Dartmoor Railway Supporters’ Association Constitution


(Note: for the purposes of this constitution the ‘Dartmoor Railway Supporters’ Association’ is abbreviated to ‘DRSA’ and ‘Dartmoor Railway’ is abbreviated to ‘DR’.)

A. Name.

The name of the association is ‘Dartmoor Railway Supporters’ Association’.

B. Administration.

DRSA shall be managed in accordance with this constitution by the members of the Executive Committee constituted by clause F of this constitution.

C. Objectives.

The objectives of DRSA are:
1. to encourage the recruitment of volunteers and other supporters of DR, and to keep them in touch with developments.
2. to provide a vehicle for communicating views of supporters to DR management.
3. to support the development and operation of heritage, tourist and enthusiast rail services on the DR.
4. to promote interest in the history and operation of DR through education and other appropriate means
5. to support the reinstatement of public rail services to Okehampton.

D. Powers.

In furtherance of the objectives but not otherwise, the Executive Committee may exercise the following powers:
1. to raise funds and to invite and receive membership fees and other contributions.
2. to acquire, take on lease or in exchange and property or consumables necessary for the achievement of the objects and to maintain and equip it for use.
3. to do all such other lawful things as are necessary for the achievement of the objects.

E. Membership.

Membership of DRSA shall be open to individuals over the age of 16 years who have paid any annual subscription laid down from time to time by the Executive Committee or who exceptionally have been granted membership by that committee. Every member shall have one vote. The committee may at its discretion introduce a class of junior membership should this appear beneficial; such membership shall exclude the right to vote. The committee may unanimously and for good reason terminate the membership of any individual.

Membership shall commence when the membership secretary has issued a membership card on receipt of the appropriate fee or by the Executive Committee’s authority.

(Information note: It is a requirement of DR management that all volunteers who work on the railway shall be members of DRSA).

F. DRSA Executive Committee.

1. The committee shall consist of not less than six nor more than nine elected members.
2. The elected members of the committee shall appoint a chairman, vice-chairman, secretary and treasurer from amongst themselves. The committee may in addition appoint not more than four co-opted members who shall have similar voting rights to elected members of the committee.
3. Nominations for election to the Executive Committee must be made by members of DRSA in writing and must be in the hands of the secretary of the committee at least 14 days before the annual general meeting. Should nominations exceed vacancies, election shall be by ballot.
4. Committee members are elected or re-elected at the Annual General Meeting by ballot and will serve on the committee until the next AGM.
5. The proceedings of the committee shall not be invalidated by any vacancy among their number or by any failure to appoint or any defect in the appointment or qualification of a member.

G. Executive Committee Members not to be personally interested.

No member of the Executive Committee shall receive remuneration from DRSA funds.

Committee members may claim reasonable expenses connected with the furtherance of their executive duties and as agreed by the committee. In any proposed decision on expenditure concerned with DR or DRSA, committee members must declare any personal financial interest. Where such clash of interests does occur, that member becomes ineligible to vote on the matter.

H. Meetings and Proceedings of the Executive Committee.

1. The Executive Committee shall hold at least two ordinary meetings each year. A special meeting may be called at any time by the chairman or by any two members of the committee upon not less than 14 days notice being given to other members of the matters to be discussed.
2. If the chairman is absent from any meeting, the members of the committee present shall choose one of their number to be chairman before any other business is transacted.
3. There shall be a quorum when at least three members of the committee are present at a meeting, one of whom shall be the chairman, vice-chairman, secretary, or treasurer.
4. Every matter shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members of the committee present and voting on the question but in the case of equality of votes the chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
5. The committee shall keep minutes of the proceedings at meetings of the Executive Committee and any sub-committee.

I. Receipts and expenditure.

The funds of the DRSA, including all donations, membership fees, contributions and bequests, shall be paid into an accounts operated by the Executive Committee in the name of the association at such bank as the committee shall from time to time decide. All cheques drawn on the account must be signed by at least two members of the committee who shall not be employees of DR, as nominated on the bank mandate. The funds belonging to DRSA shall be applied only in furthering the objects as set out in Section C.

J. Accounts.

The Executive Committee shall keep appropriate accounts and prepare an annual statement of account that shall be subjected to external independent examination. For the purposes of the accounts, the financial year will run from 1st April to 31st March.

K. Annual Report.

The Executive Committee shall prepare an annual report.

L. Annual General Meeting.

There shall be an annual general meeting of DRSA which shall be held in the month of April in each year or as soon as practicable thereafter. Every annual general meeting shall be called by the Executive Committee. The secretary shall give at least 28 days notice of the annual general meeting to all members of the association. All members of DRSA shall be entitled to attend and vote at the meeting, or by post. The committee shall present to each annual general meeting the report and accounts of the association for the preceding year.

M. Special General Meeting.

The Executive Committee may call a special general meeting of DRSA at any time. If at least ten members request such a meeting in writing stating the business to be considered, the secretary shall call such a meeting. At least 21 days notice must be given. The notice must state the business to be discussed.

N. Alterations to the Constitution.

The constitution may be altered by a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of the members present and voting at a general meeting. The notice of the general meeting must include notice of the resolution, setting out the terms of the alteration proposed.

O. Dissolution.

If the Executive Committee decides that it is necessary or advisable to dissolve DRSA, it shall call a meeting of all members of the association, of which not less than 21 days notice (stating the terms of the resolution to be proposed) shall be given. If the proposal is confirmed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting, the committee shall have power to realise any assets held by or on behalf of DRSA. Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be given or transferred to one or more like-minded organisations.

Updated May 21st 2016