Chichester Bridge Club
Minutes of the Extraordinary General meeting held on Monday 13th May 2013
6.15 pm at the Clubhouse
Present: Julie Jones Chairman
Lilias Lamont Secretary
Margaret Bray Treasurer
And 25 members of the club
The meeting opened at 6.20 pm
1 Apologies for Absence
There were 33 members present including the Committee. Apologies for absence were received from Sylvia Mundy, Sandra Ward-Brown, Tony Whiteley, Richard Lowe, Dennis Witcomb, John Austin, Jenny Ashby, Elizabeth Emms, Margaret Stanger, Mike Parks and Chris Coote.
The Chairman received 13 postal votes.
2. Chairman’s Statement
The Chairman thanked those present for attending.
The Chairman explained that the purpose of the meeting was to ask the membership for the approval of a change in the constitution as proposed by the committee
The motion was that Clause 5(f) is substituted with the proposed Clause below, and the attached Schedule of Disciplinary procedures (which is referred to in Clause 5 (f)) is attached to the constitution as Appendix 1. The current Clause 5 (f) is:
“The Committee may suspend or terminate the membership of any member whose conduct they consider to be contrary to the interests of the Club, without being called upon to give reasons.”
The suggested new Clause 5(f)
“Each member of the Club shall be required in connection with the game of duplicate bridge and variations thereof, to conform to the standards of fairplay, courtesy and personal deportment prescribed in the Bye Laws and Regulations of the EBU.
The Committee and the Club shall have the powers for the enforcement of this requirement as set out in the Schedule of Disciplinary procedures (Appendix 1) which shall form part of these Rules and Constitution.
The terms Disciplinary Rules and Disciplinary Offences have the same meaning set out in the Bye Laws of the EBU Appendix A”
The reason for the change is that the current constitution does not have any form of procedure within it to follow should there be a significant complaint. It was felt that the current Clause 5 (f) was inadequate for several reasons, including that it is not in line with current EBU procedures. The committee were proposing to adopt the disciplinary procedures, which had been drawn up by the EBU for club use.
The Chairman then asked Lilias Lamont to explain the reason that it had come to light that we had no disciplinary procedure. LL explained that she had contacted the EBU on a different matter when a player had questioned a TD decision she had made and reported that it was biased. LL had received helpful advice on the relevant rules and procedure in such a circumstance and how to handle a similar situation in the future. Within the course of that discussion with the EBU, the chairman of the EBU Laws and Ethics Committee, Jeremy Dhondy, had pointed out that Chichester Bridge Club had no disciplinary procedure and it would be advisable to include in the constitution.
The Chairman then asked Ken Haines, who had publicly declared his opposition to the motion via e mail, to express his views. KH explained that he felt the suggested procedure was too adversarial and complicated with an unnecessary number of committees. He would prefer the procedure to be called a complaints procedure.
There followed a discussion among the members, some echoing KH’s concerns, others not. Vicki King stated that another club she knew of had had problems because they did not have an adequate procedure. The outcome had been unsatisfactory for both the complainant and the accused.
The letters, which the chairman received as postal votes, were placed in 2 piles on a table in the centre of the room.
Each member present was given an anonymised voting slip asking them to vote for or against the motion. The votes were placed in a ballot box.
The ballot box was opened by Kemal Ahmed (a past member present as a guest that evening), who counted the votes, including the postal votes.
4. Ballot Result
The results were
For the motion: 29 votes (including a postal vote that had been missed earlier)
Against the motion: 17 votes.
The constitution states that for a change to the rules a majority of 2/3 is required for a motion to be carried.
On this occasion, a 2/3 majority was not reached. (29 votes represent 63% of those who voted). Therefore the motion was not carried.
The Chairman thanked everyone for coming. The outcome of the ballot will be discussed at the next committee meeting.
The meeting closed at 6.55 pm