Minutes 
 
 
 

of the 
 
 
 

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 
Hoare. 
 
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 
the Conference. 
 
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 
development. 
 
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 
three-year cycle. 
 
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 
positive improvements. 
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 
Financial Solutions. 
 
 
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 
relevant information. 
 
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 
 
None. 
 
 
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 
 
Motion: 
 
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 
own. 
 
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 
against it. 
 
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. 
 
Motion carried. 
 
Lembit handed the Chair back to Neil for the remaining items. 
 
 
12.  Elections 
 
NFL explained the election process and noted that the following officers were returned 
unopposed: 
 
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 
3000. 
 
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 
Director. 
 
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 
Limited. 
 
 
14. N.A.B.D. 
 
That affiliated membership be granted to the National Association of Bikers with a 
Disability (N.A.B.D.) 
 
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.  
Conference applauds. 
 
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 
cancer. 
 
 
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. 
 
 
Chairman’s Award: 
 
Presented by Selina Lavender to Jane Carrott.   
 
 
Media Award: 
 
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. 
 
 
Donations 
 
A number of presentation cheques were handed over as per the below list. 
 

 
South Wales 
£1,000 
Bury St. Edmunds 
£1,800 
Peterborough 
£1,000 
Cornwall 
£1,500 
Cumbria 
£1,600 
North Devon 
£500 
North West 
£5,500 
Yorkshire 
£13,500 
Stormin’ the Castle 
£75,000 
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 
influence. 
 
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 
Conference. 
 
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. 
 
 
Conference closes. 
 
 
 
Minutes taken by Jane Carrott, 72474, Secretary Mid Lincs Branch, National Reps’ Liaison Officer.