Motorcycle Action Group
Annual Group Conference
April 13, 2013
Anne Gale dealt with housekeeping issues, 'welcomed everyone and looked forward to
healthy discussion which would take MAG forward' then handed the meeting over to Den
Powell, Chair, who welcomed all to AGC.
MAG (UK) Ltd Annual General Meeting
1. Board Report: Steve Wykes
Steve opened his report by stating that MAG is moving forward in many areas, with
significant local-level activity and many successes.
He noted that MAG needs to be supported with regard to campaigns, nationally, locally
and within the EU.
Coverage and support from media and industry has improved significantly.
The introduction of Direct Debits for payment of memberships should help reduce lapses
in membership and administration costs.
I.T. issues are still affecting communications at the moment and Steve thanked Andy
Meredith for his assistance with this issue. New systems fit for purpose are now
A review of job roles, descriptions, etc is to take place, along with staff appraisals,
to ensure a positive steer is provided to staff regarding priorities, etc. Absence due
to illness, etc, is being addressed.
In closing, Steve touched on the matter of Den being stood down as a director, which was
a difficult decision made in difficult circumstances; noted that other roles have also
changed due to resignations and appointments; and finally wished Den a full and speedy
2. Report by Company Secretary: Steve Wykes
Steve confirmed MAG (UK) Ltd is solvent and operating legally.
3. Finance Director's report: Patrick van Aalst (see also attached)
Pat reported that income and expenditure had been good overall, with growth in
memberships and products. Currently, it would be possible for MAG to operate for four
months without income.
Looking at the last three years, there was a spike in memberships last September (when
the Euro-demos took place) and growth year on year in the fighting fund. Pat noted that
these two income streams are fairly evenly split and said he would like to see an
improvement in membership income to reduce reliance on the fighting fund which is, to a
large extend, weather-dependent.
Ian Cook, E. Yorks, asked about plans for improving membership. Den Powell noted the
introduction of Direct Debits, and said that Tracy Smith has been tasked with
identifying best practise and the most effective ways of drawing in and retaining
Looking at the bank balances over the last three years, it was explained that the
fluctuations are due to income from premier events coming in at specific times of the
In summing up, Pat stated that it had been a good year overall, but that the fighting
fund was not expected to continue at the same level due to events being affected by
adverse weather over the last year. He also noted that Direct Debit conversions are
currently approximately 10%.
In response to a question in relation to this, Pat confirmed that the new database will
be able to identify lapsed members more easily; that email addresses are being harvested
in a bid to reduce administration costs; and that more use will be made of regional and
4. Finance questions
Incorporated into item 3. See above.
5. Appointment of Auditors
To retain Bishop Simmons as auditors.
Proposed: Pat van Aalst; Seconded: Steve Wykes. Carried.
Resignation and election of Directors
It was reported that Jono Broad had resigned his position as Director.
The following people were elected to the Board, following words of commendation from
their respective proposers:
Proposed: Neil Liversidge; Seconded: Selina Lavender. Carried.
Proposed: Neil Liversidge; Seconded: Selina Lavender. Carried.
It was noted that Selina replaced Jim Coxon, who was unable to attend.
Proposed: Tony Cox; Seconded: Anne Gale. Carried.
Each new Board member thanked Conference for its support.
Summing up: Den Powell
Den noted that expenditure has been focussed where needed, and that work has been done
to contact members regarding Direct Debits; that work on improved I.T. and website
solutions is back on track; that MAG (UK) Ltd is trading legally and is solvent; and
that finances are healthy but a buffer of six, rather than four, months would be ideal.
In closing, Den thanked all the regions and branches for their donations and welcomed
the new Directors.
MAG Annual Group Conference
1. Handover of Conference chair to National Vice-Chair
MAG (UK) Ltd AGM was duly closed and AGC opened; Conference chair handed over to Selina
2. Review of 2012/13 campaign activity: Ian Mutch
Opening with the observation that those “expecting an incisive report may be
disappointed!” Ian noted that MAG’s successes have improved dramatically over the years
and that it is a tired cliché that MPs don’t listen.
He noted recent significant successes such as the EU anti-tampering legislation, and the
fact that the EU Commission is becoming increasingly aware of discontent towards it.
In closing he related an anecdote from his days as a courier to illustrate that
legislation is not always the answer and that the challenge is to ensure that responses
to saving lives are proportional.
Update of Database, Website and Membership Figures: Paul Turner
Paul reported that the new database will be a system tailored to MAG’s requirements.
Work on the new website has been delayed to ensure that the database is exactly what is
required because, ultimately, the database, website and financial systems will all
“talk” to each other to assist with improved efficiency.
Membership figures as at 12/04/13 are: 8,287 full (i.e. individual and joint) members;
1,300 life members. There are approximately 100 memberships at the old fee due to being
on Standing Orders.
In closing, Paul said that MAG must be doing something right, as membership figures are
remaining steady in a climate of reducing memberships in clubs and organisations.
National Officers Reports
National Chairman: Den Powell
Den opened her comments with the observation that it had been an “interesting year, but
not in the best way”.
