WATFORD CHESS CLUB

CLUB CONSTITUTION

10th September 2018 (Incorporating amendments on 19 September 2022, 13 February 2023 and 11 September 2023)

1. Name

The name of the Club shall be WATFORD CHESS CLUB.

2. Objective

The objective of the Club shall be to provide opportunities for competitive and social chess.

3. Affiliation

The Club shall be affiliated to the Hertfordshire Chess Association.

4. Officers and Committee

4.1 The Officers of the Club shall be Club President, Club Secretary and Club Treasurer.

4.2 The Club shall be managed by a Club Committee in accordance with the Club’s Constitution and the decisions of the Club’s General Meetings.

4.3 The Committee shall consist of the three Officers, Juniors Secretary, Membership Secretary, and up to four other Members, each of whom shall be elected at a General Meeting.

4.4 The Committee shall meet at its discretion. It shall have the power to co-opt Members to fill any vacancy, combine rôles temporarily, delegate duties to sub-committees, and to co-opt members for special purposes.

4.5 The Committee shall have the power to settle disputed points not provided for in this Constitution.

4.6 A quorum at a Committee meeting shall be 4 (four) Committee members. A quorum must exist at the time of any vote for that vote to be valid.

5. General Meetings

5.1 Annual General Meeting

5.1.1 An Annual General Meeting of the Club shall be held in JuIy, August or September every year to transact the following business:

  • i. To present and approve the Club’s accounts to the end of the previous financial year.
  • ii. To receive reports on the past year’s activities from the Committee.
  • iii. To consider for adoption proposals from the Committee for changes to the annual subscriptions and fees.
  • iv. To consider any motions.
  • v. To elect Officers and the Committee for the following year.
  • vi. To appoint a suitably qualified examiner for the following year to report on the Club’s accounts.

5.1.2 Notice of any motion for discussion at the Meeting shall be given in writing to the Club Secretary, proposed and seconded by two Members of the Club who are eligible to vote, not less than 14 days prior to the Meeting.

5.1.3 Nominations for Committee membership shall be restricted to Members of the Club aged over 14, and shall be given to the Club Secretary, proposed and seconded by Members of the Club who are eligible to vote, not less than 14 days prior to the Meeting4

5.1.4 The Chairman of the Meeting shall have absolute discretion to accept or reject motions or nominations of which proper notice has not been given.

5.2 Extraordinary General Meeting

5.2.1 An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called by the President or Secretary, or by a quorum of the Committee, or by a quorum of the membership, upon written request to the President or  Secretary stating their reason.

5.2.2 No matters shall be considered at an Extraordinary General Meeting other than those included in the notice convening the Meeting.

5.3 General Meeting Procedure

5.3.1 Members shall be notified of the date and time of a General Meeting not less than one month prior to the meeting. They shall be given, sent or directed to an Agenda for the Meeting, not less than 7 days prior to the Meeting.

5.3.2 Motions and nominations shall succeed if they achieve a simple majority of votes, unless expressly stated otherwise in this Constitution. The Chairman of the Meeting shall have a normal vote. If votes are tied, the motion or nomination fails.

5.3.3 Only Members aged 14 or over at the date of the General Meeting shall be entitled to vote at that Meeting.

5.3.4 Non-voting Members may attend General Meetings.

5.3.5 A quorum of the membership for a General Meeting shall be 6 (six) or half the number of Members eligible to vote, whichever is the lower. A quorum must exist at the time of any vote for that vote to be valid.

6. Club Membership and Subscriptions

6.1 Membership shall be open to all who have attained the standard of chess proficiency required by the Club, subject to the discretion of the committee, provided that the appropriate subscription is tendered on demand and that entry to the Club is not temporarily restricted.

6.2 The membership subscription year shall be 1st October to 30th September.

6.3 The annual subscription, and entrance fees or visitors’ fees if any, shall be determined at a General Meeting, and charged at the discretion of the Committee.

6.4 Any existing Member whose subscription is unpaid on 1st November shall no longer be entitled to the privileges of Club membership until it is paid.

6.5 In the event of a Member behaving in a disruptive way, any two members of the Committee acting together may temporarily suspend that member.   'Temporarily' here means for the remainder of the club night in question, or the whole of a later club night, or such lesser period as the two committee members may agree.
 

