Gay Gordons Edinburgh

The LGBTQI Scottish Country Dance Group  

Our constitution
An unincorporated association shall be formed and known as Gay Gordons (Edinburgh) Scottish Dancing and Ceilidh Club (hereinafter referred to as “the Club” and known by the short title “Gay Gordons Edinburgh”)

The purpose of the Club is to promote and teach Scottish Country and Ceilidh dancing to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQI) community and their friends in the Edinburgh / East Scotland area.

The Club aims to achieve its purpose by holding weekly dancing classes in three terms through the year:
- 1st Term – September to December
- 2nd Term – January to March/April
- 3rd Term – April/May to June/July

Additionally, the Club may hold ceilidhs and similar social events at periodic intervals, to be determined by the Committee.

Membership of the Club is open to any individual who:
- is interested in supporting and achieving the purpose of the Club, with its primary focus on the LGBTQI community
-  has paid the annual membership fee
-  is an active participant in classes.  

Where an individual is not able to participate in classes on a regular basis then they must apply to the Executive Committee for continued membership status.  In the event of any dispute over membership, the committee shall make the final ruling in each instance.

Members are invited to participate in all significant decisions regarding the future of the Club and for this purpose each member shall have one vote.

The list of members and any contact details shall remain confidential to the Club and shall be used solely for the purposes of Club communications and voting.

Membership fees and term fees will be agreed at the Annual General Meeting.
All members shall be invited to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Club.  The AGM will be held towards the end of the 3rd Term and one calendar month’s notice of the AGM will be given to all members.   

The purpose of the AGM is to:

- Receive a report from the Chair on the activities of the Club for the previous year and how the funds of the Club have been used to carry out its activities.

- Receive a Statement of Account from the Treasurer summarising financial performance for the latest financial year.  For the purposes of this Statement, the financial year shall end on 31st March each year (with an appropriate adjustment for the initial period).   

- Elect representatives to the Executive Committee to act for the Club on behalf of its members.  

- Agree the fees for the ensuing year.

The AGM will be deemed to be valid when at least one third of members are present at the meeting. If attendance falls below one third, then the meeting will be rescheduled.  Minutes of the AGM shall be kept and circulated to all members.

Voting at the AGM shall be by a show of hands.  In the event of a tie, the Chair will have the casting vote.

For the purposes of defining a member for the initial AGM (in the absence of an annual membership fee), the Executive Committee will develop and publish a list of members from attendees at classes and fund raising events.  
Should a sufficiently serious and urgent matter arise, the Executive Committee may call a Special General Meeting.  The Executive Committee must give one calendar month's notice of a SGM.  

Alternatively, if a minimum of one third of the Club's membership signs a motion requesting a SGM and presents this to the Executive Committee, the Executive Committee must make arrangements to hold a SGM within one calendar month.
The Constitution may be altered when two thirds of the members present at a general meeting agree the resolution. The resolution will be sent out with the invitation to attend the meeting, with one calendar month’s notice of the meeting.
At the outset of the Club, the Executive Committee (EC) shall comprise volunteers from the membership to act as an Interim Committee. The EC shall comprise a minimum of five roles including Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Website Manager and Special Projects manager.  

At the first AGM, all members of the Interim Committee shall resign.  Two calendar months prior to the AGM members shall be invited to nominate themselves for election to the EC and, to be effective, these nominations must be seconded by two other members.  All nominations and seconders must be received by 1 calendar month before the date of the AGM.  If the number of nominations exceeds five then there shall be a ballot at the AGM.

At each subsequent AGM, two members of the EC will be required to step down and give other members an opportunity to participate. This will encourage continuity of the EC but with the injection of new ideas. A member of the Executive Committee who stands down at an AGM is eligible to stand for re-election once a further two AGMs have passed. An Executive Committee member who resigns between AGMs is eligible to stand for re-election once a further three AGMs have passed, i.e. the AGM following their resignation, plus a further two AGMs.

If a member of the EC resigns between AGMs then the EC is empowered to appoint an interim EC member.

No member of the EC shall benefit from the activities of the Club other than an ordinary member of the Club might equally benefit, allowance being made for out of pocket expenses.
The EC will decide how many meetings it will hold each year, with 4 meetings a year as a minimum.

The EC will review the Club’s financial position on a quarterly basis as a minimum, and specifically when purchases/ commitments are being entered into.

The quorum for a committee meeting is three.

Decisions shall be taken by a majority of votes of the EC members present and voting. If the votes are equal, the Chair shall have the casting vote.

The EC shall keep minutes of each meeting and these shall be made available to members within a reasonable time following the meeting.  
In furtherance of the purpose of the Club, but not otherwise, the EC may exercise the power to:

- Raise funds in keeping with the nature of the Club and invite and receive contributions providing that in raising funds the EC shall not undertake any substantial permanent trading activities and conform to any relevant requirements of the law.

- Buy, rent or lease for a period not exceeding 6 calendar months any property or equipment necessary for the achievement of the Club’s purpose and maintain and equip it for use.

-  Subject to any consent by law to sell, lease or dispose of all or any part of the property of the Club.

- Co-operate with other charities, voluntary bodies and statutory authorities operating in furtherance of the Club’s purpose or of similar charitable purpose and exchange information and advice with them.

-  Appoint and constitute such advisory committees as the EC sees fit.

-  The Club through the EC may carry out all activities which are deemed to be reasonable in the furtherance of the Club aims.
The funds of the Club shall be paid into a bank account operated by the EC in the name of the organisation. Three members of the EC shall be signatories to the bank account and each cheque will require two signatures one of whom shall be the Treasurer. The Club’s funds may only be used to achieve the Club’s purpose.

The Club shall keep accounts of its financial transactions. At the AGM a Statement of Account shall be presented by the Treasurer.  The accounts shall be examined by a competent person outside the organisation.  
If the EC decides that the Club should be dissolved, it should call a SGM.  If the proposal to dissolve is confirmed by a two thirds majority of those present, the Club shall be dissolved. The EC shall pass any assets held by the Club to any similar organisation.