Motorcycle Action Group
North-West Regional AGM
Attendees: Don Glover (114229), Bishop Michael (121580), Mark Ferguson (125043), Gordon Nicholson (125041), Keith Roberts (70330), Graeme Kenyon (24103 – Auditor), Bill Green (91953 – Red Rose MAG Rep), Tim Norris (102241 – NW Sec), Daz Busby (B’pool MAG Rep), Mike Card (Outgoing Deputy RR) and Tony Cox (NW Regional Rep).
We were also pleased to welcome Steve Wykes
(MAG Scotland Rep) as NC Observer for the meeting, and Jane Chisholm (Chair of
Tony C opened the meeting and invited Mike Card to act as chairman (Nom BG, Sec DB).
Apologies were received from Lynda Pouncey, NW Regional Treasurer, together with a full set of accounts for the year.
The minutes of last year’s AGM – previously distributed – were approved (Nom GK, Sec TC).
Matters arising – none reported.
Regional report from Tony Cox:
Another busy year for the region – two
major issues have come to our attention, these being the removal of bike
parking facilities in Liverpool and the decision by
The situation in
One of the members commented that this change of rules was introduced in Sept 2005, and it was seen as highly unfair.
David Short (from MAG Central) has become
involved with the issue and will try to set up a forum during 2008 to address
the parking needs of PTW riders in
The Congestion Charge in
During the year: Regional Rep’s Duties.
Tony explained that he attended all six annual meetings of the National Committee (NC) and has also become a board member; as Regional Rep he is able to convey information down to the membership from the board and vice-versa, so that issues are properly understood.
Earlier this year, MAG underwent a relaunch with a new logo and revamped website. When this was announced, there were some complaints from MAG officers (who had not bothered to attend the meetings and so weren’t aware of the changes being announced).
Another issue of concern at NC meetings is the average age of MAG members; we need to attract new, young members to remind people that MAG represents the whole biking community. There has been some progress on this.
(Question from G Nicholson: Could we encourage youngsters by offering MAG membership free to buyers of starter bikes? Tony replied that Bill G had attended the launch event of the 125 Riders’ Club, and added that our campaign against the Driving Licence Directive should make us relevant to aspiring young riders.)
Tony mentioned that our regular Local Reps’ meetings – at which NC decisions are passed on – have been rotated round the region instead of being always held at Scarisbrick. This should enable members to meet up with MAG reps from other towns as well as the RR.
Tony also attended this year’s Annual Group
Conference at Horncastle; we were pleased to see Bill G receive the Tegg award
for his work in setting up Red Rose MAG, and for organising the successful Fred
Hill Run in
During the year Tony and the other NW MAG officers have been involved with the RideSafeBackSafe initiative, a project which was set up in response to the increase in rider fatalities reported about three years ago. The RSBS forum is a joint venture between local bike clubs, Lancashire Constabulary, the BMF, MAG and some local authorities; events at Rivington Barn and similar venues are held to inform riders about roadcraft and accident reduction. Although this has been veery successful (60% drop in fatalities) MAG is not entirely comfortable about being classed as a ‘partner’ to the Police, nor do we see ourselves as being a safety agency; our function within RSBS is more to educate – both riders and policy makers.
(Comment from G Nicholson: road accidents involving PTW riders are partly due to the lack of highway maintenance. This remark enabled Tony to mention diesel spills and road potholes, two other areas where MAG has been effectively campaigning in the NW.)
MAG has been invited to run the
Another road safety project is the Ride (speed awareness training) course; in the interests of research, Tony has taken part in this scheme and reports that it is very interesting. Covering theory and practice of bike handling, this project will be funded by the ACPO (Chief Police Officers) during 2008.
The official launch of the ‘new-look’ MAG took place at this year’s Farmyard Party; to ensure a professional image we have paid for the services of a marketing and website consultancy called Creo.
Lynda has sent along the accounts together with notes on the timing of payments – the proceeds of the Blackpool MAG rally will be calculated at the branch AGM early in 2008, and a presentation to MAG fighting fund will be made at the AGC in April. A question was raised about two gaps in the sequence of cheque numbers, but Tony assured us that these had been declared void and properly logged in the system.
Election of Officers
Local members have been notified that the AGM was scheduled for this date, and that regional officer posts were to be filled by elections. Since no applications were received from interested parties, a set of nominations (proposed and seconded) was prepared in advance and put before the meeting. These were accepted unanimously and the committee returned to office:
Officer Post Proposed by: Seconded by:
Regional Rep, Tony Cox M Card T Norris
Secretary, Tim Norris T Cox M Card
Treasurer, Lynda Pouncey M Card B Green
Political Officer, Bill Green T Cox D Busby
Auditors, Graeme Kenyon & Mike Card T Norris T Cox
Webmaster, Daz Busby T Cox B Green
Tony expressed thanks on behalf of the Region to Christine McDonald for her work on the website before handing it over to Daz B.
