Tunbridge Wells Bridge Club
RULES OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS BRIDGE CLUB

RULES OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS BRIDGE CLUB

2011

1. Name

The Club is called “Tunbridge Wells Bridge Club” (“the Club”).

2. Objects

The objects of the Club shall be the provision of facilities for the playing of all forms of Bridge and for other non-political activities.

3. Trusts of Club Property

The Freehold of the Club premises at 40 London Road, Tunbridge Wells (“the Premises”) is vested in Trustees who hold the premises under a con­veyance dated 1st October 1908 “upon trust for Members of the Club ac­cording to the rules thereof”. All other property of the Club is also vested in the same Trustees on the same Trusts.

4. Trustees

There shall be not more than four Trustees of the Club who shall adopt such measures in respect of the property vested in them as directed by a General Meeting or, (insofar as they have authority to do so), by the Committee, pro­vided that such directions do not require them to act outside the law. The Committee may from time to time fill a vacancy in the number of Trustees by nominating a Member thereto. A Trustee shall hold office until his death, resignation or removal from office by a resolution of Members carried at General Meeting.

5. Charges upon the Premises

The Committee may, with the sanction of the Trustees, resolve that the Premises shall be mortgaged or charged on such terms as the Committee shall think fit to secure a sum or sums amounting in the aggregate to not more than £25,000. The sanction of a General Meeting (at which three quarters of the Members present shall vote in favour of the proposal) shall be required before a sum in excess of £25,000 (or a sum which, in addition to sums previously secured, would increase the amount secured on the Premises to more than £25,000) is raised by mortgage or charge on the security of the Premises.

6. Membership

Annual Membership shall be open to persons paying the full annual sub­scription. The following additional classes of membership may be awarded or granted by the Committee:

Life Membership may be awarded by the Committee and shall carry with it free membership of the Club and full voting rights. Life members shall be entitled to share and to participate in the assets of the Club, subject to the provisions of Rules 36, 37 and 38.

Honorary Membership may be granted by the Committee and shall carry with it free membership of the Club.

Temporary Membership as defined in Rule 14.

Honorary and Temporary Members shall not be entitled to share or to participate in the assets of the Club, nor shall they have any voting rights. All Members of these additional Membership classes shall be liable to pay table money.

7. Applications for Membership

An applicant for admission to membership of the Club shall be proposed in writing by a Member and seconded by another Member, to both of whom the applicant must be personally known. The applicant’s name, residence and profession or occupation and bridge experience, together with the names of the Proposer and Seconder, shall be posted in the Club for fourteen days before being submitted for election.

8. Election of Applicants

Election of applicants shall be by the Committee.

9. Payments by New Members

The Secretary shall notify a new Member of the election and at the same time send a copy of these Rules and request payment of the entrance fee (if any) and subscription due. Neglect to pay either within one month after notice shall, if the Committee so resolve, make void the election.  An applicant elected after 31st March in any year shall be liable only for such proportion of the appropriate annual subscription as shall be decided by the Committee.

10. Suspension of Entrance Fee and Subscription

The Committee may suspend or reduce the entrance fee and annual sub­scriptions as it thinks fit and may also waive the whole or any part of the annual subscription of any individual Member.

11. Fixing and Payment of Subscriptions

Annual subscriptions of Members shall be as from time to time fixed by the Committee and normally shall be effective as from 1st January each year. In the event of an increase of the subscriptions payable becoming effective during the course of the year, any Member affected by such increase, may, within fourteen days after notice of the increase has been exhibited on the Club notice board, resign membership, whereupon such resignation shall take effect immediately and the due pro­portion of the subscription for the remainder of the then current year shall be refunded.

12. There is no rule 12.

13. Subscriptions unpaid

Any Member failing to pay the subscription within one calendar month of the date on which it became due shall be given notice of such default and, if not paid within eight weeks after the due date, the membership shall lapse unless otherwise resolved by the Committee.  Should a lapsed member wish to play in a Club event and be eligible to win the trophy, then they may re-join up to and including the day of the Club event, provided this is within the year in which their membership lapsed, on payment of the full annual subscription.

14. Guests and Temporary Members

A guest may be introduced by a Member by whom he or she must be accompanied whilst in the Club. All expenses, other than table money, incurred on behalf of a Guest must be paid by the Member and not by the Guest. The same person may not be introduced as a Guest more than four times in any 12-month period unless otherwise agreed by the committee for specified sessions.

Members shall have the power to introduce Temporary Members on terms approved by the Committee, but a Temporary Member shall not be admitted as a candidate for temporary membership, or to any of the privileges of membership, without an interval of at least two days between their introduction and admission.

