Why is there a new Constitution?
During my tenure as Club Captain a situation arose which had the potential to develop into a legal case. Fortunately this was avoided, however, our Club had to be extremely careful to ensure that the correct procedures were followed at that time in case they were later examined during any legal process.
It became apparent during that period that there were some anomalies in our current Constitution. When I sought legal advice (from a Sheriff who was also a golfer) it was pointed out that although the steps we had taken were technically correct, our Constitution was “not fit for purpose” and it was suggested that we update it using the Model Constitution on The Scottish Golf Limited website as a template (See http://www.scottishgolf.org/club-services/governance/model-constitution/).
The situation was lent some urgency when HMRC changed the qualifying conditions for clubs who have, or are seeking, Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) status. We have been a CASC for several years and accordingly benefit from a reduction in our rates bill due to our entitlement to CASC Rates relief. This is worth in the order of £20,000 to £30,000 per annum so it is very much in our interest to maintain our present status. For this to happen our Constitution has to conform to the CASC guidelines by 1st April 2016. These guidelines can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-amateur-sports-club…) if you are interested.
Given the urgency of the matter I was asked to form a group from our existing membership to produce a draft Constitution for presentation to the Club Council and subsequently to the Members for approval at the AGM in February. I am pleased to say that Caroline Bashford, Chris Carter, David Goodall, John MacBean, Vince McLaughlin and Jim Wardlaw all offered their expertise and thanks are due to David, Chris and Jim for sitting down for several hours and sorting out the draft document with further thanks to David for typing it all up. The attached Constitution was drafted by our group and has been considered and modified as deemed necessary by the Management Council.
As stated above, to comply with CASC requirements, it is important that we have the new Constitution in place by 1st April 2016. The Club is presently obtaining professional, external advice on a number of issues relating to the new CASC requirements and this advice, once received, may result in further modifications to our proposed Constitution. It is possible, depending on when this advice is received, that an EGM may have to be called after our AGM in February but before 1st April 2016.
If you have any observations to make on the proposed Constitution (attached ) I would ask you to pass these onto the Club Captain or Club Manager before the next meeting of the Management Council on January 12th.