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New security Measures at London Stadium.

In light of new security measures being announced the following has been sent to LS185, West Ham and the Met. Police.
Good afternoon.
I note your announcement on the new security search process mooted at the meeting on 30/08/2017.
On taking a closer look a number of points have come up since the announcement. 
Firstly were any fans (groups) who actually have used the stadium over the last year involved in the planning of this scheme ? 
As you are aware a significant majority of fans approach the stadium from Stratford along bridges 1 and 5. 
There does not seem to be a turnstile I at the LS as marked on bridge 1. Do you mean J ? For those people coming from Stratford according to your statement have to make an extensive detour to bridge 2 to get to their entrance. 
How will people know this and at what point on the route to the stadium ?
The same can be said for people entering at turnstiles A, B and C. Previously they would have moved across bridge 1 and 5 and walked around the ground. If they have to avoid those bridges they now have to make a further detour around the park to reach their dedicated bridge. This is too much of an ask for a number of people who are elderly or indeed the very young. The walk to the stadium is already long enough as it is.  
The request for people to be there 1 hour before is all well and good but unfortunately may fall on deaf ears. 
Fixtures on weekday evenings maybe fraught with delays on public transport, people leaving work late or indeed families coming post after school activities. 
As winter approaches the sun is due to set at 7.29pm this Monday a full 30 minutes before kick off so it will be dusk / getting dark. 
The surrounding area of the LS is known for poor lighting so has any provision on lighting been made or improved on since last season?
Has the the idea of piloting this scheme on an evening with an unknown number of people arriving without prior knowledge of this new entrance process been thought out carefully? What evidence have you used ? 
Football is a winter sport and cannot be compared to summer athletics meetings and rock band concerts. These are usually one off events where people will arrive over a period of time to see their event. There are support bands for the main act while finals of athletics events are scheduled later in the event day to allow the stadium to fill up on a gradual basis. Such events also generally run late. Sky TV are involved on Monday and expect an 8pm KO. 
At the Olympics there was an unprecedented amount of security and volunteers to allow the event to run smoothly. Like wise at the World Athletics Championships large numbers of people were employed to search people who came to the stadium at varying times.
A football crowd does not migrate to a match like an athletics or rock band crowd. It moves en masse and traditions of arrival times have been built up over a distinct period of time. Many will come from pubs around the ground and arrive anything from 5-15 minutes before KO and expect to get in. 
Large crowds do not get messages easily and anticipation at missing KO can cause anxiety and lead to overcrowding. This has to be avoided at all costs. The nuance of a football crowd as opposed to any other is an important distinction and must be carefully considered. 
A football match lasts for 90 minutes and begins at a specified time. The vast majority of fans will approach from Stratford along bridges 1 and 5. This has the potential to cause a bottleneck. 
From past experience of attending West Ham matches over 30 years people (initially) will not arrive 60 minutes before kick off. 
Particularly at this stadium. 
There is no significant pre match entertainment. Food and drink are expensive and there are few places to enjoy refreshment in what is an open stadium.  This may be a significant problem. 
If there are thousands of people at the bridges at KO time will the match be delayed so people can get in ?
The idea of searching people at the bridges is in principle a good one. It allows free movement around the concourse area and allows for a traditional hassle free method of entry to the turnstiles.  
LS185 have had a good experience at athletics and rock concerts in the summer months but the points above mean that when using this at West Ham matches you may come across events you have not yet experienced.
What contingency plans do you have if the scheme is not working?
It would have at least been better to have had a longer period of time for this to be announced and get the word around. 
I look forward to your response. 
Kind regards
Paul
Chair for and on behalf of WHUISA. 

Report on Met Police Meeting 30/08/2017

Meeting with MPS (Met Police) prior to Match V Tottenham Hotspur 30/08/2017 at Lambeth HQ.

 

In attendance was Seargent Dave Hine along with 3 DFO’s  PC’s Andy Sheldon and Pc Rob Glozier for West Ham and PC Noel Deady for Spurs (MPS Football Unit), Jake Heath (West Ham SLO), David Sadler (Head of Safety & Security LS185), his deputy Graham Harris, Katrina Law (Spurs Supporters Trust), Kevin Fitzgerald (Spurs Supporters Trust), Paul Christmas (WHUISA), Mark Gower (WHUISA) and Bill Edwards (WHUISA).

