The Club Constitution & Rules



Name and Objects

1.  The Club, founded in 1979, shall be called The Bearsted and Thurnham Lawn Tennis Club.

2.  The Club is formed to provide the provision of Lawn Tennis, Social and other facilities for its Members.

3.  Constitution and Rules
The Club is constituted by these Rules as a non-profit making Members Club.  In no circumstances during the continuance of the Club, nor after its dissolution shall any assets or surplus funds be distributed to any Member or other person nor to any organisation which is not itself either a Community Amateur Sports Club or a Registered Charity.

4.  Classes of Membership
(a).  Membership of the Club shall be open to the residents of the Parishes of Bearsted and Thurnham and such persons residing outside those Parishes as shall be elected by the Management Committee, providing that the total membership does not exceed 600 members. Bearsted & Thurnham residents will be able to join the Club at any time during the year should they make an application. Applicants residing outside the parishes of Bearsted & Thurnham will be invited to join the Club, providing the membership has not reached 600, but when the maximum number has been reached they will be put on a waiting list and be invited to join when a vacancy occurs.
Social members as defined at 4(b) are not included in this number.

(b).  There shall be the following classes of Membership: -

  • FAMILY – A Playing Membership for Husband and Wife, partnerships and single parents, and as many of their children under the age of *18  or those in full time attendance at a recognised educational establishment under  the age of *25 years, as they wish to include.  On reaching *18 or *25 years of age (as applicable), a child must take up Senior Membership in his or her own right.
  • SENIOR – An individual Playing Membership for persons the age of 18 years or over.
  • JUNIOR – An individual Playing Membership for persons of less than 18 years of age or for those in full time attendance at a recognised educational establishment under 25 years of age.
  • COUNTRY – A Playing Membership for existing members with full Membership, who have had to move to a new home outside the Kent County Boundary.  The number of places available shall be limited to 10 and will not be included in the total number of persons registered as Playing Members.
  • SOCIAL – A Membership for persons who shall be entitled to use and enjoy all the Club facilities and activities except the playing of tennis.

(c).  The number of Members to be admitted to any class of Membership shall be set from time to time by the Management Committee.

5.  Annual Subscriptions and Entrance Fees
(a).  The Annual Subscription for each class of Membership shall be fixed by the Management Committee prior to the commencement of each subscription year

(b).  The Management Committee shall also determine the amount of any Entrance Fee from time to time.

6.  Election of Members
(a).  Every candidate applying for membership must submit an Application Form to the Membership Secretary, who will then ask the members of the Management Committee to approve the application. If there are no objections to this/these person/s joining the Club, the applicant/s will be asked to pay the appropriate subscription.  Upon receipt of the subscription, they will be notified of their election as a member.

(b).  A candidate whose application has been rejected shall not be proposed again for election within a period of 12 months.

(c).  Non Bearsted and Thurnham residents rejecting an offer of Membership for a second time will be placed at the bottom of the waiting list.

(d).  Applications for Membership shall be considered by the Management Committee in strict order according to the date of application.

(e).  On the election of the new member/s, they will be advised where to find the Membership & Playing Rules, and General Information on the Website.

(f).  Acceptance of Membership shall imply recognition of the obligation of Membership of the Club, to abide by the Rules, Byelaws and Regulations and to support the Club and its aims.

7.  Resignation and Transfer Between Classes
(a).  A Member may resign his/her Membership by written notice to the Secretary.

(b).  Subject to the consent of the Management Committee and to a vacancy existing a Member may transfer from one class to another and shall thereupon be liable to pay immediately any increased Entrance Fee and Annual Subscription.

8. Payment of Subscriptions
All Annual Subscriptions, except as provided by Rule 6(e), shall be payable on the 1st March in each year or such other date as the Management Committee shall decide.  If the subscription has not been paid within one month the defaulter shall thereupon cease to be a Member of the Club.  Such person may at the discretion of the Management Committee be re-admitted to Membership on payment of all arrears without payment of any further Entrance Fee provided a vacancy exists.

9.  Discipline
(a).  The Club and all members shall accept and shall be bound by the Rules and the Disciplinary Code (“the LTA Rules”) of the Lawn Tennis Association Ltd (“the LTA”) and the General Rules and Constitution (“the County Rules”) of the Kent County Lawn Tennis Association (“the County”) in force from time to time including amendments made hereafter, insofar as the same are relevant to the activities of the Club.

