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March 2020

Bridge Evenings are presently suspended in view of the COVID-19 situation.  We hope to resume them when appropriate.

Constitution
 
 
  1 Name

The Club shall be called “Ditton Bridge Club” (hereafter referred to as “The Club”).

  2 Objects

The objects of The Club shall be:

  1. To provide facilities for Members to play all formats of Duplicate Contract Bridge in a competitive atmosphere for the mutual enjoyment of Members and the advancement of the game;
  2. To provide facilities for less experienced players to learn and to play Contract Bridge in a friendly and supportive atmosphere;
  3. To support the entry by Members of teams or partnerships to represent The Club in competitions arranged by organisations recognised by the English Bridge Union;
  4. To undertake social, charitable fund-raising, and other activities connected with and incidental to the playing of Contract Bridge.

The International Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge as for the time being in force shall be applicable to all events run by The Club.

  3 Headquarters

The headquarters of The Club shall be situated at Surbiton Hockey Club, Sugden Road, Thames Ditton, KT7 0AE, or some other place within a five mile radius.

  4 Affiliations

The Club shall be affiliated to the Surrey County Bridge Association and the English Bridge Union.

  5 Membership
5.1

The Club shall consist of Life Members and Members.

5.2 Membership of The Club shall be open to bridge players of all standards.
5.3 Any person wishing to become a member of The Club must apply for membership by completing and forwarding to the Secretary such application form as may be prescribed by the Committee, together with payment of the relevant subscription. An applicant shall be treated as a Member of The Club without voting rights pending a decision on his/her application for membership. The application shall be displayed in a prominent position at the headquarters for a minimum period of 14 days following its receipt to provide existing members the opportunity to object to the application.
5.4 The Committee shall decide whether to accept or reject an application for membership following the expiry of 14 days from the public display of the application. In considering applications for membership, amongst other things, the Committee shall have regard to any objection to the application by a Member and to the playing facilities available. The Committee may from time to time decide that the playing facilities are such that The Club shall be closed to new Members for such period as it may decide. The names of new Members shall be recorded in the Minutes of the next committee meeting.
5.5 If a person’s application for membership is unsuccessful, he/she shall be so informed in writing by the Secretary and his/her subscription shall be returned. The Secretary may disclose the Committee’s reason for declining the application, but shall not be obliged to do so.
5.6 If a person’s application for membership is successful, he/she shall be so informed by the Secretary and, if he/she requests, shall be provided with a copy of this Constitution and the Rules.
5.7 A Member shall cease to be a Member of The Club immediately upon receipt by the Secretary of his/her resignation in writing or on being expelled from The Club under the provisions of Clause 16.
5.8 A Member whose subscription has not been paid shall cease to be a Member on the expiration of the period of three months from the date on which the subscription was due for payment.
5.9 A former Member of the Club who wishes to rejoin as a Member shall follow the procedures set out above, unless the Committee decides to waive this requirement.
5.10 The Committee shall have the power to appoint Life Members in recognition of meritorious service to The Club. The total number of Life Members shall not exceed five at any time.
  6 Officers
6.1

The Officers of the Club shall be the Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer.

6.2 No Member shall simultaneously hold more than one post as an Officer.
6.3 Each Officer shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting and retire at the ensuing Annual General Meeting, but shall be eligible for re-election.
6.4 In the event of a vacancy for an Officer arising between Annual General Meetings, the Committee shall elect one of their number to fill that vacancy until the ensuing Annual General Meeting.
6.5

The duties of the Chairperson shall be:

  1. To be one of up to four authorised signatories for The Club’s bank accounts;
  2. To chair meetings of the Committee and General Meetings.
6.6

The duties of the Secretary shall be:

  1. To deal with The Club’s correspondence;
  2. To keep approved minutes of all The Club’s proceedings;
  3. To keep a record of The Club’s members and Life Members, and
  4. To arrange competitive and friendly matches of any type.
6.7

The duties of the Treasurer shall be:

  1. To be responsible for The Club’s funds;
  2. To arrange for payments to be made, as appropriate;
  3. To prepare and present annual financial statements as at the last day in March to the Members at Annual General Meetings;
  4. To supply any information or documents required by the Honorary Auditor;
  5. To sign and accept cheques on behalf of The Club, as one of the signatories to The Club’s bank account.
  7 Committee
7.1

The Committee of the Club shall consist of the Officers of the Club, together with up to four other Members, who shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting and shall retire at the ensuing Annual General Meeting, but who shall be eligible for re-election. Any Officer or member of the Committee may resign at any time between Annual General Meetings.

