Jon Burns is hoping a new group can be set up to improve dialogue between Colchester United and its fans.

The Colchester United Supporters’ Association (CUSA) chairman has called for a fans’ consultation group to be launched as a ‘stepping stone’ to improving relations between the club and its loyal fanbase.

They want a sounding board to be formed to give U’s fans a greater voice within the League Two club.

The CUSA want it to be similar to the stadium stakeholders’ group, which was set up to give people a say over the construction of the Community Stadium.

U’s chairman Robbie Cowling’s decision to scrap shuttle buses and increase ticket prices this summer was criticised by some supporters.

And while Burns is quick to stress that the CUSA have a good relationship with the club, he nevertheless feels a new discussion group would benefit all parties.

He told the Daily Gazette: “The key message we want to get across is that we don’t want it to be a case of them and us, with the club.

“We’ll invite them to organise it and we’d love to be involved and be a part of it.

“My view and that of the CUSA is that we don’t think there’s a divide at all between the club and the supporters.

“They’re as helpful as they can be but the group would be a stepping stone in the right direction to see what we can do to make it better.

“We’d like the club to initiate it and the key thing is that it’s not just about Colchester United and Colchester United Supporters Association – there are lots of supporters who have very good, constructive things to say.

“It should be used as a sounding board - we can help them and they can hopefully work with us and it would be a greater opportunity for us to sit down with them and discuss the issues.

“We wouldn’t tell them how to run the football club but we can bounce ideas off them.

“It’s something the EFL are looking for as well and they’d like clubs to have these groups – it should be a club-run thing.

“It’s about getting it signed off by the football club now.

“As far as Colchester United is concerned, it’s something that we’ve working on and talking about for a good year or two now.

“I think it would benefit them the club if it’s created, so that we can work through issues to see if there are alternatives before the big announcements are made, rather than saying ‘it’s gone’ like in the case of the shuttle buses.

“That news blew us out of the water and with a consultation group in place, it may have been an issue that we could have met with the club and talked about beforehand and who knows, we might have been able to come up with some alternatives.”

Burns is hoping that any proposed new group can be finalised before the start of the new League Two season, which kicks off on August 4.

“We had discussions about it last season but there was no progress,” he added.

“I was delighted to hear Robbie say that he wanted to get closer to the Supporters Association.

“He’s said he wants to get more involved with us and we’ll ask him again this summer, to put it at the top of the agenda.

“We have a good relationship with the football club and we all want to see it be successful.

“It’s something that we’ve been working towards and we’ve been asking the football club to consider recreating the fans consultation group, similar to the one that was in place when the Community Stadium was being put together.

“The club got very involved with that before the stadium was built and that’s what we’re looking to happen again.”