An issue for Villa fans to make a stand about
By Villa reporter
Thursday 17 Dec 2009 23:07:00
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Over the past few weeks, we have seen an issue arise on the message boards about the stewarding in the North Stand Lower and this has sparked the whole debate over safe standing.

As a football fan, you will probably be aware that in polls of supporters, the vast majority support safe standing.

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The last one in the People newspaper and supported by the Football Supporters Federation showed 80% support.

In our case, Birmingham City Council appear after 13 years to be attacking a problem that exists because the laws are unworkable and too large a percentage of people are against it.

Yes I admit I prefer to stand at games and yes at times I do it, because in my view the law is there to be broken.

The issue is that this is a political decision as the law enforces the FLA to actively take measures against supporters who ‘persietently’ stand.

The law is enacted by parliament and this is where I believe we should focus all our energies and thus I have sent this letter to nine Birmingham MP's (Andrew Mitchell, Sion Simon, Claire Short, Liam Byrne, Gisela Stuart, Khalid Mahmood, Steve McCabe, Lynne Jones & Richard Burden), who have not signed EDM motion 101.

I have copied in the two MP's who have signed the EDM - John Hemming and Roger Godsiff.

As an MP who represents the City of Birmingham where my team Aston Villa are based, you may have heard rumbles of discontent within the fan base about the activities of stewards at the club at the North Stand end of the club.

We are lucky at Villa to have a member of the board (General Krulak) who speaks to us on the forums and has explained the actions of the stewards towards people standing in seated area is being dictated by the Council as the licensing authority.

The point of this e-mail from a concerned fan, I represent no one but myself but according to the last poll 80% of football fans agree with me, is to find out your point of view towards this issue which is a concern for a large number of your constituents - no matter who they support.

In a time when there is an election looming, I believe this should be an issue up for debate and as you know the Liberal Democrats support the proposal for safe standing.

We know from the experience in Germany that the new technologies in massive standing areas like at Dortmund with 81,000 capacity that it is very safe.

You will be aware of EDM 101 which has been signed by 145 members of all parties including local MP's John Hemming and Roger Godsiff, who realise the vital importance of this issue to many millions of football fans.’

I will publish on this site any replies I receive.

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