The Annual General Meeting will take place this Saturday April 8th in the Club House at 1730.
Item 4 on the agenda is a resolution to adopt updated and revised Club Rules. Notice of the detailed changes have been well publicised and the text below has been previously circulated but is included here as an aide memoire in advance of the AGM.
In 2021 the Management Committee being concerned that the Rules of the Club, last revised in 2009, might need updating to ensure that current practice and legal requirements were incorporated, decided upon a review. This was duly carried out, however legal advice on the changes made was received too late to present proposals to the 2022 AGM.
However, a motion to repeal the current Rules and replace them will be put to the April 8th AGM and will require a two-thirds majority of those present and voting to pass.
There is nothing in these changes which reduce in anyway the rights of Members, nor do they give more authority to the Committees; indeed, the new Rule 39 diminishes the power of the Management Committee. Account has also been taken of the latest recommendations of England Golf relating to the governance of Members golf clubs.
The Rules have been reviewed by the National Golf Clubs Advisory Association who provide legal advice to golf clubs. They made a total of forty-eight recommendations the majority of which have been followed including all of those relating to current legal practice.
The principal changes are as follows: (Any rule numbers below correspond to the proposed new rules)
- The rules are now gender neutral.
- The categories of Membership have been clarified. (Rule 5)
- The rights and obligations of Members in the various categories have been clarified.
- Only those defined as “Full Members” may attend and vote at a General Meeting of the Club, propose or second an applicant for Membership, stand for election to any Committee, propose or second a candidate for election to any Committee. (Rule 6)
- The old rule detailing the Club’s disciplinary process has been removed following legal advice and replaced with a policy document which does not form part of the Rules. (Rule 13)
- The use of email and the Club website as communication tools are recognised at Rule 15 and elsewhere.
- Payment of subscriptions by direct debit is permitted by Rule 22.
- Rule 24 is new and permits the Club to raise money by means of a levy, subject to a resolution passed by two thirds of the Full Members at a General Meeting, so the Management Committee cannot raise a levy of its own accord. The Members therefore have protection against a levy being imposed without it being put to a General Meeting. This Rule has been introduced at the recommendation of our lawyers.
- Rule 37 permits Committees to co-opt additional non-voting Members.
- The reference in the current Rules relating to mental incapacity has, following legal advice, been updated at Rule 38.
- Rule 38 deals with the situation where a Committee Member is deemed to be incapable of continuing in office by reason of illness.
- Rule 39 removes from the Management Committee the right to nominate candidates for election to either Committee and sets out an alternative procedure.
- Rule 42 is new and sets out the procedure for Members resolutions at an AGM.
- The rules relating to the Ladies Committee, following legal advice, have been removed entirely.
- Rule 49 is new and defines the Club’s limit of liability.
- In the Bye-Laws the opportunity has been taken to update the Rules relating to dogs and mobile ‘phones.
- A new Bye-Law confirms that the balcony is a No Smoking area.
Because of the detailed nature of the changes and their number Members will be asked to vote on the whole document rather than each individual change.
All the changes proposed have been approved by both the Management Committee and the Captain’s Committee. Work on the detail of the changes has been made by a small working group comprising Terri Gliddon (Captain’s Committee), Carole Waights (Ladies Captain), Mary Rayment (Trustee) and Ian Day (Management Committee) with additional support from Caroline Hume-Kendall (Club Captain elect), Tuck Clagett (Past General Manager) and Mike Roach (Club Vice-Captain elect).