The Stamford Bridge Players Constitution was revised in April 2017 to reflect the current practices of the Society. The original is held on file with the other documents of the Society, duly signed by the chairman.
- The society shall be called “The Stamford Bridge Players”, herein referred to as “the Society”.
- The primary aim of the Society is to stage plays and similar entertainments for the inhabitants of Stamford Bridge and the surroundings areas, and in doing so provide interest and enjoyment to its members.
- No part of this constitution may be deleted or amended unless a motion to the effect of the change is proposed and carried by a two-thirds majority of the entire membership of the Society at the Annual General Meeting.
- Membership shall be open to any person, although this paragraph may be temporarily suspended or amended if a resolution to this effect is carried at a general meeting.
- Application for membership may be made through any existing member and is subject to the applicant paying annual subscription fee (which shall not be pro-rata) and agreeing to abide by the constitution and current bye-laws of the Society. Only paid-up members may participate in productions due to insurance requirements.
- Membership of a person in the Society may be terminated at the discretion of the committee if they fail to pay their subscription within six months of an Annual General Meeting, or if they deliberately contravene any of the rules laid down by the Society.
- Membership of any particular person can be revoked if a motion to this effect is carried unanimously at an Extraordinary General Meeting.
- The Society and its property shall be managed and administered by a committee comprising the officers and other members elected in accordance with this constitution.
- Any member may resign from the Society at any time by notifying any member of the committee. Membership fees will not be refunded if paid more than fourteen days previously.
- The Society can only be dissolved by a resolution proposed at a general meeting and carried by the support of at least two-thirds of the total membership of the Society.
- Upon dissolution of the Society, all debts currently outstanding in the name of the Society will be cleared and any balance of funds and assets will be transferred to the village hall funds.
- No member shall incur any debt or liability (financial or otherwise) in the name of the Society, or make statements in the name of the Society (written or oral) without prior approval of the committee.
- The funds obtained from any subscriptions and the proceeds of productions shall, primarily, be used for the improvement and development of the Society and/or any organisation associated with the village of Stamford Bridge and its surrounding areas and the village of Stamford Bridge itself. Under no circumstances will any member of the Society profit from the activities of the Society.
- The Society will be organised democratically and will hold an Annual General Meeting at least once every thirteen months, as soon as possible after the end of the Society’s financial year (31 March). At this time a report will be made by the committee which shall include a full record of accounts for the previous year fully audited by a reputable non-member. The accounts shall be presented to the membership in a balance sheet, profit and loss format and include the current bank balance.
- Every member of the Society shall be given at least fourteen days written notice of all Annual and Extraordinary General Meetings, and shall have the right to attend, speak and vote on every resolution proposed. All members of the Society aged sixteen and over shall have the right to elect the committee. All members aged fifteen and under may nominate a junior member to represent them on the main committee, although a junior member would not be eligible to vote on the main committee. The quorum for an Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting shall be at least a quarter of the current membership including not less than two-thirds of the current committee (not including a junior representative).
- In the case of necessity or emergency, an Extraordinary General Meeting may be called, subject to the secretary of the Society receiving written request from any other member of the Society, seconded by at least three other members and clearly stating the business to be discussed. No other business shall be discussed at such a meeting. At least seven days’ notice must be given ahead of an Extraordinary General Meeting.
- The committee shall function for a term of no more than thirteen months, and every member of the committee will stand down and a new committee elected at the Annual General Meeting following the outgoing committee’s reports. Retiring members of the committee will be eligible for re-election to the new committee.
- All nominations for the new committee must be submitted in writing to the present secretary, not less than five days before the date of the Annual General Meeting. The nomination form must clearly state the name of the candidate, the name of the person proposing the nomination, the name of the person seconding the nomination and the date. All three people must be fully paid-up members of the Society.
- The committee shall consist of a Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary and four ordinary members who may hold specific roles as decided by the committee. The committee may also include a junior representative.
