Motorcycle Action Group
North-West Region AGM
Sir Charles Napier Public House, Blackburn
27th November 2011


Tony Cox (NW Rep)
Don Glover
Bob Berwick
Phil McGladdery
Michael Iddon
Tony Edmonson
Howard Jolly

JR Torrance
Bob Towers

Adrian Hesketh
Graham Daniels
Karen Lawrinson
Pete Howarth
Graham Moitie

Lynn  Gavaghan

Ken Graves
Bishop Michael
Michael Loizou
Bill Green
Gillian Beautyman
Danny Tunnicliff
Ken Vickery



Meeting Commenced 1.40pm

Tony opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and thanking them for their attendance.  Bill Green accepted the offer to act as chair, with Paul Turner (MAG UK Chairman) as observer and guest speaker.  Copies of last year’s AGM Minutes were circulated, and those present asked if they were a true record of last years AGM.  There were a number of omissions from the attendance list, which Tony agreed to rectify.  Otherwise it was agreed they were true and accurate.

Apologies have been received from a number of people, notably Wirral Representative Gordon Wheatcroft

Regional Rep’s Report (Tony Cox)

Tony reported that this has been a heavy year.  He has attended every National Committee meeting and board meeting (whilst he served as a director) from which he stood down in April.  He has attended all monthly Ride Safe Back Safe (RSBS) meetings, which have been highly productive, getting relevant organisations round the table and discussing issues in an arena which enables MAG issues to get aired at an influential level at the initial stages.  Membership of the RSBS meetings include Lancashire Police, Lancashire County Council, Merseyside, Cumbria and Cheshire Constabularies.  Discussions at this level enable solutions to be found without facing unnecessary legislation.  It also provides gives us advance warning of their priorities for initiatives in the region.

Monthly Activities in 2011


Wirral and Chester MAG launched at the Crown in Birkenhead.  Local Rep Gordon Wheatcroft.
7th Annual Fred Hill Run, setting off from the Charles Napier, Blackburn.  50 bikes took part.


MAG UK AGC. Tony was awarded the Richard Tegg Award for services to MAG.  This reflects the work that the Northwest region does for the organisation.
Wirral Egg run.  Wirral and Chester MAG attended with the MAG stand.


NABD Rally, Leyland Eagles Rally, both attended with the stall which recruited new members and raised funds through product sales.


Blackpool MAG Rally raised about £2000.  This is a good steady rally raising funds annually.  This year a few new things were tried including the bus.
Bike Fest in Morecambe run by Morecambe and District MCC (an affiliated club) attended with stand.


Bike Safe
Stop Discrimination March in Blackpool, organised by the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.
  MAG members attended.  Although not strictly a motorcycling event there are parallels between bikers and other minorities.  It provided good publicity.


Accrington Bike Show.  Bill Green & Red Rose MAG  attended with MAG stand
Delivered a cheque to Vine House in Preston.  The cancer charity supported MAG member Andy Topping (who sadly passed away in October) and local press covered the presentation.  £220 was raised and Andy himself managed to attend.
MAD MCC charity run for Donna’s Dreamhouse.  Provided marshalling support.


Storming the Castle.  Ran MAG stall.  Recruited members, sold merchandise.  Was a busy couple of days.
Sept 25th Demo Run.  Tony gave an interview before and after the Demo to Biker FM (available to download from NW MAG website).  Police reported being amazed at the turnout, and that they felt it had run smoothly considering the numbers involved.  There is a real possibility of future demo’s (pending EU information).  Following the demo there was a run to the North Manchester Alliance Bike Show.  The NMA should cover all north west clubs and is intended to get us all talking to stop conflicts, arrange events (avoid clashes).  They meet monthly at various locations.
Jesters Rally.  MAG stall, Money was raised for Blackpool MAG through Marquee hire.


