Newmarket MFC Constitution
Note: Throughout this document, words of masculine gender should be taken to include the feminine gender unless the context indicates otherwise.
1. The club shall be called Newmarket Model Flying Club and will be affiliated to the British Model Flying Association. The club is also referred to as Newmarket MFC and the name is often abbreviated to NMFC.
2. The club’s principal aim shall be the promotion of safe and responsible R/C model aircraft flying. The club focuses on powered (IC and electric) fixed wing aircraft and gliders, but members also fly helicopters and multi-rotors.
3. Alterations to this constitution can only be made at an Annual General Meeting or at a General Meeting called for that purpose. Any proposed alterations must be submitted to the club secretary in writing at least 14 days prior to the meeting.
4. The term ‘member’ means any of the following classes of membership:
5. The Club is limited to a total of 100 members. If necessary new applicants will be placed on a waiting list which will be processed in order of application.
6. The Committee has the right to refuse membership to new applicants. Any refusal will be documented in committee meeting minutes together with the reason(s) for refusal; refusal may not be on the grounds of race, gender, sexuality or disability.
7. New members will be required to serve an initial probationary period of 6 months. During this time they will not be eligible to serve on the Committee and may, at the discretion of the Committee, have their membership terminated for unsatisfactory conduct. Such dismissals do not need to follow the disciplinary procedure described in paragraph 21.
8. New members’ subscriptions shall be dependent on membership class, plus a joining fee of one half of the annual class membership fee. Membership fees are decided at the Annual General Meeting.
9. Club subscriptions are due by 1st January each year. Any member who has not paid the club subscription for the ensuing year by this date, in whole or in part, will not be permitted to fly until they have done so.
10. Members may opt to join or renew BMFA membership through the club, in which case they pay their BMFA subscription to the club who then pay the BMFA on their behalf. Members who choose to manage their own BMFA membership (either as Country Members or as members of another club) may not fly until their BMFA membership is in place and must be prepared to provide evidence of such on request. Members must also comply with the registration and competency requirements of the Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme (DMARES).
11. Members who have not renewed their membership by the end of January will be deemed to have left the club. A renewal after this period will be treated as a new membership application for which the club joining fee is payable. If necessary, the applicant will be placed on the waiting list for new members (see paragraph 5).
12. Applications for membership made after 1st November will be extended until the end of the following year (i.e. a maximum of 14 months), although BMFA membership is required for both years.
13. The Committee may, at its discretion, award honorary membership for extensive services to the club. Honorary members have their annual Club and BMFA membership fees paid by the club. The Committee may also, at its discretion, waive the Club and BMFA membership fees for members with specific responsibilities.
14. All members, without exception, must comply with all club rules. The rules are published on the club’s website and are available from the club secretary on request. Failure to comply with club rules may result in disciplinary action by the Club which may lead to dismissal.
15. Members may invite guest fliers to the club’s sites by arrangement with the Committee. Guests must be able to provide evidence of current BMFA membership and the club member must assume total responsibility for the actions and safety of the guest. Guests must fly under the supervision of instructors if their ability requires it; such arrangements must be made in advance of the visit.
16. Additions and amendments to field safety rules and regulations can only be made by proposals at a General Meeting.
17. All field safety rules and regulations will be reviewed annually, and will be considered binding for 12 months, excepting where urgent action is required. This action must then be ratified by the members at the next general meeting.
18. Any complaint concerning any member must be made in writing and signed by the complainant(s). The written complaint must then be forwarded to the Club Secretary so that the matter can be addressed at the next Committee meeting.
19. Where an allegation of misconduct is made against a member, the member may be suspended from all club activities while an investigation is carried out. Suspension pending an investigation does not infer blame or guilt.
20. In the event of misconduct, the Committee may suspend a member from club activities (including attendance at the club flying sites), for a period of up to 28 days. Any suspension will be accompanied by a verbal and/or written warning as deemed appropriate in accordance with paragraph 21.
