Devon Bat Group Constitution, May 2017
1. Title – The Group shall be called the Devon Bat Group (DBG)
2. Aims –
a. The Aims of the Devon Bat Group
i. To promote the conservation of bat species in Devon.
ii. To protect bats and their roosts and their habitats in the county of Devon
iii. To promote the conservation of bat species and their habitats generally.
iv. To promote public awareness of the need to conserve bats.
v. To oppose, by any legal means, inhumane and/or illegal treatment of bats
vi. To further the knowledge of bat distribution and activity in Devon
vii. To collect bat records in Devon and use these to further conservation
viii. To assist in the training of bat conservationists.
ix. To offer specialist help in matters concerning bats to any individuals or organisation
x. Provide an ideal forum for discussion on bat conservation in the county of Devon
xi. To increase knowledge of, and sympathy for, bats and their conservation
These objectives shall at all times be pursued in accordance with the Wildlife and Countryside Act l98l (W&CA 8l), the Habitats Regulations 2010 (as amended) and with any legislation that works with, modifies or replaces these.
3. Affiliations – The DBG is a partner group of the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT)
4. Membership –
a. Membership shall be open to all persons interested in the aims of the Group and the furtherance of bat conservation and who pay the Group’s annual membership fee.
b. Honorary membership may be awarded to any individual who has given exceptional service to bat conservation either locally or nationally.
i. Honorary members:-
1. Must be supported by a letter of support
2. Be proposed by:-
a. A committee member, or
b. By a Group member, through a committee member
3. Be elected by a majority vote at a general meeting
4. Are not allowed to vote
5. A record of honorary members will be kept.
c. There is to be a mechanism to exclude people who do not share our values (or whose activities are not compatible with the group’s aims) from membership of the group.
5. Structure of the Devon Bat Group
a. Devon Bat Group has an executive committee.
b. General Meetings of the membership will be scheduled and the members notified.
c. The date of the next meeting or meetings is agreed at the close of each meeting.
d. In addition a meeting of members can be called with at least one month’s notice in order to discuss a matter arising if a suitable number of members desire it.
e. Members will be informed of events and news by mail out and the group’s website
f. Annual DBG subscriptions are due each January and membership terminated if membership hasn’t been renewed by the end of March.
g. The Group will maintain its registration under the Data Protection Act as required.
6. Officers –
a. The number and nature of officers representing the Group shall vary from time to time as agreed at group meetings, but will include, as a minimum, the following posts: –
i.. Chairman (a rolling chair if necessary)
b. All persons holding posts as officers within the Group shall only be elected to
those posts at the group’s Annual General Meeting, (AGM) and shall hold those posts for one calendar year only, until the next AGM at which point they must be re-elected in order to continue in those posts.
c. Voting Procedure:
One officer should be elected at a time using the following process:
1. Firstly the officer will be “Proposed” by a member of the committee
2. The proposed must be “Seconded” by another member of the committee
3. There will be a vote from all the attendees
N.B: Ideally the proposed Chair will have been a member of the committee
c. An officer may nominate a deputy for a particular meeting with the approval of those at that meeting.
7. Committee –
The affairs of the Group shall be managed by the Committee comprising the nominated officers of the Group
8. Other Formal posts held by members of the Devon Bat Group:
a. Membership Secretary
b. Records officer
d. BCT contact and representative
e. Website officer
f. Mail-out officer
g. Rescue contacts
h. Equipment officer
i. Events officer
j. Any of the above posts may be combined.
9. Finance –
a. The financial year of the Group shall run from Jan 1st to 31st Dec each year.
b. All moneys received by the Group shall be promptly deposited in the Group’s bank account.
c. withdrawals by cheque will require the signature of any two of the three nominated officers, and two people will be needed to authorise the treasurer to use online banking.
d. Accounts of income and expenditure shall be maintained by the treasurer and verified by an independent person outside of the group at the end of each year. These will be presented along with a summary at the Group’s AGM.
e. The annual subscription for membership shall be agreed by the Group and shall not be changed except by vote at the AGM.
f. Membership fees paid by those joining within 3 months of the end of the Group’s financial year shall be deemed to cover the following financial year also.
10. Meetings –
a. Committee meetings:
A quorum at committee meetings shall be 5 members, of which at least two are serving officers of the Group or an approved deputy or deputies as per 6.c.
b. All other meetings:
i. All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with good standards and practice. Minutes shall be taken and the Chair will be the final arbiter on all matters of order.
1. Annual General Meeting (AGM) –
a. An AGM of the Group will be held each calendar year, and shall be the first General Meeting in each of the Group’s membership year
b. The Secretary will give in writing each officer of the Group at least 21 days notice of the date, time and place of the meeting.
c. The AGM shall include as a minimum:
i. A report from the Chairman.
ii. A presentation of accounts by the treasurer.
iii. A review of the annual subscription.
iv. Election of officers (Chairman, Secretary and treasurer as a minimum) to hold office during the period up to the end of the next AGM.
v. Discussion on any other business connected with the affairs of the Group.
2. Extraordinary General Meeting –
i. An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the Group may be requested, in writing, by a minimum of 5 members.
ii. The Secretary will give the Group at least 2l days notice of the date, time and place of the meeting.
3. Other meetings –
The Group shall hold any other meetings that are deemed necessary throughout the course of the year to ensure the smooth running of the Group.
11. Amendments to the Constitution –
a. The Group and its operation shall be bound by the terms of this Constitution, those terms being sufficient to enable the Group to carry out a wide range of bat related activities.
b. Changes to this constitution shall only be made after agreement at the group’s AGM unless in exceptional circumstances. Any changes made by the committee should be agreed at the next meeting.
12. Insurance –
The Secretary will hold a copy of a current insurance certificate as issued to BCT Partnered Groups.
Members organising events on behalf of Devon Bat group, or for the sections, need to notify the mail out officer so that details can be shared with the group. Please refer to the BCT policy for further details.
13. Devon Bat Group sections–
There are local sections that reflect the geographical spread of DBG members. To belong to these sections, people must be paid members of Devon Bat Group. This ensures that all events are covered by BCT insurance.
14. Dissolution of the Group –
a. The decision to dissolve the Group may be taken only at an EGM called for that purpose.
b. The funds of the Group shall, after the sale of all assets and the payment of all outstanding debts and liabilities be disposed of as below by members at the final EGM.
c. The Group must properly discharge its responsibilities to other bodies such as the Bat Conservation Trust.
d. The remaining Group assets and records must be made available to recognised not-for profit wildlife organizations.