She went on to describe the features she had planned to instigate: written procedures
and a new style Constitution; a draft protocol on email decision voting; producing a
structure whereby some NC items may be dealt with via email.
Unfortunately she was diagnosed with and subsequently treated for mouth cancer which,
among other things, resulted in a loss of 11½ stone in weight which she described as
good, but she could not “recommend it” as a weight loss programme.
She noted that her Vice Chair, Steve Peake, had later resigned his position to better
provide support at a personal level and that, ultimately, the Board had stood her down
from her position as Director.
Den closed by thanking everyone who has supported her during this difficult time,
including staff, Steve Peake, and Selina Lavender for stepping in as Vice Chair under
It was a report charged, at times, with understandably considerable emotion and
Conference gave a prolonged standing ovation.
5. Election of National Officers (Manifestos attached)
National Chairman: John Mitchell
Proposed: Steve Luckens, Seconded: Tracy Smith.
Gerard Livett sought clarification as he understood Pete Walker to have stood for the
position. Selina explained that Pete had stood down due to personal circumstances, and
the Constitution had then been followed in respect to the seven-day rule regarding a new
Steve Luckens spoke in favour of the nomination, noting that John “is a do-er and a
motivator” and saying that as an organisation “MAG is all about Action, and John is all
National Finance Officer: Patrick van Aalst
Proposed: Pete Walker, Seconded: John Mitchell.
Pete spoke a few words of commendation to Pat renewing his role as NFO.
Selina noted that Pat is also now Director of Finance to FEMA.
National Clubs Liaison Officer: no nominee
Ian Mutch noted that this position was designed to get clubs interested in affiliating
and affiliate members to convert to full members.
National Network Communications Officer: no nominee
It was noted that Anne Gale continues to produce Network and that Bill Pugsley had
resigned as Reps Liaison Officer.
AJ from E. Dorset volunteered for the post.
Proposed: Neil Liversidge, Seconded: Den Powell.
6. MAG Foundation report: Pat van Aalst
Pat noted that the MAG Foundation has had several significant campaigns in the past but
is not currently active, and asked Conference to consider the future of the Foundation.
Simon Mollett said he had requested to become a Trustee but had not heard anything back.
Pat apologised, surmising that the email may have been identified as Spam.
The current Trustees are Pat van Aalst, Nich Brown and Andy Timms.
Geoff Mills, Western Region, asked why it has reached a point of questioning whether the
Foundation should continue.
Neil Liversidge explained that originally, there were schemes that were being undertaken
by MAG that were charitable (e.g. Theft Scheme) and the then Chief Executive Henry Marks
was asked to progress this. Conference was given to understand that, when it came to
discussion with the Charities Commission, the items originally requested were not
included and other items such as road safety had been put in instead. Also, there are
other charitable organisations that are motorcycle-based, such as NABD.
Ian Cook, E. Yorks, observed that a joined-up strategy may enable MAG to move forward
with issues that the Foundation would research; Pat said it would be possible make
changes via the Charities Commission.
Pete Seymour, Reading, observed that safety as an issue helps open doors regarding
riders’ rights and that he has had successes using this approach.
Leon Mannings noted that one area of funding for research that would be very useful is
regarding the Roads Task Force that he is involved with. Currently there are no
references to PTWs in its remit and this needs to change. Research that could
strengthen the argument in favour of PTWs would be something that the Foundation could
usefully be involved with.
Jon Wilmer, Thames Valley, noted that the aims of the Foundation are to “promote and
protect” motorcycling and asked where the younger riders are.
Neil Liversidge said that the running of the Foundation is down to the Trustees and that
a steer was required from the Floor.
Richard Taylor, N.E. Lincs, noted that riders’ rights is a safety issue; that MAG
already has a charitable arm; and that funds could be channelled accordingly.
Jol Lawson stated that there are strict guidelines that have to be adhered to regarding
the use of the Foundation, noted that there are already other road safety organisations
and that active Trustees would be required to move the Foundation forward.
Selina Lavender explained that MAG (UK) Ltd and the Foundation must work separately
A representative from S. Devon felt it would be dangerous to rely on other road safety
organisations as their perception is that PTWs are dangerous and have a very negative
view of them. He also noted that it is possible to Gift Aid to a charity.
Following further discussion a proposal was put to Conference:
That MAG NC shall carry out a study to determine what projects might usefully be
suggested to and considered by the MAG Foundation Trustees; and calls on the MAG
Foundation Trustees to present an Action plan to AGC 2014.
Proposed: Neil Liversidge; Seconded: Ian Cook. Carried.
Pat requested that any further interest in taking on the role of a Trustee should be
directed to him.
7. Motions to Conference (see attached)
Motion A: To add a new class of membership (Perpetual Membership)
Proposed: Neil Liversidge; Seconded: Paul Turner.
Neil spoke to commend the motion, giving some background on some of the suggested
recipients of such a class of membership and noting that it would be a tribute.
Gerard Livett spoke against the motion, stating that he did so “not because it is not
good to remember” but because the members in question cannot be asked whether they would
choose to be in such a class; also because he did not want to be asked questions
regarding membership figures and “how many of them are still alive”.