15. Committee Constitution

The general affairs of the Club shall be managed by a Committee, which shall consist of not more than seven Members.  One of these will be the Treasurer who will be appointed as set out in Rule 16.  Five (who shall each have been a Member of the Club for not less than two years) shall be elected at every Annual General Meeting (“AGM”).

A Member elected to the Committee at an Annual General Meeting (or co-opted in accordance with this Rule) may be re-elected at the next Annual General Meeting but may not serve on the Committee for more than five years consecutively, unless a specific motion authorising the extension of his term of service has been proposed to and carried at the AGM, No Member shall serve on the Committee for more than three terms, each of up to five years duration (unless extended as provided for in this Rule), separated by a minimum gap of one year between each term.

The Committee may, if it shall think fit, at any time (but without ever per­mitting the number of members on the Committee to exceed seven) co-opt onto the Committee a Member of not less than two years standing, either to serve as an additional member of the Committee if it feels that this would be to the benefit of the Club, or to fill a vacancy among the elected members. For the purposes of determining the impact of co-option on the limit of five years of consecutive service, the service on the Committee of such a Mem­ber during the year in which he shall have been co-opted shall be treated as having commenced at the AGM preceding his co-option, if this took place on or before 30 November but at the AGM following his co-option if this took place after 30 November.  A Member may not be co-opted onto the Commit­tee on more than one occasion in two consecutive years.

A co-opted member shall have the same rights as elected members and shall be eligible subject to the provisions of this Rule) for election to the Com­mittee at the next AGM.

16. Officers

There shall be the following Officers of the Club: a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman and an Honorary Treasurer. The first two of these shall be appointed out of its number by the Committee at its meeting held next after each AGM, to serve during the ensuing year. The Honorary Treasurer, who must be a Member of the Club (and who shall have been a Member of the Club for not less than two years but who does not have to be one of the elected committee members) shall be appointed by the Committee at its first meeting after the AGM and becomes a full Member of the Committee for the ensuing 12 months. 

 In the event of a vacancy occurring during an Officer’s year of office, the Committee shall as soon as possible appoint a replacement from among its number except that, for the position of Treasurer, the Committee can appoint a member who fulfils the membership criteria set out in the first paragraph of this Rule.

17. Candidates for Committee

The Members for election to the Committee shall be proposed and second­ed by two Members of the Club and their names, together with the names of the Proposers and Seconders, shall be posted in the Club for seven days (excluding the day of posting and the date of the meeting) before the Annual General Meeting.

18. Committee Meetings

The Committee shall meet regularly on such day, and such hour, as it may from time to time appoint to conduct the business of the Club, and to exam­ine the accounts. Seven days written notice of each meeting shall be given to all members of the Committee.

Except where otherwise provided the quorum for a meeting to be valid shall be four. The chairman of a meeting shall be the Chairman or, in his absence, the Vice Chairman or, failing both of them, the Honorary Treasurer. In the absence of all of these, the members present shall appoint one of their number to be chairman of that meeting. In the case of an equality of votes in Committee the chairman of the meeting shall have the casting vote.

19. Sub Committees

The Committee may appoint Sub-Committees with such powers as the Committee shall think fit, provided that such powers shall at no time exceed the powers of the Committee. Every Sub-Committee shall be answerable to the Committee, with whose remit it shall comply.

The Chairman of every Sub-Committee shall be a Member of the Committee and be appointed by the Committee.  Members of a Sub-Committee, who need not necessarily be Members of the Committee, shall be recommended by the Chairman of the Sub-Committee and confirmed by the Committee. The Chairman of the Committee shall be ex officio a member of every Sub-Committee.

20. Bridge Sub-Committee

A Bridge Sub-Committee, constituted in accordance with Rule 19, shall be appointed by the Committee. The purpose of this Sub-Committee will be to arrange annual and other bridge events, prepare duty rosters for directors of Duplicate sessions, organise training if and when required of directors and potential directors, and generally to attend to matters specifically relating to the game. The Committee is to be kept informed of the Sub-Committee’s proceedings.

21. Attendance at General Meetings

All Members shall be entitled to attend the Annual or an Extraordinary General Meeting, and, subject to the limitations imposed by Rule 6 hereof, to vote thereat.

22. Annual General Meetings

The Annual General Meeting of the Club shall be held on or before 30th April in each year when the following business shall be transacted:

a. The Annual Accounts and the Committee’s Report for the past year shall be submitted for approval and adoption.

b. If so desired, to elect, on the recommendation of the Committee, a distin­guished person as President of the Club, who, if not already a Member, shall on election become an Honorary Member and shall be entitled to attend and (notwithstanding Rule 6) vote at any General Meeting of the Club.

c. To appoint an independent firm of Chartered Accountants to prepare an annual report on the Club’s accounts in accordance with the ethical guidelines of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

 d. To elect to vacancies on the Committee.

e. To undertake any other business of which seven days notice, in writing, has been given.

