Constitution and Rules of the Swansea Metal Detecting Club.
- The Club shall be called Swansea Metal Detecting Club.
- The club is a private members club and all assets of the club are owned jointly by the members. In the event of the club membership falling below ten members a decision may be made for it to cease to operate. In such a situation, all of the assets and funds of the club will be donated to Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust Ltd.
- The Club shall exist to foster and promote the kindred hobbies of metal detecting, coin and relic collecting and will encourage best practice in those pursuits.
- The club will be affiliated to the “National Council for Metal Detecting”.
- Membership is open to any person on payment of the appropriate club membership fees at the rate set at the Annual Budget Meeting.
- New members will be charged a joining fee at a rate also set at the Annual Budget Meeting.
- Annual membership will run from 1st April to 31st March the following year.
- Membership fees will be payable in advance and will be collected from the beginning of February to ensure that N.C.M.D. insurance is in place from 1st April.
- New members joining after the end of December will have their membership fees reduced to a rate agreed by the membership secretary and the treasurer.
- The Club will accept new members who are also members of other Metal Detecting Clubs, providing they pay the appropriate SMDC membership fee and accept the NCMD insurance card irrespective of them possibly having Insurance through FID (Federation of Independent Detectorists) or other similar insurance provider. If already in possession of NCMD insurance when joining the SMDC then the SMDC fee will be adjusted accordingly. These persons are expected to show a reasonable level of support for SMDC and to take all reasonable measures to avoid any conflict of interest between the relevant clubs.
- In extreme circumstances, where there are grounds to believe that it would not be in the interest of the club to accept a prospective new member, their membership application will be considered by a panel set up in accordance with the rules on discipline set out below. In any such case, the precise reasons for the referral will be provided to the applicant in advance together with the date, time and venue for the meeting to consider their application and they will be allowed to present relevant witnesses and other evidence to the panel.
- The following officers of the club will be elected at the AGM each year: Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Chairperson, Minute Secretary, Membership Secretary, Sites Officer, Web Officer and Librarian.
- Three designated officers shall be authorised to make withdrawals from the bank, when necessary, using debit cards held in their names.
- Moderators for the club forum, of which there will be a maximum of ten will also be elected. Elected officers will not be eligible for these positions.
- Other posts may be agreed and elected as decided by the AGM or an SGM. Furthermore, individual members may be invited at any time to carry out a specific function eg representing the club at the Museum open day or organising the club Christmas party or as an assistant to an elected officer.
- No person may hold more than one officer post at the same time and club officers may not be forum moderators or officers of other metal detecting clubs .
- For the purposes of clarification, as specified in paragraph 1 above, the club is owned and controlled by the members and all issues relating to the club shall be referred to the members for decision and, except for those officers given specific authority by other provisions of this constitution to act on behalf of the club in specific areas, club officers will not generally have any power to take executive decisions on behalf of the club other than for any issue unexpectedly arising between meetings where there is insufficient time to put the matter before a meeting and any such decision must be put before the next meeting of the club for ratification.
- Any officer who fails to attend four or more consecutive club meetings without good reason may be deemed to have resigned and a replacement officer elected at the next full club meeting.
- The club will meet every two weeks on Wednesday evenings. A list of the date and venue for all meetings for the coming year will be circulated by the secretary at the beginning of each year. Any unavoidable changes will be notified at the earliest possible opportunity.
- The first meeting each month will be for the Find of the Month competition. There will be four categories of Finds, Coins, Artefacts, Jewellery and Eyes Only. A first, second and third prize will be awarded in the first three categories and a single first prize in the Eyes Only category. The prize money for each category will be at the rate set at the Annual Budget Meeting. Finds which are submitted but which the judge determines cannot be properly judged until further research has been made on them, may be resubmitted to a later months competition after they have been returned to the finder.
- The second meeting of each month will be a full meeting and will hear officers reports and make any necessary decisions on the day to day running of the club. The quorum for such meetings will be a minimum of three club officers and ten per cent of the membership. The ordinary meetings of the club shall not have the power to alter or rescind any part of this constitution or any decision of an AGM or a Special General Meeting.
- The Annual General Meeting of the club will be held on the second meeting of March each year. The quorum for the meeting will be four of the club officers and one quarter of the members of the club. If it is found to be impossible to hold the AGM on the stated date, eg due to adverse weather conditions, it will be held on the date of the next meeting and the existing officers will continue in their elected posts until that time. Motions for the AGM may be submitted by any member up to two weeks before the meeting. The secretary will invite motions for the AGM during the January and February meetings. Details of the motions received by the due date will be circulated by the secretary at least one week before the AGM. The minutes of the AGM, although not approved till the following year, will be circulated within one month of the meeting in order to keep all members informed of any changes.
- A Special General Meeting may be called by a decision of three of the club officers or on a request to the Secretary or Chairperson signed by at least ten per cent of the members. The date and venue for the SGM and the reason for calling the meeting will be notified to all members at least four weeks before the SGM and all motions for the SGM will be circulated to all members at least two weeks before the SGM. The quorum for an SGM will be four of the club officers and one quarter of the members of the club. A properly constituted SGM will have the same powers as the AGM.
- The second meeting in November each year will be the Annual Budget Meeting and will be a Special General Meeting for the purpose of setting the rates for the following year for fees for membership of the club and the rates for prizes for Find of the Month and Find of the Year competitions and the guideline rate for rallies and any other financial issues that need to be determined. The quorum for the ABM will be four of the club officers and one quarter of the members of the club The new rates will come into operation from the following January, the beginning of the club year. This meeting will also appoint two auditors who will be responsible for reporting to the following AGM on the accuracy of the club accounts.
