NORTH – WEST REGION
Present: Tony Cox (NW Regional Rep), Bill Green
(Red Rose MAG Branch Rep),
Ian Cook (NE MAG Regional Rep) attended as NC observer.
Welcome address: Tony C opened the meeting by welcoming everybody, and invited Ian Cook to act as chair for the event. We had been expecting Mike Card (Deputy NW Regional Rep) to attend as Chairman, but we later learned that his trike had broken down en route.
Apologies: Lynda Pouncey, Regional Treasurer and Billy Downs (outgoing L’pool & W Lancs Rep).
Minutes of Last Meeting: the last regional AGM was held at the same venue, 6th Nov 2005. Ian C invited everyone to carefully inspect their copy of the minutes and bring up any errors, omissions or inaccuracies.
No comments were made and so the minutes were accepted as a true and fair account of last year’s AGM.
Matters arising: none reported.
Report, Tony Cox: the
region has had a busy year with Tony taking the MAG stall to several local
events including Thundersprint, the Haydock Park Motorbike Extravaganza, the
NABD Rally at
There was considerable interest among I-o-M resident bikers in the return of MAG, but no-one there seemed willing to take on the task of being a local rep and set up a group on the island.
interesting was our contact with the Thundersprint and
Having obtained this generous concession, we need to ensure that the stall is fully manned over the weekend, and Tony asked for people to consider volunteering closer to the event.
Tony has noticed that next year’s Thundersprint weekend clashes with the NABD rally; since these are major NW bike events it is essential that we attend them both, but even Tony Cox is unable to be in two places at once. Ian suggested that we bring this to the attention of the NC and see if they can round up some support.
MAG has also become involved with the RideSafeBackSafe initiative, a project designed to increase rider safety and awareness and organised by the local transport authorities and police forces. Bill Green and Tony have both attended RSBS meetings and have voiced concern that the project is moving away from education and into enforcement; the organisers also describe MAG and the BMF as being their ‘partners’ in the scheme – which implies that we support unreservedly all the RSBS activities (not so).
Another biker education scheme is the Rider Improvement programme, offered to riders convicted of traffic offences as an alternative to a hefty fine. Tony has attended one of these courses and thinks it would be of benefit to all riders to improve their roadcraft, not just those caught speeding.
General observations about the NW region: in terms of membership, the NW is the second largest MAG region but there is a lack of involvement; it seems that the other regions do more work and get more support for local events.
We have about 870 members in the region, with roughly equal numbers joining and leaving each month. MAG depends for its income on a few big events (Farmyard Party, Stormin’ the Castle) and if we could double the membership nationally, then the subscriptions would make us self-sufficient. (This just means getting every member to sign up one friend).
There was some discussion about bike parking in Liverpool; the City Council has erected six parking bays exclusively for bikes, but has also announced that motorbikes are not allowed to use pay-and-display street parking (on the grounds that payment cannot be proved or enforced). Ian C pointed out that national transport policy guidelines recommend supporting PTWs to relieve congestion, and LCC appears to be opposing this policy.
National Committee issues: we are to confirm the appointment of a Campaigns Officer who should help raise the profile of MAG and get us more involved with transport policy. For financial reasons, MAG is not exhibiting at the NEC bike show this year; the money saved has been used to buy advertising space in club magazines.
There was brief discussion about the NEC and MCIA, with MAG not wanting to pay for full corporate membership (or let them inspect our accounts) just to have a stall at the NEC.
Mention was also made of the current situation at the BMF (financial irregularities, apparently – see bike press for lurid details) and Ian pointed out that MAG has a stand at the annual BMF show. Although MAG and the BMF have different approaches to riders’ rights we are both there to support the biking community and it would not be to our advantage if the BMF were to fold.
A question came up about the cancelled GP event (exclusive MAG campsite). Apparently, a local resident had objected at the last minute leaving us unable to go ahead with the event. The GP this year also clashed with the Heart of England rally and Brum Demo.
Next year’s events have been planned to ensure this doesn’t happen again, and if the GP camping works out, then the idea may be extended to WSB races.
Regional Accounts: a set of accounts for the past 12 months was sent by Lynda and included with the agenda and minutes.
Graeme K (auditor) observed that the accounts actually ran from November ’05 to November ’06, and said that it would be better practice for a specific date to be assigned for the presentation of accounts. This would avoid any confusion over fundraising events (eg Smoke on the Water) which took place in November.
After discussion, it was proposed that:
The current set of regional accounts are reworked to run from November 2005 to September 2006, and
We adopt in future a financial accounting year running from October 1st to September 30th
(Prop G Kenyon, Sec T Cox: 10 for, 1 abstention)
It was noticed that the last four entries in the accounts were just interest payments, and Tony explained that the proceeds from Smoke on the Water and the Blackpool MAG rally would be paid into the regional account.
As is normal, we would then arrange to donate the bulk of the account to MAG central for the fighting fund.
Tony suggested that two thousand pounds would be an appropriate amount, which would leave us with about the same balance as at present.
(Prop T Cox, Sec P Mossman: carried unanimously)
Election of Officers: as with last year’s AGM, there had been no nominations for the committee posts and the present incumbents had all agreed to stay on if required; the complete list of office nominations, with proposers and seconders had been provided in the agenda and had not drawn any comments or objections. The Regional Committee was thus re-elected en bloc:
POST OFFICER PROP SEC
Regional Rep Tony Cox M Card L Pouncey
Assistant RR Mike Card T Cox T Norris
Secretary Tim Norris M Card L Pouncey
Treasurer Lynda Pouncey M Card T Cox
Auditors Graeme Kenyon, Mike Card T Norris T Cox
Webmaster Chris McDonald B Green M Card
Regional Activities: future planned activities for NW MAG include:
Red Rose MAG
Red Rose MAG have also revived the traditional Fred Hill Run in February, and are planning to hold the event again next year – date to be confirmed.
G-Mex Bike Show, 5th – 7th Jan 2007
There is some uncertainty over the Rawtenstall bike Show next year.
During a discussion about holding events, Ian pointed out that Rock Nights are the easiest way to raise money for MAG – find a pub with field, a cheap band, and free camping.
We also discussed the recent Bike Awareness day in Darlington, where about 150 bikes turned up to make the case for PTWs – congestion relief etc. This helped raise the profile of MAG and received good local press coverage.
Any Other Business:
Liverpool & W Lancs MAG: Thomas mentioned that the departure of Billy Downs has left the group without a leader. The members enjoy turning up for meetings but nobody is willing to take over as branch rep (although Thomas has offered to coordinate e-mail messages from Tony and other members).
Tony proposed a vote of thanks to the absent Billy for his tireless efforts in setting up and running the weekend’s events at Smoke on the Water.
Ian suggested that a vice-rep should be appointed to work alongside each Branch Rep, ready to take over in this kind of situation. Meanwhile, Thomas and Billy can share the Rep’s job without having full commitment.
Website: Chris McDonald is keen to get more material for the MAG NW site so that it looks up-to-date. Ian mentioned that the web is main contact point for potential members.
Meetings: Tony explained the arrangements for holding our meetings on Tuesday
nights at the
Ian and Paul M
both suggested that we try rotating the meeting venue around all the branches.
We agreed to look into this, with the Charles Napier at
Bill Green proposed a vote of thanks to Tony for all his sterling work during the year, and the meeting closed at 1.05 pm.