 

Discussions lasted just over 2 hours and were conducted openly and frankly.

 

WHUISA asked a number of questions put forward by our members. The salient points from the meeting are as follows.

 

TERRORISM.

A number of our members asked what measures the Police are taking. I asked Sargent Hine directly this question. He responded:

  1. MPS take the threat of terrorism with the utmost seriousness.
  2. An immense amount of work goes into policing major sporting events in London and West Ham home matches are no exception.
  3. Pre-match investigation / intelligence gathering is ongoing.
  4. MPS work very closely with the Stadium operators
  5. Advice is given by MPS to all stakeholders involved in the London Stadium
  6. All PC’s will explain what why & they intend to do if you are stopped
  7. All PC’s are Counter Terrorism Aware.
  8. CCTV will be in operation in / outside the stadium
  9. Stadium security has the ability to monitor outside beyond the ground
  10. Officers will be in Full Protective Kit
  11. Police dogs will be present
  12. Vehicles will subject to checks and will be prohibited to move along walkways where people are.
  13. City of London police will be assisting their colleagues from the MPS.
  14. MPS will tweet any issues / concerns on the day before and on the morning of the match. Please follow @MPSFootballUnit 

 

 

For the Spurs match;

  1. This is a Category C match
  2. Police will be present in full protective kit and the majority will have body cams.
  3. Gates at the stadium open at 11am
  4. Alcohol will be served in the ground to home fans.
  5. No pubs in the surrounding areas have been asked by MPS to close – it is up to individual licensees.
  6. There will be controlled drinking area in the streets around the pubs in Stratford.
  7. Westfield will be fully open pre match, the gates will close from around 1hr 15 mins before kick off. The closure is carried out dynamically on the day and could be nearer to kick off time.
  8. The gates will be closed at Westfield post-match
  9. West Ham will be operating up to 18 disability buses from Stratford and Stratford International pre and post-match.
  10. MPS will tweet any issues / concerns on the day before and on the morning of the match. Please follow @MPSFootballUnit
  11. People are advised to get to the ground as early as they can with a provisional estimate that a 45 minute arrival prior to KO should see you into the ground in good time.
  12. Fans are advised to NOT bring bags unless essential as this slows down the search process.
  13. Spurs fans will NOT be held back post-match as this is a very rare occurrence. This will only change if there is a desperate escalation of circumstances outside / in the ground. The MPS do not expect this to occur.
  14. Post-match West Ham fans will disperse through Bridge 1 and 5 as usual to Stratford Station. Spurs fans will leave along the Loop Road to the station. Sufficient Police Officers will be in position if / when opposing fans eventually come together.
  15. Ticket checking will go on in the stadium at any given place but more so in the lower and upper tier blocks nearest the away fans. If you are in these sections please expect to produce your season card / ticket on more than one occasion.
  16. Tailgating at the turnstiles is high on the agenda – Please do not have 2 people go in on one ticket.
  17. With body cams in operation please be polite to Police / Stewards as you can expect to be filmed. (MPS wouldn’t expect the body cams to be used unless the circumstances dictate i.e. Disorder or officers dealing with issues, whereby the officer will activate them)

 

 

 

 

 

Over the 1st 12 month the stadium has been operating with West Ham as tenant the working relationships between all parties has grown and strengthened.

 

Seargent Hine was happy to state that he had full confidence in LS185.

 

Changes which the Stadium management will be implemented this season:

  1. One gate shall remain open at each turnstile to allow late comers to enter their usual turnstile without having to go on a route march around the ground as was the case last season.
  2. The searching process has been refined and people are encouraged to NOT bring bags to the match as this slows down entry procedure.
  3. Further changes to searching are being planned and may be announced shortly.
  4. Stewarding has undergone a massive change and this is expected to be seen from the first match.
  5. Ticket checking and tailgating are in operation / being monitored.
  6. The management of the Stadium has evolved and stadium sectorised with each sector having its own manager.
  7. Exit doors will be constantly monitored & controlled from the Event Control Room in the stadium to monitor crowd activity. Additionally, stewarding staff will man the gates. They have the ability to open gates when directed to by appropriate management.

