Wakefield MAG July 2021 Newsletter

Dear Wakefield MAG Member,

Welcome to the July 2021 Wakefield MAG e-newsletter. If you can't attend our Tuesday meetings regularly, it's the next best thing to keep you up to date with what we are up to.


1) Wakefield MAG Annual General Meeting
2) Memorial Rideout - Sunday 4th July
3) MAG AGC 2021: a virtual affair
4) Yorkshire MAG AGM
5) MAG launches Welcoming Roads - a new vision for road safety
6) Tim Fawthrop's Manifesto for the Office of Chairman of the Motorcycle Action Group
7) Forthcoming Branch Events
8) MAG Foundation and NYRF trial new safety messaging approach
9) YPR Marshals Registration Now Open
10) Call for Stormin the Castle Marshals
11) Forthcoming Events (for July and beyond)

1) Wakefield MAG Annual General Meeting

The Wakefield MAG AGM was held on Tuesday 29th June. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we were not able to hold our planned AGM on Tuesday 12th January 2021, and the last time we hosted an AGM was on Wednesday 15th January 2020, when we were still meeting in the Grey Horse.

This was a cutdown AGM covering the following agenda items:

The full minutes will be published here shortly: Annual General Meeting Minutes.

In the meantime, here is your Wakefield MAG Committee for the remainder of 2021:
Branch Rep / ChairmanSteve Travis (Re-elected)
Deputy Rep / SecretaryChas Milner (Re-elected)
Treasurer / Finance OfficerMartin Burgess (Re-elected)
Social CommitteeLorna Jaques, Sharon Scott (Re-elected)
Rideout Co-ordinatorMick Culpan (Elected)
Products OfficerSteve Travis (Elected)
Political OfficerVacant - to be covered by Branch Rep in the interim
Clubs Liaison OfficerVacant
Auditor #1Pete Taplin (Elected)
Auditor #2Terry Scott (Re-elected)
Press OfficerSharon Scott (Re-elected)
MAP Committee Rep(s)Lorna Jaques / Steve Travis (Re-elected)
Fund Raising OfficerChas Milner (Re-elected)

Our next 'normal' AGM will be held on Tuesday 11th January 2022.

2) Memorial Rideout - Sunday 4th July

We are hosting a Memorial Rideout on Sunday 4th July, to honour past Wakefield MAG members who are sadly no longer with us (see Obituaries).

Meet 8:30 (leaving at 09:00) at Redbeck Cafe, 339 Doncaster Road, Crofton, Wakefield, WF4 1RT on Sunday 4th July. The destination is Sutton-on-Sea on the Lincolnshire coast (between Mablethorpe & Skeggy). We are meeting at least one other rider en-route (at Barney's Cafe just off M180 J5 on the A18). Two routes are planned to Barney's depending on whether we have any learners join us. The fastest route will be via M62, M18, M180 and will take an hour to get to Barney's, but obviously isn't available to learners. Should learners choose to come on the run, we do have an alternative non-motorway route that will take 2 hours to get to Barney's. The rest of the route is then A roads through pretty villages and open countryside all the way to Sutton-on-Sea.

If any learners are planning to join the ride (and you are most welcome), simply let us know beforehand on our Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/wakefieldmag), then we can plan accordingly.

We recommend that before you set off, check our Facebook Group as in the event of forecast prolonged and heavy rain, we may cancel the rideout and this will be advised on the Facebook page (but hopefully it will be cracking the flags !!!)

All welcome and hope to see you there.

3) MAG AGC 2021: a virtual affair

The proposal for a Virtual AGC, as detailed in recent press releases and in The Road members magazine, is not popular with all the Yorkshire MAG groups - all have polled the membership and every branch has reported the members are against it. It's not that we are all luddites, but genuinely feel that this will disenfranchise a lot of the core AGC attendees given the age demographic, and forecasted difficulty hosting a video conferencing event. Below is a note recently sent to the MAG Chair and NC detailing our concerns:

I read with a little concern the press release and then the coverage of the proposed virtual AGC in the latest edition of The Road members magazine. This was discussed at a recent Wakefield MAG meeting and it was the unanimous view of the members present that they opposed the virtual AGC as they felt it would disenfranchise the core membership, the same one's who physically attend year on year, who are, shall we say, of a certain demographic and not necessarily highly IT literate and/or with compatible computers / smart phones.