6.6 In exceptional circumstances the Committee may suspend or expel a Member if the Member persistently behaves in a disruptive way, or breaks the Club’s safeguarding policy. Except in cases of gross misconduct, at least 21 days before such action is taken, the Committee will write to the member and explain why. The Member has the right to respond and appeal against the decision.

7. Safeguarding

7.1 The Club shall maintain a safeguarding policy governing children and vulnerable adults. Members are required to comply with this policy.

7.2 Changes to the policy may be made at the Committee’s discretion, taking due note of ECF requirements.

8. Finance

8.1 The financial year shall be 1st June to 31st May

8.2 The financial accounts shall be audited or examined by a person who is independent of the Committee..

8.3 Funds and property of the Club shall not be distributed among members, except as legitimate out-of-pocket expenses incurred in running the Club.

8.4 The Club is a non-profit making organisation.

9. Competition

9.1 The Committee shall arrange such Club and Inter-Club events and competitions as it considers appropriate.

10. Amendments to Constitution

A resolution to amend the Constitution shall be proposed only at a General Meeting and shall be passed only if two thirds of those present at the vote and eligible to vote do so in favour.

11. Dissolution

11.1 A resolution to dissolve the Club shall be proposed only at a General Meeting and shall be passed only if two thirds of those present at the vote and eligible to vote do so in favour.

11.2 The dissolution shall take effect from the date of the resolution and the Members of the Committee shall be responsible for the winding-up of the assets and liabilities of the Club.

11.3 Any funds remaining shall be devoted to objectives similar to those of the Club or to charity.

 

Text below this line is not part of the Constitution but a record of meetings

 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, 5 SEPTEMBER 2022 - 7.15 at West Herts, club members only.   
 
AGENDA 

1.  Receive apologies for absence

2.  Elect Officers, Secretaries and Committee for 2022-23. Committee nominations are:

President Sriram Panchanadeeswaran

Treasurer AIistair TayIor

Club Secretary Jayakumar Jayakarthikeyan

Membership Secretary Sandesh Tathare? (TBC)

Juniors Secretary Roger Lancaster

Tournament Secretary            Vacant

Other Committee members   Simon Charles (TBC), Sanjay Vig (TBC), Bradley Mead-Herbert (TBC) plus one vacancy 

3. Approve the Accounts for the financial year ending 31st July 2022

4.  Agree Club membership subscriptions for 2022-23.

5.  Approve minutes of September 2021 AGM

6.  Receive report on the 2021-22 year

7. Plans for 2022-23

8. Any Other Business  

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, WATFORD CHESS CLUB
 
Held at West Herts Sports Club, 5 September 2022
 
Present: Sriram Panchandeeswaran (President), Paul Littlefair (secretary), Alistair Taylor (Treasurer),Roger Lancaster (Juniors Secretary), Jayakumar Jayakarthikeyan, Sandesh Tathare, Darrell Pigott, David Healey, Simon Charles, Cecil Sloan, Mace Carnochan
 
The meeting was chaired by Alistair Taylor.  Apologies for absence were received from Sanjay Vig , Chris Russell and (after the meeting) Bradley Mead-Herbert.
 
Officers were elected for 2022-23 as follows:
President Sriram Panchandeeswaran
Secretary Jayakumar Jayakarthikeyan
Treasurer Alistair Taylor
Membership secretary Sandesh Tathare agreed to take on the role for the coming year provided its duties were clearly defined. He could not attend the club every week because of other commitments, so others would have to welcome new members in his absence
Juniors Secretary Roger Lancaster was elected for this year, though mentioned that he could not go on for ever and some succession planning was needed.
Tournament secretary. Essentially this involved running the Price Cup, the club’s championship. This had traditionally been held as a 7 round Swiss tournament but could be fewer rounds if required.  Sandesh agreed to do it; Roger would help with the pairings.
 