7.2

The Committee may from time to time co-opt further Members of the Club to serve on the Committee until the ensuing Annual General Meeting, whether to fill a vacancy arising, or as additional Committee members, but the total number of Committee members (including Officers) shall at no time exceed ten. Co-opted Committee members shall be entitled to participate fully in the proceedings of the Committee.

7.3

A quorum at meetings of the Committee shall be four persons, three of whom must be fully elected members of the Committee.

7.4

The Committee may from time to time appoint sub-committees to undertake on its behalf such aspects of the administration of the Club as it shall think fit, and members of such sub-committees may include Club Members who are not members of the Committee.

7.5

Proceedings of the Committee and of any sub-committees shall be regulated in such manner as the Committee may from time to time decide.

7.6 The Committee shall make a report to each Annual General Meeting concerning the affairs of the Club since the previous Annual General Meeting
7.7 The Committee may appoint any of its members to be signatories to The Club’s bank account.
  8 Honorary Auditor
8.1

The Club shall, at a General Meeting, appoint an Honorary Auditor to audit the Financial Statements prepared by the Treasurer. The Honorary Auditor shall not be a member of the Committee and shall hold office until the ensuing Annual General Meeting when he/she shall retire but be eligible for re-election. The Honorary Auditor shall be entitled to access to such documents and information as he/she considers fit to discharge his/her function.

  9 Management

 

9.1

The affairs of The Club shall be managed by the Committee, and the Committee shall have power to determine any issue arising in connection with the affairs of The Club which is not specifically provided for in this Constitution.

9.2

The Committee may from time to time formulate and publish such Rules as it thinks expedient for the effective and harmonious running of the Club (but in the case of any conflict between such Rules and this Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail).

9.3

Any issue of policy determined by the Committee or any Rules published by the Committee may be varied by a reolution of Members at a General Meeting of the Club, provided that such resolution is not in conflict with this Constitution and is not retrospective in application.

 9.4 In the event of such variation being made, the policy or Rules (as the case may be) shall not be further varied by the Committee in a manner inconsistent with the resolution.
9.5 The Committee shall have the right to enter The Club for any bridge competition and/or league, and/or arrange friendly matches against other bridge clubs.

   

  10 General Meetings
10.1

An Annual General Meeting shall be held in each year no later than three months after the end of the financial year.

10.2

An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be convened by the Committee if a request for such a Meeting signed by at least ten Members is delivered to the Secretary, stating the reason for the Meeting, and such Meeting shall take place within thirty six days of the receipt of such request.

10.3

An Extraordinary General Meeting may be convened by the Committee on its own initiative at any time.

10.4

All General Meetings shall be held at the headquarters of The Club, unless circumstances arise which render this impracticable.

10.5 The Chairperson, if present, shall chair all General Meetings of the Club, and in his/her absence another Officer of the Committee shall chair the Meeting.
10.6 Notice of all General Meetings of the Club shall be given to Members no later than fourteen days prior to the date fixed for the Meeting.
10.7 Any Member may propose a subject for discussion at an Annual General Meeting provided that written notice of the proposed item is delivered to the Secretary no later than twenty-eight days prior to the date fixed for the Meeting.
10.8 The Chairperson of a General Meeting may permit discussion of other business if he/she thinks fit.
10.9 A quorum at General Meetings of the Club shall be fifteen Members present in person.
10.10 If, fifteen minutes after the time fixed for a General Meeting of the Club, no quorum shall be present, the Meeting shall be adjourned to a new date, which shall be no earlier than fourteen days after the date of the adjourned Meeting, and in the case of a General Meeting which has been adjourned due to the lack of a quorum (but not of a meeting adjourned for any other reason) such number of Members as are actually present at the reconvened meeting shall constitute a quorum.
10.11 Voting at General Meetings of the Club shall be by show of hands, and, in the event of parity of voting, the Chairperson of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
10.12 Minutes of General Meetings shall be signed by the Chairperson following their approval by the Members at the ensuing meeting.
  11 Notices
11.1

