1. Name and Objects
The Club shall be called The West of England Labrador Retriever Club, and its objective shall be its objective shall be to promote the proper and responsible breeding of Labrador Retrievers, to hold or support Shows, Field Trials or Tests for Labrador Retrievers, with the exception of Open Trials where Any Variety Retrievers may be permitted, and to encourage the closest understanding between their promoters and breeders.
2. Officers and Committee
The Club shall consist of Patron, President, Vice Presidents, Hon. Life Members, Chairman, Vice Chairman, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Field Trials Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, Hon. Working Test Secretary, Hon. Membership Secretary, a Committee of 15, and an unlimited number of members.
3. Election of Officers
(a) The Patron, President, Vice Presidents, and Hon. Life Members shall be proposed by the Club Committee from amongst those members deemed to have distinguished themselves by meritorious service to the Club. The positions of Patron, President and Vice President shall be for a period of three years from election, but each shall be eligible for re-election if properly nominated by the Committee.
(b) The Chairman, Vice Chairman, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Field Trials Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, Hon Working Test Secretary and Hon. Membership Secretary shall retire at each AGM but shall be eligible for re-election if properly nominated (see also 4(a) and (b) below).
4. Election of Committee
(a) One third of the members of the Committee shall retire each year, but shall be eligible for re-election. All nominations for such posts shall be in writing, proposed and seconded, and with the written consent of the nominee, and be in the hands of the Hon. Secretary at least SEVEN days before the meeting.
(b) The election of officers and members of the Committee shall be by ballot; ballot papers shall not be marked in any way other than voting and preferably shall be supervised and counted by non-members of the Club.
5. Election of members
Candidates for membership of the Club shall be proposed by one member, seconded by another, and be elected by the Committee by secret ballot at one of their meetings. Two negatives shall exclude.
6. Voting rights
(a) Each member shall be entitled to one vote immediately upon acceptance of membership.
(b) Postal and Proxy votes shall not be allowed.
(c) Voting at all meetings shall be by show of hands, unless a majority of members attending the meeting decides otherwise.
(d) In the case of Joint Membership, each member of the partnership shall have one vote.
(e) Junior membership shall be available for those BELOW the age of 16 years, but such members shall not be entitled to vote.
(f) The Patron, President, Vice President and Hon Life Members shall each be entitled to one vote
7. Management of the Club
(a) The management of the Club shall be in the hands of a Committee consisting of 15 members (see 4 above as to election).
The Committee will consist of a General/Show Committee of 9 members and a Field Trial Committee of 6 members.
The President, Chairman, Vice Chairman, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Field Trial Secretary, Hon. Treasurer and Hon Working Test Secretary shall be ex officio members of all committees.
The Field Trial Committee shall be responsible for matters relating or incidental to Field Trials and Working Tests.
The General Committee shall be responsible for all Shows and all other matters or activities affecting the Club.
(b) At least 7 days notice shall be given of each meeting together with the main items to be transacted. The Chairman, if present, shall preside at every meeting and have a casting vote if necessary. In his absence, the Vice Chairman shall take his place. In the absence of both, the members present shall elect a Chairman who shall have a casting vote in the event of a tie.
(c) Meetings of the Committee shall be held as often as may be deemed necessary but at least every six months for the transaction of business and five shall form a quorum.
(d) No member shall attend Committee meetings, other than those who have been properly elected to the Committee, unless specifically invited to attend by the Committee. The President, although entitled to attend all committee meetings, shall have no voting rights on the committee.
(e) The Committee may form sub-committees to deal with specific activities of the Club and these sub-committees shall comprise an organiser, together with three other members of the main Committee, with power to co-opt up to three other Club members.
(f) If a member of the Committee fails to attend three meetings in succession, of the Committee (General or Field Trial) to which he/she was elected without a satisfactory reason, he/she shall cease to be a member of the Committee.
(g) The committee shall have power to elect a member to fill any casual vacancy that may occur in the number of the Committee, or among the officers, during the year for the unexpired term of the member creating the vacancy, subject to the confirmation of the next AGM.
(h) Unless proposed by the Committee, no individual who has been a member of the Club for less than 12 months may be elected to the committee.
(i) Officers and Committee members shall have no personal liability for debts of the Club save and insofar as those debts are beyond the power of an Officer or Committee member to incur, and the question of whether any debt is beyond their power shall be within the absolute discretion of the committee.
8. Financial Year and Annual General Meeting
The financial year of the Club shall be from 1 January to 31 December. The Annual General Meeting shall be held, at the discretion of the Committee, for which purpose the Hon. Secretary shall give to all members at least 14 clear days notice of its date, time and place, by means of personal written notice including by email, or by advertisements in "Dog World" and "Our Dogs". Copies of the Agenda and Accounts shall be available at the AGM.
The business of the Meeting shall be to receive the report of the Committee, the Accounts, the election of officers and Committee, and to discuss any proposals duly placed on the Agenda, of which prior notice has been given to the Hon. Secretary at least seven days before the AGM. No business shall be transacted at the AGM other than that which appears on the Agenda, with the exception of routine matters, or those which, in the opinion of the Chairman of the meeting, are urgent.