Hosting a virtual event with motions and voting, where it is paramount that the voting process is transparent, fair, freely available to all eligible members, accurate and has unquestionable integrity is challenging even for large organisations. I have attended dozens of virtual conferences/meetings with work these past 18 months, some of those have been problemmatic, but that's with a huge corporate IT infrastructure, multi-million pound IT budgets, dedicated IT support engineers and standard rollouts of compatible 'corporate build' devices, software, versions etc, and very much designed for this sort of virtual connectivity. Factor into the mix public software (MS Teams), with already stated limited licences available, with a semi-IT literate audience, connecting via all manner of personal desktop, laptop, smart phone devices, running multiple versions of Windows, Linux, MAC, Android, iPhone etc etc, coupled with potentially flakey venue Wi-Fi for the 'hub connection' model, I can guarantee that a large number of potential attendees will not be able to connect, and if they are lucky to connect, to be able to remain connected for 4-5 hours of the AGC is stretching credibility somewhat. I speak as an IT professional and I would offer my services to help the virtual AGC run as smoothly as possible, but in the case of non-connectivity, the only troubleshooting process available is to ensure compatible versions of hardware, software, a guaranteed minimum level of internet bandwidth and stable connection to support virtual conferencing - that's easy in a corporate environment, extremely challenging in a voluntary membership organisation. It's akin to turning away members at a physical AGC because they are not wearing blue trousers, as that is the permissible 'dress code' for entry, and if they don't possess blue trousers, they have to buy some at considerable personal expense, just to attend ..... it's unworkable.

Even if we were able to guarantee full connectivity to all current members who wish to attend, there are a number of integrity issues to be resolved:

This years AGC is likely to be unusually well attended and 'lively', due to 'many' factors, and to avoid calls of 'null and void' and the extremely damaging media coverage that would entail, we must 100% guarantee the AGC is conducted in a wholly transparent and fair manner. I simply cannot see how this can be achieved at a virtual AGC given MAG's limited budget and IT support infrastructure - even at physical AGC's there are often multiple technology issues, and that's just with a mike, speakers, laptop and projector.

I have a very real fear a virtual AGC will be technically problemmatic (and that's through the lens of 30 years as a chartered IT professional), and anyone who is denied access / connectivity, and/or denied a vote will, quite legitimately, call question to the proceedings. The reputational damage to MAG that will entail will be felt for years to come, and could even be the end of MAG as we know it. As a long standing very active member, I have no desire to see such an outcome, and no desire to see MAG consigned to the 'also rans', like the BMF.

I would ask that a physical AGC is reconsidered. The end of September is far enough away to allow physical meetings to be held, even with social distancing measures implemented should they still be required - if we have to sit in the AGC wearing face masks, so be it (politically, it is not feasible, or going to be a vote winner, to still enforce a lockdown 2 months after the already extended deadline, especially when the vast majority of the population will be fully vacinnated) - the G7 has just been physically held with all the entourage that that entails, the YPR is allowed to be held in August for several thousand attendees, live sports are once again allowed crowds, I could go on. Holding a physical AGC will be feasible and the details can be covered in the next issue of The Road. There can also be no calls as to the integrity of the proceedings if a physical AGC is held, and at this juncture, that is absolutely paramount.

A response has been received but I'm not convinced by the feasibility of the answers to quite legitimate concerns raised by the membership. I also believe the very real challenges of adequately managing the technical issues, difficulties and limitations that hosting a virtual AGC with minimal IT support and a plethora of different connecting devices, have not been adequately addressed. Members who cannot connect on the day will not be very happy bunnies. I'm also extremely concerned about members being disenfranchised from attending - it's likely there will be no virtual 'hub' organised within Yorkshire, so this will disenfranchise a large number of Yorkshire members, and we have a solid track record of AGC attendance, irrespective of where in the country it has been held in previous years.

It's pretty certain that the new Health Secretary Savid Javid will fully reopen the country again on or before 19th July. A virtual AGC could be a contingency position, but there is no substitute to a real live physical AGC. I noted with some amusement that the Conservative Party Conference is being held on the weekend following AGC ..... it was a virtual event in 2020, this year ....... it's in Manchester, as, funnily enough, a physical event !!!

