WORTHING BRIDGE CLUB
Constitution approved at AGM 10th March 2018
1. THE CLUB
The Club shall be called “WORTHING BRIDGE CLUB”. The object of the Club is to provide the facilities for members to play bridge.
2. THE TRUSTEES
The property of the Club shall be legally vested in at least two Trustees who shall be members of the Club. The Trustees shall deal with the Club property according to the directions of the Management Committee and shall hold office for life, or until their resignation from office, or their membership of the Club, or until required to relinquish their office by a simple vote of members at a General Meeting. Any vacancy shall be filled at a General meeting.
The overall management of the Club shall be vested in a Management Committee
(hereinafter called “the Committee”) of twelve members including four Officers (Chairman,
Vice Chairman, Hon. Secretary, and Hon.Treasurer).
Officers and Committee members shall be elected by a ballot of the members present at
the Annual General Meeting of the Club.
Nominations for the election of Officers and Committee members must be in writing and
received by the Secretary at least ten days before the Annual General Meeting.
Nominations must be signed by a proposer and seconder and the nominees must also
sign to indicate their willingness to serve if elected. The names of all nominees shall be
displayed on the Club Notice Board for seven days prior to the Annual General Meeting.
The Officers and other Committee members shall retire annually but shall be eligible to
stand for re-election.
Five members of the Committee shall be a quorum.
The Committee shall be empowered:
To make such by-laws as considered necessary for the proper management and conduct of the club and its members
To form and dissolve Sub-Committees, with such duties and powers, as thought fit
To appoint a President (or not)
To co-opt members to fill any Committee vacancies occurring between Annual General Meetings
To determine the Annual Subscription, Joining Fee and Table Money and to authorize all Club expenditure
To nominate honorary members
To appoint and dismiss staff.
(g) The Chairman
At all General and Committee meetings the Chairman, or in his/her absence, the Vice
Chairman, shall preside. Failing this, the Committee shall elect a member of the
Committee to preside.
(h) Honorary Secretary
The Secretary is responsible for:
Calling meetings of the Club and Committee and keeping minutes of such
Dealing with all correspondence and keeping Secretarial records
Undertaking other work relating to the Club as requested by the Committee.
(i) Honorary Treasurer
The Treasurer is responsible for:
Receiving all monies due to the Club
Making payments due from the Club which are authorized by the Committee
Keeping records of accounts and preparing financial statements as necessary
4. MEETINGS OF THE COMMITTEE
Decisions at any meeting shall be decided by a majority of votes. In the event of a tie, the Chairman shall have a casting vote. The first meeting of the Committee must be held within one month of its election and at the first meeting the Committee shall appoint:
(a) A Membership Secretary whose duties are to maintain a record of names, addresses, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers and to notify all applicants of their election/non-election.
(b) An Appeals Sub Committee consisting of one Officer and two experienced Club members whose duties are to consider, resolve and recommend their findings to the Committee on any appeal from a Club member involving the play, direction or application of the current edition of the laws of Duplicate Bridge
(c) A Wine Sub-Committeeconsisting of three members, of whom at least one must also be a member of the Committee, and whose duties are to purchase and supply bar items, to oversee the running of the bar and hold stock checks, and to recommend any variation in bar prices to the Committee.
Applicants for membership shall be proposed and seconded by two members on the application form, which must be countersigned by a Committee member or a Club Tournament Director. The application form shall be passed to the MembershipSecretary. Names of proposed members will be displayed on the Club notice board for seven days prior to consideration by the Committee. The election of members is vested solely in the Committee and is for a probationary period of six months.Applicants shall be notified in writing of their election or non-election. On receipt of the official notification of election, the new member shall pay the joining fee and the appropriate subscription, within one month. If these monies are not paid within one month, the election shall become void, unless the member can justify the delay to the satisfaction of the Committee.
Any member wishing to resign should give notice in writing to the Membership Secretary.
(c) Members’ Conduct
(i) Each member of the Club shall be required in connection with the game of Duplicate Contract Bridge, to conform to the standards of fair play, courtesy and personal deportment prescribed by the Bye Laws and regulations for the time being of the EBU.
