Dear NUST member
It’s great to be writing to you after a fantastic win last weekend, and the added joy of Matty Longstaff scoring the winning goal! A local lad, playing alongside his brother, capturing the interest of the whole football community and getting NUFC on the back pages for the right reasons. The women’s senior team were unfortunately on the losing end of a 3-2 defeat but I hope to meet with their new manager soon to discuss how NUST can get behind the women’s team.
In NUST business, our three remaining Board members continue to get out and about, whilst the Election Management Group oversee the election.
Update on NUST Board elections
The nominations process is now complete and all those running for election have been updated with next steps. A separate election update will be sent out by the Election Management Group soon.
Last Saturday members of the board were invited to meet Jeremy Corbyn and other labour MPs including Chi Onwurah and Ian Lavery to discuss football club governance and regulation. The meeting followed a Labour event in front of a packed out City Hall and was a useful opportunity to discuss current issues in football such as financial transparency and fan ownership – with Corbyn himself bringing up the German model during a discussion. It was also a useful chance for the board to discuss current issues with Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah, including our objection to the current Strawberry Place planning application.
Whatever your views of Jeremy Corbyn or Labour are, being given the platform to discuss key issues for NUST with high profile, local MPs and the leader of the opposition was one that could not be missed. If any other party leaders or politicians are up for similar discussions NUST would love to meet with them.
The Trust’s Norman Watson will be appearing on The Sunday Politics Show discussing fan ownership.
Strawberry Place planning objection
Regarding the planning application for Strawberry Place, the NUST board recently instructed solicitors to submit an objection which sets out a number of flaws with the application, including in relation to views of St James’ Park, which are protected by local planning policy. A copy of our objection is available on our website. As you will recall from previous updates, it is unlikely that the application will be determined until late October, so we would urge you all to object to the planning application (ref: 2019/0879/01/DET). This can be done online, as detailed in our previous updates, or by e-mailing your objection quoting the number above. Be sure to include your name and contact details, and send the e-mail to email@example.com.
We would also urge you to contact your local councillor and MP and ask them to raise this issue on your behalf as your elected representatives.
Community & Inclusion
Whilst ticketing, travel and fixtures may not seem to naturally sit under ‘Community & Inclusion’ issues, they are without doubt something that can negatively impact on all supporters wishing to support Newcastle United, and can impact significantly on supporters from low income families. Whatever your income, or circumstances there can be no credible defence of our 14th consecutive Monday night game being away from home. NUST will continue to raise issues such as this with key decision makers, and those with power and influence over such matters.
NUST continue to be well linked with the Newcastle United Foundation, and attended a recent event held at SJP where the Chief Economist of the Bank of England spoke about the importance of the football club as a ‘centrepiece of social capital’ and that the Club is vital to the wider communities and improving the lives of those living and working in the North East. The Premier League representative spoke at the event too, and it is clear that the excellent work of the Foundation would be severely impaired if we were to lose our Premier League status. There are significant community benefits brought about through funding from the Premier League, and NUST are looking to work more closely with the Premier League in developing this further.
Football Banning Orders were in the news recently, and Newcastle have the highest number of banning orders of all Premier League clubs. So we are top of the league for something! NUST are keen to work with the Club, Northumbria Police, the FSA and Kick It Out to look at the reasons behind such high levels of banning orders, and encourage work in a restorative and educational way in the future to reduce the need for these orders.
NUST held a recent meeting with the Head of Inclusion at NUFC, and proposed closer working links on ‘Community & Inclusion’ issues. In particular, NUST are keen to see the results of the recent supporter survey undertaken by the Club, and support any future work as result of the survey findings. After the election results, I hope to have the Board support to devise a formal working agreement with the Club on ‘Community & Inclusion’ issues, and invite supporters to have their say through an active forum.
The election of Board members needs to be concluded before any more significant decisions are made, but as NUST members you need to know that whilst there are only three official Board members currently in place, there is still plenty of work going on behind the scenes at NUST.
Don’t miss out on having your say in the upcoming election. Make sure you vote for the NUST Board you want.