Den Powell interjected and explained that those accorded Perpetual Membership would not
be counted in the membership figures, it would simply be a way of remembering them.
Geoff Mills stated that he opposed the motion as it stood but would support a Roll of
Andy Carrott observed that it had become an argument about words and proposed a friendly
amendment to replace Perpetual Membership with Roll of Honour.
Neil said that the last decision regarding MAG made by the people in question was to be
a MAG member and said he would not accept the amendment.
A question was asked regarding who could be nominated and it was suggested that rules
would need to be in place and Neil stated that custom and practise would be followed.
Pete Seymour noted that all the nominees were great, memorable people but that it could
cause ridicule outside the organisation. He observed that it was already, at
Conference, causing divisions within MAG and that everyone present was attending on
behalf of others.
Votes in favour of the motion: 56
Votes against the motion: 96.
Motion B: To amend the rules for running the AGC (proposals, nominations, voting, etc)
Proposed: Neil Liversidge; Seconded: John Mitchell
This motion generated a great deal of debate in respect to clause v, specifically the
last section of clause v:
“Should the Chair feel that the result is too close to call he or she shall appoint tellers to conduct a formal count. Upon a result
being called without a formal count, tellers shall be appointed to conduct a formal count provided that at least six members
present shall request the same. A recount shall automatically be taken where a vote is carried by a majority of less than 5% of the
total votes cast.”
It was suggested that a figure of 10% would be better than 5%; that a paper vote could
be taken; and that the part about six members requesting a formal count could be
interpreted at bullying the Chair by overrule.
Steve Baker, MP, stated that in the House of Commons the Speaker can call for a division
if one member requests it.
Neil said that he would be happy to accept an amendment to the effect that a paper
ballot could be called in the event of a vote margin of less than 10%. He further noted
that when the Chair looks at the Floor they can usually see when a vote has a clear
majority, but where there is not a clear majority they can call for a counted vote by
tellers. He also said that clear majority votes should be accepted.
Further discussion ensued regarding whether the figure of 5% or 10% would be acceptable;
also how a vote can look different, depending on whereabouts in the room one is
Ian Cook stated that the observation by Steve Baker, MP, should be good enough for MAG
Steve Baker further noted that the point is to ensure that decisions are called
accurately, hence sounding the division bell to call in delegates absent at the time of
The following amendment was proposed:
That the penultimate sentence of clause v, i.e. “Upon a result being called without a formal count, tellers
shall be appointed to conduct a formal count provided that at least six members present shall request the same.” be removed.
Proposed: Jon Wilmer; Seconded: Ian Sutherland.
Vote in favour: 90; vote against: 52. Amendment accepted.
The following amendment was also proposed:
That in the event of a formal count by tellers giving a margin of less than 5%, a paper
vote should take place.
Proposed: Sean Harris; Seconded: Geoff Mills. Carried, with 3 votes against.
Jol Lawson pointed out that by removing the penultimate sentence of the clause it
removed the right of the Chair to call a vote; it was further pointed out that if the
judgement of the Chair is not trusted they should be removed from Office.
Steve Wykes noted that it can sometimes be difficult to judge the accuracy of a result
and that using tellers or a paper vote would be a way of resolving this.
There was a request to re-evaluate the motion before moving to a vote resulting in the
following amendment proposal:
To rescind the amendment proposed above to remove the penultimate sentence of clause v
(as defined above).
Proposed: Phil Statham; Seconded: Jol Lawson. Carried.
Neil Liversidge accepted an amendment to insert “before the next item of business” at
the end of the sentence “Upon a result being called without a formal count, tellers shall be appointed to conduct a
formal count provided that at least six members present shall request the same.”
Vote on entire Motion B with accepted amendments: Motion Carried.
Motion C: To require the National Committee to replace any Director retiring before the
expiry of their term of office
Proposed: Neil Liversidge; Seconded: John Mitchell
Neil spoke to commend the motion to Conference.
Jon Wilmer noted that the motion only covered voluntary retirement and did not include
removal from office.
Vote carried with one vote against.
Motion D: To bar staff and contractors of MAG (UK) Ltd from election as Directors
Proposed: John Mitchell; Seconded: Michael Taylor
It was noted that historically, employees have attended Board and NC meetings but not
had a vote.
Leon Mannings said that speaking as a Contractor of MAG (UK) Ltd, he supports the
Motion; that it would not be right for someone in his position to be on the Board; and
that although he attends NC meetings he does not have a vote.
Nick Lee, Western Region, felt that the Motion would prejudice against job choices.
Neil Liversidge explained that MAG is a voluntary organisation and that the purpose of
the Motion is to avoid excessive amounts of power and to prevent any problems arising in
Richard Taylor, N.E. Lincs, commented that MAG needs all the experienced help it can get
and felt that there should not be a problem so long as interests are declared.
It was then clarified that although, ordinarily, Directors are voted in, they can be co-
opted with their position ratified by NC and then at the next AGC.
