Rules of Stourbridge Speakers Club
Updated May 2015
Note: The use has been adopted of ‘they’ as a third person singular referring to either gender.
The Club is open to anyone aged 15 and over. It is part of the West Midlands Area within the Midlands District of the Association of Speaker Clubs.
2.1. Membership of the club shall be divided into classifications as follows:-
- Full Member –A member aged 18 or over.
- Junior Member -A member aged 15-17 inclusive at the commencement of the club year.
- Honorary Life Member- A member who has been selected on the recommendation of the committee and a majority vote by all active members of the Club.
Club members -the maximum number is 28. This number may be increased by exception at the discretion of the committee.
- Club Officers
3.1. Positions: – The Officers of the Club shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Education Officer, Communications Officer, Membership Officer and Contests Officer. For the purposes of training, experience and succession these offices should be held by separate members, but some of them may be combined if more appropriate.
3.2. Terms of Office:-All officers shall serve a term of one year commencing in the first day of June. The President and Vice-President, on completion of their first term of office, are eligible for re-election for a further term not exceeding one year. This may be extended for one more year in exceptional circumstances. Other officers are eligible for re-election annually with the proviso that they should not serve in any one position for more than five consecutive years.
3.3. Casual Vacancies:-The Club Committee has the power to appoint any member during the course of the year to fill a casual vacancy in any office. Such appointments are only valid until the subsequent election of officers and their assumption of office on 1st June. A member who is appointed to fill a casual vacancy is not regarded as completing a term of office i.e. they are eligible for election under the terms of 3.2.
3.4. Removal from office: – Any Officer may be removed from office for cause shown by the Committee, subject to approval by the members. A Motion shall be intimated in the Notice convening the Meeting, Annual or Special, at which removal is to be proposed. Removal requires two-thirds majority in favour. The person concerned has a right of appeal to Area, District and National Council in that order.
3.5 Elections: – The election of Officers shall take place at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
3.6. Nominations:- Nominations for office in the following year shall be made by the existing committee and shall be notified to the club secretary at least one week in advance of the AGM. The President should notify the Club of any such nominations, with the permission of the Nominee. Such announcements may be in advance or at the AGM itself.
3.7. Voting: – The election of the Officers is by the simple majority of the members present and voting at the AGM. Election shall be by a show of hands or by acclamation if uncontested. If there is more than one nomination for a role, a secret ballot may be held if requested by no fewer than three members.
- Duties of Club Officers
4.1. President: – The President shall preside at all Meetings of the Club and the Committee. They shall be a member of the West Midlands Area Council and Executive Committee, the Midlands District Council and the General Council of the Association. They may have general supervision of the Club and ex-officio shall be a member of any Sub-Committee. They shall ensure that the administration of the Club is properly carried out by the respective officers.
4.2. Vice President: – The Vice-President shall preside in the absence of the President, at Meetings of the Club and the Committee. They are not a member of the Area, District, or General Council unless specifically elected to be so.
Other duties include overseeing the organisation of club social activities.
4.3. Secretary:-The duties of the Secretary include:-
- Custody and understanding of the Club Constitution and Rules.
- Recording the Minutes of Committee Meetings, the AGM and other such decision making meetings.
- Acting as the Club Correspondent.
- Distributing to the appropriate club officers any mailings sent by the National Secretary.
- Sending, as required, to the Area, District and National Secretaries as soon as possible after the AGM, and no later than 31st May, the names and contact details of the incoming President , Vice-President and Secretary, and the date, time and venue of the first meeting in the following session, together with the frequency of the meetings.
4.4. Treasurer:-The Treasurer shall receive and disburse the Club funds. Accurate records shall be kept and interim reports shall be given to the Committee and to the Club when requested. They shall make payments to the District Treasurer for District and National Capitation and Conference Levy no later than 31st December. The Capitation Returns are to include all members registered at 31st December. They shall produce an annual financial statement, subject to audit and present it for approval at the AGM. An auditor, who need not be a member, should be appointed by the committee prior to the AGM.
4.5. Education Officer:-The duties of the Education Officer include:-
- Arranging training assignments for members and maintaining a record thereof.
- Arranging short educational sessions as appropriate to the membership.
- Introducing variety into the programme to increase the enjoyment of members and to encourage guests to become members.
- Liaising with other Clubs to arrange outside evaluators when that is desirable or required for some assignments.
- Applying to the National Education Director for Certificates of Achievement and through the Area President for Advanced Certificates of Achievement.
- Preparing and issuing the fortnightly club newsletter to provide information on forthcoming meeting agendas and other relevant information. This task may be shared with the Communications Officer.
4.6. Communications Officer:-The duties of the Communications Officer include:-
- Sending information and news items as appropriate to local media and ‘The Speaker’.
- Overseeing the club’s use of social media to engage with members and prospective members.
- Overseeing the club’s website.*
- Communicating with club members and maintaining a dialogue with them in conjunction with the Membership Secretary.
- Preparing and issuing the fortnightly club newsletter in conjunction with the education officer.
- Liaising with other organisations to ensure that Stourbridge Speakers Club entries are kept up to date and accurate on their websites and locations.
4.7. Membership Secretary:- The duties of the Membership Officer include:
- Being the first point of contact for prospective members.