(ii)The Club shall have the powers and the procedures for the enforcement of the requirement in clause 5(c)(i). They are set out in the Schedule of the Constitution, and shall stand as part of the Constitution and be subject to the same provisions of the Constitution for its amendment.
A current register of full members, under the rules of current Data Protection legislation,referring to Clubs, shall be held in the membership database and shall be regarded as the definitive record of membership for voting purposes.
(a) Financial Year
The Club’s financial year shall be from the 1st January to the 31st December each year.
The annual subscription shall be payable on the 1st January. If a subscription is not paid by 31 March then the membership lapses. The Committee may reinstate a member on satisfactory explanation of non-payment. Any member elected to the Club during the year shall pay a proportion of the annual subscription determined by the number of whole months remaining in that year.
(c) Drawing of Cheques
All cheques drawn on the Club’s Bank and Building Society accounts must be signed by at least one authorised signatory who is a Management Committee member. The Committee can decide the monetary level above which a cheque must be countersigned by a second authorised signatory.
The Accounts of the Club, made up to the 31st December each year, must be audited annually by an Auditor elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Club. The Auditor may not be a member of the Committee.
(a) Annual General Meeting (AGM)
The AGM of the Club shall be held not later than the 31st March each year to conduct the following business:
(i) to read, and if thought fit, to confirm the minutes of the last AGM
(ii) to receive, and if thought fit, to adopt the Chairman’s report for the year
(iii) to receive, and if thought fit, to adopt the audited accounts and the Treasurer’s report
(iv) to elect Officers, Committee members and an Auditor
(v) to discuss and vote on any resolution which has been communicated to the Secretary and included in the notice of the meeting
(vi) to discuss, at the Chairman’s discretion, any other business raised from the floor but no vote shall be taken.
(b) Extraordinary General Meeting
An Extraordinary General Meeting may be convened at any time by the Secretary on behalf of the Committee or on receipt of a request in writing signed by at least twelve members of the Club, stating the specific business to be discussed. Depending on the matter raised the Chairman has the discretion, with support from the Committee, to decide whether the issue(s) raised demand the formality of an EGM or are sufficiently straightforward that they could be settled satisfactorily through a majority vote by email or mail. This does not apply to changes under Sections 8 and 9.
(c) Notice of General Meetings
(i) Notice of both Annual and Extraordinary General Meetings shall be displayed on the Club Notice Board at least 28 days prior to the date of the meeting and such display shall be deemed sufficient notice to all members.
(ii) Any member wishing to propose any resolution at the AGM must give written notice of such resolution, setting out its terms, to the Secretary at least 21 days before the meeting and such resolution must be signed by the proposer and seconder. Such resolution must be displayed on the Club Notice Board on receipt by the Secretary.
(iii) Any member wishing to propose an amendment to any such resolution must give written notice of such amendment, setting out its terms, to the Secretary at least 10 days before the meeting and such amendment must be signed by the proposer and seconder. Any such amendment must be displayed on the Club Notice Board on receipt by the Secretary. No further amendments may be tabled at the General meeting.
(iv) The quorum for any General meeting shall be twenty members.
Every member present at a General meeting has one vote on each motion. The result will be decided by a simple majority of votes cast as defined in section 4, with the exception of matters dealt with under sections 8 and 9.
8. AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
Any change to this constitution can only be made by a resolution passed by at least two thirds of the members present at a General meeting. The notice of any meeting must contain the particulars of the proposed change(s).
(a) The Club shall continue to exist until otherwise decided by a vote of at least 75% of members present and voting at a General meeting called for the specific purpose of considering such a proposal and attended by not less than one third of the total membership.
(b) The proceeds realized from the assets, after discharge of all liabilities, are to be disposed of by the Committee as instructed by resolutions passed at a General meeting called for that purpose.
Visitors and guests are welcome. A member may introduce friends as visitors to the Club subject to a maximum of six visits by the same person in any period of twelve months. The member shall write the guest’s name and address in the Visitors Book and shall be responsible for their guest in all respects. No person who has been rejected as a candidate for membership of the Club or who has been expelled from the Club shall be eligible to be introduced as a visitor.