Pat van Aalst requested a friendly amendment so the Motion reads as follows:
To bar staff and contractors of MAG (UK) Ltd and MAG subsidiaries from election as
The amendment accepted, Conference voted as follows:
For: 76; Against: 62. Motion carried.
8. Presidents Address: Ian Mutch
Ian opened his remarks by stating that he was interested to hear Leon’s comments
regarding the relationship between motorcycles and bicycles as he has both but is
currently unable to ride either because the key to the padlock chaining them together
has been lost!
He said it is a privilege to work for MAG and thanked volunteers and “low-key stalwarts”
for their support, noting that the depth of knowledge now within the organisation is
He said that even though much can be achieved with technology, the power of the personal
touch must not be undervalued.
He thanked all who have housed him in recent times, suggesting that nomad is a romantic
description of his current circumstances, but homeless person would be more accurate.
In closing, Ian said he felt things are going well and MAG continues to be increasingly
The Fred Hill Freedom Award:
Awarded posthumously to Fergus O’Connell.
Ian Mutch described Fergus as “a giant of the organisation, an archetypal biker” who
always invested a huge amount of effort and humour into the organisation.
Richard Tegg Award:
Awarded to John Marsden.
Paul Turner said that John had been a founder member of Furness MAG and is always
involved in a quiet way; and that the award would be presented to him at the Dead End
Rally, as he was unable to be at AGC due to organising an event.
The Steve Tannock Teamwork Award:
Awarded to Brighton MAG.
John Mitchell noted that at a time when S.E. region had no rep, several members had
started up a branch and opened up a dialogue with the council resulting in bikes in bus
lanes in Brighton.
Honorary Life Membership:
Awarded to The Newton Abbott Six.
Ian Mutch said MAG wished to recognise this group as three of them had achieved their
goal of being jailed in relation to Fred Hill’s campaign. None of the Six were in
attendance and Ian will look after the award until it is collected.
The Simon Millward Lifetime Achievement Award:
Awarded to Mike Baker.
Tracy Smith said that Mike has held various posts in MAG over the years and is the only
MAG member to have sired an MP! (Mike responded that he managed to do this because he
had had more time on his hands before joining MAG!)
The Chairman's Award:
Awarded to Trace Chapman.
Den presented the award to the man “who is always identifiable by his hat”.
Certificates of Merit:
Dave & Tink Hammond
Martin ‘Herb’ Chapman
Steve O’Kane & Sarah Shand
Special Recognition Award:
Awarded to Owen Kristiansen.
Ian Mutch noted that Owen had once said that he would donate a Vincent motorcycle to
anyone who managed to repeal the helmet law – and is still waiting.
10. Presentation of Donations
Cheques were presented as follows:
£320 from Taunton MAG
£4,500 from Yer Tiz Rally
£545 from mid-Devon MAG
Selina thanked everyone for “every penny raised, large amounts or small”.
Guest Speaker: Steve Baker MP
Steve opened his remarks by saying that he could recommend attending AGC in a suit as
everyone had looked at him like he was trouble, and that he wants to wear a MAG
Political Irritant tee-shirt to the next parliamentary vote he attends.
He said that, in respect to the helmet law, he felt we should not have to have one and
that people have come to believe that keeping safe and secure is more important than
protecting freedom and civil liberties.
He explained that he didn’t get involved with MAG when he was 17 because MAG was “too
political and I wasn’t interested in politics”. He observed that he and other MPs are
able to join MAG because it is a responsible organisation.
He then explained that the way to keep an MP interested in an issue comes down to three
things: don’t have a go; do write personally (it makes a difference and generates a
personal response); do make it easy for the MP to understand the issues concerned with a
simple 3-point letter.
In closing, Steve noted that regulating to substitute for common sense doesn’t work and
that some great people that have been remembered by history would, if ordinary, have had
their actions seen as crimes!!
Prior to item 12, Selina requested a show of hands to continue free affiliation to NABD
and National Youthbike; both carried.
National Chairman's closing address
Den thanked Steve Bradford for her gavel, noted that Fergus had been present throughout
AGC (in the shape of a small model) and thanked everyone for putting up with her earlier
She said it had been a “fantastic AGC” with great debate.
As a postscript, Selina noted that there would be more information soon regarding the
package being put together for the winner of the national raffle of a bike that will be
presented at 2014 AGC.
Selina thanked everyone for all they have done, Den for continuing under difficult
circumstances (a second standing ovation), and hoped to see everyone again at next
year’s AGC, closing with “Happy Birthday MAG – life begins at 40!!”
Minutes taken by Jane Carrott, 72474, Secretary Mid Lincs Branch.
Directors of MAG(UK) Ltd
Tony Cox Member 114555
I am a chartered engineer and registered with the Engineering Council of the UK. For the
past 10 years I have been working as a manager for an automotive R&D establishment.
I have previously run my own company for 12 years and have gained a good knowledge of
employment law, H&S in the workplace etc. I am presently heavily involved in a multi-
million pound business ventures which will hopefully bring 200+ jobs to the Fylde Coast.
