Motorcycle Action Group
Annual Group Conference
April 09, 2016
1. Opening by National Chair: Selina Lavender
Selina thanked all for attending and dealt with housekeeping issues.
She then noted that there would be an “Open Floor” session before the close of
Conference and that those wishing to participate in this should register with Pete
She also requested that those asking questions or commenting from the Floor state their
name and region for the benefit of those present and the Minute Taker and gave a brief
overview of the format of Conference.
She then introduced Neil Liversidge and handed over the Chair to him for the duration of
Neil thanked everyone for attending and requested that all stand for a minute’s silence
to remember those lost to us.
He then introduced Team Leon & Lembit.
2. Review of 2015/16 campaign activity: Dr.Leon Mannings and Lembit Öpik
Lembit opened by noting that it had been an “extraordinary year” for MAG; Leon described
himself and Lembit as “two cogs” in an “amazing and powerful machine” and they agreed
that MAG is working very successfully.
They reported that MAG engages with central Government every month and supports regional
A number of examples of recent successes were noted, including:
. work done with Transport Scotland and regarding the new Forth Bridge (a mention in
dispatches for Steve Wykes regarding these);
. engaging with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) regarding the fact that
there was no mention of motorcycles in their policies (there is now!);
. Lembit working to engage with politicians to extract assurances pre-Elections
regarding what they will do to assist motorcycling.
L&L are attending national events and plan to include regional ones also on a rolling
Leon reported that the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) represents big players
(manufacturers, etc) and so “boat-rocking” is not an option. However MAG has access to
key players that MCIA do not and, in the meantime, there is progress in the relationship
between the two organisations.
Lembit reported that MAG submitted evidence and objections in respect to the bringing in
of a law in Northern Ireland to enforce the wearing of helmets on trikes. In spite of
the work done objecting to this compulsion the law is being brought in anyway. However
when the KSI statistics for various types of road user are looked at, it is clear that
discrimination has taken place. The relevant Minister has not yet signed off on the law
but if he does, MAG will investigate the human rights angle.
The Justice campaign for fair sentencing in respect to accidents involving motorcycles
in a work in progress.
Leon reported that the use of mandatory cycle lanes has an adverse impact on PTWs, as do
hazardous ‘road safety’ schemes and bans on bikes in bus lanes. He stated that the use
of Armadillos creates a trip hazard for all and noted the success in Brighton where
recently installed Orcas have subsequently been removed.
He further noted that usually it is simply a lack of understanding of PTWs that is the
problem and that often, engaging with the relevant decision-makers can bring about
The Pathways to Progress presentation was mentioned along with attendant briefing notes.
It was noted that billions are being pumped into the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ concept and
that MAG needs to ensure that PTWs are included in the plans. Leon gave the example of
West Midlands Combined Authority originally having only one mention of PTWs in their
strategy, but thanks to Colin Brown engaging with them all of the Pathways to Progress
are now included.
The cycle superhighway on London’s Embankment was mentioned in respect to the difference
between the “fantasy” of improvement and reality. This scheme and the outcomes are
important because what happens in London tends to get rolled out nationwide.
Following three years of work regarding a Transport for London (TfL) motorcycle
handbook, the handbook has finally been published, following an enquiry in which the
London Assembly decided that TfL “could do better”. The Greater London Assembly Chair
is also on board regarding this.
In wrapping up the Campaigns report L&L noted some significant successes, including
Salisbury Show; that three MAG videos are in the pipeline (How to lobby, How to recruit
members, and an advertisement for MAG); and that all MAG wants is parity with other
vulnerable road users.
Finally, L&L described the past year as “phenomenal”; gave a special mention to the
staff at Central; and stated that it is thanks to all in MAG that the organisation is at
“the heart and soul of biking”.
Neil thanked L&L for their report and noted that they are proving a very effective team.
3. FEMA report: Neil Liversidge
The report was circulated.
Neil invited questions from the Floor but none were forthcoming.
4. The MAG Foundation report: Ian Williamson
Ian recalled that at last year’s conference he had stated that the Foundation should
either have new life breathed into it or it should be scrapped.
He was pleased to report that the Foundation has been successfully revived with new
Trustees and has already been operating successfully.
He noted a new initiative that has recently been rolled out in Wales whereby location
stickers with grid references have been applied to signposts in remote areas, so that
calls to emergency services can include a grid reference to facilitate swift attendance
at accidents or breakdowns. MAG members have been involved with the distribution of
these stickers as the relevant authorities did not have personnel available for this
task. The initiative is now being extended to Scotland.
Ian also noted that an App for locating secure motorcycle parking is being investigated
and will use funding that was put aside eight years ago for this task.
He closed the report by stating that from now on, regular reports will be provided to
the National Committee and published in The Road.
