Constitution

Constitution ofWeymouthHoteliers, Guesthouse, &, Leaseholders Association

1.         Name

The Organisation shall be called “Weymouth Hoteliers Guesthouse, &, Leaseholders Association” WHGLA.

2.         Definitions

In this Constitution the following terms shall have the meaning set opposite them: –

a)         “The Association” means the “Weymouth Hoteliers Guesthouse, &,  Leaseholders Association”.

b)         “Accommodation Providers” means a sole proprietor, partnership, firm or company offering either serviced or unserviced accommodation to members of the public.

c)         “Establishments” means serviced accommodation in the way of bed and breakfast establishments, guest houses and hotels, unserviced accommodation in the form of holiday cottages, holiday houses, holiday chalets and the like.

d)             “The Committee” means officers of the Association and area representatives,

elected annually in terms of this Constitution.  Minimum number of

Committee members to be 4 and Maximum number of Committee members to be 12.  All Committee members elected must have been members of the Association for continuous period of a minimum of 12 months (unless the proposed person has just taken over a Guesthouse which was an ongoing member of the Association).  All Committee members sign up to the role having read and signed the role profile.

e)             “The Chair” means Chair of the Association and in order to be elected the

person must have served on the Committee for a period of no less than 6

months prior to their election.

f)          “Weymouth&Portland” means the Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Administrative Area as presently defined for Local Government purposes.

g)         “The Policy Statement” shall mean a policy as the Committee shall, in consultation with members of the Association, develop from time to time, intended to represent in a democratic fashion a distillation of the views of members of the Association.  The policy statement, which may be varied from time to time as after mentioned, shall be an annexation to the Constitution and as such may be varied as after mentioned and shall not be varied by the membership in general meeting.

3.         Aims & Objects

a)         To further the business interests of Accommodation Providers withinWeymouth&Portland.

b)         To maintain and develop a standard of ethical practice amongst Accommodation Providers and within the Accommodation Provision sector generally of the tourism industry.

c)         To promote good business relations within the tourism industry between accommodation providers and with other businesses inWeymouth&Portlandand elsewhere.

d)         To promote and develop good business skills, communications and methods amongst Accommodation Providers.

e)         To facilitate the transfer of experience and skills amongst members of the Association.

f)          To represent and negotiate on behalf of members of the Association with the Area Tourist Board, local council and others with regard to membership issues.

g)         Generally, to further the interests of the Association in terms of the policy statement to be formulated as after mentioned from time to time.

4.         General Policy

The Association shall be neither political nor religious in stance.

5.         Membership

Membership of the Association is open to the owners or tenants of serviced or unserviced establishments in Weymouth & Portland who are involved in the provision of tourist accommodation and which establishments are classed as bed and breakfasts, guest houses and hotels in the case of serviced businesses and holiday homes, lets, cottages or alike with regard to unserviced businesses.  Although preferred, members are not required to be registered with or part of a grading scheme.

Membership is also open to all leasehold businesses and freehold property owners.  In this instance any prospective member must provide proof of eligibility to the secretary of the Association.

There shall be one class of membership for each establishment. Sole proprietors, partnerships, firms, or company owners shall be treated as one member and each member shall be entitled to one vote.   Guesthouses in existing ownership who were mailed at the start of the membership year can only join the WHGLA in the period from 31st March to the 1st of May of the year in question (as the membership year runs 1st April to 31st March and this allows 2 full calendar months for renewals and new applications). Full membership charges would obviously be due.  Where a change of ownership has occurred the new guesthouse owners are able to join at any time of the year paying a pro rata membership charge and being eligible for full membership rights.  Paid up members have their membership transferred to the new owners free of charge.

Members will be issued with a WHGLA window logo sticker on becoming a member.  This can be displayed internally but ideally externally and will remain the property of the WHGLA.  Members who relinquish or have their membership terminated are expected to remove these stickers at the earliest possible time and within one month of the event.  Members will also be displayed under the members area of the website and will receive a log in and password for access to the Members area on the WHGLA website (www.whgla.org.uk)

6.         Bank Account

A bank account shall be opened and maintained in name of the Association at the National Westminster Bank or such other bank or banks as the Committee may decide from time to time into which the Treasurer shall deposit all monetary receipts whether in cash, cheques, bank drafts or others.  All cheques, promissory notes, drafts, bills of exchange and other negotiable instruments shall be signed on behalf of the Association by nominated persons usually by the Treasurer and/or one other Committee Member. The Committee may authorise the signature of cheques by the Treasurer and or other Committee member alone on behalf of the Association for an amount not to exceed a sum as may be specified by the Committee.

7.         Ethics

Members of the Association agree to abide with a code of ethics of the Association summarised as follows: –

a)         To treat other members of the Association fairly and equitably in all business dealings.

b)         To assist other members of the Association by referring visitors unable to be accommodated by themselves to the nearest member of the Association having availability suitable to such visitors.

c)         To maintain the highest standards of service and integrity in their dealings with guests.

d)         To promoteWeymouth&Portlandas a holiday destination.

e)             To promote the principle of personal, friendly and honest service to

visitors to the area irrespective of race, religion or creed.

f)               Not to participate in methods or practices that would degrade or

undermine any of the above statements of ethics.

g)             To maintain confidentiality as appropriate at all times and in all

associated dealings with the Committee and WHGLA members alike.

h)         To respect members privacy and use their personal details (incl. email addresses) for

Association use only (as per the membership form signed by members).