Match captains. Sanjay had said he could be a match captain. Cecil did not wish to continue as captain. Alistair said he could be a captain if there was nobody else. It looked like we would have two teams in the Herts League and cups; Alistair would email the membership to see who wanted to play. Roger was willing to be first team captain in the 4NCL, but we needed a second team captain, as the first and second teams would play some matches on different days. Sanjay could help but was busy and could not commit to every date. Paul would captain the 4NCL online and Roger the junior 4NCL and Hillingdon League junior team.
Webmaster Geir Erik Nielsen
Auditor Philip Abbott
Equipment curator Sanjay Vig
Committee Simon Charles and Sanjay Vig. There were two vacancies on the committee which were open to those who wanted to take an active part in the running of the club.
 
Alistair summarised the accounts. The club had around £3500 in the bank, and roughly broke even last season. He expected the club would make a loss in the coming season. In the future, he expected that subscriptions would have to increase to meet additional costs.
 
The following subscription levels were agreed:  Adults Full £60, Online only £20, Social (non-playing) £20.Juniors and students Full £35, Online only £17.50.Full membership entitles a member to participate in all Club activity.  Online only membership entitles a member to participate in the club’s online teams and tournaments. For adults, Watford was only fielding a team in the 4NCL online.   Social membership is for those who wish to continue as club members but not to play in any of the club’s chess activities. Because of the disruption to chess activities last year, the meeting agreed a proposal in which all members who paid the full or discounted subscription rate for 2021 (or a pro rata rate for part of the year) would be able to deduct the whole of that payment from their subscription for 2022-23, when paying before 15 October. The meeting also agreed a proposal where titled players (from CM upwards) could be entitled to free membership.
 
The minutes of last year’s AGM were agreed.  A report of last year’s events was circulated and the accounts for the financiaI year ended 31 JuIy 2022 approved.   This year, the Cheshire Cup against St Albans would be held on 26 September, with an adult match at West Herts and junior match at St Albans.
 
Under any other business, Alistair said that the Herts League had invited clubs to apply for a share of £1,500 for equipment or other needs. It was felt that this was aimed at clubs struggling financially, and there were no volunteers to write a bid. 
 
Cecil raised the issue of the avaiIabiIity of clocks for matches. Roger had 12 of the club DGT digital clocks and Sanjay had 10. One was in the cupboard. Cecil said that he had donated seven clocks to the club but this season had removed five of them.  He was going to take back the remaining two unless the club resolved the 'clocks issue'.  Various members of the cIub committee expressed serious disquiet over this and it was Ieft to the committee to decide how to resoIve the matter.     
 
With regard to the Iast paragraph of these minutes, the cIub committee states: "The cIub committee noted that, despite CeciI's aIIegations that 12 cIocks had been stoIen, the onIy missing cIocks were the five which CeciI had himseIf appropriated. Since CeciI has not renewed his membership of the cIub since 2020-21 and will not be rejoining, it is not possibIe for the committee to take any action under cIause 6.5 of the cIub's constitution"   
 
Update:  There was an incident at the cIub on 17 October which Ied to poIice being caIIed, as a resuIt of which they investigated (crime reference 41/84141/22) whether an offence of actuaI bodiIy harm had been committed by a former cIub member.   The poIice interviewed that person but subsequentIy advised that, in the absence of confirming evidence such as CCTV, there was insufficient evidence to pursue the investigation, Ieading to the outcome of No Further Action. 
 
 
MINUTES OF EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING OF WATFORD CHESS CLUB HELD ON 19 SEPTEMBER 2022    
 
On the first two motions,  Sriram Panchanadeeswaran  and Roger Lancaster were eIected nem con as chair and minute-taker respectiveIy for the meeting
 
A roII caII estabIished that Sanjay Vig, AIistair TayIor, Luuk van Essen and 12 junior members of the cIub were aIso present. The minutes of the EGM heId on 8 August were approved nem con.
 
