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- The name of the Club shall be NEWENT BRIDGE CLUB (NBC)
- The aims and objective of the club will be:
- The promotion of the game of contract bridge and duplicate contract bridge
- The provision of weekly competitions in contract bridge
- The provision of annual and other special competitions in contract bridge
- The fielding of pairs and teams to represent the Club in county, national and international competitions
- To support the Gloucestershire Contract Bridge Association
- To support the English Bridge Union (EBU)
- To provide Master Points to enable members to progress through the ranks of bridge players as set down by the EBU
- To train members to become tournament directors
- To take an appropriate part in educating or teaching the game of contract bridge
There will be three categories of membership, namely:
- Ordinary Members
- Honorary Life Members
- Day Members
- Ordinary Members will be elected as follows:
An application to become a member of the Club will be submitted to the Secretary, on an official application form (requesting such personal details as the Committee may from time to time determine). On joining, the new member will receive a copy of the current programme. Following successful election to the Club, an ordinary member will have the right to attend any session or competition run by the club, subject only to any special rules pertaining to a competition (for example maximum or minimum Master Points ranking). Students who pay for the series of bridge lessons offered by the Club will become Ordinary Members for the year in which they are students.
- Honorary Life Members will be elected as follows:
Ordinary members who have, in the opinion of the Club, distinguished themselves by outstanding service or length of service to the club, or for some other good reason, may be offered Honorary Life Membership by a resolution of the members at an AGM. The proposal to elect an HLM should be published with the notice of the AGM. Honorary Life Members will not pay the annual subscription and will be entitled to attend regular weekly sessions without paying table money. However they will be expected to pay the normal fee for external special competitions such as Simulataneous Pairs.
- Day Members:
Day Members are always welcome to play at the club but may not win any of the Club competitions. Day Members will pay a special rate of table money, as determined by the Committee from time to time.
- Register of Members
The Club shall maintain a database of members, containing such personal data determined by the Committee to be necessary for the Club to be able to perform its function. The members are deemed to have consented to processing of this information for the purposes of compliance with the Data Protection Act. NBC will process all such information in accordance with the eight principles contained the Act.
Members should ensure that any change in these details is notified in writing to the Secretary as soon as possible.
- Fiscal Policy and Fees
The Club's finances shall be operated in order to achieve the aims and objectives of the Club without risking insolvency, but without undue profit.The Annual Subscription will be determined by a simple majority of members voting upon a resolution put to the AGM by the Committee. Any joining fee will be determined from time to time by the Committee, as will the amount of table money and day member's fees.
At every regular session of the Club, which is not a competition governed by separate rules, every player shall contribute a sum known as table money. This sum shall be as determined by the Committee from time to time. Day members will pay a premium rate over and above that paid by ordinary members, as determined by the Committee from time to time.
No charitable donation shall be made in excess of five hundred pounds (£500) without prior authorisation by a simple voting majority of the membership at an AGM.
- Annual General Meeting
The annual general meeting of the club shall be held during the month of May. Notice of the date, of any resolutions and invitations for nominations for election to any vacancies on the Committee, shall be published at least one calendar month before the date of the meeting, by posting a notice on the Club Notice Board, or by separate notices to each member, as the Committee determine. Nomination papers for election to the Committee should be received by a date to be advised in the Notice of the AGM. Late nomination may be accepted at the discretion of the AGM by a simple majority of the members present. The business of the AGM is to hear reports of the Club's activities, delivered by officers of the Club as determined by the Committee; to receive and approve the accounts; to approve auditing arrangements; to vote on any resolutions and to elect members to the Committee. Any resolutions should be passed by a simple majority of members present. Proxy votes are not allowed. Elections shall be conducted by secret ballot, carried out during the proceedings. The count shall be conducted by two ordinary members, and the results notified to the meeting immediately. In the event that the count does not produce a workable result (for example, two candidates receiving an identical number of votes) the Chairman of the meeting shall take whatever steps seem sensible to resolve the situation.
