The Dorchester & District Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Tourism Rules and Constitution

Dorchester from the water meadows

1          Name


            The name of the Association is Dorchester Chamber of Commerce Industry and Tourism (“the Chamber”)


2          Object

The object of the Chamber is to originate and promote any measures that may be calculated to enhance or benefit the businesses and general interest of the town of Dorchester and surrounding districts.


3          Construction

(a)        The Chamber shall be non-political and non-sectarian.

(b)       The Chamber shall take its lead on policy from the Membership.


4          Membership

            (a)        Membership of the Chamber shall be open to all business and others having business interests in Dorchester and surrounding districts.


(b)        Applications for Membership of the Chamber shall be made online or in writing and agree if elected to be bound by the Rules and Constitution of the Chamber and give the name of the person who will represent the Member at Committee Meetings. Each application will be placed before a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Chamber and the majority of Members then present may approve the application. Membership in accordance with these rules becomes effective on payment of the appropriate subscription or proportional subscription. The Executive Committee may refuse an application for Membership without assigning reason.


(c)        A copy of the Rules of the Chamber shall be supplied to each Member electronically.


(d)        Each Member shall appoint a representative to attend and vote at the Chamber meetings.


(e)        Additional representatives of any Member may attend Meetings, but they shall not be entitled to vote.


(f)         Members shall pay an annual subscription on the first day of September in every year in accordance with such scale of subscriptions determined by the Executive Committee.


(g)        The Secretary shall keep a register of Members with the names and addresses of nominated representatives. The nominations of representatives may be revoked or altered at any time by the person entitled to make them, in writing to the Secretary.


(h)        No Member, whose subscription is more than three months in arrear, nor his representative shall be entitled to vote at any Meetings or to any privilege of the Chamber.


(i)         The Executive Committee shall have power to suspend or terminate Membership of the Chamber and that Member will then be notified of all relevant circumstances and given the opportunity to submit written representation as to why his Membership should not be suspended or terminated. All questions relating to the suspension or termination of Membership shall then be determined by the Executive Committee.


If such Member is dissatisfied with the determination of the Executive Committee he shall have the right of appeal to a Special Appeal Committee all of whose members shall be subscribing Past Presidents of the Chamber and there shall be at least three. The Member shall have the right to be represented by a friend at such appeal. The Executive Committee shall be entitled to nominate an officer of the Chamber of the Secretary to put all relevant circumstances to the Special Appeal Committee. The decision of the Special Appeal Committee shall be final and binding.


5          Associate Membership

            (a)        Associate Membership shall be open to those organisations that are not wholly of a business nature but have a commercial or educational element in their activities and have aims and objectives compatible with those of the Chamber.


            (b)        Associate Members shall pay an annual subscription which reflects their Membership benefit if it is deemed to be appropriate by the Executive Committee.


            (c)        Associate Members shall be entitled to send representatives to meetings but these representatives shall not be entitled to vote or stand for election to the Executive Committee, they may advise the Executive Committee if invited to do so.


            (d)        The name of Associate Members shall appear with appropriate details in the published Directory of Members.


6          Executive Committee


(a)        The business of the Chamber shall be managed by an Executive Committee consisting of a President, a Vice-President, Honorary Treasurer and up to eight Members of the Chamber. The Secretary shall support the Executive Committee.


(b)       The roles of the Executive Committee are set out in the Schedule.


(c)        The Executive Committee shall have powers to determine, refine, manage and implement the policy of the Chamber. Powers to allow the day to day running of the Chamber shall be vested in the Executive Committee by the Membership.


(d)        The Executive Committee may appoint a Membership Sub-committee, which shall consist of at least two Members. One member is to be responsible for the administration of the Sub-committee. The terms of reference of The Sub-committee shall be set out in the appointment.


(e)        The Executive Committee may appoint other sub committees to deal with specific matters relating to the objectives of the Chamber. The terms of reference will be set out in the appointment. The sub committees shall appoint a chairman and will report to the Executive Committee in accordance with its terms of reference.


(f)         The total numbers of the Executive shall not exceed 10, but should not be less than 6 all being Members of the Chamber elected at the Annual General Meeting.


(g)        The President, or in his absence the most senior member of the Executive Committee present (“the Chairman”) shall preside at all meetings. The Chairman shall have a casting vote in addition to his own.


(h)        The Honorary Treasurer shall prepare and maintain the Accounts, the Financial Year shall be from 1st September to 31st August annually. The Accounts shall be subject to an Independent Examination by a qualified accountancy professional who shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting.


(i)         The Accounts of the Chamber having been previously approved by the Executive Committee shall be presented at the Annual General Meeting.


(j)         The Executive Committee shall meet at least bi-monthly, and five members shall form a quorum.


(k)        The Executive Committee shall report all progress on accepted actions at each  Committee Meeting.


(l)         In the event of any officer of the Executive Committee dying, retiring, resigning or becoming insolvent between the regular periods of annual election, the vacancy shall be filled pre tempore by the Executive Committee and shall be subject to ratification by the full membership at the next Annual General Meeting.


