DHPC Constitution March 2022

This is the current DHPC Constitution.

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The Dunstable Hang gliding and Paragliding Club (DHPC) constitution - issued March 2022:

1.     The objectives of the club are:

1.1   To negotiate for, acquire and protect flying sites for members.

1.2   To preserve and encourage the sport of safe hang gliding and paragliding.

1.3   To provide facilities for hang gliding and paragliding for its members.

1.4   To engage in such other ancillary activities in connection with the sport of hang gliding and paragliding as it considers necessary.

1.5   The club shall be a members club of, or affiliated to, the British Hang gliding and Paragliding Association (known as the BHPA). The club shall consist of such full members, limited members and temporary members as hereinafter described.

2.    Membership:

2.1   Membership shall be either, life, full, limited, temporary or associate. All members shall be members of the BHPA and fly hang gliders or paragliders.

2.2   Life membership is awarded by the committee to members who have made a significant contribution to DHPC. Members who are awarded life membership become members for life without paying a subscription to DHPC. Life members must be a member of the BHPA to fly at any of the sites.

2.3   Full members pay the full subscription, have full voting rights, and may fly at any club site, assuming all specific flying requirements for the site are met. Limited members pay a reduced subscription, have no voting rights, and may fly only at a subset of club sites, as decided by the committee (assuming all specific flying requirements for the site are met.) Suspended members are not permitted to ground handle or fly at any of the sites until the suspension has been served.

2.4   Applications for full or limited membership must be signed by or on behalf of the applicant. Election of full and limited members shall be by a majority of votes at a meeting of the committee.  Reasons shall be given to any candidate in the event of his or her rejection.

2.5   Temporary members shall be admitted at the discretion of the committee, on a chargeable per day basis and will either be visiting flyers or pilots under instruction with any of the schools registered with the DHPC.

2.6   Registered schools must work with the officers of the DHPC and are responsible for obtaining and delivering to the treasurer the agreed daily membership fees from pilots under instruction. Schools must also ensure that their students are members of the BHPA.

2.7   Only schools registered with the BHPA and whose instructors are members of the club shall be eligible for registration with the DHPC and registration shall be at the discretion of the committee.

2.8   No temporary member shall be trained by a school on a DHPC site unless the school conducting the training is registered with the DHPC.

2.9   Subscription for full and limited membership, and daily charges for temporary membership shall be decided by the committee and approved at the Annual general meeting of the club.

2.10  Proof of DHPC membership must be visible immediately prior to launch from any DHPC site. Any member has the right to see such proof and the right to deny flight to any pilot not able to show evidence of current membership.

2.11  Social Media Groups (i.e Facebook, Whatsapp, Telegram etc.), are not considered membership of the club or covered in the constitution.

2.12  All hang gliders and paragliders being flown on a DHPC site must be certified according to the BHPA or nationally accepted airworthiness regulatory schemes.

Committee and Officers:

2.13  The affairs of the club, in all matters not reserved in these rules for the club in general meeting, shall be managed by the committee. The committee shall include a chairman, secretary, treasurer and safety officer together with such other members or officers as shall from time to time be co-opted or appointed by the committee or elected in annual general meetings. All members of the committee shall be full members of the club. Any full member of the club elected to the council of the BHPA shall be an ex-officio member of the committee.

2.14  All members of the committee shall go out of office every year at the end of the annual general meeting but shall be eligible for re-election.

2.15  The committee may appoint one or more sub committees for such purposes as it may deem appropriate.

2.16  One half of the members of the committee or any sub-committee shall constitute a quorum of that committee or sub-committee.

2.17  Persons with significant commercial interest in hang gliding or paragliding shall not be eligible for election to the committee.

2.18  The secretary shall take minutes in every full committee meeting.

2.19  Committee members can have their Annual subscription of the club waived and be entitled to £10 towards costs for every meeting they attend if they choose. This does not apply to virtual meetings.

2.20  The committee relies on committee members attending meetings and fulfilling the requirements of the elected role. Should for any reason, a committee member not achieve this, the chairman or secretary should notify the committee member of any concerns and if necessary, take a majority vote of the committee at the next committee meeting to keep or remove the committee member from the committee (the committee member does not vote). This is to protect the Club and members and maintain a committed DHPC Committee.

3.    Accounts and Auditors:

3.1  The treasurer shall keep such proper books of accounts as will enable him to present at every annual general meeting of the club or at any time if required on not less than ten days notice to him an accurate report and statement concerning the finances of the club.

3.2  An accountant or member of the club shall be appointed auditor at the annual general meeting of the club. He shall audit the annual statement of accounts and balance sheet and shall certify the same before presentation to the annual general meeting.

