Yesterday evening the Trust was represented by our chairman Robin Sainty at a meeting with the Minister for Sport organised by Ed Balls to discuss safe standing. The rest of the Norwich City party was made up of Ed, Tom Smith, Andy Batley (Safety, Security and Counter Terrorism Manager), Joe Ferrari (Head of Communications), Jon Punt(Along Come Norwich/Barclay End) Ffion Thomas (Capital Canaries), Norman Lamb MP and Clive Lewis MP.
Robin reports as follows:
“I wasn’t quite sure what to expect having read some of the Minister’s earlier public comments on safe standing. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that she was extremely open to our input and had fully grasped that the reality is that standing occurs at virtually every ground and that it is beyond the powers of stewards to stop it. Clearly there is a demand for safe standing areas, but it is important that if they are to be introduced the interests of those who do not wish to stand are protected. As a Trust we are well aware that we have members on both sides of the debate and that we have a responsibility to speak up for both. This is the crux of the issue and must be resolved satisfactorily for all parties if progress is to be made.
I found it encouraging to learn that the Government are continuing to informally gather information on this issue and have received many submissions from clubs and supporters groups, although the Minister confirmed that Norwich City were the first to be granted a meeting with her, thanks to the influence of Ed Balls. I would stress, however, that this is a long term project as nothing can happen while the Hillsborough court cases are ongoing, which is expected to be into Spring 2019. Nevertheless there is an ongoing dialogue which encourages me to believe that a workable solution can be achieved in the not too distant future.”