The Club Constitution
1.1. The name of the Club (“the Club”) shall be The Wandle Piscators, to be known informally as The Wands.
1.2. The Club was founded by Alan Suttie in 2004, and the Constitution ratified on 21st October 2005.
2.1. The objects of The Wandle Piscators shall be:
- to re-establish the ecology and reputation of the River Wandle as a mixed urban fishery;
- to promote the amateur sport of Angling, with community participation and environmental responsibility;
- to promote and protect the progress made in regenerating the River Wandle, if necessary by recourse to law;
- to offer coaching and competitive opportunities in angling;
- to manage fisheries owned or leased by the Club
- to ensure a duty of care to all members of the Club whilst taking part in Club events and organised activities;
- to provide all its services in a way that is fair to everyone
- to ensure that all present and future members receive fair and equal treatment.
2.2. At the time of the constitution of the Club, Angling rights over the majority of the River Wandle are unclear. In any event, The Wandle Piscators do not currently own or control any of this Angling, other than by custom, use, and a certain moral high ground derived from Members’ work with the Wandle Trust.
2.3. All those involved in the constitution of the Club hope that The Wandle Piscators will eventually acquire or lease Angling rights on the River Wandle. In the meantime, they intend The Wandle Piscators to be a club, which those who love and fish the River Wandle will aspire to join.
3. Permitted means of advancing the objects
3.1. The Club Executive has the power to:
a) lease or acquire Angling rights on the River Wandle or other waters;
b) take out any insurance for the Club, its contractors, and third parties;
c) raise funds by appeals, subscriptions, and charges;
d) open bank accounts;
e) set aside funds for special objects or as reserves;
f) invest funds in any lawful manner;
g) co-operate with or affiliate to firstly any bodies regulating or organising Angling and secondly any club or body involved with it and thirdly with government and related agencies;
h) discipline members for breach of the Club rules; and
i) do all other things reasonably necessary to advance the Objects.
3.2. NONE of the above powers may be used other than to advance the Objects consistently with the Rules below and the general law.
4. Membership, voting rights and fees
4.1. Membership of the Club shall be open to anyone with an interest in Angling on application regardless of sex, age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or other beliefs. However, limitation of Membership according to available facilities is allowable on a non-discriminatory basis.
4.2. The Club may have different levels of Membership and subscription on a non-discriminatory and fair basis.
a) The President, Chairman and Vice Presidents will have voting rights in Executive meetings, and in elections. Executive positions shall be honorary.
b) Members of the Club will have voting rights in the election of the Executive only. Members may also propose measures for discussion and voting by the Executive.
c) All Members who were present at the Club’s Inaugural Dinner on 9th March 2004 may claim the distinction of being Founder Members of The Wandle Piscators. Founder Membership does not confer any voting rights beyond those associated with Membership.
4.3. The Club Executive may refuse Membership, or remove it, only for good cause such as conduct or character likely to bring the Club or Angling into disrepute. Appeal against refusal or removal may be made to the Chairman.
4.4. Anyone wishing to join the Club should apply to the Membership Secretary.
4.5. The Club will keep membership fees at levels that will not pose a significant obstacle to people participating. Membership fees will be set by the Executive and shall be payable by Members. Continued Membership of the Club may be contingent upon payment of those fees, which shall be invested in the running of the Club, or for the benefit of the River Wandle and other Club fisheries, on a not-for-profit basis.
5.1. Subject to the rules of the Club, the Executive shall have responsibility for the management of the Club, its funds, property and affairs.
5.2. The Executive shall consist of:
a) An Honorary President; and
b) Honorary Executive Members, comprised of:
One Chairman; and
three Executive Vice Presidents: Secretary, Treasurer and Membership Secretary; and
up to seven additional Vice Presidents.
5.3. The Executive will also be supported by Honorary Patrons
Appointment of the Executive
5.4. The President shall retire and be eligible for re-election every three years from the date of the first constitution of the Club, and from then on, from the date of his first appointment.
5.5. All other officers of the Executive shall retire and be eligible for re-election by all Members every two years at the Annual General Meeting. New Candidates for the Executive must be proposed by one existing Member of the Club, and seconded by another.
5.6. If any Member of the Executive leaves office during his term, an interim may be appointed, at the discretion of the President and Executive, to hold this office until formal election at the next AGM.
5.7. Patrons will be invited to this role by the Executive.
6. Meetings and management rules
Frequency and notice of meetings
6.1. The Executive of the Club shall meet at least four times a year, one of those meetings being the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The President and all officers of the Executive shall receive at least one week’s notice of any meeting of the Executive.
6.2. All Members shall receive at least 42 days’ notice of the Annual General Meeting. The AGM agenda will be circulated 28 days before the date of the AGM.
6.3. The Quorum of any Executive meeting shall be at least 3 officers of Executive at the time of the meeting. The Quorum of the Annual General Meeting shall be 10, or 5% of the Members of the Club, whichever is greater.
6.4. At every AGM:
a) an Executive shall be elected to serve until the next AGM;
b) the Executive shall present a report on the Club’s activities since the previous AGM;
c) the Treasurer shall produce accounts for the Club for the latest financial year, audited as the Executive shall decide;
d) the Executive shall appoint a suitable person to audit the accounts; and
e) the Members shall discuss and vote on any resolution and deal with any other business put to the meeting.
