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1. NAME

The name of the Association is the Steyning and District Business Chamber (“the Chamber”)

2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

Our aim:

“To promote, protect and develop the interests of the business community of Steyning and District”.

Our objectives:

a. The advancement and promotion of commerce, industry and trade within the Chambers area, taking into account the particular interests of its members.
b. To represent and serve the interests of all its members.
c. Promote goodwill, friendship and unity amongst the members and other traders by looking for ways to maximise business to business trading opportunities within the area of the Chamber.
d. To provide information on local and national issues to the members.
e. To arrange meetings, discussions, lectures, debates, conferences and other functions whether of a business or social nature.
f. To promote the principles of fair trade and discourage all forms of unfair competition.
g. To be the strong voice of the business community and work along side local government and other agencies for the betterment of the area.
h. To maintain financial and political independence.
i. To participate in the local community and influence local issues and projects, as a voice of the local business community

3. MEMBERSHIP

a. There will be two classes of membership:

I. Full membership is open to all individual persons, partnerships, companies and others interested in or actively engaged in business within the Chambers area upon application to the Executive Committee, and payment of the appropriate annual subscription.
II. Affiliate membership is open to anyone representing a charity (charities with High Street premises fall under Full membership), not for profit organisation, Social Enterprise, School or College located within the Chamber area, and payment of the appropriate annual subscription.
b. Application to the Chamber is via a completed application form that the Executive Committee will then consider.
c. Every paid up member of the Chamber shall have one vote at the AGM, or any General Meeting or EGM. Members do not have voting rights at other meetings of the Executive Committee or Officers.
d. There is only one eligible vote per business/organisation, even if there is more than one representative from a particular business/organisation present.
e. The Executive Committee shall have the right to reject applications for membership of the Chamber for good or sufficient reason provided always that the member shall have the right to present its case for membership to the Executive Committee.
f. A register of all members will be held by the Membership Secretary, in the event of changes to the member’s business name, address or contact details, the Membership Secretary must be informed in writing within 30 days of the change.
g. A member shall cease to become a member:
I. If written notification of resignation is given to the Membership Secretary
II. If the subscription is not paid within 3 months after the due date of payment, or
III. If a member acts in a manner calculated to injure or discredit the Chamber provided a three-quarter majority of the Executive Committee agrees.
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i. The Chamber shall not participate in political activities of any kind and shall be non-political in character.

4. SUBSCRIPTIONS

a. The Chamber shall fix the annual subscription fees at it’s Annual General Meeting
b. All subscriptions shall become due on the first day of January in each year and no member shall be entitled to vote at any meeting of the Chamber or its Committee unless his/her subscription shall have been previously paid.
c. If an individual is accepted as a new member after 31st July, the initial membership subscription payable by that business shall be three quarters of the annual subscription.
d. There shall be no refunds in subscription for members leaving after 31st March.
e. Failure by any member to pay the renewal subscription within 3 months of the Due Date will result in membership ceasing.

5. OFFICERS

The Officers of the Executive Committee will be:
a. Chair
b. Vice-Chair
c. Treasurer
d. Secretary
e. Membership Secretary

The above Officers will also be members of the Executive Committee.

Any Officers may retire or resign by giving one month’s prior notice to the Secretary and all shall retire at the end of each AGM but shall be eligible for re-election at that meeting.

6. DUTIES OF OFFICERS

a. The Chair (or in his/her absence the Vice-Chair) will preside at meetings of the Chamber and shall perform such duties as ordinarily pertain to the office. Where votes are tied the (Vice-) Chair will have the casting vote. A Chair may offer themselves for reappointment for up to 3 consecutive terms.
b. The Secretary will keep and circulate the record of all meetings
c. The Treasurer will have custody of all Chamber funds and will account for them to the Executive Committee on request. The Treasurer will present the annual accounts to members at the AGM and will perform such other duties as ordinarily pertain to the office.
d. The Membership Secretary will maintain up-to-date membership records ensuring that each member has paid the annual membership fee. They will also actively promote the Chamber to new businesses as they establish or move to the Chamber’s area.
e. All Executive Committee members are required to be actively involved in meeting the aims and objectives of the Chamber.

7. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

a. The Executive Committee and Officers shall be elected at the AGM.
b. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers and not fewer than 3 and not more than 8 nominated representatives of member businesses (not including those co-opted).
c. All individuals wishing to stand for election to the Executive Committee, or to stand as Officers of the Executive Committee, should make themselves known to the Secretary a minimum of 14 days before the AGM.
d. Details of these candidates should be made available to the general Chamber membership a minimum of 7 days before the AGM.
e. The Executive Committee shall have power to co-opt additional members or representatives as they shall decide from time to time for the purpose of giving expert advice or guidance on specific matters, to carry out a specific project or for the purpose of filling vacancies cause by death or resignation of member/members of the Executive Committee. A co-opted individual will only having voting rights provided they are a member of the Chamber.
f. The Chair shall preferably be elected from members of the Chamber who have served on the Executive Committee for one preceding year.
g. Vacancies occurring among the Officers of the Chamber shall be filled by election at the next convenient General Meeting of the Chamber and, until such meeting, may be filled by nomination of the Executive Committee. An Officer so elected or nominated shall hold office until the next AGM.
h. In any meeting a quorum shall not be less than 4 Executive Committee members, of which at least 2 must be Officers of the Committee.
i. Members must declare a vested interest in items under discussion at Executive Committee meetings and it will be at the discretion of the Executive Committee as to whether the member can attend that particular element of the meeting.
j. Executive Committee meetings shall be held not less than once every 2 months.
k. The Secretary shall give not less than 3 days written or oral notice to members of the Executive Committee of every meeting but in an emergency at the discretion of the Chair and Secretary additional meetings may be called on not less than 24 hours notice.
l. Decisions at meetings of the Executive Committee are made by simple majority and in the event of equality the voting Chair (or acting Chair of that meeting) shall have casting vote.

8. SUB-COMMITTEES

a. Sub-Committees may be appointed to carry out the objectives or projects of the Chamber and must from time to time, or at the request of the Chair, report back to the Executive Committee.
b. Any member may be co-opted to serve on a sub-Committee. Membership of the Sub-Committee carries full voting rights.
c. Non-members may also be co-opted onto Sub-Committees in order to bring expertise to that Committee. Non Chamber members will only have voting rights at Sub Committee meetings, not Chamber meetings.

9. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

a. Meetings are open to members. Guests may be invited by prior arrangement with the Chair.
b. The Annual General Meeting shall be held no later than 31st March each year at a time and place to be determined by the Executive Committee. The AGM should take place between 11 and 15 months after the preceding AGM.
c. An AGM shall be called with at least 14 days notice given.
d. The business of the AGM shall be:
I. To receive and consider the Chair’s report of the activities of the Chamber during the preceding year
II. To receive and consider the accounts of the Chamber for the preceding year and the Treasurer’s report on the financial position of the Chamber
III. To elect the Officers and Executive Committee members
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e. All members shall be entitled to vote at the AGM provided they have paid their annual subscription.
f. At each AGM all Executive Committee members will retire but shall each be eligible for re-election.

10. GENERAL MEETINGS

a. A General Meeting shall be called by at least 14 days notice.
b. Meetings are open to the general public during general discussion. Members of the public may be asked to leave the meeting if the discussion topic is sensitive or relevant to members only i.e. finances of the Chamber.
c. A General Meeting may be called by the Executive Committee or at the written request of 4 members.
d. The business to be discussed at a General Meeting include:
I. Interim report from the Chair regarding proceedings in the year to date
II. Filling of Committee Vacancies
III. Updates from any projects/sub-committees

11. EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING

a. An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be convened at a time on either a resolution of the Executive Committee or be arranged by the Chair to take place not later than 35 days after the receipt by him/her of a requisition signed by not less than 10 members setting out the purpose for such a meeting.
b. An EGM is open to members only. Guests may be invited only by prior arrangement with the Chair.
c. The business which may be conducted at an EGM may be any one or more of:
I. Removal of any individual or all of the Officers or other Executive Committee members of the Chamber and filling the vacancies thereby caused
II. Altering these rules, or
III. Dissolving the Chamber.

