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Chief Executive's Update: June 10th

Dear Somerset Members and Supporters,

After two seasons of playing matches behind closed doors or with attendances limited by Government restrictions, it has been wonderful to see big crowds return to the Cooper Associates County Ground once again in recent weeks.

Ensuring that we create an environment where everyone feels welcome and has an enjoyable experience on match days, is of course a very high priority for everyone here at Somerset CCC.  I am grateful to the staff for working so hard to deliver that objective and the feedback I receive suggests that in the vast majority of cases this is being achieved.  That said, we are facing some challenges which I would like to share with you.

Catering

It is no secret that the hospitality industry is facing severe challenges currently.  In the main, this is due to staff shortages which are impacting all sporting venues and other sectors such as the airlines where flights are being cancelled due in part, to not having enough cabin crew.  Somerset is not immune from these challenges and frustrating as that may be, it is important we as a Club do all we can to improve your experience in the Ground.  Queuing times are not acceptable in some cases and it is a high priority of mine to reduce them.  Actions we have taken this week include;

  • Increasing the number of food outlets and staff at the remaining Vitality Blast matches
  • Enhancing training and briefings for all staff
  • Purchasing of a ‘coffee cart’ to be located outside Stragglers
  • Measuring queuing times and incentivising staff to reduce the time it takes to serve customers

We are lucky to have so many enthusiastic, loyal staff in our catering team.  Many of them are learning and are doing so quickly.  We will continue to invest in them as people and the environment they are asked to work in to help improve your experience.

Crowd behaviour

You may have seen recent reports of bad behaviour at sporting venues around the country.  There is much speculation as to why this is the case, and again, we are not immune from it here in Somerset.  So far this season, 15 spectators have been ejected from our Ground, which is more than ever before at this stage of a season.  It should be stressed that while this represents a very small minority of those attending, and whilst we do want people to have fun, we are aware that bad behaviour can spoil the matchday experience for others.  Action we have taken includes;

  • Refusing entry to the Ground to anyone who has clearly consumed too much alcohol on arrival.
  • Introduction of a text service to allow people to report bad behaviour to the Club. Please do report issues you witness by texting 66777 and typing ‘SCCC’ followed by details of the incident and where it has occurred, including the stand, row and if possible, seat numbers.  Stewards will then be deployed to observe the people involved and manage each situation proportionately.
  • Immediately ejecting anyone who abuses staff and in extreme cases, reporting the incident to the Police.

Ground development

I am delighted to inform you that the remodelling of Gimblett’s Hill is nearing completion and this part of the ground will be available for spectators to sit in from the Vitality Blast match against Hampshire Hawks on 23 June.

I hope you find this communication helpful, and I would welcome your attendance at the Members Forum shortly after the close of play on Monday June 13th. This will take place in the County Room, in the Colin Atkinson Pavilion, and I will be happy to discuss any of the issues outlined in this letter along with any other questions you may have.

Thank you for your support.

Kind regards,

Yours sincerely,

Gordon Hollins

Chief Executive

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