out that although he was aware of Roy’s standing among fans, there may be others out there also considered at the same level. You couldn’t do something for them all. He would however bring this up at the next board meeting. AB suggested a memorial garden possibly located at The Nest.

Membership scheme:

Consultations had now finished and a feedback group set up. The club will report back to fan groups on 12th November 2019.

Health & Safety

GB reported on an incident that had been brought to his attention regarding an autistic boy who had been frightened by smoke grenades being set off during the Villa game after which a Villa fan leapt into the disabled section.. A discussion had taken place on Facebook which contained a lot of negativity about the Club. GB wondered if the club could do something for the lad to encourage him back to Carrow Rd. BK said he would look at it. AB suggested a trip around the control room on matchday so he could see that safety was being monitored and was a paramount consideration.
BK updated the meeting regarding the supporter whose life was saved by stewards and paramedics during the Manchester City game, acknowledging the work of paramedics and stewards operating behind the scenes on matchdays. KB said that maybe this should be used as an example to raise awareness of health and safety measures in place at the Club.
AB showed examples of smoke bombs, flares and smoke grenades. The latter were very small, barely bigger than a lipstick and virtually impossible to prevent being smuggled in under current search regulations. He also explained how the use of advanced technology in the control room had resulted in the people who threw the flares being arrested and they will receive football banning orders.
In the course of the discussion AB mentioned that there are 57 emergency telephones around the ground which are free to use. KB said again, it might be helpful to make people more aware of these as they could save a life. RS said the Trust would gladly advertise these sort of facts.

Foodbank Collection:

This has now been definitely fixed for the Southampton game on March 14th 2020.

Equality initiative:

RS thanked the football club for giving the Trust the opportunity to be involved in this. It was an agenda item at the forthcoming committee meeting later in the evening.

Trust AGM:

RS said he would like to firm this up with date and guest as soon as possible. Various potential guests were discussed. Both parties will continue to liaise on this issue once the Trust have confirmed a definite date to the Club.

VAR:

NCFC together with other clubs were approaching the Premier League to say that in their opinion more weight should be given to the on-field referee who would have more of a feel for the game. Long delays were disruptive and irritating for fans.

Date of next meeting

LH will come up with some potential dates for the 2020 quarterly meetings. The expectation is that next one will be in January.

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