(b) Club Property
Members shall be held responsible for any damage that they may cause to Club property. No property of the Club may be removed from the Club premises without the authority of a Committee Officer.
No notice or any other display shall be exhibited on the Club Notice Board or on the Club premises without the authority of a Committee Officer.
Smoking is not permitted on the Club premises.
Dogs, with the exception of bona fide assistance dogs, shall not be allowed on the Club premises.
(f) Personal Property
The Club shall not be responsible for the personal belongings or property of a member or visitor whilst on the Club premises.
The Club shall not be responsible for cars or any other vehicles belonging to a member or visitor whilst in the Club grounds.
All complaints relating to the Club, its activities, its members or its staff should be made in writing to the Secretary who shall raise the correspondence at the next meeting of the Committee.
Staff discipline, training and terms of employment, so far as they do not contravene statutory requirements, shall be controlled by the Committee.
The Committee shall determine Club letting charges and authorise the letting of the facilities.
The Committee shall be indemnified by the Club against all claims, charges and costs arising from the proper discharge of their authorised duties.
(l) Alcoholic Drinks
The Club is licensed for the sale of alcoholic drinks to members and their guests. The permitted hours are from:
12 noon to 23.00 hours Monday to Saturday
12 noon to 23.00 hours Sunday and Good Friday
The Club is closed on Christmas Day
No one under the age of 18 years will be supplied with or permitted to consume alcoholic drinks on Club premises.
The headings within this constitution are for the ease of reference only and are not to be taken into account in the interpretation of the constitution.
10th March 2018
Section 7(b) amended May 2018
Handling Complaints and Schedule of Disciplinary Procedures
Worthing Bridge Club publishes a Code of Conduct to which all members must adhere. When problems arise at the table, members must call the Tournament Director (TD). TDs have the authority to issue disciplinary penalties for anything that breaks the Code of Conduct. In extreme cases the TD can suspend a player from a session (EBU Law 91). There is an Appeals procedure for this. (See Section 4(b) of the Constitution).
Where a member has not taken up an issue with the TD at the time, complaint self-management is the next step. The person with the complaint should talk to the other person to try to resolve the issue. If this does not work, or it is inappropriate, informal or formal procedures are invoked:
All complaints must be in writing. At the Chairman’s discretion, and with the involvement of at least one other Committee member, minor misconduct will be dealt with informally if possible, with the emphasis on resolution.
When it is not possible or appropriate to resolve matters informally, or when an informal approach has not worked, the Schedule of Disciplinary Procedures is then put into place:
Requirements of the Schedule
This Schedule is referred to under clause 5(c)(ii) of the Constitution of the Worthing Bridge Club (hereafter referred to as the Club) and prescribes the powers and procedures for enforcement. It will comply with and follow the EBU disciplinary procedures and any variations thereof that are made from time to time. The Club shall act through its Conduct and Disciplinary Committees for the enforcement of standards prescribed in clause 5(c)(i) of the Constitution. The Club shall have additional powers as set out in the clauses below.
Receipt of allegation
Any person making a complaint against one or more members of the Club under the terms of clause 5(c) of the Constitution, must do so in writing to the Secretary or the Chairman of the Club. Normally no action will be taken in respect of a complaint relating to an alleged offence which occurred three months or more prior to a formal complaint in writing made to the appropriate officer.
The Committee of the Club shall appoint its Conduct Committee through its powers to appoint sub committees under clause 3(f)(ii) of the Constitution. The Conduct Committee shall be responsible for investigating complaints against the Club’s members and to determine whether a disciplinary offence should be referred to the Club’s Disciplinary Committee. The Conduct Committee shall consist of no fewer than three members of the Club and no more than five. A quorum for any meeting shall be three of its members. It shall act by simple majority vote and its appointed chairman, or whomsoever in his absence the Conduct Committee shall select to chair its meeting, shall have a second, or casting vote in the event that there is parity of voting.
