Board Meeting 6 - November 2012

Minutes of the sixth meeting of the Sports Grounds Safety Authority held on 13 November 2012 in Oceanic House.


Mr P Darling Chairman – via video link
Mr P Rowley
Mrs P Lane by telephone conference call
Ms R Shaw   Chief Executive

In attendance

Mr K Sears
Mrs N Rutherford
Ms K Eyre – work shadow

Apologies were received from Mr B Batson Mr R Wilkie and Mr D Wilson



Minutes of the previous meeting


The minutes were agreed and signed by the Audit and Risk Committee Chairman in the absence of the Board Chairman.


Matters arising


No items were raised




Chief Executive’s Reports  SGSA(12) 18, 19, 20, 21


The Board noted the content of the four papers. The Chief Executive provided an oral update on persistent standing and the review of the Joint Statement which was being carried out through the Safety Committee. The board noted the SGSA’s role in facilitating a revised version, some of the challenges around securing agreement, and noted that responsibility for managing standing in seating areas was primarily the responsibility of ground management working with the football authorities who were responsible for ground regulations.




Mid – year financial review SGSA(12) 22


The Audit and Risk Committee had met immediately before the Board meeting where they discussed in depth the mid-year financial review. Mr Rowley summarised their discussions which noted the impact of the internal restructuring, as well as the in-year costs and subsequent savings which would result from the change in accommodation. The committee discussed the possibility of reductions to NDPB grant-in-aid funding of between 5-10% in future years, and that while this would be managed there was a potential risk or impact on the SGSA’s ability to expand and fulfil its broader remit.

Mr Rowley recommended that the SGSA should not surrender 2012/13 grant-in- aid to DCMS with the prospect of further cuts anticipated in the coming financial year. Mrs Lane suggested that the Executive should explore potential further efficiencies or shared services as well as cost recovery options as a matter of good practice. It was also agreed that the finance manager should produce a one page summary of savings and financial management over recent years.


The Committee had also accepted the changes of format and content to the risk register and noted the improvements.


Licensing – Peterborough Utd SGSA(12)23


The Board considered an application from Peterborough United FC for an extension of the all-seater deadline which was due to take effect in August 2013. The redevelopment of the two standing terraces, the Moy’s End Stand and the London Road Terrace had been delayed due to circumstances outside the club’s direct control and the Board considered it was not reasonable for the club to be asked to operate with two sides of the ground closed simultaneously.

 After discussion, taking into account the information submitted, the undertakings given by the club  and the precedents set previously, the Board agreed its recommendation for the Secretary of State that she agreed an extension  of the all seater deadline until the Moy’s End Stand was completed or the end of 2013 whichever was sooner.


SGSA training options SGSA(12)24



The Board considered the three possible options for future training activity outlined in the discussion paper.   The incremental approach was the Board’s preferred option as they considered that it addressed the concerns voiced at the joint meeting. In discussion the following points were made:

  • The SGSA should not remove itself entirely from training opportunities and the preferred approach presented a pragmatic way forward.
  • The process demonstrated an interesting and effective use of the Board in challenging and pointing out strategic risks for the Executive to respond to.
  • The SGSA should avoid being distracted by inappropriate diversionary additional activity, but in order to fulfill its strategic role as a ‘thought leader’ it should be influencing the development of safety through training.
  • The board recognised the potential reputational risks of being associated with inappropriate providers and the importance of having the right capacity and skills within the organisation to deliver our goals.


Injury statistics 2011/12 SGSA(12)25


The Board approved the paper, noted the downward trend and agreed that the headline figures should be published on the SGSA website.


Any other business

SGSA Secretariat - January 2012


The publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report was noted, along with the necessary and relevant role of the SGSA as a regulator.


A note recording the joint meeting in Cardiff would be circulated.


The Chairman reported having had a very constructive annual review with the Sports Minister in October where Hugh Robertson had praised the work of the SGSA. A meeting with the new Secretary of State remained a priority.


The SGSA had a new client manger at the NAO – Helen Dixon – Mr Rowley would be meeting with her on Monday 19 November.


The Chairman should contact DCMS urgently regarding the terms of office for Board Members which under current arrangements would expire in Summer 2013.


Date of the next meeting


A full board meeting would not take place in December but the Chairman asked Board members to hold the possibility of a telephone conference on Tuesday 11 December at 11am.


The next full Board meeting would be Tuesday 8 January at 11am in Fleetbank House.

SGSA Secretariat - November 2012