Yorkshire MAG newsletter February/March 2021

I hope you’re all managing to keep sane and well

Sorry that this newsletter is late but I only received the NC minutes last week (a month after the meeting)

I’m going to start with the sad news of the passing of Paul Muse (Nobby) on 13th February. Nobby was a well loved MAG member and supporter originally from the North East but latterly of Driffield. He’ll be sadly missed by all his biker mates.

This is the time of year that we’re usually starting to gear up for a fun filled summer, but with lockdown restrictions being slowly lifted we’re all looking forward with both hope and trepidation.

With any luck we’ll be able to head out on our bikes in the near future and start making up for lost time.

Activity from local groups with their local Councils has been very muted in the past couple of months. Everything seems to be on a “go slow” and we’re struggling to even get a response from Bradford City Council.

Leeds and Bradford MAG had a great article in the Yorkshire Evening Post that embarrassed Leeds City Council into contacting us to discuss the issues we face! We’re currently awaiting this meeting but the article can be read in full here https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/politics/motorcycles-overlooked-blinkered-draft-version-connecting-leeds-transport-strategy-motorcycle-action-group-rep-richard-manton-3126990

In the last newsletter I mentioned the email campaign that we tried to do in both Leeds and Bradford in which we created a template for members to email both councils to take motorcycles into account within the cities. To my knowledge only five people sent off emails and I’ve only had one reply forwarded to me. This is really disappointing as without the members involvement, progress is even slower than it already is.

South Yorkshire MAG have backed a campaign by the South Yorkshire police commissioner to have smart motorways put back to having a permanent hard shoulder. Highways England are keen to keep them as they’ve spent millions putting them in, so we’ll have to wait and see how this issue pans out.

YORK MAG IS RESTARTING!

As you may have heard, York MAG are planning to relaunch. They’re ready to become an active branch with a new committee and a new home within the city walls, but as we’re all aware the current circumstances don’t allow us to hold meetings and events.

A full committee was put in place after an email “vote” to all YO postcode members with a valid email address, as we can’t hold AGM’s until full lifting of restrictions. The interim committee will be in place until a full AGM can be held to ratify the appointments.

They’re aiming to be fully active with events and regular branch meetings at Step 3 on Boris’ road map.

In the meantime you can register an interest in becoming an active York branch member leading up to step 3 by emailing Manny at manny@mag-uk.org who will pass anything on to Richard, the New York MAG rep, or say hi on Facebook @YorkMAG and a rep will be in touch.

MAG central office were very pleased with our donation of £3000 and stated that it was very welcome in these difficult times.

The MAG NC had a virtual meeting where national issues and campaigns were discussed.

After prompting from a local member, I asked the Political Team at central office to look into the problem of all CBT centres being shut due to Covid and no extension being offered to those whose CBT expired during this time. We succeeded in getting a friendly MP to put in an “early day motion” in parliament to have the issue debated, but as with all these things, it took so long that the lockdown lifting will allow the test centres to reopen before it would have been discussed.

The CHIPT campaign is still continuing (CHoice In Personal Transport) after the votes at the last AGC but there are rumblings of dissent, stating that if MAG doesn’t embrace green motorcycle policy, we’ll be sidelines as luddites. Reps are also worried about MAG aligning itself with motoring pressure groups will move our focus away from motorcycles and towards the motive power (Internal Combustion Engines)

My personal concern is that we must ensure that we can continue to use the motorcycles that we own and cherish. I think the idea that we can stop the momentum of electric motorcycles, especially after many car companies announcing that they will have fully electric ranges within ten years, is fanciful and who knows what technology will enable in the near future.

My main aim as your rep, in these difficult debates, is to try to ensure that we can still ride our bikes and have the CHOICE to use either petrol, electric, hydrogen or whatever may come on all roads throughout this country.

Andy Carrot has stepped down from his position of Vice Rep of MAG due to personal reasons. The vacancy has been filled by Tony Cox (North West Regional Rep).

I’ve taken the liberty of congratulating Tony on this appointment from all of us on the correct side of the hills! 😎

Here is the link to the current “Network” which will keep you informed with MAG happenings around the country. https://wiki.mag-uk.org/images/3/39/Network_2021-03.pdf

There has been a lot of internet rumours around the rally situation in the coming months. Today we’re in a position to update everyone with the actual situation with a statement from the board of MAP events (Yorkshire MAG Rallies)

FARMYARD PARTY –

By now you know its not legally possible for us to hold the Farmyard on the planned date of 18-19-20 of June.

We have very carefully considered the option of moving to another date in the season, but this means we could clash with other events or fundraisers on their traditional weekends and feel this is simply not the right thing to do, also the financial risk involved with a possible last-minute cancellation should the release not go as hoped has influenced our decision.

With this in mind we have made the difficult decision to cancel The Farmyard Party 2021 and return to full normality in 2022 (17th – 19th June).

We really appreciate your loyalty and understanding in what has been a trying twelve months. We tried desperately to put the Farmyard Party on in 2020 but after the second wave became a reality, we had no choice but to cancel the event on the proposed date at the end of September.

We will be back next year, better than ever and we look forward to your continued support.

YORKSHIRE PUDDING 2021 –

On a much more positive note, if the roadmap goes to plan and there are no significant deviations to the dates laid out, we will be able to hold the Yorkshire Pudding on 6-7-8 August 2021 .

Obviously, we will be keeping a close eye on how things are progressing and notify you of any changes when they arise.

If you have any ideas for events and fundraisers or if you like to see your local group do something different, get in touch with either me or your local rep. MAG is member led and without your input and participation it will stagnate.

Due to the current situation events are sparse in this newsletter. Hopefully normal service will resume very soon.

If you want to get more involved at a local level (and to really get the most out of your MAG membership, I strongly recommend that you do) here are the meeting details of the five Yorkshire MAG groups – though we are looking to expand with more groups so if you haven’t got one close by and fancy getting together with like minded bikers, get in touch with me at manny@mag-uk.org

We’re very lucky in having some very strong groups in Yorkshire, but we need the members to join in, so pop along to your local meeting and help to make a difference

Unfortunately all local meetings have been suspended again due to restrictions but informal meet ups are being held where possible. If you fancy a pint and a natter (local restrictions may apply) keep an eye on your emails or Facebook.

East Yorkshire MAG meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays from 8pm at The Forresters Arms HU17 0PR

Huddersfield MAG meet every Wednesday from 8.30pm at The Fieldhead HD3 4FB

Leeds and Bradford MAG meet every 1st Tuesday and 3rd Thursday from 8pm at The Royal Hotel LS28 8PR

South Yorkshire MAG meet every Thursday at The Market, 2 Wentworth Rd, Elsecar, Barnsley S74 8EP from 7pm

Wakefield MAG meet every Tuesday from 8.30 at The Thatched House, 434 Aberford Road, Stanley, Wakefield, WF3 4AA

York MAG – full details of new meeting venue and days plus relaunch information, as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted

Keep safe

Manny (Yorkshire MAG rep)