The BMF AGM 2017
The 2017 AGM of the BMF took place at the Buccleuch Arms Hotel, Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway on October 14. The Buccleuch Arms is run by Dave Smith and his family – who are all keen riders – and they laid on an impressive spread of refreshments, making everyone feel very welcome.
The motorcycle lobby
The meeting was greeted by the BMF Chairman, Jim Freeman, and the Scottish Regional Chairman, Tom Duncan. Then the Directors of the BMF reported on their various areas of responsibility, after a brief overview from the Chairman.
Jim first described the way that day-to-day management of the BMF was undertaken, for those unfamiliar. He explained the reliance on modern communications, particularly Skype, given that the directors lived in London, Scotland, Lancashire, Northern Ireland and Lincolnshire.
Anna Zee, Political and Technical Services Director, then gave a comprehensive report about the BMF’s lobbying work, both in the UK and internationally. In the UK, the BMF has been represented in road safety and transport strategy consultations with a number of different bodies, including the RoSPA National Road Safety Committee, Parliamentary Advisory Committee on Transport Safety, Highways England Motorcycle Working Group, Transport Focus and more. Anna also detailed the work to specifically tackle motorcycle theft, particularly in co-ordination with Transport for London, the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) and the police.
Internationally, Anna specifically described her work as the FEMA representative on the EU Commission’s Co-operative Intelligent Transport System (C-ITS) platform. In her work, she was able to make sure that the voice of European riders didn’t go unheard when standards for testing and compliance were being set.
Membership and finance
Membership Services Director, Peter Laidlaw, felt that while individual memberships were doing well, clubs (particularly small ones) were doing less well. Norman Powers, BMF Councillor, had been asking clubs that failed to re-affiliate why they hadn’t. Following that feedback, Peter decided, for the second year running, to freeze club affiliation fees.
Peter expressed his intention to continue to attend as many events as he can manage. However, he explained that he could always do with more help – such as manning the BMF stand at Motorcycle Live at the NEC in November.
Howard Anderson, BMF Finance Director, presented the 2016 financial statements. He commented that, for the fifth year in a row, the BMF had achieved a surplus. The reserves were now at £100,000 – a radical change compared with the situation as recently as 2011.
Events for everyone
The BMF’s Events Director, Mitch Elliott, rounded off the directors’ reports by discussing the second successful Dambuster Rally, which had been enjoyed by all those attending. He also apologised for the cancellation of the Scottish Rally, at relatively short notice, due to issues with the previously arranged venue.
Mitch then outlined his plans for 2018, which include another Dambuster Rally and attendance at the Withernsea Festival (which had gone well in 2017, introducing the BMF to a new audience). Next year will also see the BMF’s new involvement in Lincolnshire Bike Week – the first event of its kind, taking place July 18-25. Mitch said that his ultimate aim was to have up to six events, spread around the regions, offering a family atmosphere for members to attend, preferably at venues with on-site facilities.
Motions and votes
Four motions were discussed and voted on, of which two were rejected. The successful motions were from the Region 9 Annual Regional Meeting, the principal of which was that future AGMs would rotate around the Regions annually.
The Chairman, Jim Freeman, was re-elected unanimously. The meeting then voted for the rest of the Management Team and the currently selected Councillors en bloc, which was also carried unanimously.
Due to the vote to rotate the location of future AGMs between Regions, no Region had been selected for the 2018 AGM prior to the meeting. Therefore, the next Region in the current rotational scheme would, following the vote, be Region 8. The directors collectively suggested that they would seek a suitable venue, possibly in North Wales. Details will be communicated as they become available.
The meeting closed, on time, at 16:00, with the Chairman wishing everyone a safe and pleasant journey; while thanking them for a pleasant, useful, meeting.