AMESBURY BRANCH BYE-LAWS
The following Branch Bye-laws are supplementary to The 2003 Royal Charter of Incorporation and Schedules, hereafter known as "the Royal Charter". They are binding on the Officers and Members of the Amesbury Branch.
All proposed alterations and amendments to these Bye-laws shall, after being passed by a two-thirds majority of those members present, qualified to vote and voting on the appropriate motion at the Annual General Meeting of the Branch, be submitted to their appropriate County/District Committee for approval and shall not come into force until they have received the latter's approval.
The name of the Branch is:
"The Royal British Legion Amesbury Branch" in the County/District of Wiltshire
To be referred to in these Bye-laws as "the Branch".
Branch Meetings will be held at:
Premises agreed at the previous Branch Meeting, currently The George Hotel.
Membership of the Branch shall be open to persons eligible to join The Royal British Legion.
A Member who wishes to resign from membership of the Branch shall inform the Branch Secretary in writing of his/her wish. Resignation must be accepted unless the Member concerned is the subject of an investigation under the Legion's Complaints Procedures in which case the wish to resign must be referred to the body hearing the complaint. Upon acceptance of resignation the Member shall return to the Branch Secretary their Membership Card.
A former member of The Royal British Legion may not claim back the subscriptions or other money they have paid to the Legion unless the money was paid to the Legion as a loan.
A Member wishing to transfer Membership to another Legion Branch must, as soon as possible, advise the Branch Secretary of the Branch willing to accept the transfer of the proposed date of transfer in order that the prescribed administrative action is taken.
A Member must, on changing their place of residence, inform the Branch Secretary in order that the Branch Membership and National Data records can be amended; also that the Legion Magazine can be delivered to the new address.
The Officers of the Branch shall be the:-
- Standard Bearer
The Branch Officers shall be elected to the Branch Committee at the Branch Annual General Meeting together with not more than twelve (12) other members of the Branch to fulfill the following available posts:
- Welfare Officer
- Assistant Welfare Officer
- Membership Secretary
- Area Poppy Organiser
- Deputy Area Poppy Organiser
- Area Poppy Treasurer
- Fund Raising Coordinator
- Communications Officer
The Branch Committee may appoint a President to serve for as many years, in three year terms as decided by the Branch Committee. The Branch President is an officer of the Branch but is not a member of the Branch Committee. He/she is entitled to speak, but not propose, second or vote, at Branch / Committee meetings .
The duty of the Branch Committee is to promote actively the objects of The Royal British Legion within the Branch's geographical area, as prescribed in The Royal Charter.
The Branch Committee are trustees of Branch assets unless trusteeship is vested in others, and must follow in every respect the Duties and Responsibilities of Trustees as required by the Board of Trustees and the Charities Act. They shall be ineligible for election or appointment if they are under the age of 18 years or if in accordance with the Charities Act they:
a) Have an unspent conviction for an offence involving dishonesty or deception.
b) Have been disqualified as a company director under the Company Directors Disqualification Act.
c) Are an un-discharged bankrupt.
d) Have been removed from trusteeship of a charity by a Court of the Commissioners.
The government and management of the Branch shall be entrusted to the Branch Officers and the Branch Committee of whom four (4) shall form a quorum. They shall exercise a controlling oversight over the affairs of the Branch in accordance with the objects of the Legion and carry out any directions given by the Board of Trustees or the County/District Committee. The Branch Committee will meet at least quarterly but preferably monthly if it is properly to fulfill its obligations e.g. there must be no delay in processing the applications of new members.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The Annual General Meeting of the Branch must be held within two months after the close of the Legion's financial year for the purpose of:
a. Receiving Reports of Branch activities during the past year.
b. Receiving the Branch Financial Report for the past year and adopting the audited/examined Branch Accounts as agreed by the Branch Committee.
c. When necessary electing the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.
d. When necessary electing the Branch Committee for the ensuing year.
e. Nominating candidates for the Board of Trustees, the County/District Committee, the County/District Conference Committee and the National Conference Committee.
f. Appointing of the Branch Standard Bearer, and possibly a Deputy.
g. Appointing Delegate(s) to represent the Branch at the Annual Meeting of the County/District Conference and the Legion's Annual Conference.
h. Deciding upon any proposal or relevant matter, and transacting any other competent business which has been duly submitted to the Meeting.
