Portsdown U3A

Portsdown U3A Bye Laws
  • Last Updated: 11 Feb 2019

Bye Laws – Portsdown U3A (Constitution 10 vii)

Amended 20.01.14

These byelaws shall apply to all members unless stated otherwise.

Complementary to but not in conflict with Constitution.


  • Executive means the officers and committee members as elected at the AGM
  • Steering Committee means the four Officers ie Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer
  • Trustees are the members of the Executive
  • Member means any person who has paid the appropriate subscription
  • Plural/singular and he/she are interchangeable.


  • Membership is open to all qualifying persons who have paid their subscriptions in the current financial year. Full fees are payable if joining between 1st April and    31st August. Between 1st September and 31st December the fee will be as prescribed by the executive committee from time to time. No new members will be accepted during January.  Members joining between 1st February and 31st March will be deemed to have paid until 31st March the following year.
  • Potential members may pay a one off fee as decided by the Executive, for attending a General meeting. Attending a Group meeting before becoming a member (a taster) will be allowed without charge for a maximum of two occasions.
  • Membership shall be deemed to have terminated if subscriptions remain unpaid two months after the subscriptions became due.
  • Membership may also be terminated as a result of disciplinary action.

Executive duties

In addition to those duties contained in Item 10 of the Constitution (see Appendix A below)

  • The Executive shall from time to time set the one off fee for attending general meetings.
  • The Executive shall recommend to the members, the annual fee to be approved  at the AGM.
  • The Executive may at its sole discretion refuse membership to any individual without giving any reason for doing so.
  • The Executive may at its sole discretion waive the fees for any individual.
  • A register of members shall be maintained by the Membership Secretary or by any other person delegated to do so by the Executive.
  • The Steering Committee shall make any such essential decisions as are deemed necessary in between committee meetings.
  • The Executive shall verify decisions made by the Steering Committee at its next   meeting.

Disciplinary (Executive members)

There is A CODE of CONDUCT for Portsdown U3A TRUSTEES which covers Discipline of Executive members and which is enshrined in our constitution.  See Appendix C.

A trustee about whom a complaint has been made which is not connected with their position as a Trustee will be treated as a non-executive member of Portsdown U3A

Disciplinary (non Executive members)

Following a formal complaint by a recognized person regarding the behaviour of a member(s) the following action should be taken. The chairman should attempt to resolve the problem with an informal chat with the member(s). A record of the conversation should be kept in a confidential file and a copy given to the member(s) in question but should not be regarded as part of the disciplinary process. Any repeat of the unacceptable behaviour will result in a letter from the chairman warning of the consequences of further repetition. As a last resort the Executive may ask the member to leave however if the offence is considered by the Executive to be of a very serious nature the member can be banned from membership forthwith.

Expenses Policy

The expenses policy is attached as appendix B.

Confidential minutes

Minutes relating to sensitive or private matters discussed at an Executive committee meeting classified as Confidential shall be noted as having taken place but the details shall be excluded from the minutes of the meeting. A record of the discussion and any decisions must be filed in the Confidential folder and as a result would not be available to the membership.

Group Leaders

Matters relating to Group Leaders are detailed in the Group Leaders Handbook.

Appendix A


  1. The Executive Committee shall hold at least 4 meetings each year.
  2. Additional meetings may be called at any time by the Secretary on behalf of the Chairman or by any two members of the Executive Committee, upon not less than seven days’ notice being given to other members of the Executive Committee of the matters to be discussed, unless it concerns the appointment of a co-opted member, in which case not less than twenty one days’ notice must be given.
  3. The Chairman shall chair the meetings and in his absence the Vice-Chairman shall take over or, if there is no Vice-Chairman present, the Executive Committee shall choose one of their number to be Chairman of the meeting before any business is transacted.
  4. There shall be a quorum when at least one-third of the number of members of the Executive Committee or three members of the Executive Committee, whichever is the greater, are present at the meeting.
  5. Every decision shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members of the Executive Committee present and voting on the proposal. The Chairman of the meeting shall not have a casting vote in addition to his own vote, so in the case of equality of votes,  the motion will  be lost.
  6. The Executive Committee shall ensure that minutes are taken of all its meetings and those of any sub-committees and are available for inspection should a member request it.
  7. The Executive Committee may from time to time make and alter rules for the conduct of their business, the summoning and conduct of their meetings and custody of documents (including, but not limited to, the use of electronic communications).  No rule may be made which is inconsistent with this constitution.
  8. The Executive Committee may appoint sub-committees including at least one member of the Executive Committee, for the purpose of performing any function or duty which in the opinion of the Executive Committee would be more conveniently undertaken or carried out by a sub-committee, provided that all acts and proceedings of any sub-committees shall be fully and promptly reported to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall authorise the terms of reference of sub-committees and may alter them from time to time. Sub-committees may make proposals to the Executive Committee, but may not make decisions and they shall not have any expenditure authority.
  9. No Executive Committee member shall be chargeable or responsible for loss caused by any act done or omitted to be done by him or by any other Executive Committee member or by reason of any mistake or omission made in good faith by any Executive Committee member or by reason of any other matter other than wilful and individual fraud or wrongdoing or actions knowingly beyond the scope of a specific authority or limit thereon on the part of the Executive Committee member in question.

