Constitution

Please note: This is a draft Constitution and will be updated once the committee has been finalised.

 

CONSTITUTION

The club is called The SW Devon Business Networking Club.

  1. Objects
    The Club has been formed so that representatives of Member Businesses may meet from time to time to pursue matters of mutual interest and benefit.
  2. Size of membership
    There will be no limit as to the size of the group but the Committee reserves the right to limit this in the future should this become necessary.
  3. Limited area
    Membership is limited to businesses located or substantially operating in the SW Devon Area including the local authority areas of  West Devon, South Hams, Plymouth and Teignbridge. Each Member Business may be represented by no more than two individuals at each meeting of the Club.
  4. Subscription
    4.1   A subscription of £ 25 (or as determined by the committee from time to time) is payable by the member on joining and at the annual meeting each year.
    4.2   The committee may cancel the membership of any member whose subscription is 3 months or more in arrears.
    4.3   A subscription of  £7 (or as determined by the committee from time to time) is payable by each representative on  attending a meeting
    4.4   Non members may attend three times before joining as members with a fee payable for attendance of £10 (or as determined by the committee from time to time) per meeting until they join as members.
  5. Committee
    5.1   The committee must consist of not more than 9 members from which number a chair, a treasurer and a secretary to be the officers of the club must be chosen.
    5.2   The committee must elect and may remove these officers.
  6. First committee
    The members of the first committee are:
    Chair:  Mandy Lilley SW Law Solicitors
    Treasurer: TBA
    Secretary: TBA
    Other Committee Members: Pete Dobbins FSB. Others TBA
  7. Powers of committee
    The committee is responsible for running the club and may make and change any rules it feels are needed to ensure that the club runs smoothly.
  8. Guests
    8.1   Guest speakers may be invited to the club’s meetings.
    8.2   Other guests may be invited on up to 3 occasions during any calendar year.
  9. Members’ expenses
    Each Member Business and/or its representative(s) must pay their own expenses.
  10. Speaker’s expenses
    The committee may pay a speaker a reasonable fee and travelling expenses whether out of the subscription money or by making a charge for any meeting to which a speaker is invited to defray these expenses.
  11. Other activities
    The Club may engage in other activities not inconsistent with a business club.
  12. First members and new members
    12.1  The names and addresses (and email addresses) of the first Member Businesses must be entered in a Register which must be kept for the purpose by the secretary. The Register must also record the name(s) of the individual representative nominated by the Member Business to vote on its behalf.
    12.2  No other business may become a member unless the application is accepted by a unanimous resolution of the committee or by 2/3rds majority of the Member Businesses.
    12.3  Upon acceptance of an invitation by a prospective Member Business its name must be entered in the Register with the particulars referred to in 13.1 above.
  13. Bank account
    13.1  A bank account must be opened in the name of the club.
    13.2  At least three officers of the Club or Committee Members must be authorised by a resolution of the committee to sign cheques, and a mandate given to the bank accordingly. Each cheque or payments authorisation must be signed by two such officers of Committee Members
    13.3  A copy of the authorising resolution signed by the member who is chair at the time the resolution is passed is sufficient authority to the bank.
  14. Annual and general meetings
    14.1  The annual meeting of the club must be held not later than 31st October in each year.
    14.2  The meeting must be convened by notice in writing sent either by email or by post to each Member at the address entered in the register of members at least 21 days
    14.3  The secretary must, on a written request from at least 5 Member Businesses, convene a general meeting within 28 days to consider the matters raised in the request.
    14.4  A general meeting must be convened in the same manner as the annual meeting.
  15. Conduct of annual and general meetings
    At any annual or general meeting:
    15.1  the club chair must chair the meeting and (except as otherwise provided in clause 19) in the event of any vote the manner of the vote and its declaration are his sole responsibility,
    15.2  the chair and the treasurer must present brief reports, and
    15.3  any Member Business may by its representative raise any matter, subject at all times to the decision of the chair.
  16. Retirement of committee members
    16.1  At each annual meeting all the Committee Members must retire
    16.2  Retiring Committee Members are eligible for re-election.
  17. Nominations for committee
    17.1  Nominations for the committee must be in writing and reach the secretary not less than 7 days before the annual meeting.
    17.2  Each nomination must be made by at least 2 Member Businesses and the individual nominated must have agreed to stand.
    17.3  The secretary must prepare voting papers to be distributed at the meeting.
    17.4  The papers must state the number of vacancies to be filled, the names of the retiring Committee Members who wish to offer themselves for re-election and the names of the persons nominated to stand for election to the committee.
    17.5  Each Member Business is entitled to vote by its authorised representative making a mark against the names of those persons she wishes to fill the vacancies, folding the voting paper and handing it in.
    17.6  The votes for each name must be counted, and the vacancies must be filled by those with most votes.
    17.7  In the event of a tie, the decision must be made by lot.
    17.8  If there are no nominations, then the retiring Committee Members who have offered themselves for re-election must be declared re-elected.
  18. Expulsion of members
    If at any General meeting two-thirds or more of the members present decide that a Member Business is not attending at least 50% of the club’s events over a 12-month period, its membership may be cancelled by the meeting.
  19. Surplus funds
    If at any annual meeting the club has surplus funds in hand, the members present may by a simple majority decide to donate them to a nominated charity.
  20. Disposal of funds on dissolution
    If the club is dissolved or discontinued, the balance in the bank after payment of all expenses must be given to a charity or charities nominated by the last committee.
  21. Alteration of constitution
    No alteration of or addition to this constitution may be made except by a resolution carried by a majority of at least two-thirds of the Member Businesses who are present at a general meeting the notice of which contained particulars of the proposed alteration or addition.