Bristol Canoe Club Constitution

(Revised 1997 AGM)

1. Title

The club shall be called BRISTOL CANOE CLUB.

2. Aims

To encourage and support the sport of canoeing, especially in the City of Bristol, Avon and adjacent counties.

The club is committed to equal opportunities for all people, and fully endorses the British Canoe Union's Equal Opportunities Draft Policy Statement (included as Appendix A).

3. Membership

[a] General conditions for Full membership

Full membership is open to all canoeists provided that the applicant is able to swim at least 25 metres without a buoyancy aid, in light clothing. No one under the age of 18 may join without the consent of a parent or guardian. Full members must agree to abide by the Club Rules.

[a. i] Full Adult

Open to anyone over 18 who meets the general conditions for Full membership.

[a. ii] Full Youth

Open to anyone aged between 13 and 18 on Nov 1st, who meets the general conditions for Full membership.

[b] Other forms of membership

Other forms of membership are available. Conditions are specified in detail below. Note that all members must agree to abide by the Club Rules. These forms of membership are not deemed to be full membership and thus these classes of membership do not have voting rights. See Note 2.

[b. i] Associate membership

Available to paddlers, over 18, who live more than 50 miles from Bristol. In addition, they must be able to swim 25 metres in light clothing without a buoyancy aid.

[b. ii] Honorary membership

Extended to those who have contributed outstanding service to the Club. Offered initially for two years but may be extended for further two yearly periods.

[b. iii] Family membership

Available to the spouse and for children of a Full Adult member. Must be able to swim 25 metres in light clothing without a buoyancy aid. Children shall become Full members on reaching 18.

[b. iv] Temporary membership

Non members, who wish to participate in specific Club activities, may apply for Temporary membership. Applications for Temporary membership may be approved by any Committee member or the Duty officer. Temporary members shall pay such fees as are determined by the Committee.

[b. v] Social membership

Available to people who do not paddle but wish to enjoy aspects of Bristol Canoe Club. There are no restrictions on age or swimming ability. Social members are not permitted to use Club boats.

[b. vi] Concessionary membership

Available to paddlers who are full time students or who are unemployed at the time of applying. Suitable proof must be provided on application. Subscription fees being the same as for Youth membership.

[c] Election

[c. i] Applicants for membership must be sponsored by two paid up Full members and shall make written application on the proper form after studying the Constitution and Rules. Acceptance shall be governed by a majority vote of the Committee at its next meeting.

Note 1. Honorary members may only be elected by a unanimous vote of all current Committee members. Re-election should be at an Annual General Meeting.

Note 2. Social, Honorary, Family, Temporary, and Associate members are not deemed full members and are therefore ineligible for Committee posts or office and may not propose or second applications for membership neither do they have any voting powers at meetings. Honorary members who elect to pay the Full Adult subscription will gain eligibility for these rights.

All the above classes of membership shall be subject to a £1 joining fee and a £1 BCU affiliation fee if not already a member of the BCU.

[d] Application fees

Payable by all new applicants and by lapsed members. This payment is not required for renewals paid within the first month of the Club year.

4. Subscriptions

[a] Annual

These shall be decided upon and may only be altered by members in General Meeting. They shall become due on election and thereafter on November 1st each year. The Treasurer has the discretion to accept a half year's subscription, if a new applicant joins in the later part of the Club's year.

[b] Supplementary

These may be decided upon by members in General Meeting and shall be due immediately after the meeting. New members after this meeting may also be required to pay all or part of this subscription.

5. Cessation of membership

[a] If a member has failed to pay their Annual subscription by the next November 30th, or has failed to pay their Supplementary subscription within one month of its being due, or the next AGM if sooner, then they will have been deemed to have resigned from the Club.

[b] Any member may resign on giving written notice to the Secretary.

[c] Any member committing a serious breach of the Rules, or considered to have acted in a manner detrimental to the Club, may be required to explain their conduct to the Committee, who are empowered to suspend or expel such a member, should satisfactory explanation not be forthcoming. The decision must be a unanimous one, with all Committee members present, unless the member in question is one of the Committee, when all of the remaining members must be unanimous. A member so expelled or suspended may request a Special General Meeting (QV) and at it, appeal for re-instatement.

[d] No member may receive in part or in whole a subscription refund on cessation of membership.

6. Committee

[a] Composition

The Committee shall consist of a Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer, plus six other members. No officer may hold the same post for more than three years in succession.

[b] Eligibility for Election onto Committee

Candidates must be paid up FULL members (see note 3 under membership) and be proposed and seconded by two other paid up FULL members of the Club.

[c] Election

This must be by the vote of fully paid up members at the AGM. The election shall be for the period of one Club year, or until the next AGM.

[d] Meetings

At least four meeting shall take place annually and the records of these shall be signed by the Chairman or acting Chairman, and kept by the Secretary.