The Committee of the Club shall appoint the Disciplinary Committee through its powers to appoint sub committees under clause 3(f)(ii) of the Constitution. The Disciplinary Committee shall determine sanctions for offences admitted by the defendant, hear charges of offences and determine whether those charges are proved and, if proved, to determine the sanction to be imposed. The Disciplinary Committee shall consist of no fewer than three members of the Club and no more than five. At least three of its members must be present when it makes a decision to uphold a complaint and impose sanctions on the offending member. It shall act by simple majority vote and its appointed chairman, or whomsoever in his absence the Disciplinary Committee shall select to chair its meeting, shall have a second, or casting vote in the event that there is parity of voting.
Conflicts of Interest and Independence of the Conduct and Disciplinary Committees
Any member of either the Conduct or Disciplinary Committee who is in any way personally involved in the allegations within a complaint will be disqualified from participating in either Committee’s handling of the complaint. A member of the Club cannot be a member of both the Conduct and Disciplinary Committees.
6. The Complaints Process
Subject to the provisions of clause 2 hereof where a written complaint is made, or a matter otherwise comes to the attention of the Conduct Committee, it shall first consider whether such complaint or matter falls within the scope of the Disciplinary Rules and whether further action is warranted. If it does, the Conduct Committee shall first write to the Defendant, seeking the Defendant’s comments on the substance of the complaint or matter that has been raised. The Conduct Committee shall also be entitled to make such further investigations and enquiries as it in its absolute discretion considers appropriate. The Conduct Committee shall also be entitled to seek advice both from within the Club and from the EBU Laws and Ethics Committee, and to obtain external legal advice.
6.2.Complaint not justified
If the Conduct Committee decides that the complaint is not justified, all parties shall be notified and the matter ended.
If the Conduct Committee decides that the complaint is justified, it may, in its absolute discretion, offer a verbal caution to the offending member, which if accepted, ends the matter.
If the caution is not accepted by the offending member, or the Conduct Committee does not feel a caution is appropriate, it shall refer the case to a hearing by the Disciplinary Committee. The Defendant shall be notified, in writing, within two weeks of this decision and of his right to make a written submission to the Disciplinary Committee and to attend the hearing. The Defendant shall have the right to be represented by legal counsel of his choice or may be accompanied by a person to speak on his behalf. The Disciplinary Committee shall give at least two weeks’ notice of the hearing to the Defendant.
6.4.Disciplinary Committee’s Sanctions
If after the hearing the complaint is upheld, the Disciplinary Committee may in its absolute discretion:
Give a written reprimand to the offending member(s),or
Suspend the offending member(s) from all or some of the competitions sponsored or licensed by the Club for such period as it shall determine, or
Expel the offending member(s) from the Club.
If the complaint is against a member of the Committee then in addition to any other sanctions applied, the Disciplinary Committee shall have the power to suspend such member from the Club’s Committee and any of its sub committees for such a period that it shall determine. Any sanctions imposed by the Disciplinary Committee must be communicated to the offending member(s) in writing within twenty one days of the hearing. Any Sanction imposed by the Disciplinary Committee shall take effect as soon as time for appeal has elapsed except that if the Defendant has filed Notice of Appeal within the time allowed the Sanction shall not take effect until such Appeal has been determined.
Every Defendant found guilty of an offence by the Club Disciplinary Committee has the right to appeal to the SCCBA Disciplinary Committee. Appeals must be in writing and lodged with the Secretary of the Association within twenty one days of the written communication of the Club’s Disciplinary Committee’s decision to the Defendant.
6.6. Referral to the EBU Laws & Ethics Committee
At any time the SCCBA Disciplinary Committee may refer a complaint to the EBU Laws & Ethics Committee for its consideration. In doing so the SCCBA Disciplinary Committee shall have fully discharged its responsibilities under this Schedule.
A summary record of each case covering date, members involved, indictment, verdict and sanction(s) applied shall be created. The summary records of each case and related papers shall be retained securely and permanently in a case file and case files shall be passed from Conduct Committee Chair to Conduct Committee Chair.All case files shall be retained securely until the death of all of the parties involved.When the sanction(s) to be applied to a repeat offender is/are being considered, the relevant case record(s) and files(s) shall be made available to those concerned by the Conduct Committee Chair.
10th March 2018