Richard, Thank you for emailing your open letter to me (as a member).

I have therefore taken up your invitation and posted my comments (in red): What is the role of the Chair / Committee? I believe the role of the Chair is to be impartial, to listen, to delegate and to ensure that the Committee functions effectively and achieves its aims. A LAM strategy day was held at the start of the year which canvassed members opinion and aims. Those objectives and outcomes have been regularly updated at committee meetings and published in Progress. The Chair should work with the Committee and the IAM. He/she should promote open communication with the members and ensure there is transparency in the decisions taken on their behalf, including those imposed by the IAM. The Chair should act with integrity and in the best interests of LAM – the Chair sets the example in how the Committee behaves and operates. Am I right in deducing from this comment that you do not believe this is currently the case? There may be natural disagreement within the committee but procedures have been followed. In your spirit of openness could you please reference the feedback from the IAM that you have received in order to support this view. On the contrary it has been my understanding that the IAM have been fully involved in necessary decision making and a good relationship has been formed with the new region 2 Operations Manager (Mark Trimmer). The role of the Committee is to serve and represent the interests of the members and work collectively for the good of the group. The Committee should simplify and deal with the relevant administration required to ensure paperwork is minimised for the group’s members. Members of the Committee should challenge and debate issues at Committee meetings. They should also be proactive in sharing information with all concerned. I believe the Chair and Committee are answerable to the members – not the other way round. The committee are also answerable to the IAM and the charity commission which sometimes means that their actions are dictated against their own personal interests. To put this into perspective how about a real world analogy. You’re at work and your boss receives several complaints about your behaviour from work colleagues. Instead of following the standard disciplinary policy which dictates that there should be an investigation and hearing, your boss decides to email all your colleagues to let them know what you have done and how they would like him to respond. How long do you reckon he would last, and how would you feel? How would I achieve openness and transparency? I would publish Committee meeting agendas and minutes to all members of the group. I would share agendas at least seven days in advance of a meeting. Similarly, following a meeting, I would ensure minutes are available within seven days. Any member of LAM would also be entitled to attend meetings (as is the case currently) and raise questions either in advance or at the Committee meetings themselves should they wish to do so. This is already the practice of the current committee and was implemented as a result of

listening to members at the strategy day at the start of the year. Any member of LAM would also be entitled to attend meetings (as is the case currently) and raise questions either in advance or at the Committee meetings themselves should they wish to do so. Once again nothing new there I think there should be a rule such that no Committee member can act as a moderator on the forum. The running of the group and the moderation of the forum should be completely independent. By definition and formally or not, committee members are moderators and have a responsibility to make sure the forum is run in accordance to IAM standards. I want to promote debate and challenge – the more the better. I think it is healthy to have an open and frank exchange of views. Would you please give me some examples of members who have been moderated from the forum for expressing their views? The only moderations I am aware of were due to complaints received regarding sexist/racist jokes or offensive language. What would I do for observers? Listen to them. Is this really the job of the committee? Surely this is the role of the senior observer team of which you are one of. Has this not already been going on and if not why not? I think observers have plenty to say but have insufficient opportunities to air their views. I want to change that. I think there should be quarterly observer meetings scheduled that focus solely on the observers and training activities. I think all observers should receive observer meeting minutes within seven days of these meetings. With the greatest of respect I think you are in danger of making a sweeping statement without any of the true facts. Where are the results of your survey or are you making generalisations based on anecdotes and conversations with a few? I think we could all use the quotes from our mates to back up our argument but in a professional capacity that would not really wash. Regular observer meetings are already in place. The last one was with Jon Taylor (IAM staff examiner) in August which featured a talk on the new observer qualification (IMI), the masters and a question and answer session on the application of The System. There were also three senior observer meetings this year. I think all observers should receive observer meeting minutes within seven days of these meetings. Who would produce the minutes? I believe it is already the role of the current secretary who you are nominating for re-election? I understand that some people are not comfortable raising issues in meetings. But you want more meetings? I believe the group needs an appointed Training Coordinator / Chief Observer whose