In my spare time, I am studying an accredited home learning course in web-site design. I
have a lot of past experience in working with databases and computer programming which
will be useful when debating/commissioning the new website and database planned for
I enjoy both off road and on road biking with a Yamaha WR450F, Honda ST1100 Pan European
and VFR 750 FM in my collection.
I joined MAG around 15 years ago and soon became Blackpool Area Rep, then North West Rep
for the last ten years or so.
I have previously served as Director of MAG UK. I decided at the end of my four year
term not to stand for re-election due to having too many work and personnel commitments.
My circumstances have now changed allowing me sufficient time and commitment to once
again serve as Director. With the knowledge I have and my passion for sustaining and
improving Rider's Rights, I will be a valuable asset to the Board.
Proposed: Neil F Liversidge, Member 23660
Seconded: Selina Lavender, Member 94077
Pete Walker Member 60087
I have now served as an active co-opted member of the Board of directors to MAG UK LTD
for the last twelve months. I would like to continue to carry on in this role for the
next four years and ask you to take my nomination at face value as someone who wants the
best for MAG and the Riders Rights movement in the UK.
Whilst being an active board member is time consuming and also carries a lot of
responsibility with the position, I can honestly say this is something I enjoy and feel
proud to be a part of. I believe I and the new board have already made a difference to
the way the foundations and footings (finances) of our group are looked after and taking
me back as a MAG director will give it the continuity that is needed to build on
from here on in.
I believe the Riders Rights movement in our nation is looking at a change in the balance
of power and I would like to be able to help MAG prepare to be not only the best, but
the biggest, most effective and most respected Riders organisation this nation has ever
I believe passionately in freedom of choice and that the rider should decide, whether it
is on his choice of apparel, motorcycle or the parts we want to use to personalise our
I hope you can attend the AGC in April and you can vote me in for the four year term
that will be leading us into the next decade and by which time I hope to have helped MAG
get on a firm and secure financial footing.
Proposed: Tony Cox, Member 114555
Seconded: Anne Gale, Life Member 63175
Pete Davison (Veece) Member 126288
In October 2012 I was elected onto the Board as a Director of MAG UK, I now seek your
ratification of this position at the 2013 AGC.
As a MAG member for many years I have like many paid my subscriptions without a great
deal of thought on how MAG is run or how the funds are used. I have never held a
position within MAG, regionally or nationally as I chose to put my efforts towards
organising the MAG fundraising event Stormin' the Castle.
I have been a Director of Stormin' the Castle Ltd for the last 10 years and I am now in
my 20th year as a leading member of the organising committee.
My role within Stormin' the Castle is as it's Vice Co-ordinator and Entertainment's
Manager in addition to the many other organisational roles that are required to stage
such an event. I take a great deal of pride in being part of a team of volunteers that
provides a professional and well organised event enjoyed by thousands of bikers each
year, and in addition I'm immensely proud of the fact that Stormin' the Castle has been
able to donate over £400,000 to MAG so far.
My sole responsibilities with regard to the running of Stormin' include the booking of
all bands, and professional bodies employed, I oversee and negotiate all contractual
agreements with regard to the production, financial and
organisational management of all entertainment on site.
My direct involvement also spans the overall budget, expenditure and income of the event
to ensure and maintain Stormin's financial stability.
I Chair all meetings and I am fully aware of all the roles and responsibilities of all
our team members and spend a great deal of my time ensuring that all committee members
work as a team and to ensure that all deadlines are met.
In my working life I hold the position of Manufacturing Manager within a subsidiary of
Rolls Royce my role incorporates production planning, contract management, staff
employment/management, and ensuring the required productivity levels are achieved to
maintain a profitable business.
I would welcome the opportunity to continue working with the board of Directors of MAG,
to ensure the stability and growth of MAG UK. In the current difficult financial climate
we all face I feel strongly that it is imperative that all subscriptions paid and all
funds raised by our members collectively and individually through the many events
throughout the year not just the larger events such as Stormin' are put to the best
I hope that my experience in my both my day job and my proven commitment to MAG through
Stormin' would be a desirable attribute to the Board of MAG and hope that you consider
my election as a director favourably and ratify my position.
Proposed: Neil F Liversidge, Member 23660
Seconded: Jim Coxon, Member 81974
Nomination & manifesto for Chairmanship of MAG UK Ltd
Manifesto for Chair of MAG (UK)
John Mitchell Member 105642
I was born in 1972 (so yes, that makes me 40 – the same age as MAG), so when the helmet
law came in, I was most likely lying in my cot, not even giving it a thought. When Fred
Hill died, I was more concerned with what was coming out at the movies, but at least I
was attempting to ride a bike by then – one of my cousins' Husqvarna trailbikes. Those
cousins – the Carters – have a lot to answer for. They got me interested in bikes – well
they would, wouldn't they? Two speedway riders in the family (thanks to my dad's 2nd
wife and her lot) and another who was a pretty well-known Honda 250 racer (as well as a
certain Mr Haslam who started out riding for my uncle's race team in the early part of
his career). Both my stepbrothers rode bikes, so I could hardly get away from them.
