1. NAME

The name of the association is the Witham & District Chamber of Commerce & Industry. It is hereinafter referred to as ‘the Chamber’.

2. OBJECTS

The objects for which the Chamber is established are:

  1. For the association of traders, merchants, retailers, manufacturers, industrialists, professional people and others to consider and promote all such lawful measures, plans and schemes as may be calculated to further, improve and secure the trading and commercial interests of Witham and District.
  2. To collect, collate and circulate statistical and other information relating to trade, commerce and manufacture for Members as will assist them in their commercial or professional pursuits, and to print, publish and distribute circulars, bulletins, journals and such other papers or media as may be necessary to disseminate such information.
  3. To advance and promote commercial, professional and technical education.
  4. To borrow money or raise loans required for the purposes of the Chamber upon such securities as may be determined.
  5. To purchase, take on lease or in exchange, hire or otherwise acquire any real or personal property and any rights or privileges which the Chamber may think necessary or convenient for the purpose of its business.
  6. To sell, improve, manage, develop, lease, mortgage, dispose of or otherwise deal with all or any part of the property of the Chamber.
  7. To support fair principles of trading.
  8. To create and foster a spirit of goodwill, friendship and unity among the business people of the Town, local area and other organisations, and by meetings, discussions, lectures, debates, conferences and other functions to provide facilities for social intercourse on a friendly basis between all members of the Chamber.
  9. To subscribe to and support from the funds of the Chamber such local charitable institutions and objects as may be deemed worthy.
  10. To do all such lawful things as are incidental of conducive to the attainment of the above objects.
  11. To raise money for the benefit of the Chamber in such ways as shall be agreed by the Committee.

3. MEMBERSHIP

  1. Membership of the Chamber shall be open to all individual persons with a business interest, i.e. self-employed, companies and employee representatives, and firms interested or actively engaged in Witham and the District at the discretion of a Chamber Officer or a Committee Member.
  2. The Committee shall have power to refuse an application for membership without assigning a reason.
  3. Any Member who shall do any act or conduct calculated to injure, damage or discredit the Chamber may be expelled from the Chamber by a Resolution of the majority of the Members. Such Member shall be allowed to appeal against his expulsion to a special meeting of the Chamber.
  4. Members shall:
    • act in a business-like manner.
    • give their time without charge.
    • act openly and, in cases where a Member may have a conflict of interest on an issue to be discussed by the Chamber, to declare the interest at the start of consideration of the particular issue
    • promote the chamber in a positive light in all media channels
    • act fairly and:
    • not use the chamber as a means for personal or political gain;
    • not display any discriminatory or offensive behaviour.
    • not represent the Chamber in the media without prior approval from the appointed media committee member

4. SUBSCRIPTIONS

  1. Every Member shall pay an annual subscription as notified to the Members each year,
  2. and firms and companies shall appoint a representative to attend and vote at meetings of the Chamber.
  3. All subscriptions shall become due on the first day of April in each year and no Member shall be entitled to vote at any meetings unless his subscription shall have been previously paid. Any company issued with at invoice on 1st April who has failed to pay by 30th June will be no longer be a member.
  4. New members can join on a pro-rata basis in the first year; subscription dates are:
    • April – June – £25.00
    • July – September – £18.75
    • October – December – £12.50
    • January – March – £6.25

5. OFFICERS

The Officers of the Chamber shall be a:

  • Chairperson,
  • Vice Chairperson
  • Treasurer
  • Retail Officer
  • Industrial Officer
  • Membership and Media Officer
  • Marketing Officer
  • Youth and Community Officer
  • Committee Members (2)
  1. The Committee will comprise not less than three and not more than ten
  2. The Committee shall have power to appoint such Sub-Committees as may be deemed desirable. Such Sub-Committees may include Members who are not Committee Members, however the Chairperson of each Sub-Committee must be a Committee Member.
  3. All officers will be elected annually
  4. All nominations for Officers and the Committee shall be made in writing (signed by two Members and by the nominee consenting to serve) and sent to the Chairperson not later than 7 days prior to the AGM in each year
  5. The Committee shall then meet and make such other recommendations as they may think fit.
  6. The attendance of Members of the Committee shall be duly recorded and a report thereon presented at the Annual General Meeting.
  7. Any Member of the Committee who does not attend at least fifty per cent of the Committee meetings during the year shall cease to be a Committee Member thereof and his seat on the Committee shall be filled at the Annual General Meeting.
  8. An attendance of four Members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum. The Chairperson shall have a casting vote.
  9. In the event of a vacancy occurring in the Officers during the year it shall, if necessary, be filled by the Committee.
  10. The Honorary Treasurer shall keep an account of all monies received and paid by him for and on behalf of the Chamber. He shall present to the Members at the Annual General Meeting a duly audited Statement of Accounts showing all financial transactions of the Chamber made up to the (Thirty-first day of March) in each year. The Auditor of the Chamber must be Chartered or Certified Accountants.
  11. The records of the Chamber shall be open in due notice for the inspection of Members at reasonable hours.

6. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

  1. The Annual General Meeting shall be held within 15 months of the last AGM and all members will be given 21 days’ notice of the meeting date. At such meeting the Chairman shall present a report with reference to all matters which they have dealt with during the previous year, and a copy of the report shall be sent to every Member of the Chamber not less than seven days before the date of such meeting.
  2. General Meetings of Members shall be held as required. The Committee may convene General Meetings of Members to consider particular matters, and upon a requisition in writing of 10 or more Members the Chairperson shall convene such a meeting to be held within ten days of the receipt of such requisition.
  3. Every Member of the Chamber shall have one vote which may be exercised by a show of hands, but it shall be possible for the Members before such a vote is taken to require by majority that it shall be taken by secret ballot.
  4. Members are permitted to vote in advance by post / email with permission of the committee if they are unable to attend the AGM. All votes must be received no later than 12 noon on the day preceding the AGM. Votes must be submitted to the current Membership Officer. Only fully paid up members are permitted to vote in this way and only one vote per Member will be accepted.
    Voting in this manner will only be required if more than one Member is nominated for a position on the committee and nominations meet the current requirements as outlined on the nominations form.
  5. When a ballot is to be taken by two persons shall be appointed by the meeting as scrutineers, who shall count the number of votes and report the result in writing to the Chairperson who shall declare the result of the ballot to the meeting. In cases of equality of votes the Chairperson shall have a casting vote.
  6. Every fully paid-up Member of the Chamber has the right to submit a Notice of Motion in writing to the Chairperson in accordance with the current AGM guidelines.
  7. In the absence of the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson from any meeting the Members present at the meeting shall elect a Chairperson to preside at that meeting.

7. EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATION

  1. If no nominations are received for any of the Offices of the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson or Honorary Treasurer, or if, in the opinion of those present at the Annual General Meeting, such nominations as are received are insufficient in number to carry out effectively the administrative functions of the Chamber, then the Annual General Meeting shall, if it sees fit, appoint an Executive Officer to carry out administrative duties under such terms and conditions as are necessary.
  2. The appointment shall be for one year and shall be renewable on a year by year basis subject to confirmation at each Annual General Meeting.

8. COMMON BUSINESS INTEREST SECTIONS

  1. Any number of Members of the Chamber, not being less than ten, who may desire to associate themselves together in a Common Business Interest Section with a view to presenting more effectively the interests of any particular common business interest may so request the Committee who may authorise the formation of such a Section. Each such Section shall appoint a Chairperson, who shall be a Committee Member.
  2. The Committee shall have the power to dissolve or reconstitute or order the reconstruction of any such Section. An appeal from the decision of the Committee may be made to the next General Meeting of Members upon notice being given in accordance with Rule 6.

9. GENERAL

  1. No alteration shall be made in these Rules except by a Resolution duly passed by two-thirds of the Members present and voting at a General Meeting of Members. Seven days’ notice in writing of any proposed alteration shall be given to all Members.

10. EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETINGS.

  1. A notice may be served by the Chamber upon any Member either personally, electronically or by sending it through the post in a prepaid letter addressed to such Member or delivered to such Member at his registered place of address. Any notice sent by post shall be deemed to have been served on the day following that on which the envelope or wrapper containing the same is posted, and in proving such service it shall be sufficient to prove that the envelope or wrapper containing the notice was properly addressed and put into the Post Office.
  2. In the event that insufficient members attend a General Meeting to consider a resolution the, at the discretion of the Chairman, an extra-ordinary General Meeting may be called subject to 21 days’ notice. No alteration shall be made in these rules except by a resolution duly passed by the quarters of the attendees eligible to vote.

11. REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION

  1. The constitution will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that it remains current and up to date.
  2. Amendments to the constitution must be agreed at an Open Forum or Annual General Meeting. Members shall be given at least 21 days’ notice in writing of proposed amendments in advance of the meeting.

Last updated: 2015