21. The Committee may consider removal of membership where conduct on the field or elsewhere is considered to be prejudicial to the club. Dismissal will be in accordance with the following procedure in order to comply with the laws of natural justice:
In the event of gross misconduct, immediate dismissal without warnings may be considered but the member will still be accorded his right to present his case to the Committee and given a right of appeal in accordance with sub-paragraphs c, d and e above.
22. The Committee, Officers and Instructors, are responsible for the running of the flying sites at all times. Appointment to the position of Instructor or Examiner can only be made by a Committee decision.
23. The BMFA Basic Proficiency or 'A' Certificate is the club's solo flying criterion. The Club Rules set out the supervision requirements for those without the necessary certification.
24. Any member whose flying standards, in the opinion of the Committee, Officers or Instructors, drop below the minimum requirement will be required to fly under supervision until a satisfactory standard has been reached.
25. The Committee of the Club shall comprise of at least 4 and not more than 8 members.
26. The Officers of the committee shall be:
27. Any Committee member or member who is involved in any organisational position within the Club, must hold membership of the BMFA and may not be a probationary member of the club.
28. Committee officers and members shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting. Candidates must be proposed and seconded; if there is more than one candidate for a position election will be by means of a ballot of those present. All fully paid-up members and honorary members are eligible to vote.
29. Should a committee position become vacant, the Committee may, by a majority vote, co-opt a replacement who will then serve until the following Annual General Meeting.
30. Members elected to office will have full voting rights at all committee meetings. In the event of a tie the Chairman will have a casting vote in addition to his initial standing vote.
31. The Committee are authorised to carry out negotiations and make decisions in the interest of the club or on behalf of the membership where necessary and without consulting the members. However, approval from the membership must be sought for expenditure greater than £250
32. The Treasurer and Secretary are the authorised operators of the club bank account.
33. Both the Treasurer and Secretary may make payments online and by debit card. One signature is sufficient on payments by cheque.
34. The Secretary must be informed of any negotiations proposed by club members which affect the Club as a whole and copies of any written correspondence must be submitted to him for record purposes.
35. Committee members will be re-imbursed for any expenditure necessarily incurred on behalf of the club. Claims for re-imbursement must be accompanied by corresponding receipts.
36. No member of the Committee or Officer of the club may be a Committee Member or Officer of another model flying club.
37. Any Committee Member or Officer wishing to resign must do so in writing.
38. Any member of the Committee who is absent from three consecutive Committee meetings without reasonable cause will automatically forfeit his seat on the Committee.
39. The Committee may pay accounts and incur any normal liabilities on behalf of the club.
40. All committee meetings will be agenda’d and minuted. Minutes of committee meetings will be made available to members on request to the secretary.
41. A quorum of any Committee meeting shall consist of a majority of Committee Members.
42. All proposals must be seconded and voted upon. A majority vote of those present is required to carry any proposal.
43. Voting will normally be by a show of hands; however a secret ballot must be taken should any committee member request that this be done. Proxy and postal votes will not be permitted.
44. An audio recording of committee meetings may be taken by the secretary only, for the sole purpose of producing accurate minutes. The audio recording must be deleted once the written minutes are approved.
45. Non-committee Members may attend committee meetings as observers by applying to the Secretary at least 14 days before the meeting. Any non-Committee Member may be asked to leave the meeting subject to approval from the Committee.
46. All general meetings will be agenda’d and minuted. Any other business will only be accepted at general meetings if the Secretary is given at least 14 days' notice in writing of the item to be discussed.
47. A quorum of any general meeting is to be at least one quarter of the membership.
48. All proposals must be seconded and voted upon. A majority vote of those present is required to carry any proposal including proposals to alter this constitution.
49. Voting will normally be by a show of hands; however a secret ballot must be taken should any member request that this be done. Proxy and postal votes will not be permitted.