5. Board report
6. Finance report
Items 5. and 6. were taken in conjunction. The reports were circulated.
7. Questions to the Board
Andy Whitwell sought clarification regarding employer pension contributions and Neil
explained that all contributions are up-to-date and distributed to personal “pension
pots”, and that the admin for this service is provided free-of-charge by West Riding
8. National Committee report: Selina Lavender
The report was circulated.
In opening, Selina introduced the members of the National Committee (NC), requesting
that they each stand for identification.
She continued by reporting that the NC had fulfilled its requirement to meet bi-monthly
throughout the year and to provide regular reports. Minutes are taken of each meeting
and are subsequently published following ratification.
Selina then ran through some of the highlights and significant events of 2015, including
the General Election, meeting with Westminster City Council personnel along with Team
L&L and fighting the relatively new phenomenon of so-called “light segregation” of
cyclists from other road users with the use of Armadillos and Orcas.
She noted the victory in Scotland regarding the new Firth of Forth bridge; the Pathways
to Progress document that has been developed for use with various councils, Combined
Authorities, etc and that the Justice Campaign is currently focussed on gathering
She also noted several other successes (both financial and political) by various
regions; that MAG is embracing technology with some new additions to on-line facilities;
that a new series of position statements is being worked on; and that Team L&L have
managed numerous visits supporting the organisation.
Selina then reported that MAG has new points of contact in several areas that had been
unrepresented for a time and that the NC are a “really cohesive unit” that is very
supportive. She reminded Conference that Observers are allowed and, indeed, encouraged,
to attend NC meetings and that anyone wishing to attend a meeting in this capacity
should contact their Regional Rep.
In closing she noted that event details can be sent in for inclusion on the national MAG
Facebook page and the new MAG Wiki; that assistance is available if help is needed in
promoting MAG; and that useful documents will continue to be added and shared as
requested. She then thanked everyone for their attention to the report and stated that
questions were welcome from the Floor.
9. Questions to the National Committee
10. Administrative Motions
This AGM accepts the Board report
Proposed: Ian Williamson; Seconded: Oliver Rose. Carried unanimously.
This AGM accepts the Finance report
Proposed: Ian Churchlow; Seconded: Deb Rose. Carried unanimously.
This AGM accepts the NC report
Proposed: Michael Armstrong; Seconded: Andy Carrott. Carried unanimously.
11. Constitutional and Policy motions
That MAG shall move its company AGM and its Annual Group Conference to the last Saturday
in September each year starting with effect from 2017.
Proposed: Neil Liversidge (23660); Seconded: Selina Lavender (94077)
Neil requested that Lembit chair this section of the meeting as the proposal was his
He noted that in the past, AGC had been held at this time of year and had worked well.
He also stated that moving the Conference to such a date would bring it in line with
major political conferences. He further noted that April also has a National Committee
meeting to fit in and that from time to time Easter (being a moveable feast) can also
cause planning issues. Finally he explained that MAG’s financial year runs from August
to July which presently results in annual accounts being finally signed off and accepted
from some six months ago.
Lembit asked if anyone wished to speak against the Motion. No one wished to speak
Geoff Mills (Western Region) stated that it would be important to ensure that the
Accounts would be available for a September Conference. Selina explained that Julie
Sperling (Executive Officer, Central Office) has conducted a trial run to see if this is
possible and reported that the time constraints can be met.
Ted Smith (North Devon) and Pete Walker (Yorkshire) asked about the gap between when the
next Conference would have taken place (i.e. April 2017) and when the next Conference
will actually take place in September 2017. It was clarified that all posts re-elected
at this Conference would run until September 2017 and that there are no constitutional
issues around the move.
There being no further questions, Lembit called for a show of hands.
Lembit handed the Chair back to Neil for the remaining items.
NFL explained the election process and noted that the following officers were returned
Neil Liversidge to the post of Director.
Tony Cox to the post of Director.
Selina Lavender to the post of National Chair.
Oliver Rose to the post of National Clubs Liaison Officer.
Jane Carrott to the post of National Reps Liaison Officer.
It was noted that there are currently two vacancies for TMAGL Directors and that
nominations may be made from the Floor.
Due to timing issues in respect to the serving of lunch, it was decided to take items
14. and 15. prior to adjourning for lunch, and resume with item 13.
13. Any other business
Affiliate club membership fee change and restructure
Oliver Rose, National Clubs Liaison Officer, gave a short presentation, noting that the
Clubs scheme is going well with 133 affiliated clubs representing 47,851 affiliated
members; that 109 of affiliated clubs had less than 100 members; and that Lancashire
boasts the largest number of affiliated clubs.
