Board Meeting 12 - January 2014

Minutes of the twelfth meeting of the Sports Grounds Safety Authority held on 24 January 2014 in Fleetbank House

Mr P Darling ​Chairman
Dr P Lane
Mr P Rowley​
Mr R Wilkie
Mr D Wilson
Ms R Shaw​Chief Executive
In attendance
Mr R Hebberd – for items 4 and 5
Mr K Sears – for items 4 and 5
Mr G Longhorn
Apologies were received from Mr B Batson
The Risk and Audit Committee had met before the start of the Board meeting.
1. Minutes of the previous meeting

  • The minutes were agreed and signed by the Chairman.

2. Matters arising

  • The Board noted the extension of Ms Shaw’s secondment agreement until 31 March 2015.

3. Chief Executive’s Reports  (SGSA(13)19 and SGSA(14)01)

  • The Board noted the content of the two papers.
  • The Chief Executive provided an update on international work and a proposed stakeholder engagement research project.  The Board agreed with the plan to translate “Safety Management” into Russian and South American Spanish and to the reprinting of the document.   The Board discussed the possibility of widening the research project to include the collection of data on the value of the Green Guide to the wider British economy.  The Executive would make contact with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to establish whether related information was available.  It was agreed that Ms Shaw would circulate the proposals received from the three prospective suppliers for comment and that Board Members would let Mr Longhorn have the names of anyone they felt should be contacted as part of the project.
  • Ms Shaw provided an update on rail seating. The Football League (FL) survey on the all seater policy had been issued in December with a closing date of 24 January. The FL had agreed to inform the SGSA of the findings prior to communicating them to DCMS. Bristol City FC was expected to install a block of rail seating in an unused part of their ground in February, for visitors to experience its operation and, Ms Shaw and Mr Sears had recently visited Luton Town FC, where the club would seek permission to return standing areas to its ground.  In Glasgow, Celtic FC was considering a pilot of rail seating for about 2,000 seats.  The Chairman and Ms Shaw had met the Minister for Sport and discussed the issue.  Ms Shaw would continue to monitor developments and keep the Board informed.    
  • Ms Shaw circulated a letter from DCMS on consultation proposals to allow motor racing on public roads to Members.  The consultation suggested a regulatory role for the Authority in overseeing arrangements for road racing.  The Board agreed that, whilst the inclusion of the Authority in a non football initiative by DCMS was encouraging, the proposals required a great deal more thought.  Ms Shaw was asked to respond to the consultation document and to consider the implications for the Authority fully.

4. Presentation and discussion of Review Findings (SGSA(14)02)

  •  Mr Hebberd presented his review of international and other sport work undertaken by the Authority in 2013 which also explored the options for future non regulatory activity.  Mr Hebberd recommended the Authority continued to concentrate its activities on domestic football whilst providing ad hoc advice and guidance to other sports and internationally, as it had done over the last 18 months.  He also recommended the Authority explore the possibility of obtaining extra funds from Government to fund non regulatory activity and a change in the level of charges to professional football.
  • The Board discussed the options in the light of the impending Hillsborough Inquiries and General Election.  Members agreed that Mr Hebberd’s recommendation represented the best approach currently but that the Authority should continue to grow its influence wherever possible and remain flexible enough to respond positively to approaches to undertake non regulatory work. The recommendation should be amended to read: “Continue on the current path of concentrating activities on football but providing ad hoc advice and guidance where it is requested to other sports and overseas sport activities, recovering cost where appropriate”. 
  • It was agreed that the recommendation should be communicated to DCMS, as the most feasible operating model for the Authority until such time as formal decisions on the role of the SGSA and any flexibility in funding had been agreed.    

5. Discussion of future funding options – deferred paper (SGSA(13)17)

  •  The Board discussed the options set out in the paper, specifically those around the contribution from football and the limitations of the Authority’s funding and cost recovery arrangements.  The Executive was asked to produce a new paper for discussion at a future meeting, focussing on how changes to licence fee and funding arrangements could be achieved.
  • The Audit and Risk Committee had discussed various items of non pay expenditure, such as the translations of “Safety Management” and a stakeholder engagement research project.  It had endorsed the drawdown of the Authority’s remaining 13/14 Grant in Aid allocation in March.  The Board agreed with this approach.
  • The Board agreed that Mr Darling should write to DCMS seeking clarification on the future of the Authority.

6. Any other business

  • There was no other business.

7. Date of the next meeting

  • The next scheduled meeting would be Tuesday 11 March at 11am in Fleetbank House.   

SGSA Secretariat
January 2014