Wakefield MAG March 2011 Newsletter

Dear Wakefield MAG member,

Welcome to the Wakefield MAG e-newsletter. If you canít attend our Wednesday meetings regularly, itís the next best thing to keep you up to date with what we are up to.


1) Charity Dog Food Run
2) Post Christmas Auction Donations
3) £100m for pothole repair
4) Yorkshire Heroes Sponsored Rideout
5) Local Elections
6) Rally Tickets
7) Is your bike really insured??
8) Leaked documents reveal radical plans for test centres
9) Bike For Sale
10) Forthcoming Events (for March and beyond)

1) Charity Dog Food Run

Our first branch rideout of 2011 will be a Charity Dog Food Run, in aid of Wakefield District Dog Rescues. The run is scheduled for Sunday 27th March, meeting at 09:30 at our new rideout meeting point, which is the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 4EJ.

The run leaves at 10:00 for our first port of call, which is Whitehall Dog Rescue in East Ardsley. From there, we will visit the Leeds & Wakefield RSPCA Rescue Kennels at Pet Stop, Tingley (Near Real Radio).

Bring the following items for donation:

This will be our 2nd annual Pet Food Run, and if anything like last year's, a great rideout with a most worthwhile purpose. Really hope you can make it and don't forget those doggy treats !!

2) Post Christmas Auction Donations

Following our hugely successful Post Christmas Auction, which raised a staggering £460, we voted to round this up to £510, so it was nicely divisible by 3, as the auction proceeds were to be split with 2/3 being donated to the MAG fighting fund, and 1/3 to charitable causes.

The three chosen worthy causes benefiting this year, are:

Our MAG fighting fund donation was a whopping £640 (£300 voted at the AGM from branch funds together with the £340 from the audction). Rather a good start to the year !!!!!

3) £100m for pothole repair

Councils in England will be given more than £100 million of extra funding to spend on repairing potholes, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond announced on 23rd February. The funding is in addition to the £831 million already provided to councils for road maintenance this year and the £3 billion the Government has committed over the next four years.

The severe weather at the end of last year has left many local roads in a poor condition. Every local authority has a responsibility to properly maintain their roads, including planning winter resilience measures, but this exceptional weather has caused significant additional damage.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: "Millions of motorists across the country have their daily drives ruined by potholes. And the awful winter weather we had this year is only going to make that problem worse. That is why, despite the tough financial position we are in, we are going to give councils over £100m extra to help carry out much needed repairs to Englandís roads. I am determined to see the winter damage to our roads fixed as quickly as possible and we will be working with councils to make sure that happens. This money should make a real difference to the millions of drivers who are fed up with having to continually battle against dangerous potholes, giving them safer and smoother journeys."

MAG says "Considering the worst weather this winter was in Scotland, it is a shame that only England is receiving extra money. It should perhaps also be noted that similar funds were made available this time last year..."

To make sure that councils are able to make use of this money as soon as possible, the funds will be distributed to English local authorities based on the amount and condition of roads the authority is responsible for rather than councils needing to apply for the funding. The extra funding has been made possible because of savings the Department made earlier in the financial year. In order to qualify for this extra funding and to promote greater transparency and accountability, local authorities will need to publish information on their website by 30 September 2011 showing where this money has been spent.

Wakefield MAG launched our successful pothole campaign last year, and that campaign is continuing this year. So news that additional funding is being made available to repair roads comes at a good time.

If you see Pot holes and damaged road surfaces, you can report them to Wakefield Council, via the Local MAG page > Report a Pot Hole link on this website.† This link itself points to a number of road hazard reporting websites, including Wakefield Council's Highways Problems on-line reporting form.

Email details of your reports to the branch email account (wakefield-rep@mag-uk.org), as we are running a competition with a prize available to the member who submits the most in 2011.

4) Yorkshire Heroes Sponsored Rideout

We are holding a Sponsored Bikers Rideout, to York Racecourse, Knavesmire, in aid of The Yorkshire Regiment Charitable Trust (1114624) on Sunday 10th July 2011. The rideout will assemble at 9:30am (leaving at 10:00am) at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 4EJ. We will take a scenic ride over to York where there will be numerous displays and attractions at the racecourse when we get there, including the Yorkshire MAG stand, and of course the heroes of the Yorkshire Regiment.

This is a fantastic opportunity to show our appreciation to our local Yorkshire Regiment, and raise funds for such a worthwhile charitable cause. The Yorkshire Regiment Charitable Trust provides support and financial aid to current & ex-servicemen and their families, who are in need by virtue of sickness, poor health or financial hardship.

Sponsorship forms for the rideout are now printed and available so if you want some to gain sponsorship yourself (or to sponsor us), do let us know. You can also sponsor us on-line, via PayPal, through the link on our website Ė you dont even need to be pre-registered with PayPal to donate, and it only takes a few moments through PayPal's secure website.

Mark the date of this sponsored rideout in your diary and we hope to see you there. The event is also being supported by several other local MCC's and already promises to be a great rideout.

5) Local Elections

5th May 2011 is Local Authority Election day across the country, and will see 279 Local Authorities going to the polls, including Wakefield Metropolitan Borough, where a third of representative seats up for grabs.

It can be argued that local elections are even more important to MAG's Riders Are Voters campaign than National ones, given that so much local transportation and road infrastructure issues are the responsibility of local government now.

There is generally a poor turnout at the polls for local elections which is a shame given the power that local councils have. However, this means that every rider's vote can carry even more weight for a candidate who is committed to taking motorcycling seriously.

