Wakefield MAG November 2018 Newsletter

Dear Wakefield MAG Member,

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


1) Secure Motorcycle Parking Facilities in the Wakefield District
2) Potholes
3) MAG welcomes further CAZ exemptions
4) Yorkshire Region AGM
5) MAG Slams Nick Hurd's Optimism on Motorcycle Theft
6) Kidzaware Christmas Toy Collection
7) Biker Quiz Nite
8) Remembrance Sunday
9) Christmas Do
10) 2019 MAG AGC
11) Forthcoming Events (for November and beyond)

1) Secure Motorcycle Parking Facilities in the Wakefield District

Following years of local campaigning, we are pleased to announce that a number of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council car parks across the Wakefield District (Wakefield and the 5 towns) are to have secure parking facilities implemented for powered two wheelers. Wakefield MAG's Political Officer Ian Whittaker recently met with the Council and had a tour of the car parks these improvements are being earmarked for. The secure facilities will include ground anchor rails to chain bikes to, improved lighting, CCTV coverage and signage.

Secure M/C Parking

Locations earmarked include the Northgate car park in the city centre, Castleford, Normanton and a number of others. We will advertise the locations as soon as they are announced (in this newsletter and on our website), and of course, details will also be available on the Wakefield Metropolitan District Council website: www.wakefield.gov.uk

Well done to all involved !!!!

2) Potholes

We are pleased to note in the recent budget announcements (of 29th October), a 420 million pound fund to fix potholes. Potholes in our road network are a severe problem, and particularly impact powered two wheelers as vulnerable road users. Hitting a pothole in a car can often result in costly damage to the vehicle (buckled wheels, tyres destroyed, broken suspension, underbody damage). Hit the same pothole on a bike, and if you are very lucky, you'll get away with damage to your pride and joy, if you are not so lucky, you may end up with an unintended visit to Accident and Emergency at the local hospital (or worse). Potholes are a potential killer on a bike, so this extra funding is welcomed.

So, if you spot a pothole on your travels, do make the effort to report it so it can be filled in, it may just save someone's life. Report potholes at these links:

Wakefield District: www.wakefield.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/highway-maintenance/potholes-and-damaged-pavements

Out and about and not sure who has responsibility for the road (other Councils or Motorways and Trunk roads managed by Highways England): www.gov.uk/report-pothole

3) MAG welcomes further CAZ exemptions

On 16th October 2018 Bath & North East Somerset Council launched a six-week consultation on proposals to charge drivers of higher-emission vehicles, including cars, £9 per day to drive within Bath city centre. In the wake of MAG's recent victory in Birmingham, the Bath & North East Somerset Council is proposing, from the outset, to exempt all motorcycles and mopeds from the scheme.

Commenting on the proposals, Councillor Bob Goodman, cabinet member for development and neighbourhoods, said: "Like many councils up and down the country we have to address NO2 levels which are harmful to people's health, and we're being told by the Government do to that in the shortest possible time."

Councillor Mark Shelford, Cabinet member for Transport & Environment, added: "The council has looked carefully at other options, such as not charging higher emission cars, but technical analysis shows this would not be guaranteed to sufficiently reduce NO2 in the time available."

Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement for the Motorcycle Action Group, Colin Brown, said: "We are delighted that there is a trend developing that clearly shows a growing understanding of the facts that we have promoted consistently on this issue. Motorcycles are not part of the problem - far from it. The emissions footprint of this economical form of transport is, and always has been, far superior to that for even cleaner modern cars on a mile-for-mile basis. The Euro emissions standards for motorcycles were introduced far later than for the car industry but, despite this fact, commuting on a motorcycle is still more environmentally friendly because they don't sit idling in queues of traffic. It is time that this inescapable logic is recognised in the capital. The Mayor of London and TfL need to wake up and listen to reason. It is not too late for them to get with the programme and announce their own exemption for motorcycles."

The consultation for the Bath CAZ runs until 26th November 2018. MAG urges all riders to respond in support of the proposal to exempt motorcycles and mopeds from the Bath Clean Air Zone charges.

