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Watford Football Club ENABLES - Thursday 26th May 2016

Committee Meeting open to all members

WFC Staff Room , Vicarage Road Stadium

Kick Off: 7.30 pm


1. Welcome and apologies

2. Minutes of the last meeting

3. Matters arising

4. Agenda Items

a) Update on resolution of the Upper Graham Taylor Stand seat movement affecting

disabled supporters

b) Concerns over the Call back process for disabled supporters via the Ticket Office

c) Access restrictions in some areas before a match.

d) Green Guide – Plans to meet guidelines – issues arising – Accessible Stadia Bill

e) Membership update – promotions

f) Social Events – Club’s Community Day?

g) AOB

5. Date of Next Meeting

6. Thanks and Close

Minutes of the Meeting

Minutes of the meeting of WFC Enables, held at The Staff Room, Vicarage Road Stadium, on Thursday 26th May 2016, at 7.30pm.

Committee present:

Dave Messenger WFC Supporter Liaison Officer

Andy Jenkins WFC Equality and Diversity Lead Officer

Jo Simmons WFC Ticketing Manager

Glyn Evans WFC Operations Director

David Butler WFCE Chairman

Phil Linnegar WFCE Secretary

Iain Lamb WFCE Treasurer

Phil Nightingale WFCE Vice Chairman

Committee apologies:

Richard Patey WFCE Committee

1. Welcome

David Butler welcomed everyone to the meeting. David noted that WFCE Membership had risen to 74 members, and 15 had sent apologies for absence.

2. Minutes of the last meeting

2.1 The minutes of the last meeting WFCE 005 held on the 16/03/16 were proposed by IL, seconded by DM, and accepted.

3. Matters arising

3.1 There were no matters arising, that were not on the agenda.

4. Agenda Items

4.1 UGT Seat movements affecting disabled supporters

4.11 UGT seat movement had caused problems for physically disabled supporters who wanted an end of aisle position for ease of access. DB reported that all people affected by seat moves, who were known, have been satisfied, and the changes had included a sightline and health and safety review. DM thanked the supporters for their patience.

4.2 Ticket Office Call Back

4.21 DB read out an email from a supporter, about a Call Back assumed to be in relation to the Wembley Semi-final. Emails about ticket sales call back and follow up emails created a volume of work. After some discussion, it was agreed that the Ticket Office needs a dedicated email address for disabled supporters, and an automated reply from JS.

Action: DM

4.3 Access Restrictions

4.31 DB read out an email from a supporter, about access to the SEJ stand bar being refused by stewards at the last two matches. GE explained that each stand and their facilities have a capacity: If a stand is full, it cannot be allowed to become overcrowded due to health and safety concerns.

4.32 The group discussed visiting supporters in the NE corner. GE explained that wheelchair access across front of SEJ stand and through the technical area while a match is on, and for 10 minutes afterwards due to ambulant supporters leaving, is not permitted.

4.3 Green Guide

4.31 DB reported that the Accessible Sports Ground Bill had run out of parliamentary time. DB had contacted Lord Faulkner about the balance between percentage supply and actual demand of accessible seating. On 24/05/16, the Minister for Sport asked disabled supporters to engage with a new survey.

4.32 DM reported Green Guide developments at Vicarage Road. NE Corner platform in development, (10 spaces), delayed due to shop construction. Wheelchair platform at street level (10 spaces) and pitch level (10 spaces). The priority at the moment is for visiting supporters.

4.33 GE explained that the retrospective fitting of disabled wheelchair seating and accessible toilets is hugely problematic in old stands. However, the challenges will be addressed. A new passenger lift has been ordered.

4.5 Membership Update

4.1 DB asked WFC and Members to keep him updated with email address changes. There were 99 members to date, and 52 of 74 disabled members have voluntarily categorised their disabilities.

4.6 Any Other Business

4.61 DM would contact the Committee, once a date for the WFC Community Day had been confirmed.

4.62 IL reported that the WFCE bank balance was £793.40,

4.7 Equality and Diversity

4.71 AJ explained his role as Equality and Diversity Lead, and that an external assessment of the Club had been undertaken and recommendations which include WFCE can be viewed on the WFC website. This assessment forms part of a larger community and stakeholder engagement at the Club, to help inform decision making.

4.8 Pricing Policy

4.81 DB read out an email from a supporter, citing the pricing policy at Arsenal FC and noting that WFC had none.

GE responded by explaining that if a Club cannot make a reasonable adjustment, then an adjustment to pricing would be looked at. GE explained that NADS/LPF view was ticket prices would be the same for all fans, where a Club had made a reasonable adjustment.

4.9 Evacuation Policy

4.91 Eddie Lucas had identified that there was a potential hazard evacuating from the ground in a wheelchair, as the stand access was blocked by a crane. ER asked what the evacuation procedure was in the event of an incident. GE explained that in the event of an incident, wheelchair users would be moved to the grass/pitch.

4.10 Accessible Toilets

4.10.1 The issue of accessible toilets was discussed. Wheelchair users have a long route to the toilet. GE explained that the regulations require a journey of 40m or less from the wheelchair space, and reported that accessible toilets were being built in the SW corner during the summer.

4.11 Thanks to WFC Operations and Premier League Team

4.11.1 ER expressed his thanks and delight to JS and GE for the tremendous boost the Club has made in developments after 39 years of being a supporter. ER suggested a letter should be sent to Quique Sanchez Flores, and agreed to draft it.

Action: ER

4.11.2 ER asked about wheelchair ponchos. PL explained that they continued to be available on request from WFC, via GE and DM. However, there had been some problems with affixing the WFC logo and WFCE logo on these. AJ offered to look at this issue.

Action: AJ

5. Date of the Next Meeting

5.1 David confirmed that the next WFCE meeting would be held before the start of the season - date TBD and communicated via email and the website.

6. Thanks and Close

6.1 David thanks everyone for their contributions, and closed the meeting at 8.50pm.