Notices of Extraordinary General Meetings and of Annual General Meetings at which, in the opinion of the Committee, any business of a non-routine nature is likely to be discussed, shall be given to Members by any of the following means:

  1. in person;
  2. by post to the last address of each Member notified to the Secretary, or
  3. electronically.
11.2

Notices of any Annual General Meeting at which in the opinion of the Committee no business of a non-routine nature is likely to be discussed, shall be given to Members by any of the following means:

  1. in person;
  2. by post to the last address of each Member notified to the Secretary;
  3. electronically, or
  4. by displaying a notice in a prominent position at the headquarters of The Club.
11.3

Notices of any other matters to be brought to the attention of Members shall be made by displaying a notice in a prominent position at the headquarters of The Club.

  12 Nominations
12.1

Nominations for the posts of Officers or Committee Members shall be in writing, and shall be signed by a proposer and a seconder, both of whom shall be Members of the Club, and also by the person nominated.

12.2

All nominations must reach the Secretary no later than one week prior to the date fixed for the Annual General Meeting.

  13 Subscriptions and Fees
13.1

Each Member (other than Life Members) shall pay an annual subscription, the amount of which shall be decided at the Annual General Meeting of the Club. Subscriptions shall be due for payment from the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting at which the subscription was set and shall be valid for membership until the end of the ensuing Annual General Meeting. Unless the Committee decides otherwise, any Member whose subscription remains unpaid after four weeks from the close of the Annual General Meeting shall pay table money at the rate applicable to visitors until his/her subscription has been paid in full.

13.2

Each Member (other than the Director, his/her partner and the Host) and each guest and visitor, shall pay table money on each time he/she plays at The Club. The amount of table money payable by Members, guests and visitors shall be decided at the Annual General Meeting.

13.3

Each successful applicant for membership of the Club may be required to pay a joining fee, the amount of which (if any) shall be decided at the Annual General Meeting

13.4

The Committee may determine variations on the basic amounts of subscriptions and table money for Members, guests and visitors.

13.5 Members may, at a General Meeting, delegate to the Committee the power to increase or reduce the amounts of subscriptions and table money prior to the ensuing Annual General Meeting.

13.6

The Committee may determine from time to time the amount of fees to be charged for use of the premises or equipment of The Club, or for any other purpose for which it is of the opinion that fees ought to be charged.

 

  14 Accounts
14.1

The Committee shall arrange for an income and expenditure account and a balance sheet to be prepared in respect of the financial affairs of The Club for each financial year, which shall end on the last day of March.

14.2

The income and expenditure account and the balance sheet for each financial year shall be presented to the Annual General Meeting for approval.

14.3

The books and records kept, and the financial statements prepared, by the Treasurer shall be inspected and audited annually by the Honorary Auditor.

  15 Guests and Visitors
15.1

Any Member may invite a guest to play at The Club at any time other than at specified championship events, but in the event of the playing facilities being inadequate to accommodate all those who wish to play, priority shall be given to Members. Members are responsible for the conduct of their guests.

15.2

Visitors may be permitted to play at the Club at any time other than at specified championship events, but in the event of the playing facilities being inadequate to accommodate all those who wish to play, priority shall be given to Members and their guests.

15.3

Visitors and Members’ guests shall be asked to join The Club after three visits in any one financial year.

15.4

After three such visits, a non-member who has applied for membership shall (subject to available playing facilities) be permitted to play at The Club until his/her application for membership has been determined by the Committee, even if a limit imposed by the Committee is thereby exceeded.

  16 Conduct
16.1

The Committee shall consider any written complaint signed by at least three Members made about the conduct of a Member. The Committee may consider any other complaint.

