Sandwell Model Flying Club

Membership Constitution

Sandwell Model Flying Club
Constitution & Club Guides

Sandwell Model Flying Club - Constitution


The name of the club shall be Sandwell Model Flying Club


To promote and encourage all branches and all aspects of aero modelling and model aircraft flying.

  • To promote safe and responsible model aircraft flying.
  • To teach and to assist members in improving their flying standards.
  • To promote friendship and encourage social activities within the club.
  • To affiliate to the National Governing Body, the Society of Model Aeronautical Engineers (trading as the British Model Flying Association – BMFA), and to promote their policies, guidelines and rules.


Membership of the club shall be open to all persons within Sandwell and surrounding area (defined as within 10 miles of B71)

Membership will be by given only following the submission of a club application form and interview with the Chairman and/or designated committee member.

The Committee has the right to refuse membership to new applicants.

Persons joining the club will be Probationary Members for the first six months. Subject to a satisfactory probationary period having being served, full membership at the Committee’s discretion will follow.

A club membership fee of £50.00 (adults) and £25.00 (under 18’s) is payable on commencement of club membership. Social membership is offered at a club membership fee of £25.00.

First time members will also pay a Joining Fee. The level of the Joining Fee may be periodically reviewed at the Club AGM. The Joining Fee will be waived in the case of lapsed members who rejoin, provided they can provide proof of the original payment to the Club Treasurer, however the current full membership fee will be payable. The Joining Fee will not normally be refundable except in the case of Probationary Members who are not accepted as full Club Members at the end of their probationary period. The joining fee is currently £10.00.

Club fees are set at the AGM in May.

Ordinary Membership: There shall be two classes of ordinary membership, namely: senior and junior. Persons over eighteen years of age shall be required to seek senior membership. Persons aged seventeen years or under on joining the club or who are undergoing full-time education, will be classed as junior members for the remainder of the club year. .

Honorary Membership: Honorary membership may be awarded at the discretion of the Committee and will be announced at the AGM.

Social Membership: Social membership shall be offered to non-flying persons who may wish to assist with organising social events for the club.

Country Members: Members, who gain BMFA membership either directly or through another club, will be required to provide proof of same before SMFC club subscriptions will be accepted.

Guest Flyers: Guest flyers are welcome for a maximum of three sessions after which there will be a requirement for the guest flyer to attain membership of Sandwell Model Flying Club.


All members and guest flyers must be members of the British Model Flying Association and must be able to provide evidence of such on request. The only exception to this is for social members.

All members must provide evidence of BMFA membership to the club secretary:

  • By 31st January each year
  • Within one month of joining Sandwell Model Flying Club

BMFA membership may be gained directly (as a country member) or through Sandwell Model Flying Club. Where membership is gained through Sandwell Model Flying Club, membership cards will be forwarded to members by the club secretary.

Persons joining the Club will agree to be bound by the terms of the Club Constitution and the Club’s Rules.

Club membership subscriptions shall be determined by the Committee and tabled for approval at the AGM.

Club membership subscriptions are payable on the 1st Tuesday in June annually. Members must provide proof of BMFA membership on paying their annual subscription and must ensure that their membership of the BMFA is up to date at all times.


The Committee shall consist of:

  • Chairman John Bates
  • Vice Chairman Matthew Clive
  • Secretary Carolyn Daly
  • Treasurer Graham Ridley
  • Safety Officer Alder Field
  • Committee Member and Club Instructor       Graham Humphrey
  • Committee Member and Club Instructor Cliff Gallagher

In the event that it is not possible to get a volunteer to carry out the full role of Treasurer, the separate role of Membership Secretary may be created in order to reduce the workload.

The Committee shall retire each year at the Annual General Meeting, but any member may be elected again. The new Committee shall be elected either by a show of hands or by written vote as decided by the Committee. Nominations for Committee posts must be made in writing to the Chairman at least 2 weeks before the date of an AGM. A proposer and seconder will be required for all nominations.  In the event of one of the 4 Senior Officer’s positions (Chairman, Vice Chairman, Hon Secretary or Hon Treasurer) needing to be filled part way through the club year, the Secretary will seek nominations from the membership. If more than one nomination is received, an EGM will be held to enable a preferred candidate to be elected. To assist with continuity, a period of 10 days notice will be deemed sufficient for calling an EGM for this specific purpose. Co-opted members may be invited to join the Committee for administration or advisory purposes providing the full Committee is in agreement.

The Committee shall be responsible for the running of the Club, and shall have the power to refuse membership to any applicant or initiate action that may lead to the suspension or termination of membership of any member who, in the opinion of the Committee, could in any way jeopardise safe and harmonious relationships within the Club or between the Club and its neighbouring communities.


Club Rules are necessary to:

  • Protect club members and members of the public from death or injury
  • Prevent damage to equipment and property
  • Maintain the club’s licence to operate in accordance with the SMFC and SMBC agreement.
  • Maintain a friendly atmosphere within the club

In implementing its Disciplinary Procedure, the committee will strive to achieve the correct balance between exercising a sensible degree of tolerance towards members with a good track record who make the odd inadvertent mistake, and taking firm action against more serious misconduct or against members who flagrantly or persistently abuse club rules or fellow club members who disrupt the harmony within the club.