After its Annual Meeting, the new Branch Committee will:
a) Appoint a sub-committee to be known as the Branch Welfare Committee, whose task will be to carry out the Legion's welfare work in the Branch's designated area (or as locally agreed). Each Branch Welfare Committee must submit a report on its actions to the Branch Committee for confirmation or otherwise, bearing in mind the beneficiaries' confidentiality. If confirmed, the proceedings of the Branch Welfare Committee will become the proceedings of the Branch Committee. All welfare expenditure at Branch level must be under the authority of the Branch Officers as signatories. The members of the Branch Welfare Committee will appoint the Welfare Committee's Officers, and select members to be trained as 'Case-workers' whose task, when trained, will be to investigate, assist and bring to a final conclusion, all welfare cases brought before the Committee, ensuring that all necessary steps are taken to preserve confidentiality.
b) Complete the Branch Information (MS1) pro-forma in its entirety, taking particular care that all elected and appointed Members of the Branch Committee complete Part 4 'Certificate of Acknowledgement of Responsibility'.
The Branch Committee may appoint such sub-committees (including Poppy, Parade & Service) and specially selected individual members as may be necessary for the proper organization and administration of Branch affairs e.g. Membership Secretary, Pensions Officer, Employment Officer, etc.
The Branch may, at a Special General Meeting convened for that purpose, by resolution of the Branch Committee, or at the request of not less than two-thirds of the Members and Life Members of the Branch, remove from office any Branch Committee Member, and may elect another Member in place of any person so removed, or who has resigned or ceased to be a Member of the Committee, the new committee member will be subject to confirmation by election at the next Branch Annual General Meeting.
The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Branch and Executive Committee at which he is present. In his absence the Vice-Chairman will preside; and in the absence of both officers the meeting shall elect a chairman from the Officers present. Exceptionally the Branch President may preside at the Branch Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting if a situation so warrants.
The Chairman, or other Member in the Chair, shall be entitled to vote on any question, and in the event of an equal number of votes being cast on any matter, the motion shall be 'not carried'. In the event of a tied vote for an election to office, the members will be invited to vote again by secret ballot, and if this procedure still produces a tie, the matter shall be decided by lot. There shall not be a "casting vote" from the Chair.
No Official of the Branch shall be in arrears with his/her subscription, except on pain of forfeiture of the position held.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The Branch Committee, as trustees at Branch level are to be ever vigilant that they constantly serve the interests of the Charity at all times.
POPPY APPEAL AND WELFARE WORK
The Branch shall be responsible for actively supporting the Poppy Appeal and, through its Branch Welfare Committee for the co-ordination of all welfare work within its geographical area in liaison and co-operation with the County/District Committee and the County/District Manager and County Welfare Officer.
The Branch is to ensure that it continues to fully support civic events of Remembrance in Amesbury, usually led by the Mayor and Amesbury Town Council.
LIABILITY AND INDEMNITY
The Branch or any Sub-Branch, Committee, or Officer of the Branch or Sub-Branch, shall have no power, express or implied, to pledge the credit of the Legion, nor to incur any financial liability whatsoever in the name of, or on behalf of, the Legion or any Officer of the Legion, without the specific authority of the Treasurer.
All correspondence shall bear the Branch's title, address, a statement that the Legion is a registered charity, the Legion's Registered Charity Number 219279, together with the Branch's Legion computerized serial number (as issued by Head Office, BR2562) in clear legible characters; and the signatories of all correspondence shall clearly designate their appointment in legible and prominent characters. The statement that the Legion is a registered charity and the Legion's Registered Charity Number must be printed on all cheques. No one is authorized to use The Royal British Legion headed paper in a manner which may be misleading, or may give the recipient the impression that they have a contract with the corporate body of The Royal British Legion.
The Branch and members are prohibited from raising funds in the name of the Legion for purposes other than those defined in the Legion's Objects, and from using The Royal British Legion titled headed notepaper or accommodation for such a purpose. Any funds raised contrary to this Rule and credited to any Legion Account shall only be used in accordance with the Legion's Objects. Any funds raised by the Branch as a result of fund raising activities during the period 14th October - 14th November ("Closed Period") must be credited to the Poppy Appeal.
LEGION IN THE COMMUNITY
The Branch will continue seeking to foster and maintain close liaison with other local Service organizations in Amesbury including the RBL Women's Section, Royal Air Force Association and Amesbury Air Cadets.
DUTIES OF BRANCH OFFICERS
The duties of the Branch Chairmen shall include the following:
- As the Senior Elected Officer of the Branch Committee, to direct all Branch activities.
- To Chair the Branch Meetings and be conversant with the contents of The Royal Charter Rules and Schedules and other Legion publications.