We are still hopeful common sense will prevail and a physical AGC will be held, but at the moment, this suggestion seems to be dismissed out of hand. If you personally feel strongly about this, please contact MAG Central (central-office@mag-uk.org) and ask for your note to be forwarded to the National Committee for consideration. MAG is a member led organisation after all.

4) Yorkshire MAG AGM

Now things are returning to some degree of normality, a date has been set for the Yorkshire MAG Region AGM, which will be held from 09:00 to 11:30 on Sunday 25th July at Squires Cafe, near Sherburn in Elmet. An agenda for the AGM will be circulated nearer the event. All Yorkshire MAG members are cordially invited to attend (bring your membership card to vote) and all Wakefield MAG members who attend will receive 75 branch points (and after the year we have had to date, everyone's branch points will be sadly depleted, so this is any easy way to boost yours - and remember, points mean prizes ... literally !!!).

5) MAG launches Welcoming Roads - a new vision for road safety

Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is today launching a new vision for road safety. 'Welcoming Roads' is an evolution of Vision Zero (VZ). It promotes safer roads for all road user groups including pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, horse riders and, of course, motorcyclists.

Improvements in UK road casualty statistics have stalled. For many years, MAG has voiced significant concerns about elements of the VZ brand. We support aspects of the VZ approach but believe that the ideological goal of zero casualties falls short of the test of pragmatism. Our proposal seeks to preserve the successful aspects of VZ whilst shedding unhelpful 'baggage'. We believe this could break the stagnation currently encountered by the VZ philosophy.

MAG has created a manifesto detailing the vision, and is distributing it to road safety professionals and stakeholder groups to generate debate. We will welcome any offers to help refine and develop the proposal.

MAG's Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said: "This proposal is not an attack on Vision Zero. Nor do we deny that more needs to be done to improve safety on our roads. The vision to end all road casualties is laudable, but I fear that in the real world it is seen as impractical and unachievable by many. Casualties occur in the imperfect real world. Ignoring this obvious fact can lead to a rejection of efforts to improve safety. There is much baggage that comes with the ideological aspect of the current Vision Zero mantra. Certainly for many motorcyclists there is a feeling that their safety gets neglected in a rush to promote active transport modes. I do not believe this is the intent, but perception is critical - especially when the goal is to change behaviours."

MAG is calling on all interested parties to enter into debate on the merits of the proposed vision. We hope that it will be received as a positive contribution to road safety for all road users.

The Welcoming Roads vision manifesto can be found here: https://bit.ly/WelcomeRoads2021

6) Tim Fawthrop's Manifesto for the Office of Chairman of the Motorcycle Action Group

We covered the manifesto for Neil Liversidge for the office of Chair of MAG in last month's newsletter. Tim Fawthrop has also thrown his hat in the ring for the role of MAG chair. Tim's manifesto is here: timfawthrop.com

Hopefully, some of us may be able to cast a vote ..... hopefully.

7) Forthcoming Branch Events

Now we are no longer mothballed and back up and running, we are delighted to announce our schedule of events for the remainder of 2021 !!

8) MAG Foundation and NYRF trial new safety messaging approach

The MAG Foundation have funded a new filtering safety video which aims to trial a new safety messaging approach. Working with the National Young Riders Forum (NYRF) the computer-animated video focuses on how to filter correctly and how drivers can help riders to filter safely. The approach reinforces messages that filtering is legal and beneficial to all road users.

Filtering of motorcycles, scooters, and pedal cycles through congested lanes of motor vehicles is legal, but it can lead to conflict. The NYRF commissioned a detailed research project on young rider safety. Researchers from Agilysis interviewed young riders aged 16 - 24 as part of the venture. One useful insight from young riders showed they wanted drivers to be more aware that filtering is legal.

NYRF facilitator, Heidi Duffy, said: "There was a clear message from young riders through our research project. Lecturing them is not always the best thing to do. Young riders want to feel supported. So, with the funding from the MAG Foundation, we have been able to meet that brief. We are delighted to produce a safety message that features the positives of riding rather than the negativities."

Tony Cox, MAG Foundation Trustee, said: "The MAG Foundation was happy to fund this project. We know that riders see a judgmental element coming through in some road safety campaigns. Building awareness of the legitimacy of filtering and giving young riders the confidence to know how to filter responsibly is great."