23. Extraordinary General Meetings

The Committee shall at the written request of thirty Members, or may of its own accord, at any time, call an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Club for the consideration of any matter.

24. Notice of General Meetings

Twenty-one days’ notice of any General Meeting (excluding the day of giving the notice of the meeting and the day for which it is given), giving particulars of the business to be transacted, shall be posted in the Club, and also sent by post, e-mail or handed personally to each Member of the Club and in the case of the Annual General Meeting be accompanied by a copy of the Accounts and the Committee’s Report of the preceding year which shall also be posted in the Club at the same time as notice of the meeting is posted to Members.  A notice requesting nominations of members who are seeking election to the committee shall be posted in the Club at the same time.  E-mail will only be used if the member has given written consent to receiving communications by this method.

25. Procedure at General Meetings

The Chairman of the Committee, or, in the Chairman’s absence, the Vice Chairman or the Honorary Treasurer, shall preside at General Meetings of the Club. Voting (unless a poll is demanded) shall be by a show of hands by those Members present and entitled to vote, and the declaration by the chairman of the meeting that any proposition has been carried or lost by a particular majority shall be conclusive evidence of the fact without proof of the number or proportion of votes recorded in favour of or against such resolution. No Member shall be entitled to more than one vote except the chairman, who in the case of equality of votes, whether on a show of hands or on a poll, shall have the casting vote on all matters. There shall be no proxy voting, except on any matter which, under these Rules, requires more than a simple majority (Rules 5, 26, 36 and 37).

An instrument appointing a proxy shall be in writing, executed by the Mem­ber in the presence of a witness, and, to be valid, shall be lodged with the Chairman, or as the Committee shall direct, not less than 48 hours before the start of the meeting. A proxy must be a Member, and may not hold more than one appointment as such for any meeting.

 If immediately before or immediately after the declaration of the result of the show of hands a poll is demanded either by the chairman or by ten Members present, a poll shall be taken from the Members who are at the meeting and who are entitled to vote before the Meeting is closed and the result of the poll shall be deemed to be conclusive. In any poll a Member present shall have one vote plus one other vote if he shall have been validly appointed a proxy for that meeting, provided that the appointing Member is not also present at the meeting.

26. Alteration of the Rules

No Rule shall be rescinded or altered, and no new Rule shall be made, or new set of Rules introduced, without the sanction of a General Meeting of which the Committee shall itself have given notice or which it shall call on a requisition therefore signed by thirty Members which shall have been made to the Chairman in writing. A notice of the General Meeting giving particu­lars of the proposed alteration to the Rules shall be posted in the Club at least twenty one clear days before the Meeting and a vote of three quarters of the Members present and voting at the Meeting shall be necessary to re­scind or alter a Rule or to introduce a new Rule, or set of Rules. Notice of any alteration shall be sent within twenty eight days to the relevant Authorities.

27. Management of the Club and the Premises

The Committee may take such measures as it shall think fit for the good or­ganisation and administration of the Club and management of the Premises, and to that end may employ and pay staff, including a Secretary, a Club Manager and such other employees as it may consider appropriate from time to time.

The Committee shall make regulations for the good order and management of the Premises including the Car Park and shall regulate the times when the Premises shall be open. The Committee may direct that any room in the Premises, including the Bar, may be appropriated for any particular purpose either permanently or for a special occasion.

Card Rooms may be made available for private sessions but a Club Member or the Club Secretary must always be present in the building during every such session.

28. Conduct

If the conduct of any Member of the Club shall, in the opinion of the Committee, be such as to be prejudicial to the reputation, welfare, or good or­der of the Club, the Committee shall be empowered to call that Member before a meeting of a Sub-Committee, which will consist of at least one member of the Committee but which may contain one or more non-Committee members, specially appointed and convened. Any member of the Committee or the Sub-Committee who might have a conflict of interest when dealing with the complaint must declare it as soon as he becomes aware of it.  The Member shall be given 14 days written notice of the meeting and of the nature of the complaint against his conduct, and he may be accompanied by one other person at such meeting and may speak in rebuttal. If after such meeting the Sub-Committee shall take the view that the allegations are made out, it shall within 7 days of the meeting inform the Member of its decision and what action it proposes to take.  The Sub-Committee may suspend that Member for such period (not exceeding three months) as it shall think fit, or recommend that he shall resign.   The Member may within 14 days thereafter appeal in writing against that decision to a meeting of the Committee, but if he does not, or if the appeal is rejected at that meeting (at which the Member may be present and make representations), the Committee will put into effect the decision of the Sub-Committee.  No one from the Sub-Committee may sit with the Committee when it deals with the appeal.