responsibility, among other things, would be to contact all observers personally to provide them with an opportunity to voice their concerns. By translating those concerns into agenda items and actions, I hope the observers will feel they are part of a team and take collective ownership and responsibility for training. Will the appointment be a committee decision, a senior observer decision or an observer decision? What processes will you implement when reinstating this post and who could apply? Will the post be annual or an indefinite role? There are many changes taking place in terms of qualifications – IMI, National Observers, Masters, etc. I think the Committee should deal with the administration related to these initiatives and complete them quickly and accurately. There are over 12 people who have been given the opportunity to engage with the new IMI qualification. Based on feedback from the IAM and national applications I would argue that LAM is more than representative of the new initiative and therefore has responded quickly. I would also add that as a member of the region 2 pilot LAM is working very closely with the IAM regional co-ordinator Mark Trimmer and is part of many current developments. What would I do for full members? Full members are essential to the group. Agreed - please see the full members meetings and group nights that have been instigated by the current committee They are instrumental in running the social side of the group bringing their love of biking and enthusiasm to ride-outs, events, trips, SSIs and social rides. The number of full members is indicative of the success of the observers in getting test passes. In addition, full members form the pool from which LAM obtains almost all its observers. Agreed. What is your point in terms of actions or change? I believe full members have every right to question the decisions and running of the group and that they have been all too easily and frequently dismissed in the past. I would like to make sure that does not re-occur in future. Richard, once again I feel you are making a sweeping and populist statement lacking of any true facts or plausibility. Who has not been allowed to question a decision exactly? Please provide the numbers of queries, and the reasons for the dismissal of the question? How exactly would you avoid this supposed occurrence? As with the current committee you could do a strategy day and a mid term update in progress? I would like the Group Nights to continue. These have proved very popular judging from the feedback posted on the forum and I applaud all those involved in organising them – long may they continue! Agreed, this was a current committee initiative. What would I do about training and associates? The primary reason we exist is to train associates to pass their IAM test. I will ensure that this remains LAM’s number one priority. I think we need to be careful to avoid distraction due to activities such as Special Assessments, Masters, scoring systems and unnecessary process and paperwork. As a result of committee initiatives there has been an increase in associate membership this

year (no mean feat bearing in mind soaring petrol costs) and this is the highest figure in region 2 (pass rates have not been released yet). Surely this must point to the fact that the current committee also have training associates as the main priority. Anything that increases observer development and full member interest must be seen as a good thing and an additional benefit to membership? In terms of paperwork Tracker is a ground breaking development not only for LAM but something the IAM have made note of and have promoted to other groups. That said, I am in favour of LAM providing offerings to help members achieve their personal riding goals, particularly those aligned to IAM initiatives. Moreover, I have no doubt many people will be more than willing to step up and do so. As long as there is no detriment to the training provided to associates, I will provide them with all the necessary support. That to me, in my humble opinion is an unclear statement and rather vague and slightly contradictory. You do not wish for activities such as Special Assessments, Masters etc to be a distraction but will give all your necessary support (on top of your other work) to those wishing to do Special Assessments, Masters etc. How will you do this? Am I concerned about the number of senior observers? Absolutely – we need to increase the number of senior observers significantly. I believe the three key qualities a senior observer needs are sound riding ability, excellent communication skills and commitment to LAM. I also feel that the artificial barriers to becoming senior observers within LAM need to come crashing down. It is not for everyone but for those that want it and can demonstrate their commitment, bring it on! As a recently qualified Senior Observer I could not agree with you more that artificial barriers to gain this qualification need to come crashing down. It has been a real shame for me to see so many prospective and enthusiastic candidates fall by the wayside due to a lack of impetus and structure. In the last two years we have had two senior observers qualify and the four years prior to this only one qualified senior observer. This area has been for a long time stagnant and stale and certainly needs new blood and fresh ideas. You say you want to change this but your sole remit for the last three years has been to bring through senior observers. What new ideas have you now got and why were they not implemented earlier? Do I like the cell structure? No. I think the cell structure creates sub-groups and cliques that have proved to be very divisive. I think that many people who do not belong to a cell feel isolated. I have also spoken to people who belong to a cell and feel trapped within it. I believe in a single cell: LAM. Another one of those sweeping comments Richard. Give me ten anecdotes of those not liking the cell system and I will give you ten more in favour. However, I think this would not be a constructive use of time. You have spoken throughout your letter of openness and inclusion yet your first real action if you were to be voted in would be to negatively dictate an opinion without real consultation. Cliques are a matter of opinion and it depends on your perspective but please remember that decisions should be objective and not subjective. Does that mean all training will occur at Pot Lucks / Group Meetings? Absolutely not – far from it, in fact! I believe one of our key strengths is the flexibility we provide to associates. We will continue to offer the Norfolk, Wales and Kent weekends, machine control days, associates only rides, etc. Associates and observers will remain free to arrange ORs whenever and wherever it suits them.

That’s good to hear, what will be different to your agenda than the one already set? Summary If elected as Chair, I will instil stability, openness and common sense in running the group. How will you do this? I will focus on our core activity of training associates. As mentioned earlier (backed up by facts) this is already a core activity. I will listen to what you have to say and provide you with the appropriate channel to raise your concerns. I am concerned that you want to get rid of the cell system without consultation, that you appear to rely too much on hearsay rather than confirm facts and that your recent credentials is a woeful senior observer training programme that you yourself have criticised. I will implement a few simple rules to ensure there is independence between the moderation of the forum and the Committee. What are these simple rules? How would you deal with this scenario: A member posts a racist joke on the forum. Another member complains and the IAM want you to take action? I will aim to increase the number of senior observers in the group significantly. How will you do this and why have you not supported the last three committees in doing it earlier? As mentioned previously, this has been your sole task within LAM in recent years, what will you do differently in the next year that you have failed to do in the last three? I am glad you have been willing to engage in a frank and open discussion and I look forward to receiving your response. Many Thanks Jim Webb Senior Observer

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