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HORLEY BRIDGE CLUB CONSTITUTION (Approved at AGM 2018)
1. NAME The name of the club shall be HORLEY BRIDGE CLUB.
The Club shall be a Members’ Club and its object is to provide facilities for the playing and enjoyment of Bridge.
The headquarters of the Club shall be at such place as the Committee determines from time to time.
The Club will be affiliated to the Surrey County Bridge Association and to the English Bridge Union.
5.1. Membership shall be open to all Bridge players.
5.2. Any person wishing to become a member of the Club shall apply for membership by completing and forwarding to the Secretary such form as may be prescribed from time to time by the Committee.
5.3. All applications for membership of the Club must be proposed and seconded by existing members of the Club unless the Committee decides otherwise.
5.4. All membership application forms received by the Secretary shall be circulated to members by email. .
5.5 Any member wishing to object to an application for membership should notify the Secretary in writing.
5.6. After the expiry of two weeks from the date of circulation as mentioned above, the Committee shall as soon as convenient consider the application for membership, taking into account any objections notified to the Secretary, and shall promptly notify the applicant of the acceptance or otherwise of the application.
5.7. In declining an application, the Committee may give a reason but shall not be obliged to do so.
5.8. In considering applications for membership the Committee shall have regard to the playing facilities available, and may from time to time decide that the Club shall be closed to new applications for membership for such period as it may decide.
5.9. A member shall cease to be a member of the club immediately if expelled from the club under the provisions of clause 15, or if his resignation in writing is delivered to the Secretary.
5.10. No person shall be admitted to membership until an Entrance Fee and Annual Subscription has been paid to the Treasurer. Annual Subscriptions shall be payable on admission and thereafter at the beginning of each financial year which shall run from the 1st of April to the 31st March. A member whose annual subscription has not been paid shall cease to be a member on the expiration of the period of six months from the date on which the subscription was due for payment.
5.11 A former member of the Club who wishes to re-join as a member within 3 years of ceasing to be a member may do so without the necessity for a further formal application for membership or payment of an Entrance Fee, unless the Committee decides otherwise.
5.12 Honorary Life Members, who shall not be liable to pay any Entrance Fee or subscription but shall be entitled to all the privileges of membership, may be elected by the Club in a General Meeting. There will not, at any one time, be more than five Honorary Life Members.
5.13 All members of the Club shall automatically be members of the English Bridge Union.
5.14 All members of the Club shall adhere to the Constitution.
6.1. The Executive Officers of the Club shall be the Chairman, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer.
6.2 A Non-Executive President of the Club may be elected. The President usually represents the Club to the outside world but is not a member of the Committee. Candidates for the post of President are normally chosen from those who have rendered long-term service to the Club and their candidacy is recognition of that service.
6.3. The Chairman (or in his absence, a Committee member agreed upon by the Committee) shall chair each meeting of the Committee and General Meetings of the Club.
6.4. No member of the Club shall simultaneously hold the office of more than one Officer of the Club.
6.5. Each of the Officers of the Club shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Club, and shall retire annually at the ensuing Annual General Meeting, but shall be eligible for re-election
6.6. In the event of a vacancy arising during the year the Committee shall choose one of their number to fill such vacancy until the ensuing Annual General Meeting.
7.1. The Committee of the Club shall consist of the Executive Officers of the Club, together with up to five other members of the Club, who shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Club, and shall retire annually at the ensuing Annual General Meeting, but shall be eligible for re-election.
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 members, except that the total number of members of the Committee (including Officers) shall at no time exceed eight. Co-opted members shall be entitled to participate fully in the proceedings of the Committee but will be non-voting.
7.3. A quorum at meetings of the Committee shall be three members of the Committee, including at least one of the Officers.
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 members of the Club 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 of the Club concerning the affairs of the Club since the previous Annual General Meeting.
8.1. 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.
8.2. The Committee may from time to time formulate and publish such rules as it thinks expedient for the efficient and harmonious running of the Club (but in the case of any conflict between such rules and this Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail).
8.3 Any issue of policy determined by the Committee or any rules published by the Committee may be confirmed or varied by a resolution of members at a General Meeting of the Club, provided that such resolution is not in conflict with this Constitution and any variation is not retrospective in application.
8.4 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. GENERAL MEETINGS
9.1. An Annual General Meeting of the Club shall be held in each year no later than four months after the end of the financial year.
9.2. A Special General Meeting of the Club shall be convened by the Committee if a request for such a meeting signed by at least ten members of the Club is delivered to the Secretary, stating the reason for the meeting, and such meeting shall take place within one month of the receipt of such request.
9.3. A Special General Meeting of the Club may be convened by the Committee on its own initiative at any time.
9.4. All General Meetings of the Club shall be held at the headquarters of the Club unless circumstances arise which render this impracticable.
9.5 The Chairman, if present, shall chair all General Meetings of the Club, and in his absence, some other member of the Committee shall chair the meeting in accordance with 6.3 above.
9.6. Notice of all General Meetings of the Club shall be given to all members of the Club no later than two weeks prior to the date fixed for the meeting.
9.7. Any member may propose a motion to be discussed at a General Meeting provided that written notice of the proposed motion is delivered to the Secretary no later than 7 days prior to the date fixed for the meeting.
9.8 The chairman of the meeting may permit discussion of other business at a General Meeting if he thinks fit.
9.9. A quorum at General Meetings of the Club shall be ten members present in person.
9.10. 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 (of which the like notice shall be given to members as was required to be given for the meeting which has been adjourned), 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 adjourned meeting shall constitute a quorum.
9.11. Voting at General Meetings of the Club shall be by show of hands. A simple majority is required for the adoption of each motion and in the event of parity of voting the chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
10.1. Notice of any General Meeting of the Club shall be given to members by email.
The Committee may, but shall not be obliged to, give notice to members without email by such other method as is expedient.
10.2. Notice of any other matters which the Committee wishes to bring to the attention of members shall be given either orally at a club session or by email.
11.1. 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 by the member nominated. Nominations must reach the Secretary no later than one week prior to the date of the General Meeting.
11.2 Members standing for re-election do not need to be nominated and at the discretion of the chairman nominations may be proposed and seconded at the General Meeting.
12. SUBSCRIPTIONS and FEES
12.1. Each member of the Club shall pay an Annual Subscription, the amount of which for the following year shall be decided at the Annual General Meeting. Subscriptions shall be due for payment by 1st April in each year in respect of the year to the following 31st March. At the discretion of the Committee a member may be allowed to pay a reduced subscription for any period less than six months.
12.2. Each member of the Club, and each guest and each visitor, shall pay Table Money on each occasion when he plays at the Club. Guests and visitors may be required to pay an extra table fee determined by the committee from time to time
12.3. Each successful applicant for membership of the Club shall be required to pay an Entrance Fee.
12.4. Changes in the amount of the Table Money and of the Entrance Fee shall be decided at a General Meeting provided that the Committee may determine variations in the Annual Subscription and Table Money for members, guests and visitors in different circumstances, and may waive the Annual Subscription or Table Money in the event of hardship or for any other good cause.
12.5 The Committee may determine from time to time the amount of fees to be charged for use of equipment of the Club, or for any other purpose for which it is of the opinion that fees ought to be charged.
13.1. The Committee shall arrange for accounts to be prepared in respect of the financial affairs of the Club for each year ending on 31st March.
13.2. The accounts for each year shall be presented to the Annual General Meeting of the Club for approval.
14. GUESTS and VISITORS
14.1. Any member may invite a guest to play at the club at any time, but in the event of the playing facilities being inadequate to accommodate all those who wish to play, priority shall be given to members.
14.2. A member introducing a guest shall be responsible for such guest strictly observing this Constitution and any rules and Byelaws published under Section 8 above. No person whose membership of the Club has been terminated or suspended under Section 15 of this Constitution or whose membership application has at any time been rejected shall be introduced as a guest.
15.1. In the event of a complaint being made to the Committee about the conduct of a member of the Club, the Committee may (and if a written complaint is received signed by at least three members of the Club, including the originating complainant, it shall) investigate the complaint. Any complaint must be made within seven days of the event or events giving rise to the complaint.
15.2. On investigating such a complaint, the Committee shall give the member about whose conduct the complaint has been made an opportunity to be heard and put forward evidence in his/her defence (this includes witnesses if appropriate). If a live Hearing takes place the member may be accompanied by a friend or representative who need not be a member of the club. Additionally, the member has the right to have questions put to the complainant and supporting witnesses (if any) by the Committee.
15.3. If on investigating such a complaint the Committee is of the opinion that the member has behaved in an unacceptable manner or in such a manner as to cause injury to the interests of the Club, then the Committee may reprimand the member, suspend the member from the privileges of membership for such period as it may think fit, or expel the member from the Club.
15.4. The Committee shall forthwith notify the member of any decision made on the investigation of a complaint about his conduct, and may, if it thinks fit, publicise the decision in such a way as it may decide.
15.5. An appeal may be made to a General Meeting of the Club against any decision to reprimand, suspend or expel a member of the Club following the investigation of a complaint about his/her conduct.
15.6. 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 Committee.
15.7 On the appeal being heard by a General Meeting of the Club, the General Meeting shall have power to overrule the conclusion of the Committee, or to uphold it, in which event the sanction imposed by the Committee may be confirmed or varied (to any sanction which the Committee was empowered to impose, or to none).
15.8 Nothing in this Constitution shall preclude the Committee from referring a matter of conduct to the Conduct 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.
16. ALTERATIONS TO THE CONSTITUTION
16.1. No alterations shall be made to this constitution except at a General Meeting of the Club.
16.2. In order for a resolution to alter this constitution to have effect, at least two-thirds of the votes cast on the resolution must be in favour.
The Committee may, in accordance with section 8 above, make, vary and revoke Byelaws (consistent with this Constitution) for the regulation of the internal affairs of the Club and the conduct of members, and the Byelaws for the time being in force shall be binding on all members.
18. EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY
Neither the Club nor any Officer thereof shall be liable to any member, guest or visitor for any loss or damage to any property, occurring from whatever cause, in or about the Club premises, nor for any injury sustained by any member, guest or visitor whilst on or entering or leaving the Club premises.
19.1. In order for a resolution that the Club shall be wound up to have effect at least twothirds of the votes cast at the General Meeting at which the resolution is put, either in person or by proxy, must be in favour of the resolution..
19.2 If a resolution that the Club shall be wound up is passed, the Committee shall be responsible for winding up the affairs of the Club. The Committee shall pay out of the Club’s assets such amounts as may be owed by the Club and may, at its absolute discretion, refund to members such amounts of their Annual Subscription as it deems to be unexpired. All the assets of The Club remaining after all its obligations have been met will be distributed among the charities supported by the Club as specified in the Byelaws.