Full details of the proposals can be found on the council website at www.bathnes.gov.uk/bath-breathes-2021-overview

Check out MAG's video covering bikes and Clean Air / Ultra Low Emmissions Zones: https://youtu.be/kRC70Q7F-ik

4) Yorkshire Region AGM

The Yorkshire Region AGM was held on Saturday 28th October 2018, at the Royal Hotel, Pudsey (Leeds MAG's HQ). Wakefield was represented by Steve Travis (Branch Rep), Chas Milner (Deputy Dawg), Ian Whittaker (Region and Wakefield's Political Officer) and Dave Roantree. The meeting covered a lot of ground and it is apparent that the Region Committee and all the local MAG groups are working very hard in the interests of their fellow bikers in God's own County of Yorkshire (and beyond).

Along with the other Yorkshire Groups, Wakefield presented our highlights for 2018, which were / are:

Pretty active year:

We also gave a blatant plug for our forthcoming events and distributed flyers for these aforementioned events.

Elections were held for the 2019 Regional Committee and duly elected were:

A number of sizable donations were made by local groups to the Region with cheques presented at the AGM, including:

The starting Yorkshire MAG bank balance (before all the donations) was £2,364, so suitably flushed with our donations, the AGM voted on a donation to MAG Central from Yorkshire MAG of £6,500. Awesome !!!!

The Tony Berry Memorial Award was presented to Wakefield MAG's very own Chas Milner.

The Tony Berry Memorial Award

This is what was said about our man Chas:

Chas joined Wakefield MAG 11 years ago and he took an enthusiastic and active role pretty much from the start. He attended all 3 of the Yorkshire MAG rallies and helped us marshal the Blues tent with double night shifts even though he was already well beyond retirement age. Upon reaching his 70th birthday he had to reluctantly stop attending the rallies as, in his own words, "his camping days were over". However, rather than throwing in the towel and taking a back seat, he then decided he needed to find other ways to 'pull his weight' and proceeded to take several active roles in the Wakefield MAG Commiteee (Rideout Back Marker, Fund Raising Officer and Deputy Rep for the last 6 years). As the Fund Raising Officer, he's quite legendary and pretty much single handedly ensured we kept breaking our fundraising targets year on year. He has also introduced several new events into our portfolio, including the lucrative Bingo nights. He's also rather successful as one of our Post Christmas Auction Auctioneers, combining wit and humour into generating competitive bidding wars for items. Chas promotes MAG wherever he goes, and has a sizeable number of local traders and businesses he 'taps up' every year to donate items to our auction.

He also initiated our mass attendance at the City of Wakefield Remembrance Sunday parade and wreath laying ceremony, where, decked in his RAF beret (he was an RAF Corporal for 12 years), he lays the Wakefield MAG poppy wreath. He also, through his involvement with the Royal British Legion Riders, got us all to attend the Mirfield Service, where bikes lead the procession, followed by historic military vehicles, with the marching bands, service personnel, cadets, scouts, veterans and everyone else following on behind.

Chas is hugely popular, both in the Wakefield Branch, and the wider Yorkshire MAG Region. There probably isn't a single Yorkshire MAG member who hasn't been tapped up by Chas to buy a raffle ticket. He's a legend, with legendary fund raising abilities, and it's for all his years unrelenting service to MAG, through his local branch, that he thoroughly deserves the Yorkshire MAG Tony Berry Memorial Award.

Award Proposer: Steve Travis, Wakefield MAG Rep (since the Early Carboniferous Period)
Award Seconder: Richard Manton, Yorkshire Regional Rep and Local Rep for Leeds MAG

All in all, a very positive and productive year has been had by Yorkshire MAG. Oh, and Yorkshire MAG also won the Bald Eagle National Award (for the largest percentage increase in membership out of all the regions nationally) at the recent MAG AGC. Eeeee, it meks tha proud to bi from Yorkshire tha knaws.

The date for next years Yorkshire MAG AGM has already been set, and is Sunday 22nd September 2019 (this has been brought forward from the 'traditional' October slot, mainly so that it again falls ahead of the MAG National AGC (which itself used to be held in April but was switched to September); Hence, we will know in advance of the MAG AGC what the local groups donations are to the Region, Gary can whip off his socks and use all available digits to do some quick sums as to our new regional bank balance, and all attendees can vote at our AGM on the MAG Central donation we intend to make; We can then present the Yorkshire Region donation cheque at the AGC itself again, rather than afterwards, which is a bit of an anti-climax).

5) MAG Slams Nick Hurd's Optimism on Motorcycle Theft

MAG has questioned the optimism shown by the Home Office Press Release on Moped Crime, pointing out that the underlying national problem of motorcycle theft has been, and looks set to continue being, totally ignored. MAG has been involved in the Home Office Roundtable process from the beginning and has consistently highlighted flaws in the thought processes of the initiative.

Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, says: "I have consistently pointed out that the problem should not be treated as a London-only issue. It is fair to say that the epidemic in London has displayed its own particular complexion, but we feel that the London-only issue was one that London Police and Crime Commissioner, Sadiq Khan, should have tackled. We entered the process on the assumption that the task force would tackle a national problem of motorcycle theft."

"The headline statistic of a 56% reduction in moped offences since July 2017 reflects the enabled crime in the capital, not the numbers of motorcycles stolen. The Met reports that motorcycle theft in London has reduced to the levels of 2015, but there is no sign of any further decrease. The fact that 2015 levels of theft were totally unacceptable is apparently not relevant. Nor do the figures cover any other part of the country. Repeated efforts to get facts for the rest of the country have failed, but we believe that in many areas the numbers are still rising. The statistics revealed in a recent meeting demonstrate, more than ever before, the validity of our position. DAC McNulty has been able to demonstrate that the initiative so far has dealt very effectively with the London enabled crime imperative, whilst totally ignoring the wider issue. We are bitterly disappointed that the Home Office has allowed this to happen as it simply demonstrates, once again, that the theft of a motorcycle is seen as a victimless crime that can be ignored."

Regional Rep for Greater London, Tim Fawthrop, said: "Bikers just don't buy it. We came from the position that simply receiving a crime number for a stolen motorcycle is not enough, yet we find ourselves still in the position where a crime number is the most we can expect as a police response to a report of a motorcycle theft. Motorcycle owners often face violence when riding or trying to prevent theft, but it seems that this is OK provided that their mobile phone wasn't snatched. This simply is not good enough." Speaking after the meeting Tim said "I was angry with the way the whole thing focused on the thieves and the victims of phone theft, and had not addressed the primary victim or basic bike security. We know funds are available from the Mayor's Office but there is nothing to compel the local councils to provide more security."

Colin Brown added: "The Home Office Press Release mentions that Policing Minister, Nick Hurd, said "I'm excited to see what we can achieve by applying a similar response to vehicle theft." "This implies that the Home Office will continue to measure success based on overall vehicle theft. We are asking that the Home Office rethink its strategy. Concentrating on generic vehicle theft has been repeatedly proven to allow forces to totally ignore motorcycle theft. Many forces do not record motorcycle theft as distinct from any other vehicle theft and thus are blissfully unaware of the real problem they have. Reducing car theft does not help motorcyclists. We need to see motorcycle theft recorded separately and monitored closely by all forces so that the very real issue does not continue to be overlooked. Once the scale of the problem is revealed there will be nowhere to hide from the fact that the response is woefully inadequate."

6) Kidzaware Christmas Toy Collection

Christmas Toy Collection

Following the success of the last two years, we are hosting another Christmas Toy Collection for Kidzaware, for Christmas 2018. We are collecting toys and presents (age range: A few months to early twenties) which we will deliver to this very worthwhile local charity in early December.

Please bring along any toys / presents (unwrapped at this stage) to any Wednesday Wakefield MAG meeting, up to and including Wednesday 5th December. If you can't make a meeting but would still like to donate some toys / presents, please let us know, and we'll arrange to collect them from you. Thank you in advance for supporting this most worthwhile Wakefield based charity.

7) Biker Quiz Nite

Quiz flyer

The legendary and hugely popular Wakefield MAG Bikers Quiz Nite is this month !!!

The quiz will be held at 8:00pm on Wednesday 21st November 2018 at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 4EJ. We wont mess with a winning formula so it's the same tried and tested 60 questions, 30 of which will be motorcycle related and 30 will be general knowledge (but there will be a bike related link / theme somewhere, however tenuous). The quiz is hotly contested throughout Yorkshire and the prestigious roll of honour is:

Who will win in 2018 ? .... Leeds Again Probably !

Open to All. £1 entry fee p.p. Team (Max. 5) or individual entry. Great prizes for the winners (1st, 2nd & 3rd), plus booby prize for the least number of correct answers.