The motion to amend, at cIause 5.1.1 of the cIub constitution, the words "An Annual General Meeting of the Club shall be held in September every year" to "An Annual General Meeting of the Club shall be held in JuIy, August or September every year" was passed nem con, this aIso meeting the requirement that two-thirds of those present and eIigibIe to vote voted in favour   
 
The two motions reIating to 2020-21 cIub members who faiIed to renew their memberships in 2021-22 were aIso passed nem con   (Note:  The 2021-22 cIub year ended 30 September 2022 so these two motions are now of historic interest onIy)
 
 
 
WATFORD CHESS CLUB - EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING 
13 February 2023 - 7.15 at Herts Bowling Club  
 
AGENDA

1    To appoint Alistair Taylor (failing whom, another committee member who shall be present) as chair of the meeting
 
2    To appoint Roger Lancaster (failing whom, another committee member who shall be present) as minute-taker
 
3    To ascertain who is present and that this constitutes a quorum.   (NB:  Clause 5.3.3 of the constitution states "Only Members aged 14 or over at the date of the General Meeting shall be entitled to vote at that Meeting" although others are entitled to attend).
 
4    To amend clause 8.1 of the club's constitution to "The financial year shall be 1st June to 31st May", such amendment having immediate effect so that the club's current financial year will be the 10 months ending 31st May 2023.
 
5    To renumber clause 6.5 of the club's constitution as clause 6.6 and include new clause 6.5 stating "In the event of a Member behaving in a disruptive way, any two members of the Committee acting together may temporarily suspend that member.   'Temporarily' here means for the remainder of the club night in question, or the whole of a later club night, or such lesser period as the two committee members may agree."
 
6.   To replace "8" by "6" in clause 5.3.5 of the club's constitution
 
7.   To appoint Luuk Van Essen as a member of the committee
 
Note:   Members are reminded that clause 10 of the constitution states  "A resolution to amend the Constitution shall be proposed only at a General Meeting and shall be passed only if two thirds of those present at the vote and eligible to vote do so in favour".   This applies to Agenda items 4, 5 and 6..
 
MINUTES OF EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING, 13 FEBRUARY
 
Alistair Taylor and Roger Lancaster were unanimously appointed chair and minute-taker respectively.   It was established that 4 adults (Alistair, Roger, Luuk and David S) and 5 juniors (Sid, Rish, Maya, Maanav and Sophie) over age 14 and therefore entitled to vote were present, the meeting consequently consisting of more than its quorum of 8 members. All four motions were passed unanimously. 
 
EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING 28/8/2023 (7.0, Herts Bowling Club)
 
In accordance with clause 5.2.1 of the club constitution, an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) was called for Monday 28 August by six eligible members of the club being Roger Lancaster, Tomy Joseph, Ewan Davids, Maya Saujani, Sophie Mitran and Ishaan Chadha.
 
 
AGENDA
 
1.  To appoint Roger Lancaster (or, in his absence, an alternative name being present) as chair of today's meeting 
 
2.  To appoint Ushma Chadha (or, in her absence, an alternative name being present) as minute-taker for today's meeting
 
3.   To appoint Ushma Chadha as club secretary
 
4.   To appoint Sagar Patel as an additional authorised signatory for the club's account with Barclays Bank
 
5.   To appoint  Tomy Joseph, Ewan Davids, Maya Saujani and Sophie Mitran as committee members pursuant to clause 4.3 of the club's constitution.  [NB. In the event that this motion fails, votes to be taken on individual names].
 
6.  To waive the requirement in clause 5.3.1 of the club's constitution to give one month's notice of the date of an Annual General Meeting in order that the 2023 Annual General Meeting can take place on Monday 11 September
   
7.   To recommend to the said Annual General Meeting that annual subscriptions for 2023-24 be set at £75 for full members (adults and juniors) with reduced rates, as agreed by the club committee, for those who do not attend club nights
 
EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING 28/8/2023 (7.0, Herts Bowling Club) - MINUTES
 
Attendees at the EGM:    Ewan Davids, Maya Saujani, Roger Lancaster,  William Adam, Jasdeep Takhar, Freddie Adam, Siddharth Sethi, Ishaan Chadha, Ushma Chadha and several junior members of the club who, being under age 14, were ineligible to vote.    
  