I first encountered MAG at a fundraiser in 1991, when I was despatching – I was the one
who always took on the jobs that no-one wanted and my boss at the time brought me along.
I finally joined in 1999, after reading some article in AWoL about how biking was under
threat from the powers that be. I was enjoying biking too much to let them get away with
By that time, I'd moved South to Kent, in search of a decent life (with a succession of
rubbish bikes) and an education – I ended up going to college in Tonbrige, at age 24 to
study Graphic Design, which I never had the chance to do while back home. I learned how
to write eye-catching reports, PR and business plans while I was there and discovered
CAMRA – yes, I know, this is MAG so please bear with me. I spent the next three years
working my way up to the role of regional press officer for Kent, making sure any press
releases I sent out were always followed up and the publicity gained was used well – as
well dealing with the media (including the local TV news) and people in general, be they
licensees or the chairmen of breweries.
Ten years ago last February, after meeting a fellow CAMRA member, Tony Carter (who went
on to serve as my deputy rep for three years), I was elected SE Regional Rep for the
first time; using the skills I'd learned through CAMRA (as you would – most things are
transferrable) and putting them to good use. During my last tenure as RR, I was also the
Director responsible for MAG's advertising budget (and designing the ads); including
building up relationships with Back Street Heroes and 100% Biker that are still bearing
fruit. I served on the NC until 2006, when I had to go back to study for my present
career, so I couldn't give the time I needed for the role.
I've always been an activist – or should that be troublemaker I wonder? Whether it's
causing a stink for Shepherd Neame or Whitbread in my CAMRA days, or the Driving
Standards Agency more recently. Even on the outside of MAG looking in, I was changing
the world around me – including successfully lobbying for a change in the swearing of an
oath while on Jury Service in 2009 (I managed to get a rather obscure holy book added to
the official list at Lewes Crown Court, that has since been recognised at the Old
Bailey) – just because the court website said “you can swear on a holy book of your
As far as campaigning is concerned, I would never use a petition as they're only as good
as toilet paper for getting a point across. Letter writing campaigns have more weight
because they are 'multiple complaints' whereas a petition, no-matter how many signatures
are on there, is 'one complaint'.
As I mentioned before, I've been working in the Graphic Design industry for at least 15
or so years now (paid anyway) – for the most part freelance, in some large City of
London firms, and have picked up quite a lot of business skills along the way –
especially after keeping myself and my family afloat after all this time. Those and my
way of getting people communicating – until I came back as regional rep last year, the
local reps didn't really know each other but now, there are regular meetings and
everyone's getting to know everyone else – are what I rely on day in, day out.
I've started a resurgence of the South East Region, branches that were effectively one-
man-bands are now thriving with full committees and are organising events. Brighton MAG
has got the Bus Lane trial starting later in May – not that I am claiming credit for
that, apart from just being in the right place at the right time to keep the process
moving. This year, three new branches are starting in the region – possibly a fourth –
and making it strong again.
Why do I want to be Chair of MAG?
Someone once said to me that if you want to see change, you get involved and change it.
I want MAG to not only be the UK's best riders' rights organisation – which it is by a
long way anyway – and to change perceptions of those who would not see MAG as relevant
to them. I also want EVERYONE to work together, no matter where you are in the country
to make our campaigns work. I want to resurrect proper demo rides (not 40 MPH bimbles),
so people can see MAG is a force to be reckoned with, as well as using the power of the
pen to get those who think they run the country to see our point of view. If the French
and Belgians can organise a demo with over 4,000 bikes outside the European Commission
HQ in Brussels like they did last September – with Jon Wilmer and myself there
representing MAG – there is no reason why we can't do the same thing. We still have a
massive battle in front of us to get the Super MoT thrown out and we cannot just let the
EU Commissioners walk all over us.
MAG is an activists organisation. Even locally, I’ve shown what can be done by one
activist. Just before Xmas, I took on East Sussex County Council to get them to fix a
stretch of road, that was badly potholed; and people have been complaining about for
years – however, they’d fixed it piecemeal thinking it’d be good enough. In March it was
finally fixed. Just think what a group of activists (as that is what MAG branch is, at
the end of the day) can do?
I also want to show how relevant MAG is to everyone who rides two wheels, I'm already
working with the future members of MAG through various projects in Sussex, such as the
Laurence Campaign (named after Laurence Bickham who was killed by a bus in Brighton last
year, while on his bike) and so far it seems to be working.
Thanks for reading.
Proposed: Steve Luckens, Member 123876
Seconded: Tracy Smith, Member 61373
Manifesto for National Finance Officer (NFO)
Patrick van Aalst FMAAT Member 105550
Whilst I'm not an amazing presenter, I have plenty of experience in finance roles! I am
currently a Finance Manager for a charity and have held various finance roles for the last
fifteen years in SME organisations of various sizes. If successful, this will be my
fourth term as NFO, and third year as a Director. I have, so far, introduced:
· Online banking to improve the payment and recording processes
· Direct Debit to make membership more convenient and attempt to improve
membership retention rates
· A detailed management accounts pack to provide the organisation with good
information and analysis about what's happened in the past
· The first annual budget to assist the organisation to plan for future income and
· A tendering process for our external audit and accounts requirement resulting
in, I hope, a better service at a lower cost
As a result we're well-aware that we will have a tough year ahead.