And just for a change ....... All proceeds to the MAG Fighting Fund ;-)

8) Remembrance Sunday

Wakefield MAG will be attending en-masse the City of Wakefield Remembrance Sunday Memorial Service on Sunday 11th November. We have attended this service for more years now than we care to remember, to honour the fallen from our own area, in our own area. We will again be laying a Wakefield MAG wreath at the war memorial, that we have already purchased from the Royal British Legion. Following the Wakefield Service, we will be attending (at the invitation of the Royal British Legion Riders), the parade and service in nearby Mirfield, which is also supported by members of Huddersfield MAG - The role of the motorcyclists, is to lead the procession through Mirfield, with the marching bands, service personnel, cadets, veterans, and everyone else following on behind. The remembrance parade culminates in an afternoon service at Mirfield War Memorial. The Mirfield parade is billed as the largest outside London and usually gets covered in the BBC Look North News that evening.

We will remember them

It can't have escaped your notice that 2018 is the centenary of the end of WW1 and huge remembrance events are planned throughout the country. Let's make 2018 the biggest ever turnout by Wakefield MAG to date, to honour the fallen from all armed conflicts, and to show our respect. Hope you are able to attend and let's have a big turnout of bikes.

Meet 10:45 (or earlier) at the Wood Street War Memorial in Wakefield for the City of Wakefield Remembrance Sunday Memorial Service. We will then be riding over to the Old Colonial pub in Mirfield, to meet up at 13:00ish with the Royal British Legion Riders (RBLR). We will be leaving the pub at 13:15ish for a ride to the Mirfield parade start point, ready for the 'off' at 14:00, followed then by the service at Mirfield War Memorial. As a thank you for attending, food is laid on afterwards at the Old Colonial by landlord Tim.

9) Christmas Do

It's not long to Christmas now so time to plug the Wakefield MAG Christmas Do (as if we really need an excuse to go on the lash !!!)

Our Christmas do will be held on Saturday 1st December, starting with a cheeky aperitif prior to luncheon, in the Inns of Court, 22 King St, Wakefield WF1 2SR from 1pm, then a table is booked at 2pm at the Smokehouse BBQ, 18 Wood St, Wakefield WF1 2ED. Suitably fed, we will then venture on to many of the Merrie Cities fine hostelries for multiple goblets of foaming ale. You can come for the meal, or meet us at one of the many pubs in town, or do both ... the choice is yours. Wakefield MAG Christmas Do's are always highly memorable, and if previous years events are any indication, we are in for a jolly good time .... Check out the previous event report(s) if you don't believe me !!!

If you want a reservation making for the meal, let us know (we are collecting £5 deposits now).

Christmas hats and reindeer antlers strictly optional. Hope to see you there.

Smokehouse menu: https://heatnmeat.co.uk/#menu-main

10) 2019 MAG AGC

We have recently had confirmation that the 2019 MAG AGC will be held in West Yorkshire, and will be jointly hosted by Wakefield, Huddersfield and Leeds MAG Branches i.e. the three West Yorkshire Groups. The AGC is coming home !!!!

Yorkshire Passport

The venue we have booked for the AGC is Shaw Cross Sharks ARLFC, Leeds Road, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, WF12 7HP. The location couldn't be better, located on the main Leeds to Dewsbury Road (A653), 1.5 miles from J40 M1 and 2 miles from J28 M62. We have the venue exclusively booked for the entire weekend. We will be asking for volunteers to help marshal the event nearer the time, so watch this space for details. The weekend to keep free is Friday 27th - Saturday 28th September 2019 (the AGC itself is on the Saturday).

11) Forthcoming Events (for November and beyond)

Sunday 11th November - Wakefield MAG at the City of Wakefield Memorial Sunday Parade & Service

See Above. Meet at 10:50, Wood Street War Memorial, Wakefield. There is a Rideout afterwards to the Royal British Legion Riders Branch event at Mirfield, following our attendance at the Remembrance Service.

Wednesday 21st November - Wakefield MAG 15th Annual Bikers Quiz Nite

See Above.

Saturday 1st December - Wakefield MAG Christmas Do

See Above.

Wednesday 5th December - Deadline for Kidzaware Christmas Present collection

See Above.

Wednesday 19th December - Wakefield MAG Social Night (Event TBC, but it will be something suitably festive)

20:30 in the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield

Wednesday 9th January 2019 - Wakefield MAG AGM

The Wakefield & District Motorcycle Action Group Branch AGM will be held in the Grey Horse, on Wednesday 10th January 2018, starting at 8:00pm (prompt). All members are invited to attend this special meeting, so please try to attend if you can. At this meeting there will be a review of the year, elections for the branch committee and the prize giving for our branch heroes.

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

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

Ride Safe .. Ride Free
Steve Travis
Chairman (since the early Carboniferous Period)
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.