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Sharps Shoot Syndicate Constitution.

Version 1 - September 2014.



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The name of the syndicate shall be Sharps Shoot Syndicate, hereafter referred to as The Syndicate.
Every member shall be provided with a copy of this Syndicate constitution and shall be bound by it
and any alterations thereof.

Objects and aims
The objects and aims of The Syndicate shall be;
To promote and preserve the sports of rough shooting, driven and walked up game shooting.
To organise driven and walked up game shoots on land where shooting rights are held.
To successfully rear game bird species for release on land where shooting rights are held.
To encourage skill & safety in shooting through information sharing and social clay shoot
events.
To promote and encourage conservation and create, where practical and possible, habitats for
the benefit of quarry and non-quarry species.
To provide shooting and social facilities for Syndicate members.
To make reasonable efforts to control vermin and pest species, by shooting and/or trapping,
on land where shooting rights are held.
To encourage safe, lawful and responsible activity by all members at all times whilst engaged
in Syndicate activity.

Syndicate management committee
The Syndicate shall have a management committee composed of;
1) Chairperson and Gun Captain,
2) Gamekeeper and Beaters Captain,
3) Secretary,
4) Treasurer.

The Syndicate members at each Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall elect all of the above.
All members of the committee shall be paid up Syndicate members (the term member includes both
full guns and half guns).
Any committee member can hold more than one committee role, if there is no other syndicate
member willing to undertake that role, to ensure the continued running of the syndicate.
The retiring members of the committee shall be eligible for re-election each year.
A nominee for committee membership must have been a syndicate member for at least one year.
Other non-committee roles may include; statistics officer, health and safety officer, first aiders, and
any other roles as deemed necessary by the committee.
The committee shall have the power to fill any vacancies during the year, and shall have the power
to form sub-committees as may be required.

Syndicate Membership
Membership of The Syndicate shall comprise of:

Full guns, which pay the full annual subscription amount, and are entitled to shoot on every
calendar shoot day.
Half guns, which pay half the annual subscription amount, and are entitled to shoot on half of the
calendar shoot days.
Both full and half gun members hold one vote at the AGM, any SGM, or any other meetings as
called by the Committee and attended by a quorum of members.

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Volunteer beaters and volunteer pickers support the Syndicates shoot days, who are not considered
Syndicate members.

No Syndicate member is permitted if less than 18 years of age.
A responsible adult must accompany any beaters or pickers under 18 years of age at all times.

The total membership of The Syndicate (full and half guns) shall not exceed the equivalent of 12 full
guns. The split of standing and walking guns on any particular shooting event will be at the
direction of the shoot captain.

Anyone applying for membership of The Syndicate must be proposed and seconded by existing
Syndicate members.
No person shall become a member until the committee, which has absolute authority to refuse any
person as a member without giving any reason, has approved his or her membership application.
The decision of the committee on such applications is final.

Memberships are annual and take affect from 1
st
April.
Annual subscriptions are due in two installments. The amount and due date of installments shall be
set during the AGM.

Any member who has not paid the required subscriptions by the due dates of any year
automatically forfeits membership and is only re-admitted to membership on terms at the
discretion of the committee. Members in arrears may be considered as New Members upon any re-
admission and as such become illegible for committee membership for one year.

Each half gun shall pair up with another half gun and spilt the shoot calendar between them in a
manner fair and equitable to both. This requires that the total number of half gun memberships
equal a complete equivalent full gun number.

In the event that there are an odd number of members requesting a half gun, volunteers for one
subscription change will be requested. In the event that no subscription change volunteers are
forthcoming, the Syndicate committee shall decide the shoot dates of the remaining half gun in a
manner fair and equitable to all.
The half gun attendance split shall be communicated to the gun captain in advance of the first shoot
of the season, so the gun captain is aware of who will be attending each event.

Syndicate member certification and insurance
All members must hold current shotgun and/or firearm certificates.
These certificates must be made available for inspection by the committee at the AGM.
Any member who has a shotgun and/or firearm certificate refused or revoked is required to inform
the Syndicate secretary immediately.
The Syndicate reserves the right to hold on record the expiry date of member shotgun and/or
firearms certification.
Members shall, at any time requested by the Syndicate Committee, provide evidence of shotgun
and/or firearm certificate renewal, if certificate documentation expires within a membership
season.
The Syndicate Committee has absolute authority to refuse any member to shoot on Syndicate land,
at any time, if that Member has failed to provide current shotgun and/or firearms certification.

All members are required to purchase third party shoot insurance (such as that provided by, but
not limited to, BASC, Countryside Alliance, etc). Evidence of this insurance must be made available
for inspection by the Syndicate Committee at the AGM.
The Syndicate reserves the right to hold on record the expiry date of members shoot insurance
certification.
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Members shall, at any time requested by the Syndicate Committee, provide evidence of shoot
insurance certification, if documentation expires within a membership season.
The Syndicate Committee has absolute authority to refuse any member to shoot on Syndicate land,
at any time, if that Member has failed to provide current shoot insurance certification.

