Membership of a CUK alliance is from civil society groups, such as trade unions, student organisations, faith, refugee and residents' groups.
The Group of 7 entered into a contract with CUK to fund the first phase of building what is temporarily called Tyne Citizens.
So, in January 2015, again through the columns of The Journal, we are moving our campaign on a stage, by asking civil society groups in the Tyne area to get in touch with CUK, with the aim of establishing a citizens' alliance here.
The biggest conundrum was why CUK was doing so much better in the off-trade than on-trade, boasting almost twice the market share, at 17%-18% versus 9%, when, of its 1,800-strong workforce, just 400 were dedicated to off-trade.
If Sheps has not been very vocal when it comes to such issues, preferring to leave the big pronouncements to the likes of Drinkaware and the BBPA, that's because he'd rather focus on the task in hand: driving growth at CUK.
CUK has already launched ladies' spritzer Eve into the on-trade and Sheps hopes to be able to "talk more" about an off-trade rollout in the autumn.