Agenda Items:
 
      1.   Roger Lancaster appointed to be the Chair, and Ushma Chadha as minute-taker, for the EGM meeting
      2.    Motion to appoint a new Club secretary (Need arisen due to current position having been unfilled for some time).  Ushma Chadha was unanimously appointed as Club secretary
      3.   Sagar Patel unanimously appointed as an additional authorised signatory for the Club's Barclays Bank account purpose being to alleviate any concerns/risks about the current two signatories being unavailable and payments not being able to be made.
      4.    Tomy Joseph, Ewan Davids, Maya Saujani and Sophie Mitran unanimously elected as club committee members in accord with clause 4.3 of the club constitution
      5.    It was unanimously agreed that the AGM take place on Monday 11 September and the requirement in clause 5.3.1 of the club constitution to give one month's notice shall be waived.
      6.    A recommendation was made that annual subscription levels be raised to £75 per annum for adults and juniors in regular attendance at club nights and reduced rates to be agreed by the club committee for lesser attending adults and juniors for the 2023/24 annual subs.  This will enable the club to meet the increasing costs of club meeting spaces.  It was unanimously agreed that this was sensible and should be brought to the AGM for discussion
 
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 11/9/2023 (7.0, Herts Bowling Club)
 
AGENDA
 
1.   Appointment of chair / minute-taker for meeting.
 
2    Consider, and if appropriate approve, minutes of AGM of 5 September 2022 - these minutes appear at https://watfordchessclub.org/index.php/club-constitution
 
3.   Consider, and if appropriate approve, minutes of EGM of 19 September 2022 - these minutes appear at https://watfordchessclub.org/index.php/club-constitution
 
4.   Consider, and if appropriate approve, minutes of EGM of 13 February 2023 - these minutes appear at https://watfordchessclub.org/index.php/club-constitution
 
5.   Consider, and if appropriate approve, minutes of EGM of  21 August 2023 - these minutes appear at https://watfordchessclub.org/index.php
 
6.   Deal with matters arising from any or all of items 2-5 above
 
7.   Agree to defer consideration of the Club's accounts until an adjourned meeting of this AGM, the date thereof to be fixed once accounts are available
 
8.   Receive and consider report on the past year's activities
 
9.    To consider, and if appropriate approve, the committee's recommendations regarding annual subscriptions for 2023-24being
 
(a)   For the general membership, being those who attend club nights, £75 due on 1 October or alternatively payable by two instalments of £38 due on 1 October and 1 January; and
 
(b)   For those who do not attend club nights, £15 due on 1 October but with the committee to consider a supplementary charge for those playing in weekend events such as the 4NCL.
 
10.    To consider any motions subject to their having been received no later than 4 September (proposer and seconder required for each) - none received at present although the chair has discretion to consider late motions
 
11.    To amend clause 5.1.3 of the club constitution by replacing the words "aged over 16" by "aged over 14" so that all members eligible to vote are also eligible to join the committee
 
12.   Elect Officers, Secretaries and Committee for 2022-23. Committee nominations are:
 

President:   None at present

Treasurer:   None at present

Club Secretary:   Ushma Chadha (incumbent)

Membership Secretary:   None at present

Juniors Secretary Roger Lancaster (incumbent)

Tournament Secretary      None at present

Other Committee members   Ewan Davids, Tomy Joseph, Maya Saujani, Sophie Mitran (incumbents)

13.   Appoint suitably qualified auditor 
 
14.   Any other business
 
 
MINUTES OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 11/9/2023
 
1.   Appointment of chair / minute-taker for meeting.
  • Roger Lancaster (RL) appointed as Chair
  • Ushma Chadha (UC) appointed as minute taker
2    Consider, and if appropriate approve, minutes of AGM of 5 September 2022 - Nothing to consider, approved
 
3.   Consider, and if appropriate approve, minutes of EGM of 19 September 2022 - Nothing to consider, approved  
 

4.   Consider, and if appropriate approve, minutes of EGM of 13 February 2023 -  Nothing to consider, approved

5.   Consider, and if appropriate approve, minutes of EGM of  21 August 2023 - Nothing to consider, approved
 

6.   Deal with matters arising from any or all of items 2-5 above - Nothing applicable

7.   Agree to defer consideration of the Club's accounts until an adjourned meeting of this AGM, the date thereof to be fixed once accounts are available.   Agreed, noted that the club treasurer has resigned.  Therefore, there are no club accounts to discuss at present and accounts will be discussed once they are available.   However RL observed that, as far as he was amiss, there was nothing radically amiss. 
 