Syndicate membership termination and resignation
The Syndicate Committee has the authority to recommend to the member quorum the termination
of membership of any member for good and sufficient reason and shall communicate this intention
to all members in writing stating the grounds upon which it proposes to act.
The Committee, subject to the decision of the quorum, may offer that member the opportunity to
resign from The Syndicate and the member in question has the right to be heard by the Committee
and member quorum before a final decision is taken.
If the member does not attend or does not resign if called upon so to do, the quorum may terminate
the membership in question.

In the event of any Syndicate member resigning from the Syndicate, the member may be due a full
or partial refund of the annual subscription subject to the following conditions;
The retiring Syndicate member and/or the Syndicate committee are able to find a suitable
replacement member, and that the new members full or partial subscription has been
received by the Syndicate treasurer.

The Committee retains the right to waive the above replacement member condition in the event of
member illness, disability, death, or other compassionate grounds, provided this will not be to the
detriment of existing members or threaten the continued existence of the Syndicate.

A full refund will only be considered prior to September 1
st
of any shoot calendar year, and subject
to the conditions above. After this date a proportion of the subscription may be returned,
calculated on the proportion of the number of shoot days remaining.

Any resignation received after 1
st
December will receive no refund for the remaining shoot days.

Syndicate quorum and voting
The committee may not transact any business at any Syndicate meeting unless a quorum is present.
The quorum is defined as a minimum of two committee members, and sufficient Syndicate
members whose combined votes (including those committee members present) represents greater
than 50% of the total votes within the syndicate.
A majority in favour vote, i.e. greater than 50% of the voting members present, is required to pass
any motion.
Should a quorum not be present within 15 minutes of the meeting start time the meeting will be
adjourned until the next convenient date (subject to the 7 day notice period described below).
If at the adjourned meeting a quorum, as defined above, is not constituted then those Syndicate
members present will be considered to constitute a quorum.
The quorum has the power to legislate on any matter not provided for in the constitution and to
formulate and promulgate such rules and regulations, as it may feel necessary or desirable to make.

Every Syndicate member (full gun and half gun) may cast only one vote on any motion at any
meeting. Voting may be either by a show of hands, or paper ballot, at the discretion and direction of
the chairperson. Proxy votes will only be accepted by indicating to the Syndicate secretary, in
writing or by email, what vote he/she would cast in a known agenda item.

In the event of an equality of votes, The Syndicate chairperson shall have an additional casting vote.

Constitutional Amendment
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Proposed amendments to the constitution may be made at either the AGM or at a Special General
Meeting (SGM) subject to the terms for calling SGMs stated further in this document. Proposed
constitutional amendments that are to be put to the AGM must be forwarded to the Syndicate
secretary in writing at least 28 days prior to that meeting.

Syndicate Annual General Meeting (AGM)
The AGM shall be held between the 1
st
and 31
st
of March.

The Syndicate secretary, acting on behalf of the committee, will provide syndicate members with a
minimum of 14 days notice of the AGM, to include the AGM agenda.
No other business (except with the Chairmans permission) shall be transacted at the AGM.
(Ideally the AGM date and venue and any other normal business meeting dates will be
determined up to one year in advance and recorded on the shoot annual calendar.)

Any proposal for the AGM shall be submitted to the Syndicate secretary in writing or email at least
28 days prior to the AGM.

The Syndicate shall invite AGM submission from the Land Owners/Tenant Farmers of the land over
which the Syndicate has permission to shoot, either in writing via the Chairman, or in person, but
will not be entitled to vote.

The AGM will transact the following business:
Report of previous years activities by the chairman (to include statistical report and cover crop
report)
Land Owners/Tenant Farmers reports and requests
Membership status report by the Secretary
Treasurers report and annual accounts
Set subscription levels for the coming year
Guest gun fees
Election of officers and committee
Any resolutions on which notice was given on the agenda
Any other business by permission of the chairman

At each AGM the committee shall propose the subscription for full gun and half gun membership,
subject to agreement by the quorum.

Subscriptions shall cover any deficit from the previous season, reasonably anticipated expenditure
for the coming season, and a planned budgetary surplus of 5% of the total in the 2015/16 season,
rising to 10% in all subsequent seasons to cover unforeseen price rises and unforeseen expenses.
Subscriptions shall take into account any budgetary surplus from the previous season.

Other meetings including Syndicate Special General Meetings (SGMs)
Any other meetings (including SGMs) may be called if deemed necessary by at least two members
of the committee, or a minimum of 50% of the remaining non-committee members in a joint letter
or email addressed to the secretary.

The secretary shall then call an SGM meeting (date, time, venue) giving at least 14 days notice.
The agenda of the SGM shall be circulated along with the notice and no other items other than those
thereon may be discussed.
Criteria for quorum and voting requirements for Syndicate SGMs are the same as Syndicate AGMs.

Meeting attendance
All syndicate members are expected to attend the AGM, any SGMs and other meetings as called by
the committee, but attendance is not compulsory.
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A record of attendance at all meetings will be maintained by the Syndicate secretary.