8.         Subscriptions

Subscriptions shall be payable annually in advance and the membership year shall run from April 1st each year.  Members joining during the membership year shall be entitled to the same privileges as those enjoyed by existing members. Payment of the subscription by the due date is a commitment to one year’s membership of the Association from that date and no refund or apportionment of subscriptions shall be made except in the most exceptional circumstances and that at the discretion of the Committee.  Memberships are at the full amount as set for that year by the Committee whether payable on 1st April or later in the year.  A reduced rate may be permitted at the half year stage i.e. 1st October onwards but this will be subject to Committee approval on a case by case basis if this matter arises. To retain member’s continuous membership all subscriptions for the new year’s membership must be paid by 30th April of the new year.

9.         Subscriptions Rates

a)         The 2012/13 subscription rate for serviced and unserviced accommodation providers shall be £40.00 (£35 if paid before the AGM or 30th April of the said year whichever is the sooner)

b)         When an establishment has both serviced and unserviced accommodation only one basic subscription shall be charged.

c)         Subscription rates will be reviewed annually by the Committee, and recommendations for any increase or reduction shall be made to and, if thought appropriate, approved by a majority of members attending an Annual General Meeting.  This is done yearly in advance i.e. levels for 2013/14 year were agreed at the 2011/12AGM.

10.        Termination of Membership

If a member, in the opinion of the Committee, acts in any way so as to prejudice the aims or objects of the Association or in such a way as to bring the name of the Association into disrepute, the Committee shall have the right to suspend the membership of such a member.  This action will be taken immediately with a view to providing that such member or a representative thereof the right to be heard by the Committee before any decision is made as to termination of their membership.  All membership rights are withdrawn whilst the member is suspended.  The Committee will review the suspension and any related information supplied by the said member or representative thereof at the next Committee meeting when a decision will be made regarding termination or removal of suspension.  Any member having their membership terminated will remain ineligible for membership of the Association for a full 12 months from the date of the incident.  No refund of any fees paid will be made.

11.        The Committee

A Committee consisting of the officers and area representatives shall administer the Association and be proposed and seconded for election annually at the AGM: –

a)         The officers shall comprise of a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.  Officers shall give their services on a voluntary basis but personal expenses incurred by officers in carrying out their duties may be reimbursed by the Association and which comprise: –

i)          Travelling expenses for purposes specifically agreed by the Committee.

ii)          Postage and stationery costs.

iii)         Other expenses specifically agreed by the Committee.

b)             There is also an option for area representatives (Committee Members) who

shall be fully elected members of the committee with full voting rights, and will

represent the interests of a particular area, terrace or block of the

membership withinWeymouth&Portland.  There is a role profile and

declaration for Committee members and Officers to sign and abide to.

c)         The Committee shall have the authority to co-opt additional members to serve on it for specific purposes. Such co-opted members shall serve in an ex officio capacity and shall not at any time exceed four in number. Such co-opted members shall not be entitled to vote nor shall they have any cheque signing authority.

d)         The Committee shall have the authority to form a sub-committee for any purpose that the Committee deems necessary to further the aims and objects of the Association.

e)         In the event of a tied vote at any Committee meeting the Chair of the meeting shall have a casting vote.

f)          A quorum of the Committee shall be a minimum of three members, one of whom shall be the Chair or Vice Chair.

g)         Committee meetings shall be held monthly, or at such other times as may be requested by no less than two committee members.

h)         The Treasurer shall keep a record of Members’ subscription payments this record shall be available for inspection by Members on giving reasonable notice to the Treasurer.

i)          The committee shall have the authority to co-opt any member as a temporary member of the committee to fill any vacancy that may occur or for any other purpose that the committee by majority, may deem necessary.  Any member so co-opted shall remain as a member of the committee until, and not beyond the next Annual General Meeting, which may, at its discretion, elect that member.

12.        Annual General Meeting

Once in each year the Secretary shall convene an Annual General Meeting on giving no less than twenty-one days notice thereof to members.  All members shall be entitled to attend the Annual General Meeting, each having a vote.  If members re not able to attend theAGMthey agree to abide by the majority decisions (if any) which may be voted on at the meeting.  The Annual General Meeting shall receive the annual report of the Association delivered by the Chair and shall also receive the Treasurer annual financial statement and the Secretary’s report.  Officers comprising the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of the Committee shall all resign at each annual general meeting but any officers so resigning shall be eligible for re-election.  All nominations for Officer positions must be submitted in writing to the Secretary at least 7 days prior to theAGM.  Nominations for Committee members can be made in advance or at theAGM.  The annual general meeting shall also consider any proposals to amend this Constitution in accordance with the procedures for amendment as hereinafter contained and of conducting any other competent business. Other than any amendments to the Constitution, a majority of members entitled to vote and attending an Annual General Meeting shall constitute a majority for transacting business at an Annual General Meeting. A quorum at an Annual General Meeting shall be ten members or 20% of the total membership (whichever is the lesser) whether it be by proxy or in person.