Hercules Run.  MAG provided marshalling, an opportunity to promote MAG, support a good cause.... and it’s fun.
Marquee hire.  Raised some more funds
Afghan Heroes Run Blackpool. Provided marshalling.  The run was poorly attended due to the bad weather and the Monday night timeslot.  There is a possibility of a run next year to coincide with the Blackpool Rally.
17th October it was MAG’s sad honour to provide marshalling support for the funeral of late MAG member Andy Topping who lost his fight with cancer.  His passing is a great loss.
25th October North Manchester Alliance met.  Looking at calendars for the coming year.
Blackpool MAG Halloween party.  Raised funds for MAG.  We now have most of our own PA equipment which saves on costs (including band rates as they used our equipment).  We are building a good stock of assets within the region.
Ride Safe Back Safe meeting.  Chief inspector Debbie Howard reported a 40% increase in motorcycle deaths in the region.  As such they are targeting three groups: young riders/drivers; old riders/drivers; and motorcyclists.  We are the only group to get hit by all three.  Tony responded that concentration of drivers needs looking at and that you can’t just focus on the victims.   Issues such as mobile phone use should be targeted.  The police couldn’t provide details of their  figures, and Tony has asked for the statistics used.
Tony reported that some people help out at the events, but it is always the same people and has asked for volunteers for future events in the New Year.


Accounts Summary

A lot of transactions have been done in cash due to signatory problems on the account.
The balance is lower than the beginning of the year due to buying of stock merchandise, whereas last year merchandise had been sold and stock was low. £500 was spent on MA jackets (yielding £200 profit, which is high for merchandise).  It was hoped the NW funds could be utilised to purchase a new NW stall, but there is not enough to directly fund this.
Outlays have been for the stock which is held, and mailouts (£40 Wirral and Chester launch, £70 AGM which is less than previous years due to increase in usable email addresses).
It was also hoped that NW funds could be used to reimburse for the equipment previously mentioned, but this is not currently possible.
Northwest account balance is currently £154.


Election of Northwest Regional Officers

Posts available were Rep, Political Officer, Secretary and Treasurer.

Tony Cox was proposed and seconded for Regional Rep, voted in unopposed by majority
Bill Green agreed to stand as Political Officer, voted in by majority
Phil McGladdery, Regional Secretary, voted in by majority
Gillian Beautyman, Regional Treasurer, voted in by majority



Address from Paul Turner, Chairman MAG UK

Paul reported that it was good to come to a proactive region.  It makes life easier at the MAG stand at shows etc if people have encountered MAG at other events, which sows the seed in them leading to further interest and membership.  The fundraising in the region is great, but also the support for charities which raises the profile of MAG and gives a vital inroad into people respecting  our views and opinions.

National MAG issues.  We are experiencing an economic downturn but membership numbers are about the same, despite recruiting new members.  The demo on the 25th of September recruited new members, as has the Bike show at the NEC which recruited 30 new members over the weekend Paul manned the stand, which shows we are doing something right.  We need to look at retention of members.  A comment was made that we need to sort out direct debit membership renewals (a long standing issue).  Paul reported that direct debit will be up and running in January.  Initially this will be annual renewals, but when the database is ready a quarterly option will be available.  The timescale for this will be announced at the next national committee meeting.

Speaking about the award Tony received in April, Paul stated that this represents the hard work of the region.  The North West is a regular contributor to the road magazine for example, and that other regions need to get their finger out. 

Paul thanked the AGM for the invite to attend the AGM, and reported that he will be standing down as Chair in April at the next AGC after three years in office.  As such the Chairman’s position is up for election, as are positions of directors of the board of MAG UK.  These can be frustrating posts at times but also highly rewarding and shape the future of the organisation.  There have been a couple of offers but anyone interested should consider standing.


Suggestions for promoting MAG in the northwest and the formation of local groups

2 local groups have been formed in the period.  Wirral and Chester, and Morecambe.