He noted that a loophole (whereby it is cheaper to be a ‘club’ with 5 members than to
take out a family membership) needs to be closed and that he will look into slimming
down the existing bands but also introduce new banding for clubs with memberships over
He stated that the idea that the scheme costs MAG money is a myth and that people who
think that being an affiliate member is sufficient contribute approximately £1.00.
Ian Churchlow asked whether there had been any consultation regarding the true costs and
the way forward with the scheme. Oliver confirmed that there had not.
In answer to a question regarding administration costs per affiliate, Oliver stated it
is approximately 20 pence.
Oliver then noted that club affiliate memberships have been neglected for some time and
that costings have fallen behind the times. Neil Liversidge stated that it is not
unreasonable for people to put something into the organisation as well as take out.
Following this presentation a nomination for Directorship was received from Ian
Churchlow who stated that he has been a MAG member for some 30 years and that during
this time he has served as Northern Ireland Regional Representative and also as a
To accept Ian Churchlow as a Director of The Motorcycle Action Group Limited.
Proposed: Steve Wykes; Seconded: Tony Cox. Carried.
Ian Churchlow was duly elected to the post of Director of The Motorcycle Action Group
That affiliated membership be granted to the National Association of Bikers with a
Proposed: Steve Blayze; Seconded: Phil McFadden. Carried.
15. National Youthbike
That affiliated membership be granted to National Youthbike.
Proposed: Paul Batty; Seconded: Richard Manton. Carried.
16. Floor open to members
Alex Pease (South East) asked Ann France to stand and explained that she had got the
South East region “out of a massive hole” and brought it back to life with new events.
Colin Brown (West Midlands) announced that to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Brum
Demo the inaugural Slow Riding Challenge will be held and threw out a challenge to
“prove you’re slower than us!”
Manny (Yorkshire) plugged a forthcoming event with Lois Price as speaker.
Boris (Yorkshire) informed Conference that tickets are available for all three Yorkshire
events: Into the Valley, The Farmyard Party and the Yorkshire Pudding Rally.
Sarah (Taunton) said that there are two rallies forthcoming in their region in May and
August and promised cake.
Dave Wigham (North East) said that there are still badges for sale in aid of Prostate
Awards and acknowledgements
A vote of thanks to Barnsley & Doncaster MAG for hosting the Conference.
Certificates of Merit:
Presented by Andy Carrott to Tom Wyatt. Accepted on Tom’s behalf by Tink Hammond.
Presented by Linz Foody to Steve Bolton.
Presented by Selina Lavender to the Christian Motorcyclists Association.
Honorary Life Membership:
Presented by Oliver Rose to Steve Travis.
Presented by Selina Lavender to Jane Carrott.
Presented by National Committee to David Williams from the London Evening Telegraph.
The Steve Tannock Teamwork Award:
Presented by Jim Astill to Peterborough MAG.
The Richard Tegg Award:
Presented by Dave Wigham to Colin Mayman.
Bald Eagle Award:
Presented by George Legg to Cumbria Region.
The Simon Millward Lifetime Achievement Award:
Presented by Phil McFadden to Ian Williamson.
The Fred Hill Freedom Award:
Presented by National Committee to Eddie Lowe.
A number of presentation cheques were handed over as per the below list.
Bury St. Edmunds
Stormin’ the Castle
President’s address: Ian Mutch
Ian opened his remarks by noting his disappointment that his navigational skills had
been called into question and continued with a seafaring anecdote about nearly turning a
ferry over. This was followed by an anecdote from his days as a motorcycle courier.
He them reminisced about the time when Leon had been Chair of the BMF and, upon having
met at a PACTS meeting, had said to him that he hoped that he would in MAG’s employ one
day and “here he is”.
After one or two further jocular remarks Ian then stated that it is a privilege to turn
a passion into a job and that following a remark in an interview in the 1980’s where
someone had stated that there would be “doors that will never be open to MAG” it was
interesting to contrast that time to now, with MAG having unprecedented access and
In closing his remarks, Ian noted that MAG has “never been as effective politically as
it is now” and stated that it was “very uplifting”.
National Chair’s Closing Remarks: Selina Lavender
Selina opened her remarks by requesting a round of applause for the organisers of the
She went on to thank all for their support over the past year and looked forward to a
continuation of that support in the months and year ahead.
Several housekeeping issues were noted and a reminder to ensure that advertising for
events, etc are forwarded for inclusion on the website and in The Road to ensure as wide
as possible an audience and to communicate with Regional Reps.
She stated that if any group or region is interested in hosting next year’s AGC they
should get in touch so that useful information on how to go about it can be sent out.
In closing, Selina entreated all to “share your love of MAG with everyone … MAG is and
has always been a force to be reckoned with: we do make a difference together”.
She thanked all for their attendance and wished them an enjoyable evening.
Minutes taken by Jane Carrott, 72474, Secretary Mid Lincs Branch, National Reps’ Liaison Officer.