Seven Wakefield MAG members attended the 2012 MAG AGC at High Wycombe on Saturday 14th April. Steve & Justine met Ian in Outwood en-route to the Grey Horse, where we picked up Cathy at the ridiculously early time of 06:00am. We then picked Lorna up in our huge mini-bus, hired for the occasion, just off Barnsley road on our way to the M1. We collected Jagster at M1 J37, then it was southbound all the way for 3 hours. We met Pete on-site, our 7th Wakefield MAG attendee, who had travelled down the day before for the Wycombe MAG rally at the same venue.
The AGC was supposed to start at 10:00 but there was a huge attendance of well over 200 (over double last year) and it took a good while to get everyone checked in (queues to get into a MAG AGC, who would have thought that !!!!!!). The AGC started very late at 11:10 and the MAG (UK) Ltd AGM started shortly after, and didn't conclude until 14:20 (the AGM portion, to discuss the business side of MAG, doesn't normally take longer than 20 minutes).
In line with MAG's constitution, it was decided that Neil Liversedge & Selina Lavender had indeed submitted their Board Director manifesto's correctly and on-time (31st December 2011) and were both therefore co-opted onto the board, into vacant positions and hence, both for four year terms. Then followed a very lengthy debate into how this was so and the MAG constitution had to be explained and clarified many many times. A ratifying vote was called for (normal practice anyway) to record the MAG AGM attendees opinion (should any of the candidates not win the ratification vote, then the NC could theoretically remove them from office). Both candidates were given a short spot to cover their manifestos and answer any questions before the ratifying vote. Neil, the Yorkshire MAG supported candidate was a somewhat controversial appointment, probably due to events in the dim & distant past. Several people did highlight the reason behind board directors, that they are there to run MAG as a viable business operation, keep it legal and above board, are not public facing and the vast majority of members wont ever have any contact with them, nor even know who they are. Neil did a excellent speech and said that he could be either popular or efficient but for the sake of MAG's on-going business stability, it is far more important to be efficient and get the job done. Very true, and his experience of running a small business is second to none. The AGM attendees obviously thought so too, as Neil's ratifying vote was a very clear 2/3 for and 1/3 against.
We then went through the elections for the one remaining board vacancy, contested by Yorkshire's very own Pete Walker, and Jono Broad. The result was incredibly close, so incredibly close in fact that a recount was requested. But before that, we had lunch, and on returning to the AGM, Paul Turner (current director and chair) resigned his directorship, leaving 2 vacancies, with 2 standing candidates, and hence both were voted onto the board, unopposed. Fantastic result, everyone was a winner and well done to Paul, we didn't need to go through a recount after all !!!
The AGM closed at 14:20 and although quite a painful process, MAG now has an extremely capable board for the next 4 years, who can do their job of keeping MAG (UK) Ltd a viable business, which in turn, provides the solid bedrock for MAG's political campaigning activity, which keeps us all on our bikes at the end of the day. A great result !!!!!
The MAG AGC then reopened which saw a new chair elected - Den Powell, someone with a long history in MAG and a local MAG Rep in Gloucester. Paddy Tyson covered his political report and outlined the forthcoming European wide demo against the EU madness we are fighting - this will be huge, it's on Sunday 24th June, and you must take part (see May 2012 Newsletter).
Yorkshire MAG's Vanessa Faetz presented our enormous donation of one hundred thousand pounds (the largest single donation in MAG's 39 year history !!!!).
The NE MAG Stormin the Castle committee presented a further whopping cheque of fifty thousand pounds, and local branch Blackpool MAG presented a most impressive two thousand pounds cheque. Way to go the North of England !!!!!!!!
The awards ceremony saw honours go to MAG members all over the country, for their persistent local campaigning or dedication to the organisation through fund raising, marshalling events or using whatever particular talents they have:
Certificates of Merit were awarded to:
The AGC finally wrapped up at 16:40, and we made our way back 'Oop North', arriving back into Wakefield at 21:00. A very long and very tiring day. A somewhat cold day too as the AGC venue had no heating ... and it wasn't the warmest of days outside (in fact, it WAS warmer outside than it was inside the venue, despite all the hot air being spouted !!!!).
A huge thanks to all the Wakefield MAG members who attended, and a huge thanks to Yorkshire MAG who attended in force. We did need those bums on seats to get those critical votes, and that is what we got, so it was certainly worth the commitment of attending and the ludicrously early start and late finish.
A huge thanks to outgoing chair Paul Turner, for all his work in the position over the last 3 years, and for his strong and continued support of Yorkshire MAG.