- Ensuring that visitors/potential members are welcomed and receive appropriate information about the operation of the club.
- Preparing the meeting attendance list for the doorkeeper.
- Liaising with the club treasurer to ensure the payment of membership subscriptions.
- Assisting members moving to another part of the country in transferring to another ASC club, if they so wish.
4.8. Contests Officer:- The duties of the Contests Officer include:
- Responsibility for the organisation of the club Speech, Topics and Evaluation competitions.
- Responsibility for the organisation of West Midlands Area contests when it is the turn of Stourbridge Speakers Club to host them.
- Management of the club team for the West Midlands Team Speaking Contest aka The Blarney Stone. Selection of the team in conjunction with the President and Education Officer.
- Liaison with ASC clubs and other appropriate organisations in relation to the supply of judges and others for competitions.
- Being aware of contest rules and ensuring that they are applied correctly.
- Responsibility for trophies.
4.9. Other club roles include Social Secretary, Webmaster and Records Officer. These are non-committee roles but holders of these offices may be invited to attend committee meetings from time to time as appropriate. Duties are:
4.9.1. Social Secretary:- The Social Secretary shall make all the arrangements for Social functions agreed by the Committee or the Club.
4.9.2. Webmaster:- The Webmaster is responsible for maintaining and updating the club’s website.
4.9.3. Records Officer:- The Records Officer is responsible for maintaining a secure central database of members’ records including contact details, meeting attendance and speech assignments completed.
4.10. Area Council Member:-The Area Council Member is a member who represents the club as a Voting member of the Area Council and Area Executive Committee. This position is automatically held by the President but another member may be elected to represent the Club if necessary.
5.1. Regular Meetings: – These shall be held fortnightly or at such intervals as the Club may agree from time to time.
5.2. Annual General Meeting: – The AGM may be held on the date of a regular meeting or on a different date proposed by the Club Committee. In both cases, all members are to be notified no less than one month before. The Agenda shall include reports by the Club Officers, the election of Officers for the following year, approval of the audited accounts and the appointment of an auditor.
5.3. Other Meetings: – Special Meetings may be called by the President, a majority of the Club Committee, or by one third of the Club members for the sole purpose of transacting special or urgent business. Notice of a Special Meeting shall to be sent to all Club members no less than seven clear days prior to the proposed date. The Agenda, setting forth the business to be discussed, shall be included in the Notice.
5.4. Voting Rights:- All Full, Junior, and Honorary members are entitled to vote.
5.5. Quorum: – one third of Club Members, attending in person, shall constitute a quorum. If a meeting is not quorate, any proposal approved may be ratified at the subsequent meeting, provided that requirements for a quorum are met.
5.6. Voting:- At all the meetings of the Club, Regular Annual or Special and the Club Committee, resolutions shall be carried if a majority of those present, entitled to vote and voting, is in favour. Abstentions shall be disregarded for the purposes of determining a majority. The number of abstentions need not be recorded but a member may request that their abstention be recorded by name. Proxy votes and Postal Votes are not permitted. Resolutions shall be carried by a simple majority except where an Article or Rule requires a two-thirds majority.
- Club Committee
6.1. How constituted: – The Committee shall consist of the Officers of the Club as per 3.1 above. The President is Chairman but in his/her absence, a Committee Meeting is chaired by the Vice President or another member of the Committee by agreement.
6.2. Duties: – The Committee is responsible to the Club. It controls all the business affairs of the Club and all matters concerning the well-being of the Club. It may present recommendations to the members and propose Motions to the AGM. There shall be no fewer than two Club Committee meetings annually.
6.3. Responsibilities: – These include:-
- Promoting the welfare and better operation of the Club.
- Promoting activities to widen understanding of the Association
- Approving the allocation of the Club budget.
These may be appointed from time to time for specific purposes.
8.1. Club Subscription: – At the AGM, the members shall agree the club element of the Annual Subscription for the following Club year. To that figure shall be added National Capitation, Conference Levy and District Capitation. The combined figure shall be the Club Subscription. It shall be due for payment at the start of the Club Year and should be paid no later than 30th September.
8.2. Junior Members-The amount to be paid by Junior members is 50% of that paid by Full Members.
8.3. Honorary Life members:-they shall be exempt from the Club element of the Subscription. The Club shall be responsible to the Association for the payment of National Capitation, Conference Levy and District Capitation.
8.4. New members: – Any entrance fee for new members will be determined by the Club. The Club Subscription will be pro-rata to the unexpired portion of the Club year.
8.5. Dual Membership: – A member of the Club who has dual membership of other Clubs will pay one capitation through the Club they have elected to be their principal club.
- Standing Orders
The general procedure at meetings shall being accordance with the Standing Orders of the Association.
These Rules may be amended by the Club provided that no amendments conflict with the objectives of the Association. Subject to that proviso amendments do not need to be advised to the National Secretary. The wording of amendments shall be notified at the meeting immediately preceding the Meeting, Regular or AGM which they are to be proposed.
The Club shall only be dissolved by the passing of a Motion requiring a majority of two-thirds of those present and voting at a meeting called expressly for that purpose. The Motion shall include direction for the disposal of the net assets of the Club, under the supervision of two members so appointed. On dissolution, the Club regalia and Charter are to be surrendered to the Association. The net assets may be donated to the parent District or to the Association.