The weather and economy, in particular, has resulted in events across the country
struggling to generate surplus funds to contribute to the cause. This isn't the first time
events have had difficulties. I firmly believe we need to significantly increase our
membership numbers to ensure day-to-day activities can be maintained without any event
income. Event income can then be reserved for more high-profile and intensive campaigns
which can be planned according to available funds.
Proposed: Pete Walker, Member 60087
Seconded: John Mitchell, Member 105642
Motions to Conference
(full text published in The Road, Issue 45 March/April 2013, pages 46 & 47)
A. To add a new class of membership
Add part xvi to Clause 2 (Membership)
Members who die in good standing may be honoured by election to Perpetual Membership by
the Group Conference. Nominations shall be sent to the NC for endorsement by paid up
individual members stating the names and membership numbers of the proposers, seconders
Nominees endorsed by the NC shall be put forward for election at the next Group
Conference, whereupon those elected shall be recorded as such in a suitable manner as the
NC shall determine.
Proposed: Neil F Liversidge, Member 23660
Seconded: Paul Turner, Member 116205
Contingent upon the AGC agreeing the above I (Neil F Liversidge) propose that the
following be elected to Perpetual Membership and that the NC be asked to endorse the
B. To amend the rules for running the AGC (proposals/nominations, voting, etc.)
Replace Clause 5 in its entirety with the following -
5. Group Conference, Agenda, Proposals and Nominations
i. Proposals for the annual group conference shall be made in writing and received at
the Central Office of the group not later than the last day of December and/or by email
with a 'sent' time and date no later than 23:59 on the 31st of December at the
following address: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>.
Proposals received by post shall be treated as received by 31 December if received at
MAG Central office on the first working day of the year. In the case of a special
conference the NC may appoint a date prior to which such notices shall be sent to the
Central Office. All proposals received at MAG Central Office shall be copied by email to
the National Committee immediately upon receipt and acknowledged immediately to the
sender by the same medium as that by which they were received. All proposals shall be
published on MAG's website by the General Secretary as soon as is practicable after
receipt. Proposals shall only be accepted from paid up individual members and shall
state the names and membership numbers of the proposer and seconder. Details of all
proposals received by the cut off date shall be printed in the February/March issue of
the group's newspaper.
Emergency proposals shall only be permitted which refer to matters that have arisen
since the latest closing date for proposals. Where the conference has made a
constitutional amendment, no further amendment to the part of the constitution in
question shall be considered by conference for a period of three years, except where
such proposals are, in the opinion of the NC, both desirable and necessary.
ii. Nominations for officers and Directors shall open on November 1st each year and
shall close on 31 December. Nominees for national officers and Directors must, except
where recommended by the NC, have been members of the group for a minimum period of at
least twelve (12) months prior to nomination. Nominations shall only be accepted from
paid up individual members and shall state the names and membership numbers of the
proposer and seconder. Nominations shall be made in writing accompanied by a manifesto
limited to 1200 words.
Failure by any candidate to submit a manifesto shall invalidate their nomination.
Nominations shall be received at the Central Office of the group not later than the last
day of December, and/or by email with a 'sent' time and date no later than 23:59 on the
31st of December at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nominations received by post shall be treated as received by 31 December if received at
MAG Central office on the first working day of the calendar year. In the case of a
special conference the NC may appoint a date prior to which nominations shall be
submitted. All nominations received at MAG Central Office shall be copied by email to
the National Committee immediately upon receipt and acknowledged immediately to the
sender by the same medium as that by which they were received. Candidates for Director
positions who wish to be considered for recommendation by the National Committee as this
Constitution provides shall enter valid nominations by 1 December in order that their
nomination may be considered at the December NC meeting. Individuals who submit
nominations received after 1 December shall not be eligible for the NC's recommendation.
Following the closure of nominations on 31 December each candidate shall receive
immediate notice of the names of all other candidates, together with a copy of their
election manifestos. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure their manifesto
has been received.
iii. Posts for which no nominations have been submitted shall be left open to nominations
until seven days prior to conference, at which point nominations for these posts shall
close. Posts for which no nominations have been
submitted by the day of the conference shall be filled by nominations on the day, or
failing that by co-option by the National Committee thereafter.
Where only one valid nomination has been received for a post by the close date that
nominee shall be declared
elected provided that he or she attends the conference or provides a satisfactory
explanation for non attendance as provided for in this Constitution.
iv. Except in exceptional circumstances nominees who do not attend the group conference
shall be deemed to have withdrawn their nomination unless they send to the Central Office,
before the date of the conference, an explanation in writing satisfactory to the National
Committee. Where circumstances arise on the day of conference preventing the attendance of
a nominee a satisfactory explanation must be given to and acknowledged by the conference
Chair at the conference venue by telephone, fax or email.
v. Voting at group conference shall be on the basis of one vote for each individual member
in attendance. In counting votes only votes "for" or "against" a resolution shall be
counted. No account shall be taken of abstentions other than that they shall be noted in
the minutes on request.