MAG's Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, sits on the NYRF and has been working hard on the project. Colin said: "The video fits naturally with our existing Filter Friendly campaign. I was keen to get the video launched to coincide with our promotion of Ride To Work Day. Motorcycles and scooters provide an affordable and accessible route to accessing education, training and work. So, for young people with limited budgets they are a perfect solution. Therefore, we must support them to be as safe as possible. If all road users work together to support young riders filtering through our congested roads, everyone benefits. In short, being Filter Friendly is morally right for all road users. Thank you to MAG Foundation for the funding, the NYRF members who helped with the development of the video, and also to Koala for the computer wizardry to create the animated video. And let's not forget the young riders who gave their honest feedback on how we can better support them on the roads."

The video has been produced as a free resource to be used and shared by anyone and with everyone. Find the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNtl777Htlo

9) YPR Marshals Registration Now Open

Marshal Admin and Registration is now open for Yorkshire Pudding 2021. Please click on this link: www.magmarshals.co.uk to access the forms.

If you have marshalled at a previous event, then you can just go straight to the Marshal at an Event section and use your email and password from last year. If you cannot remember the email address you last used was, then you can email us at marshals@mapevents.co.uk and we should be able to tell you your email username. If you have changed your email address since last using the registration forms and you wish to use the new email, you can Re-Register with your new email before registering to Marshal at an Event.

If you cannot remember your password, then go to the Get Help section to reset it.

If you wish to register to marshal at an event for the first time, please complete the Registration page, then go to the Marshal at Event Section to sign up for Yorkshire Pudding 2021. It is helpful if you can state which is your local MAG group when you register and you can tell us a bit about any relevant skills and experience on the special requirements section, such as an SIA badge holder, bar experience or marshalling at other events. Someone may contact you to find out a bit more about what would be a suitable role for you, whilst we will try to accommodate everyone’s request to marshal, it is always at the Event Manager's discretion. Please also ensure to let us know under special requirements if you have any disability or health condition that limits what you can do, we need to know to ensure everyone's health and safety.

Also, you should receive a confirmation email for every form you fill in and submit. Should you not receive the confirmation email, again, please email us at marshals@mapevents.co.uk so we can get you fully registered on our system.

You can go back into your form and update it at any time until the closing date, which is Friday 9th July 2021. Please ensure you press the submit button at the bottom of the form if you do this.

The shift confirmation email will be sent to you within the week starting Monday 12th July.

Please remember to bring your own re-usable drinks bottle as we are continuing with our quest to reduce the amount of waste at our events so there will be no water in bottles this year.

We also now have a Facebook page exclusively for all marshals called Yorkshire MAG Marshals Page. Please ask to join and invite all the marshals you know to join. It's for you to air your views. We do accept constructive criticism as this allows us to adapt and move forward but any kind of nasty or unacceptable comments will be removed.

Thank you very much for your continued involvement with the Yorkshire MAG events, without you they wouldn't happen. If you have any queries, please reply to marshals@mapevents.co.uk we will try to reply by email but it will help if you include a phone number.

10) Call for Stormin the Castle Marshals

Our very good friends in NE MAG, who host the rather splendid Stormin the Castle rally in County Durham have put out a call for marshals. Stormin this year is being held on 3rd - 5th September.

If you would like to marshal at this event, which is a major fundraiser for MAG, you can volunteer on the Stormin website (there is a marshals link on the home page): www.storminthecastle.co.uk

11) Forthcoming Events (for July and beyond)

Sunday 4th July - Memorial Rideout

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Sunday 25th July - Yorkshire MAG AGM

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Friday 6th - Sunday 8th August - Yorkshire Pudding Rally (YPR)


TBC - Evening Rideout to Sheffield Speedway

Exact date to be confirmed but the Sheffield Tigers are back to Thursday Evening home fixtures

TBC - Belated Wakefield MAG 19th Birthday Do - Exact date and 'activity' to be confirmed

Saturday 25th September - MAG AGC

Tuesday 26th October - Bingo

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Tuesday 30th November - Biker Quiz Nite

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Saturday 11th December - Christmas Do

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Tuesday 15th December - Christmas Hamper Draw

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Tuesday 25th January 2022 - Post Christmas Auction

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See the events page for further details and more !!!

That's all for this month, hope to see you all soon.

Ride Safe .. Ride Free
Steve Travis
Wakefield MAG
0772 078 4734

Wakefield MAG meet at the Thatched House, Stanley, Wakefield at 8:30pm every Tuesday. New (and Old) faces are always welcome.