April’s board meeting summary

The Dons Trust board (DTB) held its usual monthly board meeting at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Wednesday 24 April. Ahead of publication of the redacted minutes, this article summarises the main points discussed.

The meeting was attended by DTB members Rob Crane, Mark Davis, Colin Dipple, Roger Evans, Cormac van der Hoeven, Anna Kingsley, Hannah Kitcher, Jane Lonsdale, Luke Mackenzie. Also in attendance were Ed Leek, club chief executive Joe Palmer and volunteer liaison officer Rick Thomas. Trust secretary David Growns and minute-taker Roger Edmonds-Brown were also in attendance.

The meeting started by officially ratifying the co-option of Ed Leek onto the Trust board following an interview process. Mark Davis summarised the process that had been gone through and thanked the other Wimbledon fans who had responded to the appeal for fans with financial expertise to step forward. Ed’s co-option was unanimously approved.

Rick Thomas then introduced the latest draft of the club and Trust volunteers’ charter. Rick explained that this had been a work in progress since his appointment. Following previous feedback, it had been redrafted in an attempt to stress that it is a two-way relationship between the volunteer and the club/Trust. The aim is to have it in place by the start of 2019/20. Rick said that it is intended to safeguard and protect our volunteers.

The board agreed to after the meeting give some feedback to Rick on some aspects of language. It was agreed to draw up a checklist that volunteers can sign after stepping forward: I wish to be a volunteer; I’ve had an induction; I’ve read the volunteers’ charter; I am happy to be on the volunteers’ database.

After Rick left the meeting, the board talked through the football club board’s report that Joe Palmer had shared with them before the meeting, summarising latest developments at the club. The report gave updates on the latest player situations, the club’s finances, and commercial performance. The report also mentioned a deaf-awareness training course that two members of staff were due to go on; Jane Lonsdale asked whether audio commentary would be provided at the new stadium and Joe confirmed that it would be.

Colin Dipple asked about the club’s use of plastic glasses after the issue had been raised by a supporter, and asked about the club’s work with Sustainable Merton. Joe said that we can start to make some changes now but we will need an environmental policy when we move to the new stadium. It was agreed to arrange a follow-up meeting with Sustainable Merton.

The latest stadium report from the stadium working group covered the latest state of play with finalising the stadium specification, financing and timescales. It also covered meetings that Joe had had with key stakeholders since his appointment as chief executive officer.

After discussing next steps with Wimbledon in Sporting History following the previous week’s SGM and receiving an update on the We Are Wimbledon Fund, the meeting ran through the latest state of play with each of the priority areas that had been allocated to individual board members.

The board then discussed a report with recommendations that had been put forward by the election steering group on the 2018 election, and it was agreed to collate further comments after the meeting before feeding back to John Dolan and his group.