A group in the Liverpool area would be good, and a bike meet was identified at the Scotch Piper with the possibility of a ride out to promote MAG in the summer.  It was discussed that it is difficult to set up local groups in cities.  Tony Edmunson offered to speak to friend who is involver with the meetings at the Scotch Piper.  There are a lot of issues in Liverpool regarding bikes, and a local group would be welcome.

It was discussed that we  need to keep onto local councils regarding their transport plans (including parking).  Tony (Cox) reported that at Preston Train station it costs the same to park a bike as it does to park a car.  Danny Tunnicliff stated that the car park was privately owned and therefore Local Authorities had little to do with setting the charges.

The club affiliation scheme was discussed and it was stated that MAG makes very little money from the scheme but it keeps the message going out to supporters.  The scheme has the benefit that for the first year of full membership the scheme provides a  20 % discount.

Current issues
A lot of interest at present due to the threats from the EU.
It was reported that there is currently a “hidden threat” from “E10”.  This proposal will raise the amount of ethanol in fuel which apparently will be highly detrimental for older engines.  It was suggested that this may be an indirect way of getting bikes off the road.  This issue is to be monitored.

The G-Mex show is back on but it poorly advertised. 
March show is on near the Trafford Centre

Anything for the NW Regional Site – Send it through to NW Rep
Reports are up on site

Leyland Eagles  invited MAG to attend next years rally with the MAG stall.
NABD date is not confirmed but MAG stall is invited
Brickies Rally invitation for MAG stall but this clashes with the G-Mex show
The Legion Rally at Ellesmere port last weekend in July offered, details being emailed.

Options regarding a new stall were discussed.  It was generally agreed it will be a good investment.  The proposed new stall will be large to transport so will need a van or trailer.  This is not a problem.

It was reported that as of January, power sockets on towbars of cars, bikes and trikes will be tested as part of the MOT.


Next year in November there will be elections for Police Commissioners throughout the UK.  There will be a £5000 deposit payable (which is disproportionate to other elections such as MP and councillor).  It was proposed that all biker groups should get together to either support a pro bike candidate, or field our own.  Possibly targeting one area (with a problematic police attitude) could work.  We would need to get 100 signatories which wouldn’t be a problem.  Details of how much of the vote needed to have deposit returned haven’t been released but will be between 2 to 5% (which is a big difference).  Currently the details are in the form of vague Home Office Memo’s.  Tony C asked details of the deadline for fielding a candidate.  These have not been released, but the legislation creating the post has been given Royal Assent, it is waiting on the Cabinet.

The North Manchester Alliance will be meeting this Tuesday 8 pm at the White Lion Bury.

Karen Lawrinson reported that she works for a pro-bike MP, and can forward parliamentary questions, which MAG can suggest.  She needs to know what sort of reply is required.  Questions need to be properly formatted, but she is willing to support this.  The MP is formerly a member of the shadow transport commission but stood down to join the justice commission.

Tony can email questions across.  Previously she has asked for evidence on effectiveness of day glo, and whether insurance claims will see none wearing as contributory negligence.  Also she has forwarded questions regarding the Get a Grip campaign.

The 25 Sept Demo was discussed.  The events referred to as the Charnock Richard Drag Race were clarified, as two bike riding to catch up to the main body of the protest.  The events were well supported, but some set off points complained as no briefing.  This was due to the organiser breaking down on the way to the set off point. The problems at the M55 set off were discussed, with the police agreement of 55mph not being met by the riders who rode considerably slower.  The police however, despite initial feedback on the day, were pleased with the way the demo’s went and have already mentioned future demo’s.

The next demo will possibly be coordinated regional set offs with one run in the northwest, or with more disruption depending on the threat from Brussels.  The continued hassling of MEP’s is working.  The Blackpool MAG Facebook page contains a draft letter to MEP’s which can be accessed and sent.

A discussion was held on electoral information available to politicians who can check if constituents are active voters (and therefore whether they are worth responding to).

The Chair of the meeting closed the meeting by thanking Tony for all his hard work over the year.