Devon and Cornwall Underground Council Constitution


  1. Name

1.1. The name of the organisation shall be the Devon and Cornwall Underground Council, hereinafter referred to as the Council.

  1. Objects

2.1. The objects of the Council shall be to foster the spirit of co-operation between organisations and individuals interested in any aspects of caving and mine exploration, and kindred subjects in the counties of Devon and Cornwall and to foster co-operation between the caving and mining world and other bodies or individuals.

2.2. The Council is not a caving or mining club itself, and shall not be entitled to possess caving, mining or potholing equipment.

2.3. The Council will endeavour to inform its membership of current practices in caving, mining and kindred subjects, negotiate and maintain access to caves/mines and host or sponsor events for the benefits of caver’s/mine explorers, to support mining and caving in general.

2.4. The Council will endeavour at all times to represent the best interests of cave / mine explorers and kindred subjects in general and specifically the interests of cavers / mine explorers in the south-west of England.

2.5. The Council may own equipment, in regards to access, P-bolt installation and conservation.

  1. Membership

3.1. Membership shall be open to any organisation or individual interested in the objects of the Council and subject to the approval of the Committee of the Council.

3.2. Membership shall be in two grades as hereunder:

  1. Group Membership – any organisation subject to section 3.1. run by an elected committee and properly constituted.
  2. Individual Membership – any person subject to section 3.1.
  1. Fees and Subscriptions

4.1. Organisations  (Group Membership) shall pay a joining fee of £10.00.

4.2. Individual Members shall pay a joining fee of £1.00.

4.3. The Council will at each annual general meeting determine the subscription level for the following year and may from time to time raise additional funds by imposing a levy on its membership.

  1. Officers and make up of Committee

5.1. The affairs of the Council shall be run by a Committee consisting of a Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer, Conservation and Access Officers and five others. No more than three of the aforementioned can come from anyone Group Membership.

5.2. All Officers shall be elected by a simple majority vote at each Annual General Meeting. Any additional Officer who may be deemed necessary for the essential or efficient running of the Council may be co-opted at a General Meeting to act for the remainder of the year.

5.3. Nomination for Officers may be submitted in advance or at the General Meeting and the nominee must signify in advance in writing their willingness to accept office if they cannot be present at the meeting.

5.4. In the event of an elected or co-opted committee member failing to carry out their duties, they may be removed from office by at least five committee members who must signify this in writing to all present committee members immediately. This action will only take effect if ratified by the next Committee Meeting where the person so removed shall have a right of appeal. At the next committee meeting if the removal of a committee member is ratified a replacement must be co-opted until the next Annual General Meeting.

5.5. An Officer shall be at liberty to form a sub-committee to assist in carrying out their duties, provided that the Committee are aware of such sub-committees.

  1. Meetings and Voting at Meetings

6.1. There shall be an Annual General Meeting each held each year presided over by a Chairman elected by a simple majority at that meeting. This meeting shall take place on the last Saturday in January or the nearest practical date. There must be a quorum of eight votes (see 6.2). At least 14 days’ notice of the business to be carried at the Annual General Meeting must be given by the secretary to all members. Any proposals or amendments to this constitution must be sent to the Secretary together with the signature of a proposer and seconder and must be received at least 35 days before the Annual General Meeting.

6.2. Apart from the election of the Chairman, Group and Individual Members are entitled to vote at General Meetings for members to form the committee.

In the event of a tie, the Chairman shall have a casting vote.  The Chairman does not have a normal vote while occupying this position.

6.3. A General Meeting may be called by members having at least seven votes as in 6.2. by writing to the secretary giving reasons for the calling of such a meeting. The secretary must notify all the membership within three weeks of receiving such a request and arrange the meeting two weeks after giving such notice. Any costs of such meeting may be paid by the persons calling such a meeting. There must be a quorum of eight votes (see 6.2.)

6.4. The committee shall meet at least twice each year and any known business to be conducted shall be notified to committee members at least two weeks in advance of each meeting. Voting at such meetings shall be by simple majority. Each elected or co-opted Committee Member shall have one vote. There will be a quorum of five.

6.5. Any amendments to this constitution can only be made at a properly called General Meeting of the Association.

7     Accounts

7.1. Proper accounts shall be kept by all officers of the Council and the Treasurer shall submit  accounts to the Annual General Meeting. The Financial year of the Association shall run to the 31st December.

8     Limitations

8.1. The Council shall have no power to interfere or mediate in the internal affairs of any member unless specifically requested so to do by that member.

8.2. No member may make use of the Council’s name without the express permission of the committee.

8.3. Any member acting against the interests of Speleology and Mine Exploration or against the interests of the Council may be expelled by the committee from the Council but such a member will have the right of appeal to the Committee and to the next General Meeting of the Council. Any such expelled member must receive two weeks’ notice of the next Committee and General meetings following such expulsion.

9      Dissolution

9.1. Dissolution of the Council may only be passed by a three-quarter majority decision of all members at a Special General Meeting called for that purpose. In the event of dissolution, the balance of any funds remaining shall be donated to organisations of a kindred spirit.


10      Interpretation.

10.1. The sole interpreters of this constitution shall be the Committee of the Council.