In the interest of safety and of maintaining the “Club’s License to operate”, any club member has the right to raise his concerns directly with the owner of a model and if necessary with a member of the committee.

Any concerns will initially be addressed informally with the club member who will be advised as to the nature of the concern and advised accordingly.

Where informal procedures fail to address the concern, formal disciplinary procedure will be followed.

A complaint from a member concerning any fellow member must be made in writing and signed by the complainant(s). The written complaint must then be forwarded to the secretary so that the matter can be addressed at the next committee meeting.

When the committee considers formal disciplinary action to be necessary, the following procedure will be followed:

  1. The member will be given a verbal warning by a committee member in which the member is made aware of their misdemeanour and what he is reasonably required to do to make amends.
  2. If the member does not respond, he will be given a written warning by the club secretary to advise him of his misdemeanour and what he is reasonably required to do to make amends.
  3. If he still fails to respond, the committee will invite him in writing to meet with them to discuss the situation, advising they are considering withdrawal of his membership. (See Note 1 below)
  4. If he still fails to respond to reasoning or fails to attend without reasonable cause, the committee may advise him in writing that his membership has been withdrawn, stating the reasons why this decision has been reached. His club membership fee will be forfeited and his entitlement to attend club premises, either in a personal capacity or as a guest of any SMFC member, will also be withdrawn.
  5. When the member is advised of withdrawal of his membership he will be given the right to appeal. In such cases, the member should write to the club secretary with 28 days, citing the grounds on which he wishes to appeal.
  6. Should the appeal proceed, this will be to the club membership at an EGM, which the committee will call on his behalf.
  7. In the case of gross misconduct, elements “a” or “a” and “b” may be omitted but this will only be for exceptional circumstances and advice will be sought from the BMFA HQ in these instances. Although the list is not exhaustive, the following behaviours are liable to be regarded as gross misconduct – discrimination, harassment, bullying, abuse, physical or verbal violence, gross insubordination, misappropriation of club funds, theft or damage to the club’s property or equipment, misuse of the internet including postings liable to damage the reputation of the club or any of its members, or other conduct prejudicial to the best interests of the club such as placing the club’s licence to operate under threat.

(Note 1: For less serious offences i.e. those likely to result in verbal warnings or initial written warnings, but not those liable to proceed towards dismissal, the member may be asked to appear before a sub – committee, appointed by the full committee and comprising two Committee Members. In the event that any action taken by the sub – committee should lead to an appeal, the appeal will be made to the full club committee rather than an EGM).


Business: The elected Committee shall manage the business and running of the Club.

Flying Site Rules: May only be amended at an AGM or EGM, with the exception of rules relating to safety or “licence to operate” which the committee may amend at any time. Flying site rules shall be binding on all members operating on any site under the control of the club

Quorum: A quorum of any meeting shall consist of a majority of the committee members including co-opted members. The Chairman of the meeting shall have the casting vote in any unresolved business (in both committee and sub-committee meetings).

Frequency of Meetings: Committee meetings shall be held on the first Tuesday of the month at West Bromwich Leisure Centre at 7pm.

Minutes of Committee Meeting: The Secretary will make best endeavours to ensure that minutes of committee meeting are circulated to committee members and are available for committee meetings.


The club will ensure that appropriate third party public and civil liability indemnity cover is maintained to provide indemnity to committee members who become engaged in activities on behalf of the club, which could include being involved in court proceedings. The club will take advice and follow the recommendations of the BMFA, in this respect, as that Organisation provides the committee with liability indemnity cover as a feature of its Club Affiliation process.

In the event of the committee member being awarded damages or costs in the course of the proceedings taken by him in his representative capacity, then such damages or costs will become the property of the club and not the committee member personally, and forthwith, upon receipt by the committee member, that member will pay them to the club treasurer.


The club’s financial year shall normally run from 1st June to 31st May.

The club will have the power to obtain, collect and receive funds by means of contributions, donations, special events, subscriptions and the sale of donated goods.

The income of the club shall be directed to achieving the club’s objectives as outlined in this constitution and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred, directly or indirectly to any member of the club, with the following provisos:

  • Payment in good faith of reasonable and proper out of pocket expenses to any member of the club.
  • Ex gratia awards to club members for exceptional service to the club. Such awards shall be endorsed by the full committee, announced at the AGM and stated clearly in the club’s accounts.

The committee must ensure that proper accounts are kept in respect of

  1. a) All monies received and expended by the club and the matters in respect of which the receipts and expenditure takes place
  2. b) The assets and liabilities of the club. At each AGM, the committee must present an account of income, expenditure, assets and liabilities.

All bank accounts will be opened in the club’s name and all cheques signed by 2 of the following officers of committee – Chairman, Treasurer or Secretary.

  1. a) Individually itemised in the club accounts
  2. b) Be pre-approved by a second committee member – or in the case of larger purchases – by the full committee.

