Buntingford Drama

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 Our Constitution 


AGM sanctioned 8th October 2009

Appendix A – Suggested Roles and Tasks for the Committee
Appendix B – Child Protection Policy and Procedures
Appendix C – Health and Safety Policy

1.1 This Society shall be called the “Buntingford Dramatic Society”.
1.2 The Society logo shown above is defined by its design, font and relative proportions. The overall size and colour(s) may be changed according to the artistic and practical requirements of each application.

2.1 To provide live entertainment for local communities.
2.2 To raise funds to cover related expenses and for possible charitable donations.
2.3 To develop its stagecraft, technical and management skills.

3.1 The Society has five categories of membership.
Junior (below 18 years)
Ordinary (18 – 64 years)
Senior (65+ years)
Honorary (see note 3.8)
Associate (past members, sponsors, other mailing list contacts etc.)

3.2 The subscription year runs from 1 January to 31 December.
3.3 Renewed subscriptions fall due on 1 January.
3.4 Annual subscriptions can only be set at a General Meeting.
3.5 New-member subscriptions are calculated as pro-rata for the remaining months of the current subscription year.
3.6 Former-member subscriptions require the full annual fee for his/her category.
3.7 The Society welcomes all new membership applications without prejudice.
3.8 An Honorary Membership may be granted in recognition of an exceptional contribution to the Society. A proposal for Honorary Membership may be submitted in writing to any Committee member for ratification at the next General Meeting.
3.9 All members are encouraged to develop their personal stagecraft skills and to assist with routine production activities, both on and off stage.

4.1 The Financial year runs from 1 September to 31 August.
4.2 The Society is a non-profit organisation, holding sufficient reserves to support its ongoing programme.
4.3 All monies relating to Society income and expenditure will be transacted through the Treasurer and subject to the approval of the Management Committee.
4.4 Society funds shall be applied solely to the stated objectives of the Society.
4.5 No member of the Society shall receive payment either directly or indirectly for services to the Society other than for legitimate expenses incurred in his/her work.

5.1 The Society is managed through an elected body of no more than eight persons working as a Committee (see 7.1.7.).
5.2 The Committee requires a quorum of four members to proceed.
5.3 The Committee is elected at a General Meeting (AGM or EGM) for automatic dissolution at the next AGM.
5.4 The Committee may fill any vacancies or shortfall of skills by what it believes to be the most expedient method.
5.5 A Vice-Chairman may be elected from within the Management Committee.
5.6 All Committee members attending a meeting have equal voting rights; the Chairman having the casting vote in the event of a tied vote.
5.7 The Committee will normally meet once a month throughout the year as deemed appropriate.
5.8 The Committee may elect to dismiss any Committee Member failing to attend three consecutive meetings.
5.9 The Treasurer will present a current financial report at each Committee meeting which will include a Balance Sheet and a statement Income & Expenditure.

6.1 The Committee shall issue a communication to Society members as often as required.
6.2 The Committee may update a dedicated website and / or social media site for society news and for ‘noticeboard’ purposes as required.
6.3 E-mail addresses will not be disclosed to any third party for non-society business.

7.1 The Management Committee
7.1.1 The Committee is responsible for the implementation of this Constitution and its Appendices.
7.1.2 The Committee shall carry out the objectives of the Society by facilitating a programme of suitable productions and training events.
7.1.3 The Committee may elect to overrule the automatic right of membership of any Society member whose actions have brought, or might be expected to bring the Society into disrepute. An appeal for unfair dismissal may be proposed for a General Meeting vote.
7.1.4 The Committee may allocate, procure and dispose of any Society Asset in accordance with this Constitution in what it believes to be the best interest of the Society.
7.1.5 The Committee will ensure appropriate Public Liability Insurance cover.
7.1.6 The Committee may call an AGM or EGM (see Section 8.)
7.1.7 It is suggested that each new Committee assigns operational Roles and Tasks as appropriate (see Appendix A)

7.2 The Society members (excluding Associate members).
7.2.1 May stand for election to the Management Committee.
7.2.2 May submit proposals for consideration at the next General Meeting.
7.2.3 May vote at General Meetings.
7.2.4 May call an EGM (see section 8.4).
7.2.5 All members are required to behave and operate within the guidelines and spirit of this Constitution and its Appendices.

A General Meeting may take the form of an Annual General Meeting (AGM) or an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).

The meeting will follow an agenda set out in the pre-requisite Notice (see 8.3) and operate according to the Constitution Voting Rules (see. 8.4).

8.1 Annual General Meeting (AGM).
8.1.1 An AGM will be held once a year in September/October for the routine reporting of Society developments, forward plans, finance, assets, membership trends, outstanding proposals, comments by open forum, review subscriptions and to elect a new Management Committee and Auditor.

8.1.2 Any member may be proposed and seconded for a term of office. If nominations exceed the available positions, a secret paper ballot will be conducted.

8.2 Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called at any time to address unresolved Society issues.
8.2.1 An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called by one of the following groups by

A minimum of 1/3 of the current membership
A minimum of 10 current members
A majority vote of the Management Committee.