- A committee member shall cease to hold office if he or she:
- is disqualified from acting as a committee member due to the following reasons;
i.ia conviction for any offence involving dishonesty or deception;
i.iiia disqualification order under the Companies Directors Disqualification Act 1986;
- ceases to be a member of the Society;
- in the written opinion, given to the Society, of a registered medical practitioner treating that person, has become physically or mentally incapable of acting as a committee member and may remain so for more than three months;
- resigns as a committee member by notice to the current Secretary of the Society (but only if two committee members will remain in office when the notice of resignation is to take effect); or
- is absent without the permission of the committee from all the meetings held within a period of six consecutive months and the committee members resolve that his or her office be vacated.
- The committee is empowered to fill any vacancies that arise in its numbers by co-opting new members into the committee.
- Committee meetings will be held as required to deal with Society business and may be called by any member of the committee with not less than seven days’ notice. There shall be at least four committee meetings each year.
- At least four members of the committee must be present in order to form a quorum, not including the junior representative.
- The committee may pass bye-laws to supplement the constitution, and these will be as binding on members as the constitution. All current bye-laws must be voted upon by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. In order that a bye-law be adopted as constitutional, a vote must be taken and return a two-thirds majority.
- The committee shall decide all business relating to routine organisation of the Society, for example, the number of and type of productions; expenditure; selection of productions and producers; admission charges; venues; dates; times and numbers of performances; raising of funds; convening all meetings; arranging the programmes for the benefit of the members at weekly meetings. They shall also be responsible for ensuring that the Society is adequately covered with insurance.
- During the course of a production, the producer’s decision on any matter pertaining to that production shall be final providing they act within the constitution and bye-laws of the Society. However, the committee may intervene or cancel a production in any of the following circumstances:
- It is felt by the committee and/or members of the cast that the production is not of a satisfactory standard, in which case, the production may be cancelled by the committee up to a week before the production is due to open;
- The production costs exceed the budget allocated by the committee;
- An issue arises with respect to performance rights that could result in action being taken against the Society by a formal body or an individual playwright or professional performer.
- Any person appointed for a post by either the committee or producer in connection with a particular production, shall hold that post until the end of the production only and no longer. Under no circumstances will one member of the Society act as a permanent producer, stage manager, house manager, prompter, electrician, sound effects or lighting technician, wardrobe coordinator, box office manager or any such post.
- If a committee is unable to reach a majority decision on any issue then a vote will be held with the Chairperson having an ordinary and casting vote.
- The committee may also elect from their own ranks a vice-chairperson who will also act as vice-chairperson of the Society, and other posts as seen for the duration of their term only. The committee may also invite any other person or persons to attend a particular committee meeting, though these persons may not vote on any motions raised at these meetings.
- The committee are empowered to appoint any sub-committees as they see fit, who will organise on behalf of the committee the matters for which they are appointed. All sub-committees are responsible to the main committee who, in turn, are responsible for the actions of the sub-committee to the membership as a whole in the normal way. All sub-committees are automatically retired with the dissolution of the committee that appointed them.
- The Society’s treasurer shall handle all financial matters of the group but shall not make any payment out of the funds without prior approval of two other members of the committee. Members of the current committee will act as the signatories required for the operation of the Society’s bank account in accordance with the bank mandate. The treasurer will maintain accounts for all transactions, supported by receipts, bills and invoices.
- The Society’s secretary will handle all written work, and must prepare and maintain a set of signed minutes for every meeting held, and must make these minutes available to any member of the Society upon request.
This constitution was drafted and approved by the committee of 2000/01 for submission to the membership at the Annual General Meeting of April 6 2001, where it was ratified by a majority of nineteen to one, and was revised in September 2016.
With the exceptions of paragraphs 8, 18, 20 and 26, this constitution is based upon the Society’s original constitution. The aim of this revision is to reflect the practical workings of the Society 30 years after its formation and to adopt a more politically correct, plain and simply style of English.
In April 2001, paragraph 18 was added in order to clarify the nomination procedure for new committee members and reflects the method which the Society has adopted and used at recent Annual General Meetings.
Paragraph 26 was also added in April 2001 in order to clarify the way productions will be managed, and the committee feels that this allows full artistic freedom for the producers, yet at the same time providing a fall-back should any serious issues arise during the production.
In April 2017, paragraphs 8 and 20 were added for administration purposes and both concern the mechanics of the committee.