Talk of the of the BMF's imminent demise proved to be somewhat exaggerated when at its AGM on Saturday, named members of the BMF Management Team survived a no confidence motion.
Held at Leicestershire's Mallory Park Hailwood Suite Conference Centre, the packed meeting of 243 delegates certainly heard what at times was a fractious debate, but it was far less than had been expected given the BMF's recent bad press.
At the end of the no confidence debate, 129 voted against the motion, 103 for it and 11 abstained. As the motion had principally focused on the recent decision to make three BMF posts redundant, outgoing Finance Director Iain Parry explained the background to the current financial position, stressing that bad weather for the BMF Show two years running had resulted in profits being far less than projected and that bad press this year had resulted in a decline in membership numbers and therefore a further loss of income. While all BMF events are still profitable he said, a shortfall in projected income this year of between £60 - £100,000 overall and future projections of more losses meant that serious decisions would have to be made, hence the recent redundancy plans that had caused so much bad feeling.
While final decisions on redundancies have yet to be made, both he and Administration Director Don Lewis said that tough decisions were needed and no other proposal had come close to making the necessary savings.
When it came to specific elections, Acting Chairman Anna Zee won through against three other candidates to become BMF chairman, while Howard Anderson, a Royal Mail Revenue Protection Manager from Northern Ireland becomes the new Finance Director and Steve Brown, a past Operations Manager for BMF Events, becomes Affiliated Member Services Director.
After some debate it was agreed that the BMF would introduce proposals for a postal voting facility for elections to the management team and that this would go forward to the next AGM.
Recognising that the BMF had not been good at communicating with its members, Anna Zee said: "The BMF is a strong organisation but we do have our weaknesses and these must be addressed. I have already put some plans in place to improve the way we operate and look forward to working with everyone in the BMF to get us back to focussing on rider issues not BMF internal issues."
A full report will be on the BMF's website in due course.