WHUISA would like to thank MPS for their excellent and committed work at keeping us safe. We also thank them for their kind hospitality which included tea, biscuits and cake !

It was also a pleasure to meet our counterparts from Tottenham who represented their club in a very professional fashion. Thanks to Jake for his input and assistance during and after the meeting.

We all look forward to a great match, a Hammers victory and a safe trip home.

 

WHUISA Committee.

Update to Cheltenham Gesture from WHU.

Dear member,

                      As promised here is the update. At the Met Police meeting last night Jake Heath (West Ham SLO) responded to WHUISA’S request for the club to consider a gesture toward the travelling fans who went to Cheltenham.

He said the club could not make a gesture to those who travelled by coach as this would not fair on those that did not. WHUISA’s initial request was for a ticket refund which would have been fair to all fans.

We then sought a gesture from the club in any format to show that they recognised the extra effort our fans have made at the start of the season with 4 away matches. That gesture could have come in the form of a reduction in cost of ticket, a pie and a pint or reduced coach travel. It was not compensation but a gesture would have been welcomed.

WHUISA remain disappointed at the club’s stance but undeterred. In extraordinary and hopefully unique circumstances our travelling fans have got on with the job of supporting our team. Rather than set a precedent as some seem to think WHUISA set out to get these loyal people a little thank you from the club in the form of maybe a (partial) refund of the ticket or indeed whatever the club could come up with.

A number of our members and fans have noted how other clubs take time out and respect their away fans endeavours with gestures from time to time during the season. We are sorry our club has not taken that opportunity this time but are hopeful for the future.

Pablo Zabaleta said in his welcome message to us decked in our new away kit “Remember we are nothing without you. Come on you Irons !”

www.instagram.com/p/BUj2UI1lyRU/

Something indeed worth remembering.

WHUISA Committee.

Increase in Booking Fees.

This email was sent to the club today. 
Good afternoon Nicola.
Hope you are well.
A number of WHUISA members have contacted me stating that the booking fee for STH for the Bolton home match in the Carabao Cup is now £2 per ticket. 
Last season the cost was £1. It was also stated last season that this cost was part of the benefits of being a STH. 
Could please explain the reasoning behind this 100% increase. 
While we as an association and as fans appreciate the club’s pricing structure for such matches the doubling of the booking fee seems excessive especially since essentially we are buying a match ticket online on an automated website which automatically loads up to the Season card already in the our possession. 
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
Paul
For and on behalf of WHUISA committee. 

Club response to WHUISA letter on Cheltenham Cup Tie.

Dear members,

                              As you know we asked the club to consider making a gesture with regards to the cost of the match ticket for the travelling fans that made the journey to Cheltenham last week for our reversed home tie in the Carabao Cup. In this way all fans would have received the same gesture if one was forthcoming.
       Following a gentle reminder by email the club called the Chair of WHUISA on the afternoon of the match and gave their response.
       The club felt they were not in a position to do this as there has been ample notice that this fixture was never going to be at home. It was known that if drawn at home, due to the ongoing reconfiguration of the stadium after the World Athletics Championships, WHU would request a reversal of this fixture and play it away. Therefore due to advance notice a refund of match tickets could not be considered by the club.
       Further the club was laying on coaches and so fans could get home if the match finished beyond normal time.
       WHUISA are disappointed with the clubs stance on this. Many of the travelling fans would have had to take time off work as well as pay out extra travelling costs for coaches, trains, and fuel if using their own transport.
       In the conversation the club were asked to reconsider their response but if there was to be no refund or gesture from the club on match tickets then they must at least look into the possibility of a gesture for those that had travelled by coach.
       The club have recompensed Cheltenham Town FC for their loss of revenue since the tie was not played at the original venue of the London Stadium. All we asked is that they consider their own fans as well.
       The club said they would consider our response and any update on this matter will naturally be brought to our member’s attention.
Any questions or points of view you may have on this matter feel free to contact us at enquiries@whuisa.org.

 

WHUISA Committee.

Met Police meeting 30/08/2017.