Should the Member not resign within seven days after the Committee shall have sent him notice in writing of such recommendation the Committee may resolve that the Member shall be expelled from the Club and give him notice accordingly whereupon the Member shall forth­with cease to be a Member of the Club and the unexpired portion of that Member’s subscription for the current year shall be refunded.

Any complaint by a member about the conduct of one or more other members must be put in writing and sent to the Chairman in the first instance.

29. Members’ Complaints

A Member is prohibited from reprimanding or making any complaint to any member of the staff. Any complaint against a member of either the staff or the Club must be reported orally or in writing to the Chairman, and if re­ported orally the Chairman may require the member making the complaint to make a written submission regarding the complaint.

30. Hiring

The Club premises may be hired to other Clubs, Associations or Organisations or to Members on such terms as the Committee may determine. The Club shall at all times retain ultimate control of the premises and a Club Member or the Club Secretary must always be present in the building during the hiring.

31. Receptions and Meetings

Persons visiting the Club for the purpose of attending a private reception or conference or a meeting of a cultural or sporting society or attending any match, competition, championship, exhibition or other event at the Club, may, at the discretion of the Committee, be authorised to use the Club premises for such period as the Committee may determine and intoxicating liquor may be sold to such persons if they are over the age of eighteen for consumption on the premises but not elsewhere, provided always that in­toxicating liquor may not be sold to visitors unless they are accompanied by a member or are temporary members (in accordance with Rule 14) or they are covered by a temporary event notice given to the Licensing Authority.  A Club Member or the Club Secretary must always be present in the building during the period and the bar must be manned by a Club Member or an employee of the Club.

32. Cheques

All payments on behalf of the Club made by cheque shall be signed by two persons authorised by the Committee to sign cheques, one of whom shall always be a member of the Committee.

33. Debentures

The Committee may offer Debentures to Members on such terms as it shall determine. These Debentures shall, if, and only if, they are to be secured on the Premises, be subject to the approval of the Trustees in accordance with Rule 5.

34. Debts

A Member shall discharge all expenses incurred in the Club either on his or her own behalf or on behalf of a Guest before leaving.

35. Bankruptcy

If a receiving order in bankruptcy shall be made against any Member or if a Member shall compound with his creditors, such Member shall forfeit any right to, or claim upon, the Club or its property.

36. Disposal of the Premises

If at any time it seems desirable to the Committee to dispose of the Premises or any part thereof, it shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting of Mem­bers to consider the matter and if three-quarters of the Members present and voting at such a meeting resolve on such disposal, the Committee shall be empowered to proceed accordingly and, after discharging the liabilities of the Club, the balance of any proceeds in the hands of the Club shall be used first in furtherance of the Objects of the Club, and, subject thereto, shared among the Members in accordance with Rule 38, or disposed of in such a way as that Meeting (or as another Extraordinary General Meeting specially convened at a later date for the purpose) shall determine. For the purposes of this Rule a lease, or leases, of all or part of the second floor the Premises for a period less than 2 years shall not be treated as a disposal, nor shall a mortgage or charge entered into in accordance with Rule 5 (but only if the sums secured on the Premises would not thereby amount in aggregate to more than £25,000). Thirty members shall be a quorum at a general meeting called under this Rule 36 or under Rule 37, provided that, if within 15 minutes from the time appointed for the meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting shall stand adjourned to such day, time and place as the Chairman may appoint, and at the adjourned meeting the business shall be transacted whatever the number of persons present.

37. Dissolution

If at any time it appears to the Committee desirable to dissolve the Club it shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting of Members to consider the matter and if three quarters of the Members present and voting at such meeting agree to such dissolution, the Committee shall be empowered to proceed accordingly and after discharging the liabilities of the Club the bal­ance of any proceeds in the hands of the Club shall be shared among the Members in accordance with Rule 38.

38. Participation by members in Club assets

If it shall be resolved to dissolve the Club or distribute any surplus assets fol­lowing a disposal of the Premises, only Members of not less than five years standing, who for each of the five years prior to such resolution shall have been fully paid up Members, shall be entitled to participate in the proceeds of such dissolution or distribution.

39. Notices

All notices to Members shall be effective if sent by to their last known address.  This address can be an e-mail address if the member has given written consent to receiving communications by this method.  Otherwise notices will be sent by post.

40. Claims against Club Property

No Member or Guest shall have any claim against the Club or its property or against the Committee or any Committee Member or any servant of the Club for defamation or any injuries or loss sustained by the Member or Guest arising out of usage of the Club including loss or damage to any motor vehicle or its contents left in the Car Park.

41. Gender

Allusions in these Rules to the male gender shall be construed as also comprehending the female gender, and these Rules shall be read accordingly.