8.2.2 An EGM procedure is activated by submitting a written request to any Committee member for action at the next Committee meeting. The application must include:-
i. Details of the issue to be resolved.
ii. Signatures of the requisite number of members (see 8.2.1.)
iii. The date submitted to a Committee member.

8.3 Notices
8.3.1 The Secretary will issue a written Notice of an intended General Meeting to all contactable Society members prior to twenty-one days of the proposed date. The Notice will indicate the venue, date, time, an agenda and any written proposals for discussion and/or voting.
8.3.2 The Secretary will issue a revised written Notice to all contactable Society members no later than seven days prior to the proposed meeting if any agenda changes are considered significant.
8.3.3 A member wishing to make a proposal should submit the details in writing to the Secretary earlier than 10 days of the intended meeting.

8.4. Voting Rules
8.4.1 Voting can only be cast in accordance with the final Notice.
8.4.2 Only current members are eligible to vote.
8.4.3 Proxy votes will be included using the final ‘Notice’ if signed and submitted to a Committee member prior to the General Meeting.
8.4.4 The detail of any proposal may be refined during the General Meeting prior to voting.
8.4.5 Any proposal will pass by majority vote unless stipulated to the contrary in this constitution.

8.5. Dissolution of the Society
8.5.1 The Society shall only be dissolved by a resolution passed by a majority of at least five-sixths of the members present and voting at an EGM called for the purpose of considering such dissolution.
8.5.2 Following the attempted realisation of assets and the payment of debts, any remaining assets or funds will not be distributed among Society members. The meeting will agree on benefactor(s) with objectives similar to the Society and/or some worthy good-cause(s).

9. Child Protection
9.1 The Society is committed to protect children within it’s care from all forms of harm and abuse (see Appendix B)

Appendix A – Suggested Roles and Tasks for the Committee
Appendix B – Child Protection Policy and Procedures
Appendix C – Health and Safety Policy

Appendix A. Suggested Roles and Tasks for the Committee

Suggested Roles and Tasks to be reviewed by each new Committee and re-assigned as appropriate.

A1. Chairman
i. Facilitate Society objectives through the Committee.
ii. Produce the Committee meeting agenda.
iii. Officiate at Committee meetings personally, or through his/her appointed representative.
iv. Ensure Committee meeting records are accurately minuted.

A2. Administration Secretary
i. Record and distribute minutes.
ii. General liaison contact for the Society.
iii. Renew and manage Society insurances.
iv. Officiate at General Meetings.
v. Research and report the availability of suitable Grants.

A3. Treasurer
i. Execute all Society financial transactions.
ii. Maintain cost effective banking account(s).
iii. Maintain the Society Asset Register.
iv. Provide a financial transactions report at each Committee meeting.
v. Report the location of Society finances at each Committee meeting.
vi. Expedite an accounts audit prior to the AGM.

A4. Membership and Child Protection Officer
i. Maintain and make available a Contact List in tabular and address label format.
ii. Maintain a programme of recruitment.
iii. Expedite membership fees.
iv. Endeavour to ensure that the society’s child protection policies and procedures are adhered to.

A5. Publicity, Web site and Newsletter Co-ordinator
i. Facilitate an agreed publicity programme.
ii. Maintain a good image and presence for the Society and its activities in local/regional/national media as appropriate.
iii. Support and coordinate with the ‘event’ production teams regarding the above.
iv. Produce and/or expedite the Society Newsletter as appropriate.
vi. To co-ordinate the use and content of the Society’s Web site.

A6. Hall Hire Liaison Officer
i. Liaise with Hall management.
ii. Research hall hire time for agreed Society business.
iii. Maintain an accurate record of hall usage.
iv. Ensure correct payment of hall hire fees.

A7. Facilities Officer
i. Research the Sourcing of new Society equipment, materials and costumes, etc.
ii. Manage the safe, secure usage and storage of Society equipment, materials and costumes, etc.
iii. Support the ‘event’ production teams regarding the above.
iv. Co-ordinate responsibilities for Health & Safety

A8. Events Officer
i. Forward planning of events (Performances, Productions and Social).
ii. Support ‘event’ production teams as required (information, advice, sourcing etc).
iii. Liaise between the Management Committee and the ‘event’ production team.

Appendix B Child Protection Policy & Procedures

Buntingford Dramatic Society recognises its duty of care under the Children and Young Persons Act 1963, the Child (Performances) Regulations 1968, the Protection of Children Act 1999 and the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000.

The society is committed to the welfare of all children within it’s care. For the purpose of this policy, a child is defined as a person under the age of 18 years.

B1.1. The society believes that:
i. every child should be protected from all forms of harm and abuse. e.g. physical, emotional, sexual.
ii. any suspicion or allegation of possible child abuse must be taken seriously and dealt with swiftly and appropriately;
iii. every society member should understand the content and requirements of this policy ;
iv. it should work in partnership with the parents/guardians regarding the welfare of their child(ren).