9. Special General Meeting
A Special General Meeting shall be summoned by the Hon. Secretary if twelve members send a signed requisition stating the subject to be discussed; no business other than the matter on the Agenda can be discussed at a Special General Meeting. Such a meeting may be called also by the Committee of the Club. Fourteen clear days notice shall be given to all paid up members in writing.
(a) The Annual Subscription shall be determined at the AGM and be due for payment to the Hon. Treasureror Hon. Membership Secretary on 1 January each year. New members joining during the year shall pay the full subscription. No member whose subscription is unpaid shall be entitled to any of the privileges of membership, and if a member shall fail to pay the Annual Subscription by 25 March, the Committee shall have the power to erase his/her name from the list of members.
(b) Members will not be entitled to a nomination in Field Trials or Working Tests unless subscription is fully paid before the closing date of entries.
New members must apply for membership and application be approved by the committee as per Rule 5 by 31st March to be eligible for preference in the draw for Field Trials in that year.
(c) Joint subscriptions shall be available for husband and wife or joint partnership in dog, but in Field Trials and Working Tests only one nomination in any Trial or Test shall be granted to a joint subscription.
(d) Any change in the rate of subscription shall not be effective until 1 January next following the AGM.
11. Alteration and Approval of Rules
The Rules of the Club shall not be altered except at a General Meeting, notice of which shall include details of the proposal to alter the rules. Any such alterations to the rules shall not be brought into force until the Kennel Club has been advised and given its approval of the alteration.
12. Club Property
(a) The property of the Club shall be vested in the Committee, and in the event of the Club ceasing to exist, a General Meeting shall be called to decide the disposal of any assets.
(b) It shall be understood that the donations of Cups/Trophies to the Club shall become the outright property of the Club, unless the donor signifies in writing to the contrary at the time of making a donation, and the Committee to be given discretion over the allocation of Cups/Trophies and their disposal.
13. Expulsion of Members
Any member who shall be suspended under Kennel Club Rule A42j(4) an/or any member whose dog(s) shall be suspended under Kennel Club Rule A42j(8) hall, ipso facto, cease to be a member of the Club for the duration of the suspension and / or disqualification..
If the conduct of any member shall, in the opinion of the Committee of the Club, be injurious or likely to be injurious to the character or interests of the Club, the Committee of the Club may, at a meeting, the notice convening which includes as an object the consideration of the conduct of the member, determine that a Special General Meeting of the Club shall be called for the purpose of passing a resolution to expel him/her.
Notice of the Special General Meeting shall be sent to the accused member, giving particulars of the complaint and advising him of the place, date and hour of the Meeting, that he may attend and offer an explanation. If at that Meeting a resolution to expel is passed by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting, his name shall forthwith be erased from the list of members, and he shall thereupon cease for all purposes to be a member of the Club, except that he may within two calendar months from the date of such meeting appeal to the Kennel Club upon and subject to such conditions at the Kennel Club may impose.
If the Club expels any member for discreditable conduct in connection with dogs, dog shows or trials the Club will report the matter in writing to the Kennel Club within seven days and supply particulars required.
14 Club Accounts
(a) A Banking Account or Accounts shall be opened in the name of the Club into which all revenue of the Club shall be paid and from which withdrawal shall only be made on the signature of two officers, one of whom shall be the Hon. Treasurer and either Chairman, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Field Trial Secretary or Vice Chairman as the second signature. The accounts shall be kept by the Hon. Treasurer.
Certification of accounts will be by one qualified Accountant or two unqualified individuals with accountancy experience who will be appointed at each AGM to audit the Club's accounts for the ensuing year.
(b) In making the appointment at the AGM of a single auditor, the meeting shall be satisfied that the nominee has a recognised accountancy qualification.
15. Annual Returns to the Kennel Club
(a) The Officers acknowledge that during the month of January each year, maintenance of Title fee will be forwarded to the Kennel Club by the Hon. Secretary for continuance of Registration and that by the 31st July each year and other returns, as stipulated in Kennel Club Regulations for the Registration and Maintenance of Title of Registered Societies and Breed Councils and the Affiliation of Agricultural Societies and Municipal Authorities will be forwarded to the Kennel Club.
(b) The Officers also acknowledge their duty to inform the Kennel Club of any change of Hon. Secretary of the Club which may occur during the course of the year.
(c) The Officers acknowledge their duty to inform the Kennel Club of the month in which the Club's Annual General Meeting is held and to notify the Kennel Club of any subsequent amendments to that date.
(d) The Club shall make a list of members and their addresses available for inspection if so requested by members of the Club or by the Kennel Club.
16. Final Authority of the Kennel Club
The Kennel Club shall be the final authority for interpreting the Rules & Regulations of the Club in all cases relative to Canine and Club matters.
17. Affiliation to other bodies
The Club shall not join any Federation of Societies or Clubs.
18. Undischarged Bankrupt
No person whilst an undischarged bankrupt may serve on the Committee of or hold any other office or appointment within a Kennel Club Registered Society.
19. With the exception of dogs bred specifically for Assistance Dogs (e.g. dogs for the blind, for hearing, or as companions to special needs people), any member of the WELRC using, either a stud dog, or a brood bitch, to purposely produce a cross breed (e.g. labradoodle etc.) shall be subject to a Special General Meeting of the Club to consider their expulsion from membership.
20. In accordance with Kennel Club recommendation, unless a posted schedule is requested in writing by a member they will only be sent by email and made available for download on the Club website.