Minutes from the September meeting of CUSGCUSG Meeting - September; Venue - Sponsor's Lounge, Brunton Park.
In attendance - Nigel Clibbens, Andy Hall, Amy Nixon (CUFC), John Kukuc, Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC), Joanne Merrie (CUSAT), Simon Clarkson (London Branch), John Ireland, Steven (West Cumbria Travel), Barry Carter (Disabled Fans Rep).
Apologies - Norman Steel (CUOSC), Nigel Dickinson, Suzanne Kidd, Phil King (CUFC), Kate Rowley, Ali Ross (CUSAT).
As per the arrangements agreed at the last meeting, Simon from the London Branch chaired the meeting. He would undertake this role for the first third of the season, before handing over to a representative of one of the other groups that make up CUSG.
CUSG required a separate bank account to be set up in our own name. This required us to produce a formal constitution. Simon had drafted a document based on template provided by the bank that had various edits suggested. This was discussed at length, with the aim of producing a final version within a week or so, to be published online.
ACTION: Simon to amend and circulate, and produce final version.
Brunton Park restoration
Nigel reported that the restoration was now into its final stages. The Neil Centre had been fully functional for six weeks. The Study Centre had re-opened four days ago. The West Stand was 95% restored. The new offices in the East Stand would take another 3-4 weeks to fully kit out. There was a snag with the Media centre and Press box as they still needed connection to ISDN/BT lines which were reliant on work by BT Openreach. The club had been waiting for 3 weeks for this work to be completed and had no completion date.
Three food kiosks were almost ready but were unlikely to be open in time for Saturday's match against Leyton Orient. The portakabins had not been used in 3-4 weeks but were still to be removed.
Nigel indicated a priority for the club was the refurbishment of the undamaged Sunset Suite, (plan made before the flood). Ideas for the placement of memorabilia were discussed, as were ideas for CUSG's constituent groups to promote themselves.
ACTION: Refurbishment of Sunset to be discussed at length in next meeting with Phil's return.
Fun Day 2017
Advance planning for next year's event was discussed. CUSG wished to offer any support it could to build on its success. It was agreed a working group should be formed to plan and work with external parties. Suzanne was lead for this at CUFC last year. CUSG to offer any help they could in the planning stages.
ACTION: Creation of working group in time for next meeting and report back on progress.
Investment / Blue Yonder
Nigel said a forthcoming board meeting on September 15 would discuss this. An announcement concerning investment was expected soon after that meeting.
There was nothing further to report on Blue Yonder. The 'lock-in' agreement the club had with a developer was soon to expire.
ACTION: Club to announce any updates to supporters in due course.
Disabled Supporters Group / Disabled Facilities
Barry had been promised 'back up' in his role as disabled fans rep on the CUSG. The idea was to identify various groups he could consult with on matters relating to disabled supporters. A group of deaf supporters and a power wheelchair group had been identified and Barry would be put in touch with them both. A general appeal would also be made for any disabled supporter or group to contact Barry. This would help Barry to be more representative. Nigel Dickinson was identified as main Disabled Liaison Officer for the club. Tarn Simmons was backing him up from the ticket office. The Community Sports Trust had more potential contacts.
Barry had carried out a comprehensive survey on the state of the ground as it stands for access to disabled supporters. He summarised this for the benefit of the group. A discussion on the facilities and issues and options was held.
ACTION: Barry to liaise with Nigel Dickinson over options to improve the matchday experience and facilities and priority of upgrades. Specific plans needed to progress Fans Fund application.
A £500 donation to the Flood Appeal had been handed over at the Plymouth match. There was £3,000 in the bank at present. 50 or so pin badges remained unsold. The group required a treasurer.
ACTION: Groups to advertise for the position of treasurer.
Commentary equipment for visually impaired supporters
Andy suggested that external funding could now be sought for this project. He was progressing this option with Simon and the help of the Community Sports Trust. Paperwork was under way. He expected to have an update by the end of the week.
Questions were asked about the next forum. Nigel said it was club policy to hold them. CUOSC were organising an event for next month.
Fans' Zone Marquee
Nigel was hoping to lay on another marquee for a forthcoming game. The group discussed the possibility of targetting the Crawley match on October 29. The King's Own Border Regiment would be available for that day. The idea to make the game into a form of 'military day' was expanded upon. This idea would require further discussion and planning. John was identified as a key contact for progressing this within CUSG.
Any Other Business
The following issues were raised:
Club rep to pop into away fans coach to acknowledge travelling support.
PA system - still not ideal and needs improvement. Suggestion that it was too loud in the East Stand. Club to work on this.
Drinks prices - Nigel had sourced an explanation from caterers. Basic price of £3.20 a pint held for three years. Prices in Beehive - £2.90 (Fosters) and Rugby Club - £2.70 undercut CUFC's.
Scoreboard - had not been working in second half of Accrington match. Club said anyone close by could operate it. Volunteer(s) to be sought.
TVs - Complaints about lack of live TV games being shown in bars. Club's policy is to show live matches and this will be sorted.
A shirt sponsor for the CUFC Ladies Team was being sought, and progress had been made.
Complaints that first people to buy away tickets were being sat at back of stands. Club said it had no control the order, it was given tickets. General policy of many clubs was to sell from the back first.
An idea for a CUFC club song had been put forward by a supporter. Andy to contact him about progressing it.
Xbox controllers in the Family Zone had gone missing. Club were sorting this out.
London Branch were in the process of commissioning a flag for the Waterworks End. There were still, on occasions, more away flags than CUFC ones in that part of ground.
Nigel requested on behalf of the club that the groups promote the match programme and Golden Gamble.
Club requested more supporters with First Aid at Work certificates to make themselves known, due to a shortage of first aiders on match days. People volunteering for this would get paid.
A 'trading name' for CUSG was to be considered. 'CUSG' was not considered 'marketable'. To further discuss at next meeting.
Next meeting - in week commencing October 10.