B1.2. The society will ensure that:
i. all children will be treated with dignity and respect;
ii. child welfare will always be a priority during any society activity;
iii. bullying does not occur;
iv. adult members portray a positive role model;
v. appropriate action will be taken to avert unacceptable verbal or physical behavior;
vi. relevant legislative changes are promptly incorporated and implemented;
vii. a Child Protection Officer is assigned from the Society management committee to coordinate and implement this policy;

B1.3. Responsibilities of Parents and/or Guardians
i. to provide written acceptance of these Child Protection Policy and Procedures.
ii. the safe transportation of their child(ren) to and from any Society event or activity.

B1.4. Responsibilities of the Society
i. Ensure that children are supervised at all times.
ii. Child Protection Officer will designate the person(s) responsible for child protection prior to the onset of that production.
iii. Comply with the licensing requirements for a child to participate in a production.

The Society operates the following procedures to accompany the above child protection policy.

B2.1. Unsupervised Contact
When working with children, the Society will endeavor to ensure a minimum of two adults will be present.
i. If a second adult is not possible, appropriate precautions will be taken to minimize the risk of harm or abuse.

B2.2. Physical Contact
Adults will normally only touch children when absolutely necessary, such as
i. in response to an emergency;
ii. when required for a scripted Society activity. The consent of the child will be explicitly sought in advance.

B2.3. Photographic and other personal information
The Society will often use photographic and other media for its’ website and other promotional or training purposes.
i. Prior permission will be sought from any parent/guardian whose child is involved.

B2.4. Suspicion of Abuse
i. If you see or suspect abuse of a child while in the care of the Society, please make this known to the person with responsibility for child’s protection. If you suspect that the person with responsibility for child protection is the source of the problem, you should make your concerns known to the Chairman and the Child Protection Officer.
ii. Please make a written note for your own records of what you suspect or witnessed as well as your response, in case there is any follow-up in which you are involved.
iii. If a serious allegation is made against any member of the Society, chaperone, venue staff etc. That individual will be suspended immediately until the investigation is concluded. The individual will be excluded from the theatre, rehearsal rooms, etc. and will not have any unsupervised involvement with any child within the care of the Society. (See 7.1.3. above)

B2.5. Disclosure of Abuse
If a child confides in you that abuse has been attempted:
i. Remain calm and in control, but do not delay to take action.
ii. Listen carefully to what is said.
iii. Do not promise to keep it a secret. Make it clear to the child that you will need to share the information with others who need to know and who will be able to help. Take the first opportunity available to share this information with the person with responsibility for the child’s protection.
iv. Reassure the child that ‘they did the right thing’ in telling someone, and explain what you are going to do next.
v. Make a record of the conversation. Note the time, date, names involved/mentioned and with whom you shared the information. Sign and date this record.

B2.6. Recording of disclosure
The Child Protection Officer will ensure that:
i. In all situations, (including where a disclosure was made in confidence) the details of an allegation or reported incident will be recorded, regardless of whether the concerns were shared with a statutory Child Protection Agency.
ii. The record will be securely stored and shared only with those needing to know about the incident.

B2.7. Rights and Confidentiality
i. If a complaint is made against a member of the Society, he or she will be made aware of their rights under this policy and of the disciplinary procedures set out in this Constitution.
ii. No matter how you feel about the complaint, all affected parties will have the right to confidentiality. Remember also that any possible criminal investigation could be compromised through inappropriate information being released.
iii. Remember that in criminal law the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

B2.8. Chaperones
i. The person responsible for child protection will decide when the use of chaperones during a production is appropriate.
ii. Guidelines for chaperones will then be issued on an ad hoc basis by the person responsible for child protection.

Appendix C – Health and Safety Policy

C1. Statement of Intent.
The committee of this Society will endeavour to meet it’s responsibilities under the Health and Safety Act for members and visitors.

C2. Responsibilities of the Committee.
i. To formulate a Health and Safety Statement dealing with individual actions and potential hazards.
ii. Regularly review health and safety arrangements and implement new arrangements when deemed necessary.
iii. Facilitate the resources to implement the said arrangements.
iv. Promote a positive health and safety culture to a high standard.

C3. Responsibilities of the designated Health and Safety Committee Member.
i. To take overall responsibility for Health and Safety
ii. To be the primary contact for liaison regarding health and safety matters.
iii. To ensure there is no misuse of plant and, equipment.
iv. To ensure plant and equipment is safe for its intended purpose, during transit and storage.
v. To maintain a written record of reported accidents, near-misses and perceived hazards for discussion and action.
vi. To undertake immediate action to avert any imminent danger.

C4. Responsibilities of all Society Members.
i. To care for the health and safety of themselves and others.
ii. To consider the health and safety consequences of their actions.
iii. To cooperate with the any committee decision regarding matters of health and safety.
iv. To not intentionally interfere or misuse any equipment or fittings that might compromise safety.
v. To only use equipment considered to be safe.
vi. To only undertake potentially hazardous activities when considered to be competent to do so.
vii. To report immediately to a committee member any perceived danger or hazard.

SLM 05-01-17