Ask your prospective candidate what they intend to do for motorcyclists in the Wakefield Metropolitan Borough. Point them to the Riders are Voters website (www.ridersarevoters.org).

Please remember that you've got to be on the electoral register to vote, so have a look at the RAV website for info on how to do that too.

6) Rally Tickets

We now have our allocation of Yorkshire MAG (MAP) Rally tickets for sale at the Branch meetings (available to buy from Wednesday 16th March). Ticket prices for this years MAP events are maintained at last year's prices (Into The Valley £15 Pre-Book; Farm Yard Party £25 Pre-Book and Yorkshire Pudding Rally £15 Pre-Book). Let me know if you want some. YPR tickets will sell fast and sold out months before the event last year, so if you are planning to attend this most excellent event this year, i'd buy your tickets sooner rather than later if I were you !!

7) Is your bike really insured??

Although you may have actually paid for an insurance policy, that doesn't necessarily mean you are fully insured. MAG Central have been informed of cases where members with multi-bike policies, only actually having the first named bike on the policy, having valid cover! That could be a big problem - Driving without insurance is illegal. Hundreds of thousands of people are convicted every year for taking to the road without a valid insurance policy. The police check the Motor Insurance Database (MID) 2,500 times an hour and can stop or seize vehicles they reasonably believe to be uninsured. If you're insured it is important to check that your own vehicle details are correctly recorded on the MID. You can check the MID for FREE by simply entering your vehicle registration number on the askMID website (www.askmid.com). If your details do not appear on the MID contact your insurance provider immediately so that they can update your records.

8) Leaked documents reveal radical plans for test centres

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) says it has seen leaked documents showing that the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is looking at ways to reduce its costs. It is also exploring whether driving tests could be conducted by other organisations inside or outside the public sector, according to the PCS.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of PCS, said: "These new documents shed more light on the plans being hatched behind closed doors by senior managers and ministers. Worryingly, it is the latest evidence of the creeping privatisation of the agency's work, which puts ideology before road safety."

A DfT spokesperson said: "We have said many times that we are looking at how we can improve the driver testing and training process. However, no decisions have been taken on future testing provision and we will not comment on leaked documents."

It would appear that the DSA is now beginning to treat drivers with a similar level of distain to motorcyclists. The inconvenience that riders have had to endure since April 2009 has led to a 50% drop in those taking their tests and very possibly an increase in the number of those riding illegally. Perhaps there is comfort to be found in that if testing is hived off to the private sector, performance related pay may mean that tests won't be cancelled with just a few minutes notice!

The possibility of being able to take your full licence test with the same training school as you took your CBT, would also be an attractive proposition. Watch this space for more news.

9) Bike For Sale

Classic Honda CB125S. 1977. 2 owners from new, 3065 miles. Red. Non-runner but fully complete, with all the hard to source trim present and correct. This bike is ready for restoration. Start now and it will be concours condition, ready for the 2011 VJMC Japanese Bike show at Lotherton Hall on 24th July !!!! This bike must be sold as the owner is retiring and moving to France. £425 o.n.o. Contact Toby on 0772 078 4592

10) Forthcoming Events (for March and beyond)

Saturday 5th March - Wakefield MAG is going to the Dogs (AGAIN !!!)

An evening at the dog racing, at Kinsley Greyhound Stadium. The dog racing costs £12 in total, but that includes admission (including a race programme), a pint, a meal, 2 x £1 Tokens for a Tote super six jackpot (with a £30,000 top prize), and a £1 token for a normal tote bet. It's a bit of a bargain and if it's anything like our last visit, a great night out.

Sunday 27th March - Wakefield MAG Charity Pet Food Run

As detailed above

Sunday 3rd April - Wakefield MAG marshalling the Wakefield Hospice 10K Race

Saturday 9th April - MAG Annual General Conference

Doors open 9.30AM, Free Tea and Coffee plus sandwich on arrival. Conference starts 10.30am prompt. Free Buffet lunch 12.30pm. Free camping Friday and Saturday night at the Rugby Club (MUST be booked in advance) A full English breakfast can also be booked by campers Night time party band, DJ, cheap beer open to all delegates and MAG members.
Location: Beverley Rugby Club 155 Norwood, Beverley, East Yorkshire HU17 9HT. (Located behind the Lady Le Gros pub). Enquiries: For Camping or Venue info: Kev Davison, Tel. 01482 863237
DON'T FORGET YOUR MEMBERSHIP CARD! 75 Branch Points for all Wakefield MAG members who attend the AGC

Sunday 17th April - Wakefield MAG Rideout

Meet 9:30am (leaving at 10:00am) at Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 4EJ. We'll let you know the rideout destination in next months newsletter.

Friday 29th April - Sunday 1st May - Into the Valley Rally

Dalton Estate, South Dalton, East Yorkshire. £15 Pre Book; £20 OTG. Tickets now available at Branch meetings (see above)

May Day Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May - Wakefield MAG Bike Show

Wakefield MAG Bike Show at the Wakefield Hospice May Day Gala. This is a free to enter bike show (although a donation to the Hospice would be most appreciated), with multiple show categories up for grabs. We look forward to welcoming you, and your moped / bike / trike / scooter / Combination on May Day.

Location: Clarence Park Arena, Clarence Park, Wakefield. Entry into show from 9:30am. Show starts at 10:00am

Did we mention it was FREE !!!!

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

Ride Safe
Steve Travis
Wakefield MAG
0772 078 4734

Wakefield MAG meet at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield at 8:30pm every Wednesday. New (and Old) faces are always welcome.