4.    General Meeting:

4.1  An annual general meeting of the club shall be held each year. Written notice of the day, time and place of this meeting shall be given to each full member together with an agenda at least fourteen days before such a day.

4.2  A general meeting of the club may be summoned at any time by the committee or shall be summoned upon request of a minimum of five per cent of the full members of the club in writing addressed to the secretary. The provisions as to notice referred to above shall also apply to a general meeting but the period of fourteen days may be abridged at the discretion of the committee. Five per cent of the full members of the club shall be present and constitute a quorum for general meetings.

4.3  At any annual general meeting of the club every full member shall be entitled to be present and have one vote on any matters raised. Full members, who are unable to attend said annual general meeting, may submit their one vote using electronic communication. In the case of equality of votes the chairman of the meeting, who shall be the chairman of the club or a deputy appointed by the chairman, shall have a second or casting vote. The secretary shall take the minutes of the proceedings of all general meetings of the club.

4.4  For the avoidance of doubt. Electronic communication (email, website, forum) is deemed as being suitable written communication to all members.

5.    Rules and Regulations:

5.1  The committee may from time to time, make, vary and revoke rules and regulations (not inconsistent with these rules) for the regulation of the affairs of the club and the conduct of members, for the regulation of flying sites for the safety of gliders and pilots and the public and other purposes incidental to the objects of the club.

6.    Conduct of Members:

6.1  Members shall conform during their flying activities to the code of practice, flying recommendations, flying rules and any other requirements laid down by the BHPA and to the site regulations and safety rules of the club.

6.2  The committee may suspend the membership of any member whose conduct is or has been in the opinion of the committee contrary to the interests of the club or in breach of any of the rules and regulations of the club. If that club member holds office he may not serve for the duration of the suspension.

6.3  Upon suspension written notice must be given to the suspended member of his suspension. The member can ask for a discussion with a member of the committee to provide and receive clarification, this clarification can be a discussion or in writing, this is the opportunity for both parties to be heard. Following the discussion, the member may call a general meeting of the club for a day not earlier than twenty one days following the suspension. Once a General Meeting is held, if the same member requests another meeting within 12 months, the Chairman can decline the request.

6.4  At such a meeting any allegations against the suspended member shall be presented by a member of the committee and the suspended member shall if he desires be heard in answer.

6.5  The decision of the club at the said meeting whether to reinstate or continue the suspension or terminate membership shall be taken by vote and shall be final and conclusive. Members will vote using the following method: Vote 1 – Should Member be reinstated? Yes/No? If decision by members is No (Allegation upheld), Vote 2 – Suspend Membership or Terminate Membership?

6.6  If, following a General Meeting, the vote results in suspension, if the Member breaches the suspension by flying or ground handling at any DHPC sites, this will result in immediate termination of membership. Following termination of membership, the Committee has final decision at renewal whether to decline membership.

7.    Conduct of Non-Members:

7.1  If a pilot flies a DHPC Site, the pilot should be identified, requested not to fly and encouraged to become a member. If the pilot does not become a member or flies a DHPC site again, then the BHPA should be contacted to establish BHPA Membership status. The DHPC Committee should make efforts to contact the pilot and notify the pilot that it is forbidden to fly DHPC Sites without membership and that the BHPA have been notified and they are banned from flying the DHPC sites until they have become a member and served a 3 month ban.

8.    Resolutions and notices: 

8.1  All matters which have to be decided by vote with the exception of those for which a special majority is required by this constitution shall be decided by a simple majority of votes.

8.2  The accidental omission to give notice to or the non-receipt of the notice by any member shall not invalidate any proceedings or resolutions at any meeting whether it be a meeting of the committee or the club.

9.    Exclusion of liability:

9.1  Neither the club nor any officers of the club shall be liable to any member or guest of a member for any loss or damage to any property occurring from whatever cause in or about club premises or flying sites, nor for any injuries sustained by any member or guest whilst on or entering club premises or sites. Members shall make their guests aware of such exclusion of liability.

10.    Alteration to this constitution:

10.1  These rules may be revoked, added to or altered by a majority comprising three quarters or more of the full members present and entitled to vote at any general meeting of the club of which notice has been given specifying the intention to propose the revocation addition or alteration thereof with full particulars of such proposals.

11.    Dissolution:

11.1  The club may be dissolved by the resolution passed by a majority of not less than three quarters of the members present and voting at the general meeting called for that purpose.

11.2  If upon the dissolution of the club there remains after satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities any money or property whatsoever the same shall not be paid or applied or distributed among the members but shall be applied by the treasurer, trustees or other person appointed by the meeting for that purpose to the furtherance of such objects similar to those of the club and if in so far as effect can not be given to the foregoing then for any charitable purpose connected with aviation.

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