The most recent meeting was again a mixture of routine, but none the less important, procedural stuff, including vital communication from the MSA, interspaced with a very active debate on a range of related topics.
In terms of proceedings, one of the key things that clubs should be making members aware of is the ongoing high workload at the MSA. The governing body for UK motorsport looks after our interests by getting involved in all sorts of stuff including important legislation from the UK and European Governments that we might otherwise never hear about until we trip over them. One of these is a move by the EU to legislate by 2017 for mandatory 3rd party insurance for every motorised vehicle regardless of where it is used.
No action needed just now but it is an example of what the MSA get involved with. This is of course on top of the huge current workload on safety leading to the recent publication of the Multi-Venue Stage Rally Safety Requirements document.
Closer to home, another example is the recent removal the paper Road Fund Licence (or tax disk). Many motorsport disciplines and classes require that competing cars are road legal and scrutineers used to check for this. In future, competitors will instead self-certify in the same way they do now when insurance is a requirement. Random checks will be carried out and there will be severe penalties applied to any licence holder who make a false declaration.
On a similar vein, all active competitors are reminded that, with the exception of some safety related matters, all proposed rule changes are put out for consultation and every licence holder has an opportunity to express their view on the proposed changes. These are found on the MSA Website and you are encouraged to look there every so often.
On the matter of rally safety, MSA Chief Executive Rob Jones recently told a meeting of all the Regional Associations that he was impressed with the way the sport has accepted the need for cultural change. One of these changes is to have common standards across events, pulling together what he said was a raft of existing good practice. Rob made a very specific mention of events in Scotland for leading the changes. He stressed in particular the need to improve communication (in its widest sense) and he called out in particular the recently published SACC newsletter – producing a copy for all to see.
He added that the Forestry Commission initially had concerns that the sport would not be able to react to the need for change but that they are now very confident and furthermore, the FC are now in a better position to play their part in supporting forest based events. Rob in turn believes that the FC is now close to being able to agree a new Master Agreement to replace the one that expires at the end of 2015.
All SACC member clubs are reminded that the clubs development and rescue development funds are there to be used and clubs should consider any projects that could be eligible. This can specifically include any additional cost associated with complying with the new safety requirements. Already in 2015, 19 grants totalling £52,000 have been paid out. Since 1995, 997 awards have been made.
Our meeting then heard or read through reports from the various co-ordinators and discipline specialist. The written reports are available for everyone to see on the Association Admin link on the SACC Website.
At various points throughout the meeting and then in an extended discussion later on, the clubs represented at the meeting talked about the various pressure points across the sport and in particular, the shortage of volunteer marshals. A number of suggestions were made in the room (and others have been put forward since). These will all be considered as a priority.
For an alternative view of the meeting, you might also want to visit jaggybunnet.co.uk.