Constitution

This Consititution was adopted at a General Meeting of Members on 7 February 2018.

Section 1: General Provisions

1.1 The name of the Club shall be ‘The Finchley Victoria Bowling and Croquet Club’.

1.2 The objectives of the Club are to provide facilities for and to promote participation in the amateur sports of outdoor flat green bowls and croquet for the benefit of the community, particularly in the London Borough of Barnet and in the area of Victoria Park, Finchley.

1.3 The Club shall be affiliated to Bowls England and the English Croquet Association, and may affiliate to local and regional associations with similar objectives to the Club.

1.4 The Club shall adopt and conform to the rules and regulations governing the sports of lawn bowls and croquet as set out by Bowls England and the English Croquet Association.

1.5 The management of the Club shall be vested in the Officers and members of the Executive Committee who shall be appointed by members as provided for in Section 3 of this constitution.

Section 2: Membership

2.1 The Club shall have different categories of membership and subscription on a non-discriminatory and fair basis. Each member shall pay the subscription set out for the appropriate category of membership and shall have voting rights at General Meetings of the Club according to that category. The Club shall maintain a register of the names of members with their contact details and it shall be the duty of a member to notify any change in those details.

2.2 There shall be the following categories of membership:

(a) A Full Playing Member, who shall pay the Full Member’s subscription and who is over the age of eighteen, shall have one vote.

(b) A Junior Member, who shall pay the Junior Member’s subscription and who is under the age of eighteen, shall have no vote.

(c) An Honorary Life Member, who shall pay no subscription, shall have one vote. Such member shall be nominated to this category of membership by the Executive Committee and the nomination be approved by members in General Meeting.

(d) A Social Member, who shall pay the Social Member’s subscription, shall have no vote.

2.3 The rights and privileges of each category of membership:

(a) A Full Playing Member shall have the full use of all Club facilities in accordance with Rules set out by the Committee and any necessary affiliation fees to other organisations or associations shall be paid by the Club.

(b) A Junior Member shall have the use of all Club facilities at such days and times as shall be determined by the Committee having regard to appropriate safeguarding provisions, and any necessary affiliation fees shall be paid by the Club.

(c) An Honorary Life Member shall have the full use of all the Club facilities and any necessary affiliation fees shall be paid by the Club.

(d) A Social Member shall have the use of the Clubhouse facilities and the open areas surrounding the Clubhouse but not the use of the playing areas.

2.4 Membership Applications, Fees and Subscriptions:

(a) The joining fee (if any) and subscription rate for each category of membership shall be proposed by the Committee to the members at the Annual General Meeting and shall be approved by a majority of those Members entitled to vote who are present and voting.

(b) All members shall pay the Joining Fee (if applicable) and their annual subscription upon admission to the Club and thereafter by 1 May in each year. The Committee shall have discretion to apportion the subscription for the first year of membership.

(c) An application for membership shall be in the form prescribed by the Committee and shall include the name, address and contact details of the
applicant. The admission to membership of all classes of members is vested in the Committee and shall be by a simple majority vote of those on the Committee present and voting.

(d) The Committee may refuse applications only for good cause such as conduct likely to bring the Club into disrepute. The total number of members of the Club may however be limited on a non-discriminatory basis according to available facilities. Any written appeal against refusal of membership shall be referred by the Committee to a General Meeting of members.

(e) Upon admission a new member shall be furnished with a copy of this Constitution and any Club rules then in force and shall pay within one calendar month such fees as shall be requested. In default of such payment the admission shall be void unless sufficient cause for delay be shown.

(f) A member who resigns during the course of a year shall not be entitled to any refund of membership fees paid for that year.

(g) The Committee may cancel the membership of any member whose annual subscription is more than one month in arrears provided that the Committee may at its discretion re-instate such member upon payment of arrears. No member whose annual subscription is in arrears may vote at any meeting.

2.5 Every member shall furnish the Honorary Secretary with up-to-date contact details that shall be recorded in the Register of Members. Any notice sent to a member’s address either by post or electronically shall be deemed to have been duly delivered. Subject to any necessary provisions for data protection a list of the names of members together with their addresses and telephone numbers shall be available in the Club premises.

2.6 Conduct of Members:

(a) Every member, upon election and thereafter, is deemed to have notice of, and undertakes to comply with the terms of this Constitution and any Rules notified to members by the Committee.

(b) A complaint by a member about the conduct of another member shall only be considered if submitted in writing to the President (or in his/her absence, the Vice-President), who shall proceed in accordance with the provisions in the annex to this constitution.

(c) Should any Member be expelled from the Club he/she shall not be entitled to have any part of the annual membership fee refunded and must return any property belonging to the Club.

2.7 Membership of the Club will be deemed to constitute consent to the holding of relevant personal data for the purposes of the Data Protection Act.

Section 3: General Meetings of Members

3.1 Annual General Meetings

(a) An Annual General Meeting of the members of the Club shall be held in each year and not more than 15 months after the preceding Annual General Meeting. The Honorary Secretary shall send to all members, not less than twenty-one days before the date of the meeting, notice of the date, time and place of the meeting and the business to be brought forward at the meeting.