(b).  All unlicenced and unregistered coaches shall and all visitors to the Club for the purpose of playing tennis will so far as reasonably practicable be required to accept and be bound by the LTA Rules and the County Rules.

(c).  All members shall accept, and all persons mentioned in (2) above shall so far as reasonably practicable be required to accept, that the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 shall apply to the agreement between themselves and the Club, and that the LTA and the County may enforce any breach thereof, but only insofar as it relates to a breach of the LTA Rules or the County Rules.

10.  Expulsion
The Management Committee shall have power to terminate or suspend the membership of any Member or to exclude any Member or visitor whom it considers guilty of a breach of these Rules or of misconduct or offensive behaviour to any other Member, visitor or employee, whether on the Club's premises or elsewhere.  Such a Member shall be afforded the right to make representations on the matter either in person or in writing to the Management Committee whose decision shall be final.

11.  Injury or Loss of Property
Members or visitors leaving racquets, clothing or other property at the Club premises do so at their own risk and the Club shall not be responsible for any loss, damage or injury from this or any other cause.

12.  Management Committee
(a).  The Management Committee of the Club shall be the Chairman, the Vice Chairman (or immediate Past Chairman), the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Club Captain, the Club Deputy Captain, the Membership Secretary, the Social and Fund Raising Member, the Maintenance Member, the Junior Representative, up to 2 Members and a representative appointed by the Bearsted Parish Council.

(b).  The Chairman shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting to serve on the Management Committee for a term of up to 4 years, comprising one year as the Vice-Chairman, followed by 2 years as the Chairman and one year as the Past Chairman.

(c).  All Members of the Management Committee except the Chairman and Vice Chairman shall retire at the Annual General Meeting in each year and shall be eligible for re-election.  The Past Chairman shall not be eligible for election as the Vice-Chairman.

13.  Management
(a).  The Management of the Club shall be in the entire control of a Management Committee.

(b).  The Management Committee may delegate any part of its duties (except the election of Members) to one or more Sub-Committees which may be composed of any Members of the Club, but any Sub-Committee to control a bar supplying intoxicating liquor shall be appointed in accordance with the Licensing requirements.

(c).  The Chairman, or in his absence the Vice Chairman or immediate Past Chairman and Secretary shall be ex-officio Members of all Sub-Committees.

(d).  The Management Committee shall have power to decide any matter not provided for in the Rules and to make, repeal and amend any Bye-laws and Regulations as they shall think expedient for the internal management, use of the Courts and well being of the Club.  All such Bye-laws and Regulations shall be binding on the Members of the Club until repealed or set aside by a resolution of a General Meeting of the Club.

(e).  5 Members of the Management Committee shall constitute a Quorum.

(f).  The Chairman in conjunction with at least one other Member of the Management Committee shall have discretion to act on the Committee's behalf where urgent action is required but such action shall be reported to the full Committee at its next Meeting.

The Management Committee shall meet at least 4 times in every year and additionally, as circumstances require.

14.  Accounts
Except for the purposes of subscriptions (See Rule 8) the Club's Financial Year shall run from the 1st January to the 31st December and the Accounts submitted to the Annual General Meeting shall be prepared and audited accordingly.

15.  Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Club shall be held in the months of October or November in each year upon a date and at a time to be fixed by the Management Committee for the following purposes: -

(a).  To receive a report of the Management Committee reviewing the previous 12 months.

(b).  To receive an Audited Statement of Accounts for the preceding financial year, an estimate of the current financial year and budgets for the following 5 financial years.

(c).  To receive the report of the Club Captain.

(d).  To elect the Members of the Management Committee until the next Annual General Meeting.

(e).  To consider and vote on any resolution which may be duly submitted to the Meeting as hereinafter provided.

16.  Nominations for Management Committee
Any nominations for election to the Management Committee must be received by the Secretary not less than 14 days before the date of the Annual General Meeting with the written consent of the Member being nominated and the 2 proposers and displayed in the Clubhouse.  In the absence of any written nominations, nominations may be accepted at the Annual General Meeting.

17.  Resolutions
Any Member desirous of moving any resolution at the Annual General Meeting or at any other General Meeting shall give notice in writing to the Secretary not less than 28 days before the date of the Annual General Meeting together with the name of the Member who is to second the Resolution.  Resolutions proposing alterations to the Constitution and Rules shall be lodged with the Secretary not less than 6 weeks prior to any General Meeting of the Club.

18.  Notices of Meetings
At least 21 days before the Annual General Meeting or any Special General Meeting notice of such Meeting and the business to be transacted thereat shall be posted on the Club Noticeboard and no business other than that of which notice has been so given shall be brought forward without the consent of the Chairman of the Meeting.

19.  Special General Meetings
The Management Committee may at any time and for any special purpose call a Special General Meeting and shall do so forthwith upon the requisition of any 15 Members or if the total number of Members is less than 75, one fifth of the Membership, stating the purposes for which the Meeting is required.

20.  President
A President of the Club shall be appointed by the Invitation of the Management Committee for a period of not longer than 3 years.

21.  The Chair and Voting
(a).  At all General Meetings of the Club, the President and in his absence a Member selected by the Meeting shall take the Chair.

(b).  A Quorum at any General Meeting of the Club shall be 20 Members entitled to vote.

(c).  All Members shall be entitled to attend and speak at any General Meeting but only Playing Members (with the exception of Country Members) over the age of 16 years shall be entitled to vote.  In the event of equality of votes the Club Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.

22.  Trustees
The property of the Club shall be vested in not less than 2 Trustees who shall be appointed by the Management Committee and the property of the Club shall be vested in them to be dealt with by them as the Committee may from time to time direct by resolution (of which an entry in the Minute Book of the Management Committee shall be conclusive evidence). The Trustees shall be indemnified against risk and expense out of the Club property.  The Trustees shall hold office until death or resignation or until removal from office by the Management Committee.  Where by reason of such death, resignation or removal it is necessary that a new Trustee or persons be appointed, the Committee shall nominate the person or persons to be appointed the new Trustee or Trustees.  For the purpose of giving effect to such nomination the Chairman of the Club is hereby nominated as the person to appoint the new Trustees of the Club within the meaning of Section 36 of the Trustee Act 1925 and shall by Deed duly appoint the person or persons so nominated by the Committee of Management.

23.  Guests
(a).  The Management Committee shall have the power to make, repeal and amend any Byelaws and Regulations concerning Guests.

(b).  Members inviting Guests to the Club for the playing of tennis or to enjoy the social facilities shall ensure that their Guests are entered in the Visitors Book and that they abide by all the Club Rules.

24.  Intoxicating Liquors
(a).  The Club Bar shall be controlled by the Management Committee, either directly or through a Sub-Committee appointed in accordance with the Licensing requirements.

(b).  No Member or Guest under the age of 18 years shall be permitted to serve, purchase or consume intoxicating liquor upon the premises of the Club.

(c).  The Club Bar shall not be open for the sale of intoxicating liquor outside the Club’s Licensing Hours.

(d).  No person shall at any time be entitled to receive at the expense of the Club or any Member thereof any commission, percentage or similar payment on or with reference to the purchase of intoxicating liquor by the Club; nor shall any person directly or indirectly derive any pecuniary benefit from the supply of intoxicating liquor by or on behalf of the Club to Members or their Guests apart from any benefit which a person derives indirectly by reason of the supply giving rise to or contribution to a general gain from the carrying on of the Club.

25.  Tournaments
The Management Committee shall have power to make arrangements for holding matches, tournaments or other like competitions whether for Club Members or other Clubs or organisations including the imposition of charges for admission or otherwise and to reserve courts as may be required on any occasion as the Committee in its discretion thinks proper.  The Management Committee shall have the authority to deal with all matters concerning appointment of Professional Coaches and Terms of Reference of such appointments.

26.  Borrowing
The Management Committee shall be entitled to borrow money for the purposes of the Club at such rate of interest and in such form and manner and upon such security as the Committee considers appropriate provided that the Committee shall not enter into any borrowing exceeding the amount of the annual subscriptions received during the previous financial year without such borrowing being approved by resolution at a General Meeting of the Club.  All Members of the Club whether voting on such resolutions or not and all persons becoming Members of the Club after the passing of such resolution shall be deemed to have assented to the same as if they had voted in favour of such a resolution.

27.  Dissolution
The Club shall be dissolved on the passing of a resolution to that effect at a General Meeting, after due notice in writing to all Members of the Club, by at least two thirds of those present and voting.  The Management Committee shall thereupon wind up the affairs of the Club and shall distribute any surplus funds and assets in accordance with the provisions of Rule 3.

28.  Amendments to Constitution
This Constitution may only be amended by a resolution of a General Meeting of the Club passed by a majority of two thirds of Members present and entitled to vote.  No amendment shall be effective unless and until approval to such amendment has been given in writing by or on behalf of The Bearsted Parish Council.