There are several inaccurate rumours circulating surrounding possible redundancies within the BMF. It appears obvious that the intention is to do the BMF harm, to blacken the character of certain members of the Management Team and to affect the outcome of the elections at the BMF's AGM on October 7th. This statement reflects the present position.
The BMF Accounts for 2004 showed a deficit of £98,000; in 2005 the deficit was £122,000 and the deficit in 2006 is likely to be £100,000, or even more. (The 2006 income was well below budget due mainly to the very wet weather at this year's BMF Show. Even though the show still made a substantial profit, it was well below the budgeted forecast).
It was therefore apparent that the BMF needed to reduce its annual expenditure by at least £150,000 and the Management Team examined, and is indeed still examining, various ways of achieving this. However, it became obvious that reductions of this magnitude could not be made without cutting the annual salary budget.
In view of this, the Management Team decided that three posts should be considered for redundancy and the recommended procedure has been followed; all BMF staff were informed of the situation and each of those directly affected were formally notified that their post was at risk of redundancy.
When making this decision, the Management Team considered only which posts were at risk. There was no discussion of the personalities or abilities of the post-holders. The three posts identified were those of Chief Executive Officer, Campaigns and Marketing Manager and Assistant Membership Secretary.
This situation was then complicated when an anonymous call was made to Motor Cycle News alleging that the reason why the post of Chief Executive Officer had been selected for possible redundancy was because the BMF's Director of Administration, Don Lewis, was homophobic and saw this as an opportunity to rid the BMF of its Chief Executive Officer and was not due to the BMF's financial situation. The caller admitted that he had no proof of this.
As an equal opportunities employer, the BMF robustly denies this allegation. For his part, Don Lewis, who has responsibility for staffing issues, said. "I am not homophobic and have worked closely with the Chief Executive Officer for the past six years with no such complaints being made. The decision that the post of Chief Executive Officer should be considered for possible redundancy was taken by the whole Management Team with no dissenting vote". He went on to say: "During this year there have been complaints made against me which were not upheld on appeal; there are two motions for the BMF AGM, one calling for me to be banned for holding office in the BMF for one year and the other calling for me to be banned for life and this latest allegation seems to be yet another attempt in an orchestrated campaign to remove me from office. I am naturally concerned by these continued attacks on my integrity and ask who is behind this campaign; who benefits if the campaign is successful and what is the hidden agenda? I think these are questions which every member of the BMF should carefully consider."
The current situation is that the Assistant Membership Secretary has already left the BMF and started a new job. The formal consultation process is underway with respect to the other posts at risk and no final decision can therefore be made until this process is complete.
If redundancies do take place, the BMF will make every effort to minimise the impact on those affected and to give assistance in their search for other employment.