(b) At the Annual General Meeting members shall elect the Officers and Committee of the Club and receive the report of the Committee and approve the accounts of the Club.

(c) At the Annual General Meeting members shall elect an Independent Examiner of the Club’s accounts. The Independent Examiner may be a member of the Club but shall not be an officer or member of the Committee.

(d) No business, except receiving the report of the Committee, the approval of the accounts and the election of the Officers, Committee and Independent Examiner, shall be discussed at the Annual General Meeting unless notice thereof be given in writing by a member entitled to vote to the Honorary Secretary at least twenty eight days before the date of the Annual General Meeting and such business be included in the notice of meeting.

3.2. Special General Meetings

(a) The Committee may at any time, upon giving not less than twenty one days notice in writing, call a Special General Meeting of members for any special business, the nature of which shall be stated in the notice of meeting, and the discussion at such meeting shall be confined to the business stated in the notice.

(b) The Committee shall call a Special General Meeting upon a written request addressed to the Honorary Secretary signed by at least five members. The Committee shall meet within fourteen days of such request and within a further fourteen days give notice to members of such Special General Meeting. Such Special General Meeting shall be held not less than fourteen days nor more than twenty-eight days after the issuing of notice of meeting. The discussion at such meeting shall be confined to the business stated in the notice sent to members.

3.3. Procedure at General Meetings

(a) At every General Meeting the President of the Club shall take the Chair or in his/her absence, a Chair elected by a majority of those present shall preside.

(b) Playing Members and Honorary Life Members are entitled to attend and vote at any General Meeting. Five such members personally present shall form a quorum. Junior Members and Social Members may attend and speak at General Meetings but are not entitled to vote.

(c) Voting shall be by show of hands unless a poll be demanded by one third of those present and entitled to vote. In the case of an equality of votes the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.

3.4 Any changes to this constitution must be approved by a majority vote of at least two-thirds of Members entitled to vote present and voting at a General Meeting. The proposed changes shall be included in the notice of meeting.

Section 4: The Committee

4.1 Membership of the Committee

(a) The Committee shall comprise the Officers of the Club and not fewer than three nor more than seven other members, elected by members at the Annual General Meeting. All Officers and Committee members shall be Full Playing Members or Honorary Life Members of the Club. All Officers and Committee members shall hold their offices and membership of the Committee for one year but shall be eligible for re-election.

(b) The Officers of the Club shall be the President, Vice-President, Captain of Bowls, Captain of Croquet, Vice-Captain of Bowls, Vice-Captain of Croquet, the Honorary Secretary and the Honorary Treasurer.

(c) Nominations for persons to be Officers and members of the Committee shall be made in writing with the names of the proposer and seconder and the consent of the person nominated and shall be delivered to the Honorary Secretary not less than seven days before the date of the Annual General Meeting.

(d) If, for any reason, a casual vacancy shall occur amongst the Officers or elected members of the Committee the Committee may co-opt another eligible person to fill such a vacancy until the next following Annual General Meeting. Any such co-opted member shall be entitled to vote in the Committee.

(e) The Committee may at its discretion co-opt other members, but such additional members shall not be entitled to vote in Committee.

4.2 Committee Meetings

(a) The Committee shall meet as necessary and, in any event, not less than six times in any one year, making such arrangements as to the conduct, place of assembly and holding of such meetings as it may wish.

(b) Except in cases of emergency seven days notice of a Committee meeting shall be given to Committee members by the Honorary Secretary.

(c) The President shall act as Chairman of the Committee. In his/her absence from a meeting members of the Committee shall elect a Chairman from among their number at the meeting.

(d) Any conflict of interest must be declared to the Chairman prior to the start of the meeting. The Chairman shall determine if the person may remain in the meeting and/or vote when the item is discussed.

(e) Five members personally present shall form a quorum at any meeting of the Committee. Voting shall be by show of hands of those present at the meeting. In the case of equality of votes the Chairman of the meeting shall be entitled to a second and casting vote.

4.3 Powers of the Committee

(a) The Committee shall manage the affairs of the Club and shall cause the funds of the Club to be applied solely to meet the objectives of the Club.

(b) The Committee shall keep accounts and prepare a statement of accounts and an annual report to be presented to members at each Annual General Meeting.

(c) The Committee may issue Rules to members of the Club to regulate the use of the Club’s facilities. Such Rules and a copy of this Constitution shall be available at the clubhouse for inspection by members.

(d) In particular the Committee shall ensure that the property and funds of the Club shall not be used for the private benefit of members other than may be reasonably allowed by any Rules issued by the Committee. No surplus of funds or assets shall be distributed to members or third parties.

(e) The Committee shall manage the club in a manner, which enables it to be registered as a Community Amateur Sports Club within the meaning of the Finance Acts.

(f) The Committee may appoint such sub-committees as it may deem necessary and may delegate such of its powers as it may think fit upon such terms and conditions as shall be deemed expedient and/or required by the law. The Committee may nominate trustees to hold the property of the club on the terms set out in Section 5 of this Constitution.