[e] Co-option onto Committee

The Committee may co-opt suitable paid up members to fill those vacancies either unfilled at the end of the AGM, or occurring during the Club year. All current Committee members must be in favour of the choice.

[f] The Committee shall be the sole authority for Club Rules.

7. General Meetings

[a] Annual General Meeting

The Committee must arrange the AGM for a convenient evening in the month of October (ref Special Meeting September 1982) at an accessible location in the City of Bristol. Written notice of such a meeting must be given to all current members at least three weeks in advance.

Reports shall be given at this meeting on the activities of the previous year, by the Committee members responsible, together with the presentation of duly audited accounts by the Treasurer.

Thereafter, the last duty of the existing Committee shall be the arrangement of election of a new Committee, plus up to two Official Auditors. The Auditors need not necessarily be members of the Club. No member of the new Committee shall be eligible for the post of Auditor.

[b] Special General Meetings

A Special General Meeting must be called at the joint written request to the Secretary of 25% of the Voting membership. The Secretary must then give at least three weeks notice of this meeting to all current members. Requests for Special General Meetings must reach the Secretary at least five weeks prior to the date that the meeting is to be held.

The Committee may call a Special General Meeting at any time provided that three weeks notice be given in writing to all members.

[c] Notes on General Meetings

[c. i] Not less than 25% of paid up voting members shall constitute a quorum.

[c. ii] Should a quorum not be present after one hour, the meeting may be dissolved and may be re-convened at the discretion of the Committee, provided that the members are given at least two weeks notice of the new date.

[c. iii] Accidental omission to give notice of a meeting to, or the non-receipt of, such notice by any member, shall not invalidate proceedings at that meeting.

8. Finance

[a] A proper set of accounts of all the Club's financial dealings shall be kept by the Treasurer, to the satisfaction of the Club Auditors(s).

[b] The Club's banking accounts shall be maintained at suitable financial institutions at the direction of the officers of the Club. All cheques drawn from the current account are to be signed by not less than two officers of the Club.

[c] Other than for minor expenses such as postage, etc, normally incurred by a duly authorised member in the execution of their duty, no more than 10 (20 in the case of Secretary or Editor) shall be expended from the Club's funds during the course of the year without the majority consent of the Committee.

[d] Transfer of money to and from the Club's reserves, together with the acquisition or disposal of assets, shall be by the full consent of all the Committee.

[e] The Committee or any officer of the club may not raise any form of loan without a majority vote at a General Meeting and the full consent of all the Committee.

9. Termination

Winding up the Club or any amendment to the provisions for winding up the Club, shall only be on the recommendation of the current Committee, plus two thirds majority vote taken in General Meeting (QV). Such a vote shall not take place unless due notice of intention to do so is circulated to all current members of the Club in writing at least three weeks prior to the meeting. In the event of such a resolution being passed, it shall be the duty of the existing Committee to make arrangements to capitalise all the Club's assets. The total assets and funds of the Club, once realised after all outstanding accounts have been settled, shall then be presented to the British Canoe Union for use as they think fit in the interests of the sport of canoeing.

10. Alteration to Constitution

Apart from the provisions for termination, any item in this constitution may only be altered by a two thirds majority vote of paid up Full members at a properly constituted General Meeting, full notice of that proposed change having been issued with notice of that meeting. Members proposing changes or amendments must notify the Secretary at least five weeks prior to the date of the meeting in order that the necessary arrangements may be made and notifications issued in time.

Appendix A

British Canoe Union Equal Opportunities Statement of Intent (Received Jan 1998).

A.1. The Policy

A.1.1 It is the aim of BCU policy to ensure that people from all sections of the community have genuinely equal opportunities to participate in canoeing at all levels. The BCU will take all appropriate and reasonable steps to remove barriers and obstacles to such equal opportunities.

A.1.2 The BCU is committed to the provisions of high quality services and activities in a way, which is fair to everyone. The BCU will continue to play an active role in canoeing and sport generally in the promotion of equal opportunities policies and practises.

A.1.3 The BCU will ensure that all present and potential members/employees receive equally favourable treatment, on their merits, irrespective of their age, colour, disability, ethnic origin, race, sexual orientation or gender.

A.1.4 In terms of activities, employment and service delivery, the BCU will not disadvantage any person by conditions or requirements, which can not be justified.

A. 2. Implementation

A. 2.1 In pursuance of its Equal Opportunities Policy, the BCU will continue to support positive action schemes for those sections of the community and its workforce, where groups are under-represented in aspects of the sport of canoeing or its organisational levels.

A. 2.2 The BCU Council will monitor the policy to ensure it is implemented and meets the needs of all sections of the community.

A. 3. Issuing of the Statement

A. 3.1 The statement is being issued to ensure that all members are aware of the BCU's Equal Opportunities Policy and the steps being taken by the BCU to monitor and review it. It is vital that all members/employees have a responsibility and a role to play in the promotion of equal opportunities.