Constitution

Mildenhall Naturist Swimming Club

As amended 25 November 2018

This constitution broadly follows the advice, and much of the wording, recommended by the Charity Commission for the constitution of a charitable association.

Constitutions are always horribly boring documents but they are important. It does fit comfortably onto 2 sides of A4 so it could be worse. Constitutions provide valuable protection against things going wrong.

This constitution was adopted at the first AGM held on 5 October 2002 and includes subsequent amendments.

Constitution Commentary

Name

1. The name of the association shall be Mildenhall Naturist Swimming Club.

Obvious, but essential.

Objects

2. The object of the association shall be to promote health and well-being by providing facilities for naturist sport and recreation to anybody who is eligible for membership. The affairs of the association shall be conducted as far as practicable as if it is a charity.

This is what the association aims to do. 'Objects' is a technical term.

Membership

3. Any adult may apply for membership. Membership is not available to registered sex offenders. Anyone who has had membership or attendance of a naturist event, club or organisation revoked or refused may only join at the discretion of the committee. Eligible persons become members by completing the membership application form, and paying the membership fee. The membership card is not issued until identification requirements (if any) have been met. A junior membership scheme may be offered, but junior members can not vote or be trustees. The membership fee and structure is determined by a general meeting.

The sex offender clause is recommended by BN. Obviously it can‘t guarantee anything, but it should deter offenders as the courts will take a very dim view of anyone offending against it.

The deferred issuing of cards allows joining by post without having to send identification through the post. We don‘t want to risk documents being lost in the post and ID is best verified face to face.

4. Membership may be terminated by:

(1) The resignation of the member.

(2) Membership may be suspended, and the membership card retained, at the discretion of any officer or the person nominated by the committee to officiate at a swim. It must be reviewed at the next meeting of the committee and the individual concerned has the right to be heard, accompanied by a friend if necessary, before a decision is made about permanent exclusion. If the exclusion is confirmed, then they will be added to the lists of people unwelcome at naturist events maintained by this club. Organisers of other naturist events and British Naturism may be informed at any stage in this process.

Standard provisions to ensure fairness and consent to being placed on a list as required by the Human Rights Act, GDPR and other legislation.

5. Members must comply with all safeguarding requirements.

Committee and trustees

6. The committee is elected at the annual general meeting and shall comprise chairman, treasurer, secretary and up to 4 ordinary members. Additional non-voting members may be co-opted. They take office, and the previous committee leaves office, at the end of the meeting. If a post becomes vacant for any reason then a replacement may be co-opted by the committee.

7. The chairman has a casting vote at both committee and general meetings in addition to his ordinary vote.

8. The committee are the trustees of the association.

9. Committee meetings can be called by the chairman or any 2 members of the committee, giving at least 2 weeks notice, or less if all committee members consent. The quorum is 2 or one third of the committee members, whichever is greater.

Standard stuff for committees.

Minutes and accounts

10. Minutes will be kept of all general and committee meetings. As a minimum, the agenda and the result of all votes will be recorded.

11. The committee shall ensure that adequate accounts are kept and a statement of account presented to the Annual General Meeting. The accounting requirements of the Charities Act 1993, relevant to the income/expenditure level of the association, where relevant shall be used as guidance.

12. The accounts shall be examined. The examiner may be a member of the association but not the committee.

13. The minutes, accounts and examiner’s report shall be open to inspection by any club member. However, a copy redacted where essential to maintain confidentiality can be supplied.

Ensure accountability and that the club can be run efficiently. There are sometimes legal and moral reasons why things have to be kept confidential.

Bank account(s)

14. Any bank account(s) in which any assets of the association are deposited shall be operated by the trustees and shall be held in the name of the association. All cheques and orders for the payment of money from such account shall be signed by at least two trustees, authorised by the committee.

Standard provision for security.

Annual and special general meetings

15. Special general meetings will be called by the committee at the request of one third of the membership or 10 members whichever is smaller, or at the discretion of the committee.

16. Annual general meetings will by called by the committee at intervals not exceeding 15 months.

17. Members shall be invited to submit motions at least 5 weeks before the annual general meeting. At least 3 weeks notice of the agenda, including motions, must be given to all members. Other business may be considered, and a vote taken, but the result is only advisory. Notice may be delivered by hand, by post, or electronically to the last recorded address.

18. The quorum shall be 7 members, or one-tenth of all the current members, whichever is more.

19. 21. All adult members have voting rights. A simple majority of the members present and voting is required for ordinary resolutions to be carried.

20. A report will be provided to the Annual General Meeting by each of the officers.

Normal procedures. The numbers, except the 15 months, are the Charity Commission recommendations. There is deliberately no lower time limit for AGMs. Postal and proxy voting is not appropriate for a small association such as this. The quorum is a difficult decision. These are the Charity Commission figures.

Affiliation

21. The association shall be a member club of British Naturism. The association will be dissolved if it ceases to qualify for membership.

This is to ensure that the club remains a naturist club.

Amending the constitution

22. This constitution can be amended by a resolution of a general meeting that is carried by two-thirds majority of the members present and voting.

Normal practice and Charity Commission recommendation.

Dissolution

23. A general meeting shall be called to consider dissolution of the association. If the proposal is confirmed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting, the committee shall have power to realise any assets held by or on behalf of the association. Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be distributed to British Naturism and/or club(s) affiliated to British Naturism.

If the association ceases to function to the extent that the above procedure cannot be followed then all assets shall be given to British Naturism, or if that can not be done to some other good cause with similar objectives.

This provision is often forgotten about in a constitution. If it is missing it can be difficult to wind up the association. The first paragraph is the usual procedure, as recommended by the Charity Commission. The second paragraph has been added because this situation can arise.