Decisions on matters other than amendments to the constitution shall be decided by
simple majority vote. Respecting the Members' time, voting shall be by show of hands and
the result shall be called by the Chair if he or she is satisfied that the outcome is
clear. Should the Chair feel that the result is too close to call he or she shall
appoint tellers to conduct a formal count. Upon a result being called without a formal
count, tellers shall be appointed to conduct a formal count provided that at least six
Members present shall request the same. A recount shall automatically be taken where a
vote is carried by a majority of less than five per cent of the total votes cast.
vi. No alcoholic beverages or intoxicating substances may be consumed in the conference
Proposed: Neil F Liversidge, Member 23660
Seconded: John Mitchell, Member 105642
C. To require the National Committee to replace any Director retiring before the expiry
of their term of office.
Amend Constitution 6 ix to read:
On the voluntary early retirement of any Director the Board shall be required, by a
simple majority vote, to replace the retired Director with a candidate of its own
choosing at the earliest opportunity. Any such appointment made by the Board shall be
subject to ratification by a simple majority vote at the subsequent NC meeting.
Proposed: Neil F Liversidge, Member 23660
Seconded: John Mitchell, Member 105642
D. To bar staff and contractors of MAG (UK) Ltd from election as Directors.
Currently, the Constitution reads as follows:
Clause 6 The Board of MAG (UK) Ltd
xii. Paid employees and contractors employed by MAG (UK) Ltd may be elected as Directors
as a duty separate from and additional to their contractual employment. In such a case
their contractual employment shall continue independent of their Board position and
shall not be affected by any failure to secure re-election at any subsequent time.
We propose that it should be amended to:
xii. Paid employees and contractors employed by MAG (UK) Ltd. may not be elected as
Proposed: John Mitchell, Member 105642
Seconded: Michael Taylor, Member 128496
2011/12 Finance Report
We have had a very good this year. Fighting Fund income has increased for the third year running
(£140k 09/10, £173k 10/11, £196k 11/12), and membership income increased significantly (£154k
10/11, £190k 11/12) on the back of the two high profile demonstrations we organised. The two
demonstrations also contributed to a tripling of product sales (£6k 10/11, £19k 11/12).
In general, costs remained stable though. There was inevitably in increase in The Road production
costs due to sending out more magazines, and in product purchases for resale.
As a result MAG (UK) Ltd was able to report a substantial surplus (£9k 10/11, £59k 11/12).
However, due to adverse weather conditions in the 2012 calendar year (which I'm told is expected
to continue in 2013), the remarkable Fighting Fund income we've been receiving is not expected to
continue. I've been working with the Regional Reps, Regional Treasurers, Central Office, and fellow
Board members to prepare a budget for the 2012/13 financial year and we are anticipating a deficit
(£30k 12/13). It's not a life-threatening deficit but, nonetheless, we're working to mitigate this as
much as possible.
In other news, we have invested in two significant projects (which will impact the current year
accounts more than 2011/12). We collected our first Direct Debits (DD) in August 2012 and, as at
1st February, have 450 members subscribed to DD. We have also replaced the database with a
new program which will also allow us to provide the organisation with far better information to
manage the memberships, and make it far easier for potential members to join and maintain their
Patrick van Aalst FMAAT
National Finance Officer and Director
Income & Expenditure Medium
YTD to July
YTD to July
12,744 25/9 & 24/6 T-Shirts
8,602 25/9 & 24/6 T-Shirts
Increased membership meaning
The Road Expenses
9,322 increased production costs
Total Direct Expenses
Rent and Rates
Heat, Light and Power
Travelling and Entertainment
Printing and Stationery
-1,439 Change of auditor, lower fees
Equipment Hire and Rental
Bank Charges and Interest
Balance Sheet Medium
Total Fixed Assets
Now recording un-sold products as we
0 have more of them
Deposits & Cash
Total Current Assets
Creditors: Short Term
Total Current Liabilities
Creditors: Long Term
Total Long-Term Liabilities
Capital & Reserves
Retained Earnings Current Year
Total Capital & Reserves
Membership Receipts Chart
Membership - Individual
Membership - Joint
Membership - Club
Membership - Corporate
Membership - Junior
Membership - Discounts Allowed
Life Membership - Individual
Life Membership - Joint
MAP Ticket Income - No: tickets sold
Donations - Cumbria Region
Donations - East Anglia Region
Donations - Eastern Region
Donations - Greater London Region
Donations - Herts & Essex Region
Donations - Lincolnshire Region
Donations - North East Region
Donations - North West Region
Donations - Scotland Region
Donations - South East Region
Donations - Southern Region
Donations - South West Region
Donations - Thames Valley Region
Donations - Wales Region
Donations - Warwickshire Region
Donations - Western Region
Donations - West Midlands Region
Donations - Yorkshire Region
Donations - Clubs
Donations - Other
Fighting Fund Donations
- Complete Minutes AGC2013