(m)       In the event that a member of the Executive Committee be absent from three consecutive meetings of the Committee, it shall be at the discretion of the Committee to request his or her resignation from the Committee, and the vacancy can then  be filled by co-option. This appointment shall be subject to ratification at the next Annual General Meeting


7          Changes to the Rules and Constitution


(a)        Any changes to the Rules and Constitution will require ratification by the Membership at the Annual General Meeting or a Special Meeting.


(b)        Any proposals for an amendment or change to the Rules or Constitution shall be lodged, in writing, with the Secretary at least 28 days before the Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting.


(c)        Members shall receive at least 21 days notice of any proposed changes to the Rules and Constitution.


8          Secretary


(a)        The President and Executive Committee may appoint and retain the support of a Secretary.



(b)        Should the person appointed to this position not be a qualified member of the Chamber they will not be entitled to vote.


(c)        The Secretary will be paid an honorarium that will be set by the Executive Committee and revised annually.


            (d)        All reasonable expenses properly incurred by the Secretary in the discharge of his duties shall be reimbursed by the Chamber.


(e)        The Terms of reference shall be specified by the Executive Committee and revised annually.


(f)         A copy of the terms of reference will be available to the Membership at all reasonable times.


9          Elections of the Executive Committee


The election of Members to the Executive Committee shall be carried out in the following manner:-


(a)        On the Agenda of the Annual General Meeting it shall be requested that nominations for the Committee be delivered to the Secretary fourteen days before the date of such Meeting.

(b)        Every Member of the Chamber shall have the right of nominating as many persons for election to the Executive Committee as there are vacancies to fill and such nominations shall be in writing on the official form to be prescribed by the Secretary and shall be signed by two Members and the nominee.


(c)        A list of all nominations shall be distributed at the Annual General Meeting and a ballot taken if more nominations are received than there are seats vacant.


(d)        The tenure of an individual in the post of President shall be limited to three years.


10        Meetings


10.1     Conduct of Meetings


(a)        At any Annual General Meeting or Special Meeting of the Chamber twenty per cent of the Members shall constitute a quorum.


(b)        During the debate any Member wishing to speak shall indicate his intention to the Chairman and, when acknowledged, shall address the Chairman and not any other member.


(c)        If two or more members make such indication together for the purpose of speaking it shall rest with the Chairman to decide who shall speak first.


(d)        Whilst a member, recognised by the Chair, is speaking all others shall remain silent.


(e)        Whenever the Chairman indicates his intention to speak all other members shall give way.


(f)         At every Meeting the Minutes of the preceding Meeting shall be proposed for acceptance as a true record of events and, if approved, signed by the Chairman.


(g)        The Reports of the Executive Committee shall have precedence over ordinary Motions.


10.2     Motions & Amendments


(a)        Any Amendment to a Motion being considered by the Meeting shall require formal Proposal and Secondary support from the floor of the meeting.


(b)        Each proposed Amendment to a Motion being considered by the Meeting must be decided by the Meeting voting “for” and “against” it.


(c)        Any Amendment that is carried shall take the place of the Original Motion and may be subject to further Amendment.


(d)        No Motion or Amended Resolution shall be considered as carried until it shall have been voted upon and accepted as Substantive Resolution after all proposed Amendments have been disposed of.


(e)        That no Member shall, without the consent of the Chairman, speak more than once on the same Motion or Amendment, except the mover of the Motion shall have the right of reply.


(f)         At any Meeting the Chairman may in his discretion refuse to accept a Motion or amendment of which due notice has not been given.


(g)        That if any Meeting be adjourned, the business shall be resumed as a continuation of the former Meeting.


10.3     Voting


That the mode of voting shall be as follows:-


(a)        In election of the Executive Committee – by ballot;


(b)        In the Annual General Meeting and Special Meetings  – by show of hands


10.4     Intervention


(a)        The Chairman shall have discretion to guillotine any motion considered in his opinion acting reasonably to be overly contentious and postpone its debate until a future opportunity presents itself.


(b)        The decision of the Chairman with regard to the application of these Rules and the Constitution shall be final.


10.5     Annual General Meeting


(a)        The Annual General Meeting shall be held annually in November.


(b)        Twenty one days’ notice of such Annual General Meeting shall be served upon the full Membership of the chamber. The calling notice shall have attached nomination papers for the election of the Executive Committee to serve during the forthcoming year.

(c)        At the Annual General Meeting the Executive Committee shall present a Report upon their activities during the previous year.


(d)        Suitably qualified Independent Examiners shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting to verify the Accounts of the current Financial Year.


(e)        The Accounts of the preceding Financial Year to 31st August, duly confirmed by the Independent Examiners, shall be laid before the members for acceptance.


(f)         Any other necessary business may be transacted.


10.6     Members Meetings


Members Meetings shall be held regularly including both breakfast and evening meetings, of which reasonable prior notice shall be given.



10.7     Special Meetings


Special Meetings of the Chamber may be convened to resolve issues considered to be outside the remit of the Executive Committee.


Special Meetings may be called either by four members of the Executive Committee, or by one third of the Full membership of the Chamber, who shall give at least twenty one days  notice in writing, through the Secretary, stating the objective(s) of the Meeting.


Amended as agreed at the February 2013 Executive Meeting.