12. PROCEDURES

a. Not less than 7 days’ prior notice in writing setting out the resolutions to be proposed at the AGM or EGM shall be sent to every member at the last known address.
b. Agendas of all meetings should be sent out no later than 3 days prior to the meeting.
c. Every full paid up member may submit a notice of motion by contacting the Secretary not less than seven days prior to a meeting of the Chamber, which motion shall be placed on the agenda for this meeting.
d. Resolutions at AGM shall be passed by a simple majority of votes entitled to be cast by the members present at the meeting.
e. Resolutions at EGM shall be passed but a majority of three-quarters of the votes entitled to be cast by members present at the meeting.
f. Any items that require a resolution shall be proposed, seconded and decided by a show of hands.
g. In the event that the majority of members wish a ballot to be taken, the Chair will appoint two scrutineers who shall count the ballot.
h. Members interests must be declared at the start of meetings, those members will be unable to vote on the subject.
i. Any fully paid up member may attend a meeting of the Officers and/or Executive Committee. They may speak with the permission of the Chair, but may not vote.
j. Items to be included on the agenda must be received by the Secretary not less than 7 days before the meeting.
k. Each member business or organisation shall have one vote of every resolution.
l. In the event of an Executive Committee member being absent from four Executive Committee meetings, and should the Executive Committee use its powers to co-opt a replacement then the original member shall cease to be a member of the Executive Committee.
m. The Executive Committee may adopt the first Constitution, but no alterations to this Constitution may be made except by a resolution passed by three quarters of the members present and voting at the EGM of the Chamber. 14 days notice in writing of any proposed alteration shall be given to all members.

13. FINANCE

a. All monies of the Chamber shall be banked in the name of the Chamber at a bank or building society appointed by the Executive Committee. All cheques shall be signed by a person/persons authorised by the Executive Committee and all expenditure shall be approved by authorised Officers of the Executive Committee who shall have the power to use the Chamber’s funds in such a lawful manner as they deem necessary for carrying out the objects for which the Chamber was formed.
b. Neither the Chamber, its Officers nor Executive Committee members shall have the power to pledge, borrow or loan any funds belonging to the Chamber. Other than to subscribe to and support such community based projects and local charitable institutions and objects as may be deemed by the Committee to be worthy.
c. The Chamber shall have the power to raise funds as necessary to achieve its objectives.
d. The Executive Committee may appoint an accountant to prepare and/or audit annual accounts and may agree what remuneration (if any) to pay in that regard. It shall be for the Chamber in AGM to re-appoint the accountant annually.
e. The Treasurer shall keep an account of all monies received and paid and shall pay all accounts approved by the Executive Committee for and on behalf of the Chamber. They shall present to the Chamber at it’s AGM a statement of account showing all financial transactions of the Chamber made up to the last day of December in the previous year.
f. The reasonable expenses of the Officers incurred in carrying out their office shall be met from the funds provided agreement for such expenditure was agreed in advance and is supported by receipts.

14. DISSOLUTION

a. The Officers of the Executive Committee or an EGM may decide by a 75% majority of those voting at the time to dissolve the Chamber. The Chamber shall call a meeting of all members at which a resolution to wind up the Chamber shall be voted on.

b. In the event of the membership of the Chamber not being able to elect the required number of Officers, the membership must pass a resolution by a 75% majority to disband or dissolve the Chamber.

c. The assets and funds of the Chamber shall be transferred to some other institution or society whose objectives are the same as or similar as possible to those of the Chamber.

27th September 2012