- Committee and Officers
The Committee shall be comprised of eight ordinary members of the Newent Bridge Club. In addition, annually at the first Committee meeting subsequent to the AGM, the new Committee shall appoint an ordinary member to serve as Webmaster. The Webmaster shall attend all Committee meetings in an executive capacity.The posts of Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary will be filled at the next AGM, but no member shall simultaneously hold more than one post. To ensure continuity, the posts of Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary will be elected for a period of three (3) years. These three year periods will be staggered so that only one post becomes vacant each year, unless the officer stands down prematurely. In this case the subsequent election will be for the same period as the original election, to preserve the staggered pattern. Any retiring officer is eligible to stand for re-election. In the event that there is no candidate for a post or a post falls vacant during the year, the Committee will have the discretion to fill the post as they see fit, until the next AGM. The Committee will have the power to co-opt up to two (2) other ordinary members to help to inform their decisions. Any co-opted member(s) shall not be entitled to vote. The quorum for Committee meetings shall be 4 members. Decisions will be taken by a simple majority of voting members. The Chairman will have a casting vote in addition to his or her normal vote. Committee meetings will take place on a regular basis, at intervals determined as efficient by the Committee. In the event that there is urgent business, 2 members of the Committee may request the Secretary to call a Special Committee Meeting (SCM). The SCM must take place within 14 days of the request being received by the Secretary. Minutes of all meetings will be kept and published to the membership once approved by posting on the Club Notice Board.The Committee will have the power to enter into all contracts and arrangements for all activities of the Club, purchases of equipment or services, insurance and banking arrangements save only that it pays regard to the financial solvency or otherwise of the Club.
- Extraordinary General Meeting
Exceptionally, an EGM may be called by the Committee, or by one-third of the number of ordinary members of the NBC, for purposes of considering any special or urgent matters. In the event of the request coming from the ordinary members, they must take their request in writing to the Secretary. The notice of the meeting must be published on the Club Notice Board, individually to members, giving at least 14 days' notice of the time and place of the meeting and of the subject of the meeting. The meeting may not discuss any other business but the subject notified. Any resolution put to the EGM must be determined by a simple majority of those members present at the meeting. The Chairman has a casting vote in addition to his or her ordinary vote.
The Rules of the Club are contained within this constitution and the Appendix attached to it. The Club also adopts the rules for playing contract bridge as published by the EBU.
- Suspension or Expulsion of Members
Exceptionally, members who are accused of bringing the Club into disrepute, or whose behaviour is considered unacceptable, may be asked to appear before the Committee at a hearing which will consider appropriate sanctions. The accusation must be supported by three members of the Club and made formally in writing, normally to the Chairman, or to another officer of the Committee. The hearing will take place within one calendar month, before three members of the Committee (called 'the Panel'). The composition of the Panel will be at the direction of the Chairman. The date of the hearing will be advised to the members,in writing, by post, giving at least 14 days' notice. The Panel will take evidence from the accusers and any other members of the Club, either in writing or orally. The accused member will be entitled and expected to attend but may decline to attend at his or her discretion. The accused member may be supported by any other member of the Club of his or her choice. The accused member will have the right to address the Committee and submit evidence, in writing or orally. The supporting member may address the hearing, but may not answer questions on behalf of the accused. The Panel will retire to discuss the evidence and will either give their verdict at the hearing, or within a stated time frame being no longer than seven days. The Panel will have the power to suspend membership for a stated period, or to expel the member permanently from the Club. The member will have the option to appeal the decision of the Panel. The appeal will be heard by three members of the Committee (the Appeal Panel) who were not members of the original Panel and who were not involved in any discussions of the proceedings. The composition of the Appeal Panel will be at the direction of the Chairman. The decision of the Appeal Panel will be final.
- Winding up
In the event that the number of fully paid up ordinary members falls below 10, the Committee will have the discretion to call an EGM and recommend the winding up of the Club. Funds permitting, the Committee will refund all the ordinary members a sum equivalent to the annual subscription. The assets of the Club shall be sold or otherwise disposed of, as the Committee sees fit and after deductions of all outstanding expenses, the balance in the accounts should be donated to the Gloucestershire Contract Bridge Association (GCBA).
- Definitions and Interpretations
The Committee will be the sole authority for interpretation of the Constitution and Rules and the terms contained therein. The Constitution and the Rules are binding upon all members, whether or not the member has received copies of the documents, or any notices of variations.
Amended September 2019.