Tony has also during the year acquired a big silver van decorated with the MAG logo and slogans; whenever he takes this vehicle to an event it guarantees us a high profile and attracts interest from existing and potential members. Among the events Tony will be attending as RR next year are the G-Mex Bike Show, the NABD rally and the Thundersprint at Northwich.
G-Mex (M’cr Central) Bike Show, 04-07 January 2008
We are planning to run the G-Mex MAG stall as a NW (rather than a national) promotion, with local events only being advertised. Although free in recent years, we may be asked to pay something for small elements such as electricity supply or carpeting,
Scrapheap Challenge, National TV, Jan 2008
Tony and Co begin their campaign for media dominance, but are not allowed to use the name ‘Mag’ for their team.
Last two years’ runs very popular; meeting as usual at the Napier pub, details in ‘Road’
Activists’ Training Weekend, 29-30 March 2008
This event is being held at two locations –
the Northern region weekend is at Lineham Farm,
AGC, Bromsgrove, 26 April 2008
NABD & T’sprint, 10-11 May 2008
Both the NABD and Thundersprint events are popular with MAG members and we need to be present at both. However, this year (and next) they coincide, so we may need to have two small groups of local members to run separate MAG stalls, since the Thundersprint is planned to be a full weekend do next year (rather than just Sunday). It was pointed out that we decided to buy our own stall to avoid the transport problems associated with regularly borrowing a stall from central; Mike C asked whether the National MAG stand could be used at NABD.
Blackpool MAG rally – as popular and successful as in previous years, this event acts as a fundraiser not only for MAG but also the local charity, ‘Boys and Girls Club’. As usual, this rally is the last full weekend in June, and we are looking for people to act as marshals on the Saturday ride out.
(Question from GN – does the NW region attend other rallies? He knows that the Rising Moon Bike Club are looking for stalls at their rally and would welcome the MAG stand).
Any Other Business
Some discussion arose concerning the free
newspaper ‘Motor Cycle Monthly’ which is seen at numerous rallies and bike
events around the
Tony mentioned that we (i.e. David Short) get on well with the editorial team at MCM – indeed, they use part of our distribution network – and we will ask them to acknowledge the involvement of MAG in major campaigns.
NEC Bike Show, November 2007: we went back to the NEC after missing last year’s show and found lots of visitors approaching the stall, requesting membership details.
Steve Wykes: despite having a smaller
budget than the BMF, we achieve better results – due to being more careful with
funds. However, MAG is still seen as being an organisation for the older,
traditional rally biker and we need to change our image to appeal to younger
riders and those into sports clubs. Recently, Fergus has been making contact
with clubs around the
A couple of members asked about MAG publicity; for instance, do we use fliers and posters in bike dealerships? Tony replied that we have tried fliers in the past and are currently having A3 posters printed to promote MAG. However, there is not a great deal of support for this; bike dealers are often tied to one or two makes, and have strict rules about any advertising merchandise being approved by their corporate image division.
Meanwhile, we are gaining more exposure by setting up links to insurance firms.
Steve Wykes: Sol (
Jane Chisholm: on the subject of publicity, JC explained a bit about MAG’s relaunch. The job was handed to ‘Creo’, a professional crew of marketing consultants, who carried out detailed research before proposing the new logo and strapline for the organisation. Creo are keenly interested in bike culture and were involved in the ‘bikesafe’ project, so we felt they could take a mature view and not fall prey to biker stereotypes. The relaunch was voted through at an EGM of the NC.
Jane also mentioned that MAG has had a good year in general – now that David Short is on board, Trevor Baird can get on with his own job instead of being distracted by the different campaigns.
In response to a question about Daytime Running Lights, Steve W mentioned that the EU- after having seen the MAG presentation on this issue - had taken a step back and were reconsidering the European policy on DRL.
We have also been campaigning against wire crash barriers on motorways, but the Highways Agency has no clear policy on these.
Driving Licence directive and Test Centres:
many people are unclear about the impending changes to Bike Tests, and it
appears that the
There have been a few MAG success stories during the year:
The ‘Off Road Registration’ bill was
defeated in Parliament; toll charges for bikers have been cancelled on bridges
in Southampton, and in
After one final question (Is MAG a worldwide organisation? – No, but we have representation in Europe and strong links with riders’ rights groups throughout the world) Chairman Mike thanked everybody for attending, congratulated Tony on being returned as RR, and declared the meeting closed at 19:05.