8.   Receive and consider report on the past year's activities.  RL provided feedback as follows:
  • Over the board chess has not been strong.   Although the club's first team narrowly avoided automatic relegation in the 4NCL, its first team in the Hertfordshire League finished bottom of Division 2 and were relegated.
  • The club had approximately 40 junior members.  However, around 6 adult members of the club, many unhappy at the way the club is developing, appear to have decided not to rejoin.
  • Last year's treasurer has advised that the club will run at a loss if subs are not increased and the financial arithmetic worsened with the unexpected move, during the year, to HBC.
     
9.  To consider, and if applicable approve, the committee's recommendations regarding annual subscriptions for 2023-24, being
 
(a)   For the general membership, being those who attend club nights, £75 due on 1 October or alternatively payable by two instalments of £38 due on 1 October and 1 January; and
 
(b)   For those who do not attend club nights, £15 due on 1 October but with the committee to consider a supplementary charge for those playing in weekend events such as the 4NCL.   A discussion followed:
  • All in agreement for subscription increase to £75 pa irrespective of age of the member.     Discussion for  non club night attending members, or family discounts to be discussed adjourned to a later date.  
  • A point was raised that junior members should be given a discount.  However this was countered with the fact that the juniors tend to attend club nights and take advantage of any training offered.
  • The £75 rate was agreed with item (b) to be left to the committee to decide
10.    To consider any motions subject to their having been received no later than 4 September - none received 
 
11.    To amend clause 5.1.3 of the club constitution by replacing the words "aged over 16" by "aged over 14" so that all members eligible to vote are also eligible to join the committee
  •   After much discussion it was agreed nem con that  "aged over 16" in clause 5.1.3 of the club constitution shall be replaced with "aged over 14" so that all members eligible to vote are also eligible to join the committee was agreed.   This vote met the two-thirds constitutional requirement.
12.   Elect Officers, Secretaries and Committee for 2022-23. Committee nominations are:
 

President:   None at present

Treasurer:   None at present

Club Secretary:   Ushma Chadha (incumbent)

Membership Secretary:   None at present

Juniors Secretary Roger Lancaster (incumbent)

Tournament Secretary      None at present

Other Committee members   Ewan Davids, Tomy Joseph, Maya Saujani, Sophie Mitran (incumbents)

  • Ewan Davids agreed to take on the role of Membership Secretary.  It was felt that it was important that the club offer a meet and greet service to potential new members.  The meeting thanked Ewan for agreeing to perform this vital function.   

 

13.   Appoint suitably qualified auditor     This can only be done once the accounts are in order.  So, this is adjourned till date TBC.
 
14.   Any other business
  • A discussion was had around increasing membership numbers for adults and juniors:
  • Suggestions focused on:
    • Attracting sponsorship for the club
    • Reaching out local educational institutions.  Thanks to Mia Scally for offering to share information with Middlesex University students The Juniors offered to share information with their  schools.
    • It was also felt that a club identity and the Membership secretary was much needed role and vital to creating the right impression of the club for new members.
  • The club is heavily reliant on the goodwill and time of Roger Lancaster in teaching the juniors
    • It was noted that whilst the juniors form the larger part of Watford Chess Club's members, there was no desire to be a junior only club.  The club is a community where it is hoped that juniors will progress their skills and continue to play chess as adults for Watford Chess Club, it was noted that a number of members had been here for a number of years and had formed friendships and had no desire to play elsewhere at the age of 16/18.
    • The appointment of Ewan Davids as second coach to some extent removes the single point of failure for the junior coaching but further assistance is still required.  Suggestions for assistance to be adjourned date TBC.  However, there was a discussion around more parental involvement and some of the higher rate juniors assisting in training younger juniors.  It is also felt that the expansion of resources in this space, along with more thought as to playing layout may assist in noise control.  
    • For a fee coaching services to be brought in occasionally.
  • It was agreed that the committee would consider these matters and endeavour to report back at the adjourned session of the AGM

Note to Minutes:   Sophie Mitran's intention to stand down from the committee was not received in time to be recorded in the Minutes but this, and Ewan Davids' agreement to take up the role of Membership Secretary which has an automatic place on the club committee, means there are now two committee vacancies.