Dear member
WHUISA have been invited to attend a pre-match meeting at Met Police HQ next Wednesday evening. This follows on from our previous meetings with the police. West Ham invited us also as part of the SAB but we accepted the invite from the Police via the FSF.
We shall be sending 3 reps along including a disability committee member. Also present will be reps from Spurs Supporters Trust, FSF, West Ham (SAB) and British Transport Police.
If you have any questions or have any points to make about the upcoming match v Spurs at home in September please reply and your view will be raised at the meeting.
I look forward to hearing from as many of you as possible.
Always West Ham
Paul
Chair WHUISA for and on behalf of the committee.

Cheltenham V WHU – Letter to the club.

This letter was sent today to West Ham United. We await their response.

Dear Tara,

               The West Ham United Independent Supporters Association (WHUISA) wishes to express its disappointment in the club and the apparent lack of goodwill shown towards the fans who travel to away games to support the team.

       West Ham were drawn to play Cheltenham Town at home in the Caraboa Cup but this was rearranged as an away game at West Ham’s request making it the fourth consecutive away fixture in the space of two weeks.

       This fixture could attract extra time and penalties but without leaving the game early during normal time, it is not possible for away fans to take the last train back to London which departs at 22.01 so a lengthy road journey or overnight stay is the only practical solution.

       It is therefore disappointing that no gesture of goodwill has been made by the club for this game at a time when the income it receives from Sky TV and Season Ticket sales is higher than it has ever been.

       We believe a solution to this would be a gesture towards all fans whether travelling near or far to the match in funding the cost of the match ticket. If every one of the 1050 allocation were sold at the full adult price it would cost the club a little over £22,000 to pay for them.  This is a televised game and the positive publicity a gesture like that would attract is a small price to pay to reward some of the most loyal and dedicated West Ham fans.

       We are certain West Ham United will want to make a strong positive gesture to its loyal fans in this quite unique situation.

WHUISA Committee

Paul Christmas, Mark Walker, George Mann, Nigel Kahn, James Rutherford, Nila Patel, John Ratomski, Kim Perryman, Mark Gower, Bill Edwards, Sue Watson, Paul Turner, Dan Coker.

AGENDA AGM 12/08/2017

AGENGA FOR AGM OF WHUISA AT HAMMERS SUPPORTERS’ CLUB 12/08/17 at 12pm.

  1. WEST HAM UNITED INDEPENDENT SUPPORTERS’ ASSOCIATION – WHUISA.

Apologies, Acknowledgement of minutes of last meeting, Annual Report, Financial statement.  

Speaker : Paul Christmas WHUISA Interim Joint chair.

Invitation to floor.

  1. ELECTION of POSITIONS TO NEW FULL WHUISA COMMITTEE

Positions – Chair, Vice Chair Secretary, Treasurer, membership secretary, Webmaster.

  1. WHUISA POLICY FOR NEXT 12 MONTHS.

Open discussion among new committee on policy. 

  1. HAMMERS SUPPORTERS CLUB & EAST HAM WORKING MANS’ CLUB

Update

Negotiating committee, premises in Stratford, EHWMC

Speakers :  Paul Christmas   

Invitation to floor.

  1. NEXT MEETING

Speaker : Chair

Invitation to floor as to date.

  1. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes White Post 14/05/2017

WHUISA MEETING

Held with permission at White Post, Hackney Wick

14/05/2017 at 11.30am

Attending 4 committee members and 12 members and 0 invited speakers 

  1. INTRODUCTION & UPDATE from Interim Chair. With no objections received Paul accepted the notes from previous meeting held on 8th April 17 as fair and accurate. He went on to explain that: the PayPal account had been transferred to a new bank account and members would be advised at future meetings of balance and expenditure; following the recent SAB meeting it is anticipated that WHUISA will become increasing influential in representing the interests of the fans to the club; association meeting with club is planned for next Wednesday 17th May.
  2. CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES. 112 replies had been received on proposed changes to the constitution. The revised constitutional changes as circulated were ratified by a show of hands with no objections.
  3. WHUISA TWITTER/ PREMIER LEAGUE MEETING      George Explained that the Twitter account had been changed for technical reasons.   It has 330 members and all new joiners welcome so please put the word around.      Premier League update: all prem clubs are expected to have a disability rep; we are the only      London prem club not currently helping fans with away fixtures involving tricky travel;      The committee will ask the club whether it has any plans to help with away travel from next      season; club is given advance notice of fixtures affected by tv switching; (from the floor)      it has been noted that facilities available for those catching coaches from the ground for away      matches are poor; safe standing pilot is being discussed attendant to its intro is expectation      that stricter enforcement of no standing in other areas of the ground is probable;      Amanda Jacks (FSF – see previous notes) is looking into safety in grounds and issues      arising will be reported back as these become available; the Brighton fixture will attract      close scrutiny regarding homophobic chants – this is a sensitive issue and Pride of Iron fans

      Group will be involved in discussions with the club; body worn cameras with voice recorders      carried by some of the supervisors in and around the ground. The committee is aware of  a specific issue resulting from use of this equipment and is considering the matter and its wider Implications.