Appendix B



The Portsdown U3A is a Charity and is mindful of the need to use the members’ funds wisely. However it is run by volunteers who give their time and expertise freely and this policy is to ensure that these worthy people are not out of pocket.                                                                  


Expenses incurred by individuals in the furtherance of the running of Portsdown U3A shall be refundable.


All claims need to be made on the appropriate form (copies available from the Treasurer) giving sufficient detail as to the nature of the expense. Where possible receipts should be attached.


If travelling by train, the best price may only be available if booked in advance and it is hoped that use will be made of this facility. If you have a railcard or a bus pass it is expected that these will be used where appropriate.

Travel by car will be reimbursed at the current HMRC approved rate. Car parking and congestion charges can be reclaimed but parking or other fines will not normally be allowed.


Overnight accommodation will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances and will need the prior agreement of the Executive.


If there is a need for any reason, advances can be obtained from the Treasurer.

Appendix C



Charity trustees are responsible for controlling the management and administration of the charity and have collective responsibility.

This code of conduct is an agreement between the organisation and the individual committee member and sets out the expected standards of behaviour.

Current trustees are asked to accept the code and new trustees should be advised of the code and formally asked to accept. On all occasions, the acceptance should be minuted.


  • Trustees should read the Charity Commission leaflets on the responsibilities of Charity Trustees CC3, CC3a and ‘Being a Trustee’, which can be downloaded from the Charity Commission website.
  • Trustees are expected to know, follow and promote the Aims and Guiding Principles of Portsdown U3A at every opportunity.
  • Trustees must always act in the best interests of Portsdown U3A and the U3A Movement.
  • Trustees are expected to reflect the current organisational policy of Portsdown U3A, regardless of whether it conflicts with their personal views.
  • Trustees are expected to abide by Portsdown U3A’s governance procedures and practices.
  • Trustees must never derive any pecuniary benefit from being a trustee and must notify the Chairman of any gifts received.
  • Trustees are expected to use Portsdown U3A’s resources responsibly
  • Trustees should inform the Chairman before accepting an invitation to speak on behalf of the U3A.
  • Trustees are expected to treat fellow committee members courteously and maintain a respectful attitude towards the opinions of others.
  • Organisational, committee and individual confidentiality must be respected at all times.

Specific – Committee Meetings

  • Preparation for and attendance

    Trustees are expected to study the agenda and all supporting papers prior to the meeting and should strive to attend. 

  • Conflict of Interest

    Trustees must declare any conflict or possible conflict of interest at the start of the committee meeting or at the earliest possible opportunity. The Chairman will then decide whether to exclude the trustee from a particular item or from the whole meeting. In the event that the Chairman has a conflict of interest, then the Vice-Chairman should rule on the matter.

    Procedure to be followed in the case of any Breach of this Code of Conduct

    In the event of a report of any trustee allegedly breaching the code of conduct or if a breach becomes apparent, the Chairman will immediately appoint two trustees to establish the facts and report back. The result of these investigations must not be disclosed to any other trustees.

    For minor breaches of the code, the Chairman shall use his/her best endeavours to resolve the problem amicably and quickly, through an informal chat with the trustee in question. However, even an informal discussion should not be vague. The problem or issue needs to be identified, the views of the trustee should be heard and the Chairman should make clear the change required and the consequences of repeating the behaviour in question. A written record of the informal discussion should be kept on file and a copy given to the trustee in question, but it should be stressed that this is not part of any formal disciplinary procedure.

    NB. If the complaint concerns the Chairman, then the Officers acting as a group should take responsibility.

    If this process is not effective or the breach is serious enough to require formal disciplinary action, the following procedure should be applied however if the offence is considered by the Chairman to be of a very serious nature he/she may ask the committee to invoke Step 4 with immediate effect.

    Level 1

    A verbal warning from the Chairman making clear the nature of what was unacceptable and warning about future conduct. This should be recorded with a date and kept on file.

    Level 2

    A confidential letter from the chairman clearly itemising the unacceptable behaviour, stating the improvement required with immediate effect.

    Level 3

    A final written warning which states that if the behaviour is repeated again the trustee will be asked to leave the committee with immediate effect. At this stage the committee will be fully informed and copied in to all correspondence.

    Level 4

    The trustee is asked to leave.

    Right of Appeal

    At each stage of the formal disciplinary procedure there is a right of appeal providing it is in writing and done within 7 days.

    Hearing an Appeal

    If a decision is appealed and the trustee wished to appear before the committee, the trustee should be invited to attend a specially arranged meeting, with a friend if so desired, who may also speak. The Chairman should summarise the issue and invite the trustee to state his/her case.

    The trustee will then be informed when he will be told of the decision.

    The matter should be fully discussed, taking into account any mitigating circumstances.

    Once a decision is reached the trustee should be informed in writing.

    N.B. The committee’s decision following any appeal is final.