The club chairman, club treasurer and club secretary will act as trustees in relation to the assets of the club.


Full Club Meetings will be held at West Bromwich Leisure Centre on the first Tuesday of the month between 7pm and 8.30pm.


An Annual General Meeting shall take place in May each year, for which a minimum of 14 days notice will be given. Any proposals from the membership must be seconded and submitted in writing to the Secretary at least 28 days before the published date of the meeting.

All proposals must be voted upon unless withdrawn at the meeting. Each club member present at the AGM shall be entitled to one vote per proposal. A majority vote of those present is required to carry any proposal. In the event of any unresolved business, the AGM Chairman will have the casting vote. Amendments to proposals must be voted upon first. In the event of conflicting proposals, a preliminary vote will be held to eliminate the less popular proposal before proceeding to a final vote. Voting will normally be by a show of hands, but a secret ballot of those present may also be used at the discretion of the committee.


An Extraordinary General meeting may be called by the committee. The Chairman or secretary shall inform the membership in writing of the date and a list of items to be discussed, at least 14 days before the date of the meeting.

An Extraordinary General Meeting may also be called by not less than 10% of the members by way of a written request to the committee signed by the said 10% with a list of items to be discussed.

If a request for a meeting is made in accordance with the above paragraph and this meeting is not called within 28 days of the request, the requisitioners may themselves convene an Extraordinary General Meeting by giving 28 days written notice to all members and setting out a list of all items to be discussed. Any resolutions passed at this meeting shall in effect be as though passed by the committee.

Voting: See under AGM.


In the event that any circumstances arise which would cause the club to cease its activities then an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting shall be called. Six weeks notice of this meeting shall be given in writing to all paid up members.

The meeting shall consider the situation and if 75% of those present vote in favour of the motion then the club will immediately cease its activities.

After all outstanding liabilities (including the return of all unused portions of grants where this was a condition of the grant) have been settled, the balance of the funds remaining will be offered to a named charity or charities. The chosen charities will be agreed by the membership at the EGM.


A resolution to alter this Constitution may be passed at any general meeting provided the following conditions are met:-

  1. The proposed resolution is supported either by the committee or by at least half the members of the club
  2. The secretary receives the terms of the proposed resolution at least 28 days before the meeting at which the resolution is brought forward
  3. The quorum for the carriage of such a resolution shall be one third of those entitled to vote
  4. The resolution shall receive the assent of two thirds of those present and voting.
  5. This Constitution was approved by committee members of the Sandwell Model Flying Club on 20th August 2015.


Signed …………………………………………. (Chairman)

Signed ……………………………………….. (Secretary)

Date: 20th August 2015

Annex A - Sandwell Model Flying Club Guides - Charity Guidelines

The aim of these notes is to provide guidance to the Committee of the Club when considering making donations to charity.

The Club’s charity guidelines are as follows:


  • The Club should, wherever possible, support local charity events when asked. I.e. school summerfairs, firework displays, etc. whenever it is practicable to provide a relevant display of what we do.
  • Whether or not money changes hands largely depends on the circumstances around which theevent is based. These conditions should be finalised well before the day of such an event.
  • In the event of the club being approached to donate money to a local worthy cause, the Committeewill make a decision on the amount to be donated.
  • In the event that the Club is approached for sponsorship of a member or their close associate who is involved in a charity event, the Committee will make a decision on the amount to be donated.
  • The Club reserves the right to periodically donate funds to charities. The amounts and gaining charities must be agreed by majority vote at a general meeting.
Annex B - Sandwell Model Flying Club Guides - Caring for Junior Members

The aim of these notes is to provide guidance to the Committee of the Club on the care of junior members.



  • A Junior Member is defined as being less than 18 years of age.
  • A responsible adult is defined as a senior member or parent/guardian who has the experiencecommensurate with the type and degree of supervision required.
  • Junior members must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult. The level of supervision isto be commensurate with the junior member’s age, maturity, capabilities and levels of experience.
  • Junior members under the age of 14 years shall not start an engine or carry a model with theengine running unless they are supervised by a responsible adult.
  • No senior member is to be expected to assume responsibility for a junior member unless he/shehas been specifically requested to do so by the junior member’s parent/guardian. If required to do so, he/she is to assume complete and total responsibility for the junior member whilst he/she is in
    their charge.
  • Should a member discover a junior member is unsupervised he/she must assume responsibility for the junior member’s safety in the first  The situation should then be rectified as soon as possible by seeking out the junior member’s parent/guardian/nominated supervisor. Any instance of such an occurrence is to be reported to the Committee as soon as possible.
  • Whilst supervising junior members, senior members should be aware of the requirements of TheChildren Act (1989) and avoid placing themselves in a position that could be open to misinterpretation or question. A leaflet giving advice is available from the BMFA Leicester Office or from the Club Secretary.
  • Note to parents and guardians:This Club does not undertake to supervise junior members other than for the actual act of model aircraft flying and associated pre-flight and post-flight procedures.
    In addition this Club has specific rules relating to junior members and you are required to study them.

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