September’s board meeting summary

The Dons Trust Board (DTB) held its monthly meeting at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Wednesday, September 14. Ahead of publication of the redacted minutes, this article summarises the main points that were discussed.

The DTB started by discussing the recently published minutes of its meetings and the volume of redactions in those minutes. Matthew Breach summarised that redactions cover commercially sensitive or confidential information (such as that relating to HR issues), but that sometimes what remains can then be out of context. He suggested inserting an explanation in square brackets to explain in broad terms what had been discussed.

Tom Adam commented that it shouldn’t be left to individual board members to suggest redactions but that Matthew Breach, as chair, and Rob McGlinchey as secretary should be the ultimate deciders, which was agreed by the other DTB members. Jane Lonsdale also pointed out that the minutes are an important way for the board to be transparent and accountable, allowing members to see who had raised questions on their behalf.

Next up was a quick discussion about the recent SGM, which had been held at Wimbledon Brewery. Feedback had overall been positive, although some members had felt concerned about having to walk down dark alleyways in order to reach the venue. The discussion concluded that maybe the AGM should be held at Kingsmeadow, which provides a more secure environment for confirming membership of attendees, with SGMs being used to explore other venues.

Tom Adam then gave an update on his fundraising strategy, which aims to avoid duplication of efforts across the different arms of the club as well as explore new avenues. He also mentioned the forthcoming minithon, which is being held on Sunday, October 16 at the training ground.

The meeting was then joined by club chief executive Erik Samuelson, who updated on the latest news with our planning application for a new stadium. Although the possibility of the Secretary of State calling in the application remains, work is continuing on finalising the Section 106 agreements. Jane Lonsdale reported that Bring the Dons Home had had an encouraging response to their appeal for supporters to contact the Secretary of State.

Erik also reported on the stewarding arrangements for the recent Sheffield United match, which had resulted in positive feedback from supporters who stand at the Chemflow End.

The meeting then briefly touched on the EFL’s Whole Game Solution. Supporters will be encouraged to attend the forthcoming Plymouth match. A meeting of EFL clubs is scheduled for the week commencing September 19 and Matthew Breach will endeavour to attend this as a representative of the club in order to voice supporters’ opinions.

A discussion on the London Living Wage was deferred until next month, when Nigel Higgs would be present (he had sent his apologies for this meeting), but a paper on the implications of implementing it has been completed.

With Erik’s report to the DTB completed, the board received updates on the launch of the Trust Webjam, arrangements for the forthcoming Dons Trust Board elections, and branding the Trust’s kiosk (a volunteer is currently completing the artwork). They also discussed a report from the membership group on possible options for offering increased benefits of Trust membership and the possible financial implications of the various options.

Present from the Dons Trust Board were: Tom Adam, Matthew Breach, Mark Davis, Colin Dipple, David Growns, Jane Lonsdale, Sean McLaughlin and Matt Spriegel. Apologies were received from Roger Evans and Nigel Higgs.