  1. ELECTIONS TO WHUISA COMMITTEE

      We will be seeking a new committee with broader representation and more bodies.

      It is expected that elections, possibly electronically delivered, will happen early next season.

      Re iob from previous meeting current memberships will be extended by 1 year.

  1. HAMMERS SUPPORTERS CLUB

      Paul attended the recent AGM and following this an emergency EGM. Money at the club would expire in next week. However a new committee has been formed and Paul is on it together with   several other fans which now makes majority on committee, season ticket holders. A flat the club owns will be sold and this will help club continue until at least the end of this calendar year.  Treasurer from previous committee has resigned and accounts returned to auditors for errors to be corrected. It is hoped that we will hold our Hammer of Year award at the club during pre-season. Watch this space. 

  1. AOB
  2. Q from floor: does the club make a profit from fees charged for travel on away coaches.

          Committee will ask

  1. Association pin badges. Procurement will be looked at again after the committee elections.
  2. Thanks given to Mike Gunn for all his help with the membership records
  3. At request from floor question will be asked as to whether a family enclosure/ area exists
  4. Floor asked what membership number is it hoped will improve leverage in influencing club           and help get a better deal for the fans. Maybe 2000 for starters and recruitment drive is on.
  1. DATE OF NEXT MEETING.

           To be advised and will be held at HSC.          

Meeting Closes at 1215

COYI

ST Update 05/07/2017.

More on ticket prices.

After we sent out our previous note on child STH prices from 2018 onwards we received a call from the club where they said that they had replied to our original email. We haven’t received a reply but they have promised to resend the original. In that conversation with a senior club executive… 

The club says …

The new pricing is part of the ‘strategy for the stadium’ which is designed to maximise revenue from the 57,000 supporters to enable West Ham to compete at the highest level.

The new pricing strategy will “help like-minded people be in the appropriate place”

They say the £99 tickets were abused last season and this is a way of rectifying this situation.

They also said as all other clubs get TV money as well the club wants to push home its advantage of having 57,000 seats  to maximise its revenues. The club does not want to lose out on signing top players with having low prices / not having appropriately priced tickets in premium areas.  

Bands 1-3 are the “premium areas” referred to.

On prices for 2018/19 and whether Child prices for founders could triple…

The club says it will always favour / protect its loyal founders and so prices are frozen for them for renewing for 2017-18. They went on to say do not take the new prices for the tickets made available to those on the waiting list as a blueprint for 2018-19 as this has not been discussed at all yet. 

All views / opinions on the price structure for 2018-19 will be sought & considered as the season progresses. 

What does It all mean?

For us that is a not denial that child tickets in what the club now calls the “Premium” bands could double or triple for next season  putting real pressure on stretched family budgets .

We say this since at the Boleyn, season tickets were normally sold in a way where the price for new STHs was a good indication for renewal prices for the following year.

We asked for an unequivocal statement that these prices won’t be applied for 2018-19 season but we didn’t get it. We will continue to feedback your views to the club.

It also means that there will be two tier pricing for next season which we believe is unfair. Considering the significant increase in TV money from this year this is something that should not have happened. For example two kids could be sitting next to each other in a band 1 area where one parent has paid £99 for their child’s ticket, the other £300. How fair is that?

WHUISA believe i would have been best for all STH to be paying the same prices year on year and there is still time for the club to do this. Treat us equally – we are all West Ham fans.

WHUISA is happy to engage with the club, in consulting with members and offer the opinions of loyal fans ahead of any major changes for supporters. 

Follow us on Twitter @WHUISA2017 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/WHUISA/

Always West Ham

WHUISA Interim Committee.