16.2

Where the Committee decides to or is required to consider a complaint, the Committee shall appoint a sub-committee to investigate the complaint (“the investigatory sub-committee”) and a wholly separate sub-committee to decide the complaint (“the adjudication sub-committee”). The investigatory sub-committee shall provide the Member about whose conduct the complaint has been made with details of the complaint and a full opportunity to respond. The investigatory sub-committee shall present a report to the adjudication sub-committee and the Member following the completion of its investigation. The adjudication sub-committee shall meet as soon as practicable after receiving the investigatory sub-committee’s report to adjudicate upon the complaint. The Member shall be entitled to make personal representations to the adjudication sub-committee at the meeting convened to consider the complaint.

16.3

If the adjudication sub-committee upholds the complaint, it may impose any of the following sanctions:

  1. Issue an oral reprimand;
  2. Issue a written reprimand;
  3. Suspend the Member from the privileges of membership for such period as it may think fit;
  4. Expel the Member from membership of The Club, or
  5. Prohibit the Member from playing at The Club either indefinitely or for a specified period.
16.4

The adjudication sub-committee shall forthwith notify the Member of its decision in respect of the complaint, and may, if it thinks fit, publicise the decision by displaying a notice at the headquarters of The Club.

16.5 An appeal shall lie to a General Meeting of the Club against any decision to reprimand, suspend, expel or prohibit a Member following consideration of a complaint about his/her conduct.
16.6 Notice of such an appeal must be in writing, and delivered to the Secretary within two weeks of the notification to the Member of the decision of the adjudication sub-committee.
16.7 In the event of an appeal, the decision of the adjudication sub-committee shall not be put into effect until the appeal has been determined.
16.8 On the appeal being heard by at a General Meeting, the Members at the General Meeting shall have power to uphold, reverse or vary the decision of the adjudication sub-committee. If the decision is upheld or varied, the Members at the General Meeting may confirm the sanction imposed by the adjudication sub-committee or impose any sanction which would have been available to the adjudication sub-committee, including no sanction.
16.9 Nothing in this Constitution shall preclude The Club or Committee from referring a matter of conduct to the Disciplinary Committee of the Surrey County Bridge Association, or to the Laws & Ethics Committee of the English Bridge Union, if it considers it appropriate to do so.
  17 Alterations to the Constitution
17.1

No alterations shall be made to this Constitution except at a General Meeting of The Club.

17.2

In order for a motion to alter this constitution to be successful, a majority at least two-thirds of the votes cast on the motion must be in favour. Proxies shall be allowed.

  18 Winding-up
18.1

Any ten Members may present in writing to the Secretary a motion to wind up The Club. The Secretary shall invoke clauses 10.2 and 10.6 of this Constitution and give notice to all Members accordingly.

18.2

In order for a motion that The Club shall be wound up to have effect a majority of not less that 75% (seventy-five percent) of the votes cast by those Members present and voting, together with votes by proxy, must be in favour of the motion, and in addition the number of votes cast in favour of the motion must exceed one-half of the number of Members entitled to attend and vote at the General Meeting at which the motion is put. Proxy votes shall be delivered to the Secretary not less that forty-eight hours before the time set for the Meeting.

18.3

The Treasurer shall present to the Members attending such meeting audited Balance Sheet and Accounts dated not later than seven days following the date of receipt by the Secretary of the Members’ motion to wind up The Club.

18.4

In the event that a motion to wind up The Club is passed then the Treasurer shall pay all The Club’s creditors and collect any outstanding debts that are recoverable.

18.5 Unless the winding up has been initiated with a view to amalgamating The Club with some other club (in which case any surplus assets and funds may be transferred to such other club), any surplus assets and funds shall be transferred to such of the organisations mentioned in clause 18.6 as may be specified in the motion initiating the winding up, and if no such organisation is so specified, to such of those organisations as the Committee may think fit.
18.6

The organisations referred to in clause 18.5 are:

  1. the English Bridge Union;
  2. the Surrey County Bridge Association, and
  3. any Registered or recognised charitable body.
  19 Application of the Constitution
19.1

Every Member is bound by and must submit to this Constitution and the Rules of The Club. The Constitution and the Rules of The Club shall be displayed in prominent positions at the headquarters of The Club.

Issue 4
Adopted by the Members at an EGM held on 4th October 2010