Constitution

The Constitution of the Devon and Cornwall Underground Council (DCUC) accepted 25 January 2020

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

2. Aims
2.1. To maintain friendly relations and foster the spirit of co-operation with similar and associated bodies, with a view to promoting and achieving objects of mutual interest.

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. To encourage the exchange of information and ideas between its members and with other Regional Bodies and the National Council (BCA)

2.4. to safeguard the interests of cavers / mine explorers and kindred subjects in general and specifically of those in the south-west of England.

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

2.6. To obtain, maintain, improve and encourage the development of access to underground sites within the region.

2.7. To support and promote cave and mine conservation.

2.8. To maintain a registry of underground sites in the region and encourage the recording and availability of such information.

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

3.1.1. Group and individual Members of BCA can indicate their desire to become Full members of DCUC by ticking the appropriate Regional Council box on their annual return. They can also apply directly to DCUC at any time. They will not become Full members of DCUC until approved by the committee at an Ordinary or Annual General meeting.

3.1.2. Group and Individual members who are not members of BCA can apply to join DCUC as Associate Members. They will not become Associate members of DCUC until approved by the committee at an Ordinary or Annual General meeting.

3.1.3. Membership can be revoked by show of hands of full members at a committee meeting if, in the committee’s opinion, the group or individual is not conducting itself in line with the aims and principles of DCUC.

4. Finances
4.1. The Council may from time to time raise additional funds from other sources or by imposing a levy on its membership.

4.2. Proper accounts shall be kept by all officers of the Council and the Treasurer shall submit accounts to the Annual General Meeting.

4.3. The Financial year of the Association shall run to the 31st December.

5. Officers
5.1. The Officers of the council shall comprise Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Access Officer, Conservation Officer and up to 5 others as deemed required by Council and agreed at Annual General Meeting.

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. The nominee must have been a Full member of DCUC for a minimum of 12 months

5.4. In the event of no nominations submitted and current Officer unwilling to stand again the Council will consider nominations from the floor, but the Nominee must be present and willing to stand.

5.5. 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.

5.6. 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.

6. Meetings
6.1. The Council will meet for an Ordinary General Meeting at least twice a year.

6.2. There will be an Annual General Meeting held each year within 1 calendar month of the last Saturday in January

6.3. The Secretary will publish the Date, Time and Venue for each meeting together with an Agenda of matters to be discussed including the minutes of the previous Meeting. This information will be sent out to all Committee Members and member Clubs / Individuals at least 28 days before the meeting. Club and Group secretaries are resposible for informing their members as appropriate.

6.4. Ordinary Meeting
6.4.1. Any organisation or individual interested in the aims of the Council may attend an Ordinary meeting, subject to the approval of the Committee.

6.4.2. The meeting will be chaired by the current chairman, if not available then a stand in Chair can be requested from and agreed by those present.

6.4.3. Each BCA Group (full Member) club should have a nominated representative who is eligible to Vote on behalf of their club.

6.4.4. Voting will be by show of hands.

6.4.5. Those eligible to vote at OGMs are:
Members of the Committee, the Nominated Representative of each (full member) club – see 6.9.3.
Associate Members do not have a vote.
Each member has only one vote.
The Chairman does not have a vote except to cast a deciding vote in case of a tie.

6.4.6. The meeting will be deemed quorate so long as there are at least 5 full voting members in attendance.

6.4.7. The meeting should include a report from each of its standing Officers and any previously advised business in the Agenda. Any other business, not previously advised, may be considered at the end of the meeting

6.4.8. Changes to the Constitution can be suggested but not rattified at an Ordinary meeting

6.4.9. Minutes will be taken and distributed to members in a timely manner

6.5. Annual General Meeting
6.5.1. Any organisation or individual interested in the aims of the Council may attend the Annual General meeting, subject to the approval of the Committee.

6.5.2. The meeting will be chaired by the current chairman, if not available then a stand in Chair can be requested from and agreed by those present.

6.5.3. Voting will be by show of hands.

6.5.4. Those eligible to vote are everyone in attendance who is either a Full member of DCUC in their own right, or a member of a Full DCUC member Club.
Each member has only one vote.
The Chairman does not have a vote except to cast a deciding vote in case of a tie.

6.5.5. The meeting will be deemed quorate so long as there are at least 5 full voting members in attendance .

6.5.6. The meeting should include
6.5.6.1. Accept minutes from previous AGM
6.5.6.2. Consider applications from new members
6.5.6.3. Reports from Standing Officers
6.5.6.4. Review and agreement of accounts
6.5.6.5. Re- election of Officers
6.5.6.6. Consider any amendments to Constitution
6.5.6.7. Consider other proposals
6.5.6.8. Agree levies for year ahead
6.5.6.9. Discuss matters of interest and concern

6.5.7. Changes to the Constitution can only be rattified at an Annual General meeting

6.5.8. Minutes will be taken and distributed to members in a timely manner

6.6. Extraordinary Meeting
6.6.1. An Extraordinary meeting can be called when one third of member clubs feel there is important business that needs discussing before the next Ordinary or Annual General meeting.

6.6.2. An Extraordinary meeting will be held within 2 calendar months of the Secretary being notified.

6.6.3. The Secretary will publish the date, Time and Venue for the meeting together with an agenda of matters to be discussed.
This information will be sent out to all Committee Members and Member Clubs / Individuals at least 28 days before the meeting.
Club and Group Secretaries are responsible for informing their members as appropriate.

6.6.4. Voting will be as for an AGM – members must be present and no Proxy voting

7. Limitations
7.1. 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.

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

7.3. 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.

8. Dissolution
8.1. 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.

9. Interpretation.
9.1. The sole interpreters of this constitution shall be the Committee of the Council.