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Saturday 11 September 2010
Members' survey - from the Bath City programme

Dons Trust Board member Nicole Hammond has a progress report on the Members Survey and asks all Dons Trust members to continue to play their part in shaping it.

At my first Dons Trust Board meeting in February, I agreed to lead a working group tasked with the job of designing and conducting a members’ survey, following your direction at the SGM last Spring. The purpose of the survey is to what Dons Trust members and other stakeholders in the club think about the club’s future location, financing and ambitions. I updated you on initial developments within the Tamworth programme on 20 April and now I’d like to take this opportunity to outline where we currently stand with the survey and the next steps we need to take together.

The survey working group has been working over the summer, holding monthly meetings and carrying out brainstorming in sub-groups by email, as well as holding out a wider discussion on the online forum, which can be found at www.excoboard.com/DTSurvey

We have been assisted by Perry Walker from NEF (the New Economics Foundation), who has been advising us on how we can follow the nef process which was outlined at the last SGM.

The group came up with as many considerations relevant to the club and trust as it could think of, then built six options, taking the considerations into account. These are not aiming to cover absolutely everything, but to give five fairly “typical” viewpoints and ambitions, including an idea of their knock-on effects, that a good proportion of our fans might agree with. We have taken into consideration the work carried out on the strategy review previously.

We have tried to be as imaginative as possible when devising the options, putting ourselves in the shoes of our fellow fans, while at the same time trying to come up with options that aren’t pure fantasy. It’s highly likely that most members would say “yes” to the idea of us owning a nice new stadium in Wimbledon, while pushing for rapid promotion all the way to the Premier League, and still remaining trust-owned. However, we hope that most members are clued-up enough to realise that this outcome would be most unlikely!

The Dons Trust has an SGM coming up soon (the date is to be rearranged following the rescheduling of the Crawley Town game) and the plan is to present the options to trust members, and then at subsequent matches to all fans, allowing people to put the options in order of preference. There will also be a space which will give everyone the chance to devise their own option if they can improve on the ones worked out by the group.

The results from this consultation will then go into the next round of consultation, following nef’s “Crowdwise” method of achieving consensus. Ultimately, the preferred option – of how we see the future of our club and the trust – will go to another general meeting of the Dons Trust, to be voted on by the members.

If you missed the last SGM, or want to find out more about the NEF process, visit their website: www.neweconomics.org/projects/crowd-wise. Alternatively, you can look at the explanatory leaflets which Perry will bring to the SGM.

As with many things to do with the club and the trust, we expect that not everyone will agree with everything that has been worked out, or even the method by which it has been reached, but the NEF process is designed to mitigate this and allow everyone’s views to be considered.

I have been co-ordinating the group on behalf of the board. Feel free to contact me before the SGM at Nicole Hammond or by post to me at the Dons Trust c/o the club.