- The club funds shall be lodged with a bank or building society agreed at the Annual Budget Meeting .
- The Treasurer will produce an Annual Statement of Account at least six weeks before the AGM and this will be audited before the meeting by the auditors appointed at the Annual Budget Meeting then a statement of the accounts will be presented to the AGM.
- Three designated officers, appointed at the Annual General Meeting, shall be authorised to make withdrawals using debit cards held in their names. All withdrawals must have been sanctioned by at least 3 members of the Committee.
- An asset register of all club assets shall be maintained and shall be available for inspection by members at every meeting.
- Club Members shall abide by the National Council for Metal Detecting Code of Conduct, the Countryside Code and also observe the requirements of the Law in respect of the Treasure Act. 1996 as amended.
- Any finds of historic or archaeological importance, and believed to be over 300 years old, should be recorded under the Portable Antiquities Scheme via the Finds Liaison Officer at the National Museum or via the PAS representative at The Glamorgan and Gwent Archaeological Trust or their nominee.
- Disciplinary action may be taken against any member for having flagrantly or deliberately breached the spirit or intention of the Club Rules or constitution.
- Any member who brings a complaint against another member of the club must provide a concise written statement of the alleged breach, clearly describing the alleged incident, when and where it took place and why the alleged action is considered to constitute a breach.
- A panel of between six and eight members will be raised at a normal club meeting to consider the allegation. No member who was involved in the alleged incident, or in bringing the complaint, will be included on the panel. The panel will appoint a foreman from their number to co-ordinate their proceedings. A suitable date, time and venue will be arranged to consider the allegation.
- The accused member will be given adequate notice of the complaint with full details of the alleged breach and the date, time and venue for the hearing of the allegation and will be allowed to present relevant witnesses and other evidence to the panel.
- The decision will be made within thirty days of the hearing and if the decision of the majority of two thirds or more of the panel is that the complaint is true, the panel will decide an appropriate penalty to be imposed on the member, according to the severity of the case. The member may be censured, warned or given some other minor penalty, or in a more serious case, a penalty of removal from post for an officer or even, in extreme cases, expulsion from the club.
- A single appeal may be made to a new panel.
- A register will be maintained by the Sites Officer of all farms and other land over which the club has any permission to detect together with a record of all dealings with the farmers or land owners. The register will show the address of the farm, details of the extent of the permission the club has to detect, the approximate acreage and type of land, access and available parking, dates of previous rallies held and details of any individual members or non members who are entitled to detect on the farm. This will be held by the club Secretary and made available to all members at any time but will not show contact details for farmers or land owners which will be held only by the Sites Officer.The Sites officer will also maintain a record, to be passed on to future incumbents of the post, showing details of all farms and other land owners who have been approached on behalf of the club for permission to detect, giving details of the address of the relevant land, the farmer or land owners contact details, the date the request was made and the outcome of the request and any other information which may be helpful for any future requests to be made. Details will also be recorded of all sites which cease to be available to the club with a record of the reason for the loss of the site.
- No member, except for those shown on the register to have individual detecting rights, will detect on any club farm or other land contained in the register except at a club organised rally or on a farm designated in the register to be available for members occasional use in accordance with the arrangements in place for the specific farm.
- The sites officer shall have sole responsible for all liaison and communication with the farmers and land owners listed in the register and shall have undisputed authority to decide all details relating to the clubs use of those sites including dates and extent of club rallies and arrangements for member’s occasional use of designated sites. In the event that any other member is authorised by the sites officer to organise a club rally on a club site, they will provide full details of the proposed arrangements to the sites officer and will not proceed with the arrangements for the rally without the sites officer s full approval and will abide by any requirement stipulated by the sites officer.
- The guideline rates for rallies will be set at the Annual Budget Meeting but this may be varied by the organiser of specific rallies where necessary.
- Members attending a club rally will follow all directions and instructions given by the rally organiser or the rally marshals and will take particular care to close all gates, refill all holes and avoid any damage to property, crops or livestock.
- Where a member has been generous enough to donate one of their personal farms on a one off basis, to be used by SMDC for a club rally it is strictly forbidden for any other member (or their representatives), to make an approach to the donated farm for permission to detect on that farm.
- The club will maintain a web site for the promotion of the club and of the metal detecting hobby and for broadcasting details of club events and activities.
- The web site will be administered by the Web Officer.
- The web site will include a forum which will be open to members only and real names must be used. The standard of conduct on the forum will be friendly and polite at all times and no post shall bring the club or any of its members or the hobby of metal detecting into disrepute, even if posted in good faith.
- The forum will be supervised by moderators and they will have absolute power to immediately remove any post which appears to them to breach this standard of conduct. In view of the continuing need to maintain a high standard of control of the forum, in the event of any moderator resigning or not being available for a period of time, the Web Officer shall have power to co-opt one or more temporary moderators to cover the absence, any such appointments being reported to the next scheduled meeting of the club for ratification.
- All members are required to provide up to date contact details to the Membership Secretary and to notify the Membership Secretary of any changes of address or email or telephone number.
- Notification of the AGM or an SGM or any other information which is required to be circulated to all members may be sent by email where the member has provided an email address.
- The club officers will make reasonable efforts to provide information about club rallies and events by telephone to those members who do not have an email address but, in view of the time required and the expense, such communication cannot always be guaranteed.
- Any invitations made to the club for members to participate in special exercises, such as Battlefield Surveys, Time Team programs and other such projects, will be made available to all members as fairly as possible.
Adopted at a Special General Meeting of the Club held on 28th August, 2013.
Amended at Budget Meeting on 20th November, 2013 – rules 13 & 27.
Amended at AGM 19th March, 2014 – rules 7, 8, 9, 20, 35 & 50.