Members may elect a proxy (must be submitted in advance and they to must be a paid up member of

the Association for the year in question) or the Chair to vote on

their behalf at theAGMif they submit the appropriate form/authority in their apologies

to the Chair.  This must be noted accordingly in the minutes of theAGM.

13.        Special General Meeting

A special general meeting may be called at any time by any member provided such member has submitted to the Secretary a requisition signed by no less than 20% of the membership requesting the Secretary to convene such a meeting and giving notice of the business to be transacted thereafter. On receipt of such a notice, the Secretary shall be obliged to call a special general meeting within twenty eight days by notifying all members of the Association by either email, fax or post. A majority of members entitled to vote and attending a Special General Meeting shall constitute a majority for transacting business at a Special General Meeting. A quorum at a Special General Meeting shall be ten members or 20% of the total membership (whichever is the lesser).

14.        Minutes

Minutes of all general meetings and Committee meetings will be kept by the Secretary, into which the Secretary shall enter a record of all proceedings and resolutions.  These will be circulated by email and placed on the website as appropriate.

15.        Major Issues

In the event of a major issue arising which either (a) the Committee considers demands the attention of members of the Association or (b) which no less than ten members of the Association give notice to the Secretary of their concern as regards any major issue then in either case the Committee may, at its discretion, either call a meeting of the membership or conduct a referendum to determine the wishes of the membership in respect of any action to be taken in response. In either event, such a meeting or referendum shall be held within fourteen days of a Committee decision to that effect, or of the Secretary having received no notice from no less than ten members as aforesaid.

16.        Conduct of Referenda

If a referendum is carried out, the matter to be decided or on which the views of members of the Association have been sought will be notified to all members either by email or post sent the three days before any email transmission.  The following provisions shall apply to any referendum: –

i)          A period of seven days shall be allowed for members to provide a response.

ii)          Votes shall be counted on the day following the end of the period allowed for voting, that is to say seven days.

iii)         Votes received later than seven days after issue of the referendum papers shall be void.

iv)         Spoiled, or illegible referendum papers shall be void.

v)          Members’ responses to any referendum shall be examined by the Secretary and at least one other member of the Committee, the number of votes extracted, checked, totalled and entered as such in a record.   Individual returns shall then be destroyed.

vi)         For the purposes of determining a majority in any referendum, a majority shall be defined as being more than half the total of votes received, subject to a minimum of 16 votes.

17.        Dissolution/Fund allocation

The Association may only be wound up in the event of a majority of the membership electing to do so in a general meeting and in that event the balance of assets and all monies belonging to the Association after all liabilities etc. have been met, shall be treated in the following manner;

Fund Allocation at Termination of the Association:  This is a contingency plan in the event that the association was disbanded.  Due to the casual record keeping of the years prior to 2006, it would be impossible to apportion funds before this date.  Therefore it was agreed that if the WHGLA folded monies in the account would be frozen for a period of up to 5 years subject to another suitable Organisation or Association being established.  If this did happen qualifying members would be eligible to vote on the proposal and then a decision would be made by the majority (a majority in this instance is 66% of the eligible membership or above and this would make the decision be binding).  If no Association/Organisation was established or deemed suitable then the all members who have been members for the 5 years previous to the date of termination on a rolling basis would receive a percentage of the existing fund at time of dissolution of the association.

18.        Data Protection Act

Any member consents to the retention of personal data including their name, address, trading address, telephone numbers, email address being retained in electronic form by the Secretary of the Association or any other officer of the Association duly authorised for that purpose.  Individual personal data shall not be transferred to any third party.

Extraordinary General Meeting

If at any point in the year one of the Officers believes that an occurrence or issue has arisen which needs urgent member attention the a Extraordinary General Meeting may be called so long as a minimum of 7 days notice is served to members thus allowing them to attend.  An EGM could cover  all/any aspect of the Associations business and would supersede the AGM if the Committee felt that this was the appropriate course of action.  A quorum at an EGM shall be ten members or 20% of the total membership (whichever is the lesser).  

Revision History

Rev 6 01/01/2014 Membership joining (as per December 2013 Comm Mtg mins)
Rev 5 01/06/2012 Various amends to bring up to date as per EGM28/05/12
Rev 4 01/07/2011 Section 17 updated with fund allocation at termination
Rev 3 01/04/2011 Section 17 updated with termination/dissolution policy/procedure.
Rev 2 01/04/2008 Subscriptions changed, Quorum numbers changed, proxy voting inserted, name change, any leaseholder eligible to join, confidentiality clause inserted, Committee Member role definition inserted, and, service requirement to become Chair inserted.
Rev 1 19/04/2005 Subscriptions changed in line with members views at the 2005 AGM
1st Issue 28/10/2004