6.5. Any Member may submit an item for inclusion in the AGM agenda up to 14 days after notification of the AGM date.
Chairmanship and communication
6.6. At any meeting where the President is not present, the Chairman shall assume his chair for the duration of the meeting. In the absence of either the President or the Chairman, those members of the Executive present shall elect a chairman from among their number. In either event, the chairman shall appoint a secretary to take notes and circulate them to all members of the Executive as soon as possible after the meeting.
Management decisions and delegation
6.7. All management decisions shall be deemed to have been delegated by the Members of the Club to the President and Executive. Management decisions shall be taken on a two thirds majority of the votes cast.
6.8. At any time, the Executive may agree to empower Members or others to carry out works on behalf of the Club. The scope of these works shall be clearly defined at the time of empowerment, with budgets agreed by the Treasurer if applicable.
6.9. All voting shall be carried out by a simple show of hands.
6.10. Officers of the Executive will give due consideration as to whether an Extraordinary General Meeting should be called to discuss and ratify major decisions.
6.11. The Chairman and one other member of the Executive will be appointed Trustees of the Club.
6.12. The Trustees will have the power and authority, with the agreement of the Executive, to sign legal documents such as fishery leases or contracts on behalf of the Club.
6.13. The Club will indemnify and hold harmless the Trustees out of the Club’s assets against all costs, charges, losses, expenses and liabilities incurred by the Trustees in the actual or purported execution, with the agreement of the Executive, of their duties, or in relation to them.
Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM)
6.14. An EGM may be called by the same number of Members required for an AGM quorum. Two weeks’ notice of the meeting and agenda will be given. The quorum, chair, and voting processes for an EGM will be as for an AGM.
7. Discipline and appeals
- All complaints regarding the behaviour of members should be submitted in writing to the Membership Secretary.
- The club member(s) implicated by the complainant will be contacted in writing by the Membership Secretary with details of the complaint and asked to submit a written response within seven (7) days.
- A panel of at least three ‘neutral’ club members will meet to hear the complaint within 21 days of it being lodged and to recommend a suitable course of action to the Executive. The outcome of a disciplinary hearing will be notified in writing to the person who lodged the complaint and the member(s) against whom the complaint was made within 21 days of the hearing.
- There will be the right of appeal to the Chairman following disciplinary action being announced. The Chairman will consider the appeal within 21 days of the Membership Secretary receiving notice of the appeal.
- The Executive has the authority to take appropriate disciplinary action including the termination of membership.
8. Assets and Funds
- The property and funds of the Club cannot be used for the direct or indirect private benefit of Members other than as reasonably allowed by the Rules and all surplus income or profits are reinvested in the Club.
- The Club may also in connection with the Angling objects of the Club indemnify the Executive and Members acting properly in the course of the running of the Club against any liability incurred in the proper running of the Club (but only to the extent of its assets):
- the Club shall not accept responsibility for any accident that may occur to any Member or person in their company whilst on the River Wandle or at any fishery owned or leased by the Club;
- the President and members of the Executive may be indemnified out of the funds of the Club for all liabilities, losses, costs and expenses incurred in carrying out matters relating to the Club, subject to funds being available, agreed as reasonable and passed by the Treasurer; and
- where consistent with the Club’s status as a Community Amateur Sports Club as first provided for by the Finance Act 2002, personal liability of officers of the Executive while engaged on the business of the Club shall be limited to the sum of £1 each.
- The Executive will have due regard to the law on disability discrimination and child protection.
9. Winding Up
- The Members may vote to wind up the Club if not less than three quarters of those present and voting support that proposal at a properly convened general meeting.
- The Executive will then be responsible for the orderly winding up of the Club’s affairs.
- After settling all liabilities of the Club, the Executive shall dispose of the net assets remaining to the Wandle Trust charity or its successor.
10. Relationship with the Wandle Trust charity
- The Club shall seek to co-operate with the Wandle Trust charity on all matters relating to the River Wandle.
- All Members of the Club shall be encouraged to join the Wandle Trust as fully paid-up Members, and attend at least one cleanup a year.
- Each year the Club will donate 10% of the membership fees collected during the previous year to the Wandle Trust to be used for educational and/or river restoration projects.
- Whilst angling on any part of the River Wandle, and elsewhere, Members shall uphold the highest standards of conduct, to promote the reputation of the Club and of their sport as a whole.
- All Members shall comply with Environment Agency regulations, and observe the following open seasons:
11. Fishing regulations
Game: Open season 1st April to 30th September
Coarse: Open season 16th June to 14th March
- Angling for fish shall be with any lawful method permitted in the Thames Region. In accordance with the Objects of the Club, barbless hooks are encouraged, and no litter or discarded tackle shall be left in or near the river.
- Since the River Wandle is still a fragile, regenerating ecosystem, it is hoped that Members will promote the value of 100% catch and release for all species of fish.
- In addition, Members are warned that due to the River Wandle’s industrial past, and their quarry’s position in the food chain, toxins may be concentrated in the tissues of all fish, rendering them dangerous to eat.
- As and when the Club gains control of any specific fishery, the President and Executive may impose more restrictive regulations on this water, for the benefit of the environment and for the enjoyment of those angling there.
12.1 Proposed amendments to the Constitution will be prepared by the Executive (provided that these amendments shall not jeopardise the Club’s status as a Community Amateur Sports Club as first provided for by the Finance Act 2002) and voted upon at and AGM or EGM. They must be passed by a two thirds majority of the votes cast.
13.1 Where there is any conflict between any of the above Rules (“key Rules”) and any other rule or rules the key Rule(s) will take priority. Interpretation of all the Rules must be consistent with the statutory requirements for CASCs (which means Community Amateur Sports Clubs as first provided for by the Finance Act 2002.)