- To control meetings effectively, ensuring that they are planned according to content and time, avoiding the imposition of his own ideas on the meeting but encouraging participation from members.
- To delegate duties to the members and to ensure that such duties are effectively performed.
- To ensure that proper handovers take place between newly elected Branch Officers, appointed Committee members, and their predecessors. This includes ensuring that all Minute Books, Correspondence, Legion publications, Branch papers and keys are handed over and, in the case of the Treasurer, that a correct audit/examination is undertaken and agreed by both the outgoing and incoming officers and that both are satisfied with the security of cash and cheque books.
- To set an example as an active member of the Legion and make themselves available for advising both the Committee and members.
- To ensure that such sub-Committees, individual Officers and members for specialist functions are appointed as shall be deemed necessary.
- To ensure that all Branch Committee Members are aware of their responsibilities particularly as trustees and that all new members of the Branch undergo induction training.
The duties of the Branch Vice Chairman shall include the following:
- To deputise for the Chairman in his absence.
- To be conversant with The Royal Charter Rules and Schedules, the various Handbooks and Guides and be fully conversant with all Legion programmes and activities.
- Such other duties as may be delegated to him/her by the Chairman.
The duties of the Branch Secretary shall include the following:
- To liaise with the Branch Chairman in the preparation of the Agenda for all Branch Meetings.
- To attend and record the Minutes of all General and Committee Meetings and safeguard all papers and documents of the Branch, especially legal documents such as title deeds and insurance policies.
- In the absence of a Membership Secretary, to receive all Applications for Membership; to monitor eligibility for membership by personally checking documents; to send to their County/District Staff the appropriate form MS4 together with the relevant Affiliation Fee. To receive the member's Membership Cards, if the cards do not go direct to the individual and to issue a temporary receipt for the Branch Subscription.
- In the absence of a Membership Secretary, to hold an up-to-date copy of the computerised Branch Membership data-list, as issued by Head Office, and to advise their County/District Office Staff without delay of all changes thereto eg. death, resignations, members change of address and the transfer of members to/from another Branch.
- To keep and hand to the Treasurer all moneys received by him, together with particulars of the fund to be credited, within three (3) days of receipt of same. The Treasurer will issue a receipt and/or countersign the Petty Cash Book.
- To draw Branch Committee's attention to any Branch Member who is three (3) months in arrears with their Branch subscription, in order that a reminder can be sent to the individual (responsibility of the Membership Secretary if one is appointed).
- To maintain a complete set of Legion Handbooks, Publications and guides for reference.
- To forward without delay any information required by or on behalf of the Director General.
- To send to the County Secretary within twenty eight (28) days of the Branch AGM the completed MS1. All concerned must be consulted before address and telephone numbers are divulged to a third party (Data Protection Act).
- To forward to the County Secretary any nominations and motions the Branch wishes to make at the Annual Meeting of the County Conference (Note: Where a Membership Secretary is appointed he/she will relieve the Branch Secretary of all matters relating to the administration and induction of members).
The duties of Branch Treasurer shall include the following:
- To be responsible to the Branch Committee for the financial affairs of the Branch. This includes the maintenance of Accounts and the conduct of the Bank Accounts.
- Attendance at Executive and Branch meetings in order to advise the Committee, and when necessary, the Members on the financial affairs of the Branch.
- To control all monetary transactions and record them in the Ledger, retaining all receipts and supporting documents.
- To receive and bring to account all membership subscriptions.
- To ensure that all monies received are promptly banked and entered into the Ledger.
- To send affiliation fees to County HQ with applications for membership.
- To ensure the Branch Account is audited/examined as required by the Royal Charter and Rules and submit the Annual return to Head Office ( Finance)/ County HQ, as applicable, as soon as possible after the AGM and by no later than 31st December.
- To ensure that all cheques are correctly made out and endorsed with the Branch Number and RBL Registered Charity Number. All cheques are to be signed by the Treasurer and one other Committee Member in accordance with the Mandate.
- To ensure the Branch Committee annually authorises the limit the Treasurer may expend on a single transaction without reference to the Committee. This amount must be entered in the Minutes of the relevant meeting which will normally be the AGM.
- To ensure that all payments are made by cheque, unless in exceptional circumstances, and that details of all payments made are reported to the Committee at each meeting and minuted.
- If it is ever necessary for a Petty Cash system to be used, it will be authorised by the Committee and operated as an Imprest. The Treasurer and one other Committee Member will carry out a monthly check and sign the Petty Cash Book to this effect.
- Authorize expenditure if in agreement of up to £150 per transaction without prior authorization from the executive committee.