(g) A member of the Committee, of a sub-committee or any member of the Club, in transacting business for the Club, shall disclose to third parties that they are so acting. No one shall, without the express authority of the Committee, borrow money or incur debts on behalf of the Club or its membership.

(h) The Committee may nominate for election as Honorary Life Member any person whose services in the interests of the Club are in the Committee’s opinion such as to have merited this distinction. Such nomination shall be approved by members at a General Meeting.

(i) The Committee shall have the power to implement any recommendation made to it under the provisions of the Annex to this Constitution, including the powers of suspension and expulsion from membership.

(j) The Committee shall endeavour to ensure that the following clause is incorporated in every contract, lease, licence or other agreement entered into by the Committee and/or Trustees nominated under Section 5 of this Constitution: “The liability of the [Committee/Trustees] for the performance of any contractual or other obligation undertaken by them on behalf of the Club shall be limited to the assets of the Club from time to time.”

Section 5: Trustees

5.1 From time to time the Committee may nominate three trustees, of whom the President shall normally be one, from among the Full Playing or Honorary Members who are willing to be so nominated. The Committee may at any time remove a trustee.

5.2 All the property of the Club, including land and investments shall be held by the trustees for the time being, in their own names so far as it is necessary
and practicable, on trust for the use and benefit of the Club. In the event of the death, resignation, or removal from office of a trustee, the Committee shall nominate a new trustee in his/her place, and shall as soon as possible thereafter take all lawful and practicable steps to procure the vesting of all Club property into the names of the trustees as constituted after such nomination.

5.3 The trustees shall in all respects act in regard to any property of the Club
held by them in accordance with the directions of the Committee, which shall be recorded in the minutes of the proceedings of the Committee, and they shall be indemnified by the Club from any liability, costs, expenses and payments properly incurred or made by them in the exercise of their duties or relation to any property of the Club vested in them.

Section 6: Dissolution of the Club

6.1 If, at any General Meeting of the Club, a resolution were passed calling for the dissolution of the Club, the Secretary shall immediately convene a Special
General Meeting to be held not less than one month thereafter to discuss and vote on the resolution.

6.2 If, at that Special General Meeting, the resolution for dissolution is carried by at least two-thirds of the Members present, the Committee shall as soon as practicable realise the assets of the Club and discharge all debts and liabilities of the Club.

6.3 If upon the dissolution of the Club there remains after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities any property whatsoever, the same shall not be paid to or distributed amongst the members of the Club but shall be given to one or more of the following:

(a) to another Club with similar sports purposes which is a charity and/or

(b) to another Club with similar sports purposes which is a registered Community Amateur Sports Club and/or

(c) to be divided equally between Bowls England and the Croquet Association for use by them in related community sports.

Section 7: Transitional arrangements

7.1 The Officers and Committee appointed under the former constitution of the Club shall continue to form the Committee of the Club until elections are held under this Constitution at the next Annual General Meeting following the adoption of this Constitution.

Annex: proceedings relating to a complaint about a member

1. A complaint by a member about the conduct of another member shall only be considered if submitted in writing to the President (or in his/her absence, the Vice-President), who shall consider whether there is a case to answer.
2. If the President decides that the issue could appropriately be dealt with by mediation he/she shall determine how and by whom such mediation shall be conducted and the result of such mediation shall be final and confidential.
3. In the event of the failure of mediation or if the President decides that more formal action is necessary he/she shall without delay convene a panel from the Officers or Committee members of the Club to hear the issue and to make recommendations to the Committee. The panel shall comprise three persons including the President or Vice-President who shall chair the panel.
4. The member about whom the complaint is made shall be informed in writing that a hearing is to be held and advised in writing of the specific terms of the complaint. He/she shall be offered the option of three dates for the hearing and told whom the panel members will be. He/she shall be advised that he/she shall be entitled to make his/her case as he/she he sees fit, may call any witnesses and may be accompanied by an adviser. If the panel considers it desirable, the member making the complaint may be invited to attend and the parties may be permitted to question each other as well as answer questions from the panel.
5. At the end of the hearing and in the absence of the parties to the complaint, the panel shall immediately consider what action, if any, to recommend should be taken by the Committee. The panel shall report its findings to the parties within 48 hours of the hearing with details of any sanction that is being recommended.
6. If either party is not satisfied with the decision of the panel then he/she may appeal within fourteen days to the President (or in his/her absence, the Vice- President). The President shall then arrange for a further hearing before the Committee under the same procedure as set out in paragraph 5 above.
7. Panel and Committee members shall disclose at the hearing in the presence of the person complained of any interest or prior knowledge they have relating to the issue, and all proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with the principles of natural justice.
8. Either on the recommendation of the panel or after a hearing arranged under the provisions of paragraph 5 above the Committee shall decide what sanction, if any, shall be imposed on the member whose conduct has been the subject of the complaint.
9. The Committee’s decision shall be final, but a member who is dissatisfied with the decision shall have the right to address members of the club on the matter at the next following General Meeting of members.