50. Amendments to proposals must be voted upon first.
51. An audio recording of general meetings may be taken by the secretary only, for the sole purpose of producing accurate minutes. The audio recording must be deleted once the written minutes are approved.
52. Non-club members may attend Club meetings as observers as invited guests of a club by applying to the Secretary at least 14 days before the meeting. Any non-Club member may be asked to leave the meeting subject to approval from the Committee.
53. The Committee, through the Chairman has the power to ask a person to leave any meeting in the event of that person disrupting the meeting.
54. Patrons of the club have no voting rights but are free to attend all club meetings.
55. A date for the Annual General Meeting will be decided each year by the Committee. At least 28 days' notice of the meeting will be given in writing to all Club members.
56. Annual subscriptions and the club joining fee will be decided at the Annual General Meeting.
57. A competent individual (non-committee member) shall be elected by the Committee to carry out an independent examination of the accounts before the Annual General Meeting to verify that the balance sheet is correct and fairly represents the expenditure and receipts of the club, its assets and its liabilities.
58. The Secretary will convene an Extraordinary Committee Meeting within 14 days on request from any officer of the Committee, stating the business to be discussed.
59. The Secretary shall convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of the club by a resolution of the Committee stating the business to be brought before the meeting, of which 28 days' notice has been given to all members in writing stating the business to be discussed.
60. The Secretary shall convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of the club on receipt of a request in writing signed by not less than 10 members of the club, stating the business to be brought before the meeting. The meeting must be called within 28 days of request and 28 days' notice must be given to all members in writing stating the business to be discussed.
61. When a request for a meeting is made in accordance with paragraph 60 and it is not called within 28 days, the requisitioners may themselves convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Club by giving 28 days' notice in writing to all members, duly setting out the purpose for which the meeting was called. Any resolutions passed at such a meeting shall have the same force and effect as if they were passed at a meeting convened by the Committee.
62. The club will hold both Civil and Employers Liability Insurance, provided through affiliation to the BMFA.
63. The club will indemnify all committee officers and committee members if they incur any liability on behalf of the club.
64. In the event of a Committee Member being awarded damages or costs in the course of proceedings taken by him in his representative capacity, such damages or costs will belong to the Club and not the Committee Member personally and upon receipt that Committee Member will pay them to the Club Treasurer.
65. When there is a joint meeting between Newmarket MFC and another club, the participating club must be able to provide evidence of adequate insurance cover well in advance of the event.
66. Should it be considered necessary or desirable to dissolve the Club, the Committee will call an Extraordinary General Meeting. Should a quorum fail to appear, the meeting will be adjourned and a further EGM must be called within 14 days. The second meeting will proceed even if a quorum is not present and the motion will then be carried by a simple majority vote.
67. On dissolution and after the sale of assets, settlement of all outstanding debts and the refund of subscriptions for the remaining part of the year to the paid-up members; the funds remaining will be distributed in equal shares to the Club’s charities. (See Section M).
68. If the final accounts are less than required to refund the subscriptions to the members, the total money remaining will be donated to the Club’s nominated charities. All members will receive a final statement of accounts.
69. The Club will, wherever possible, support local charity events when asked, subject to the practicability of providing a relevant display of the club’s activities. The committee will assess all requests and make decisions based on the feasibility and cost of each proposed event.
70. Any money raised at these events will be made available to donate to worthy causes.
71. No money will be diverted from members’ subscriptions.
72. In the event of the club being approached to donate money to a local worthy cause, the Committee will make a decision on the amount to be donated. The maximum sum available in this case will be £25.
73. In the event that the Club is approached for sponsorship of a member or their close associate who is involved in a charity event, the Committee will make a decision on the amount to be donated. The maximum sum available for sponsorship in this case will be £25.
74. The Club reserves the right to periodically donate funds to charities. The amounts and gaining charities must be agreed by majority vote at a general meeting.
75. The current nominated Club charities are: