1. Title

The organisation shall be called The Association of Barbel Fishers, hereafter to be referred to as “the Association” or the “ABF”.

2. Aims & Objectives

  • To promote a democratic association of barbel anglers, popular with and for the benefit of all members.
  • To promote barbel fishing within the general angling community and to promote such fishing to follow and adhere to the Handling Code, as prescribed by ‘The Barbel Society’ and generally recognised as the standard.
  • To provide opportunities for social contact between like-minded barbel anglers.
  • To share in the distribution of information, availability and the techniques & equipment for barbel fishing.
  • To undertake such other diverse activities related to the sport of barbel angling, the conservation and environment of barbel, whether ancillary to these objectives or otherwise, as the ABF committee (hereafter defined in this Constitution) may deem to be in the interests of the ABF and its members.
  • To support deserving charities and worthy causes, as nominated and determined by members at each AGM.

3. Membership / donations / subscriptions

  • Members of the ABF are defined as those persons who have paid the required nominal donation (for identity assurance).
  • Membership of the Association shall be open to all persons irrespective of ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or beliefs, sex or disability.  At present we shall have no Junior memberships excepting where they are related to a full ABF member and solely for the purposes of holding a permit for an ABF fishery.
  • Persons wishing to achieve membership of the Association shall complete an on-line application form and make a single donation of at least the prescribed minimum in force at the time. Assuming no irregularities, the account will be activated.
  • Membership will be continuous, but in order to keep our membership totals as realistic and as current as possible and in compliance with GDPR the ABF will periodically remove dormant members who have not participated in or viewed the forum over the course of the preceding two years.
  • The Team may refuse membership only for good and sufficient cause. Appeal against such a decision may be made to the Association.
  • Any person being ‘Guested’ onto a fishery is deemed a member of the ABF, along with membership rights, for the duration of the guesting period.
  • Any Association member who is alleged to have infringed the Association’s or the Environment Agency’s rules, or shown conduct or character likely to bring the Association or sport into disrepute, will be liable to expulsion or other action as decided at the discretion of the Team.  Such measures will not be carried out without the member concerned being given the opportunity to make representations to the Team.  Any team discussions will take place in private (online), which are effectively considered as Special General Meeting (SGM) in nature.
  • The Team will have the authority to suspend an individual member pending a final decision on a disciplinary case.
  • All members are expected to have read the health and safety documents and rules on the Association’s website.
  • The Team reserves the right to recommend the introduction of an annual subscription based membership if this is considered to be in the best interests of the Association.

4. Officers and Committee

  • The officers of the Association shall be the Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Fisheries Officers and Groundsman, any of these may be considered to be combined as/if necessary.
  • The day to day running, affairs, and all financial functions of the Association, shall be controlled by a management team (The Team) which shall include all officers and forum moderators together with additional members up to a committee maximum of 15, who may be appointed when, and if, the committee decides that there is the need for further expertise/assistance in particular areas of the Association’s operation.
  • All officers and Team members shall be 18 years of age or above at commencement of their service.
  • Officers shall be elected annually from and by the membership at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Officers shall retire annually but may stand for re-election.
  • Additional team members shall be elected from and by the membership at an AGM.
  • Officers and team members may be appointed on a temporary basis by the Team pending formal ratification at the next AGM.
  • Any officer or Team member may be considered for removal from their post following a written signed and seconded proposal to the Team from any Association member.  Following receipt of such a proposal, the Team will arrange for the matter to be discussed at the next AGM.  The proposer and seconder must attend and state the reasons for the proposal and the officer or Team member concerned shall be given the opportunity of responding prior to a vote being taken and a decision being made.
  • The Team will have the authority to suspend an individual from office pending a final decision on a proposal to remove from office.

5. Roles and Responsibilities

  • To ensure the Association’s affairs are conducted lawfully and for the benefit and best interests of the Association and its members.
  • To report to the members via the Secretary any action taken by the Team on behalf of the members.
  • To ensure that meetings are run smoothly and efficiently.

The Team

  • To deal with the day to day management of the Association eg. fishery acquisition, work party arrangements, fish-ins, social events etc.
  • To ensure that adequate systems and support are in place to record membership details, payments, fishery arrangements, and all financial activity undertaken by the Association, and to direct and support the Treasurer and Membership Secretary in these tasks.
  • To ensure minutes are taken of all AGMs and to direct and support the Secretary in this task.
  • To carry out any functions and duties as identified and agreed during the course of the year.
  • To ensure the Association has adequate and appropriate annual public and employers’ liability insurance cover.
  • To collectively ensure that the rules of the Association are clear and are followed.
  • To introduce, when necessary and appropriate, temporary constitution/ rule alterations or amendments. The permanent introduction of such changes to be considered further at the next AGM.
  • To communicate to the whole membership via the Association’s website as soon as any temporary constitution/rule changes are introduced.
  • To regulate membership levels whilst monitoring resources and waters available to the Association for its members.
  • To cost and recommend all donations and/or subscriptions, fees, levies, and charges, for subsequent approval at an AGM.
  • To co-opt committee members where necessary prior to a formal election process at the next AGM.
  • To give initial consideration to any proposals or matters that may need to be referred to an AGM.
  • To provide a working link between the membership and the chairperson.
  • To deal with any disciplinary cases or complaints.

6. Meetings and procedures
Annual General Meeting (AGM)

  • The AGM shall be held in October (or another month determined by the Team) each year and all members shall be notified and advised of the date, place, time, and agenda, at least 14 days prior to the meeting via a notice on the Association’s web site and Social Media.
  • All attending members are entitled to vote on general issues, only syndicate members may vote on syndicate specific issues.
  • The team is responsible for reviewing permit costs, this to be done the month prior to the AGM and then reported on at the AGM.
  • Decisions made at a general meeting shall be by a simple majority of votes from those members attending the meeting.  In the event of equal votes, the Chairperson shall have a casting vote.
  • All items of business for the AGM are to be lodged with the Secretary or posted on the forum by the end of September annually.
  • The general purpose of the AGM is to allow attending eligible members to:
    1. confirm the minutes of the previous AGM.
    2. deal with any matters arising from the minutes
    3. receive officer’s reports.
    4. dissolve the current officers and committee
    5. elect officers and committee members to vacant positions.
    6. consider and vote on all proposals, (constitution, rules, general proposals), received from the committee or general membership.
    7. consider any other urgent business.
  • The outgoing chairperson will take the chair at the AGM up to the point of the dissolution of the retiring officers and committee. The existing secretary will take the chair to appoint a new  chairperson. The newly elected chairperson will then take the chair.
  • New candidate nominations of members for officer and committee posts, together with notification of officers and Team members seeking re-election, should be posted on the ABF forum, along with clearly stated confirmations of support from both a proposer and seconder, at least seven days prior to the meeting.
  • If possible, all nominees, proposers and seconders, should be in attendance at the meeting to support the nomination.
  • Where insufficient nominations for posts are received, the chairperson may, at their own discretion and in the best interests of the Association, opt to take nominations from those in attendance provided the nominees, proposers and seconders are present.
  • Whenever possible, members shall be informed of new candidates who have declared as nominees for positions and those seeking re-election before the meeting.
  • Nominees will be given the opportunity of making a brief statement in support of their  nomination before each election.
  • Where only one nomination has been received for any post, that person will be elected unopposed, having been duly proposed and seconded.

7. Fisheries
In unavoidable circumstances, the rights of members to fish waters available to the Association may be limited, extended, or temporarily or permanently terminated to preserve fish stocks or for other reasons which may become necessary. The Association shall not be liable for any loss of privileges or return of subscriptions.

8. Alterations and Amendments to the Constitution and Rules
The committee may introduce temporary alterations or amendments to the Association’s constitution and rules but these must be formally considered at an AGM or SGM. Any alteration or amendment must be either proposed by the committee or by a full member of the Association and seconded by another full member.

9. Accounts and Audit
The terms for the presentation of the financial affairs of the ABF for disclosure to members shall be determined as approximately one calendar year from the official launch date, and yearly thereafter, and shall be carried out prior to any planned AGM. Presently, as an unincorporated association, there is no legal requirement for our books to be audited.

10. Dissolution of the Association

  • In the event of insolvency, falling membership numbers, loss of waters, or any other unfortunate circumstance, the Association can be dissolved by a vote at a properly constituted AGM or SGM.
  • A motion to dissolve the Association must be received by the secretary, in writing from a proposer and seconder, in advance of the meeting. If the meeting is inquorate, then two thirds of the attendees are required to approve the motion.  If the motion is carried, the Association will be dissolved but can be reconstituted where a minimum of twenty members agree to accept the inherent responsibilities and challenges, having declared so prior to, or at the start of, the meeting.
  • In the event of a motion to dissolve the Association being carried, and there being no reconstitution proposal, any assets remaining after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Association, but shall be given or transferred to one or more of the following approved sporting or charitable bodies as the trustees shall determine.
    • o A registered charitable organisation(s)
    • o Another angling Association with similar objectives
    • o The sport’s national governing body