Data protection
Every member gives permission for The Syndicate to keep and use his or her personal information
on computerised Syndicate records.
Such information is used only for the purposes of running The Syndicate, and no information shall
be given to any third party without the written authority of the individual member, except where
the law requires disclosure.

The Syndicate will make reasonable efforts to ensure such information is kept private and/or
password protected wherever possible.
No liability is accepted by The Syndicate for any information stolen, Hacked or otherwise
criminally misappropriated from The Syndicate.

Syndicate property and equipment
The committee holds the property and funds of the club in trust for the benefit of all members.

The Syndicate secretary shall maintain a register of assets of all equipment and property held by
The Syndicate. This register will clearly indicate any items on loan from Syndicate members.
Members who have loaned any equipment and property may withdraw that equipment or property
at any time provided the Syndicate secretary has received written or email notification to enable
update of the asset register.

The Syndicate will not be held liable for any loss, damage, theft or degradation of equipment or
property whilst held by The Syndicate.
Users of any equipment or power tools, whether owned by, or on loan to The Syndicate remain
responsible for checking that the equipment is in a safe and proper condition prior to use. It
remains the users responsibility to familiarise themselves with the instructions and safe operation
of any such equipment. If that member is unsure they shall not use such equipment.
If any equipment is found to be unsafe or not in a proper condition the Syndicate member is to
inform the Syndicate secretary immediately, who shall arrange tagging, segregation, repair, return
to owner or disposal, as appropriate.

Risk assessments
Risk assessments shall be carried out with respect to a shooting day and working parties on Land
over which the Syndicate has permission to shoot.
Assessments shall be reviewed in June and July of each year in order to allow sufficient time for any
remedial work to be carried out prior to the forthcoming shoot season.
Everyone involved in Syndicate activity shall be consulted directly on matters that affect, or may
affect their health and safety.

Syndicate finances
The Syndicate is a non-profit making organisation.
All profits and surpluses will be used to maintain or improve The Syndicates facilities or events.
No profit or surplus will be distributed to any member, at any time, other than on the winding up or
dissolution of The Syndicate.

The financial year of the club is from 1
st
April to 31
st
March.

The Treasurer shall pay all monies received by him/her on behalf of the Syndicate into banking or
building society accounts in the name of the Syndicate.
All cheques drawn on the named Syndicate account shall be signed by the Treasurer, and a member
of the Syndicate Committee.
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In addition the treasurer shall keep complete and accurate records of all the financial accounts to
be submitted to the Syndicate at its AGM together with a balance sheet certified by the Committee.
Any and all cheques issued to Syndicate members shall be signed for by the recipient, and all
monies received by the Treasurer shall be receipted.
Any and all account cash withdrawals must be made with two of the three named signatories
present.
Any expenditure by any member on items that have not been subject to committee review and paid
for from the Syndicate bank account are considered to be unauthorised. Neither The Syndicate nor
the remaining members shall be held liable for payment. The committee may consider a refund to
the Syndicate member at its discretion, but absolutely reserves the right to refuse payment.
In such a situation the member may choose to subsequently withdraw the item or declare it as a
donation to The Syndicate, free of obligation.

In the event of The Syndicate having to be wound-up and ceasing to exist all assets will be realised
and, after payments of all The Syndicates debts and expenses, the balance of monies realised (if
any) will be distributed in such a way as is resolved upon by the members at a Special General
Meeting held prior to the wind-up.

Laws and codes of practice
The shooting seasons of the Syndicate shall be in accordance with the Wildlife and Countryside Act
1981 (part 1) as from time to time amended. All shooting activity of the Syndicate will also be in
compliance with any applicable open licenses as issued by Natural England. All Syndicate members
shall be familiar with and comply by the requirements of the above.

Every Syndicate member shall, at all times, obey the law in relation to the possession and use of
guns and firearms and observe the laws relating to wildlife protection. Members are also
encouraged to familiarise themselves with, and abide by, the ethics of shooting sports as embodied
in BASC codes of practice. Any member breaking such laws or codes may be considered to have
bought the Syndicate and the sport into disrepute.

Syndicate members shall at all times use correct and legal ammunition in accordance with current
legislation.

Shoot days
All members, beaters, guests and visitors shall accept the authority of the gun and beaters captains
at all times during shooting events.
The gun captain and the beaters captain may deputise any member they consider capable and
suitable to undertake their responsibilities in the event of their absence at a shoot event.
All members, beaters, guests and visitors shall read and comply with any additional written
instructions from the gun captain and beaters captain, as issued by the Syndicate secretary.
Such additional instructions shall comply with the shoot constitution, but may be authored and
amended at any time by the respective captains, subject to Syndicate management committee
approval.

Syndicate members shooting positions (pegs), shall be allocated by the gun captain in a fair and
equitable manner, as instructed in the pre-shoot briefing.

Syndicate members are permitted to allow non-shooting visitors to accompany them on shoot days,
subject to the following:
The gun captain has been informed in advance
No more than one visitor per member
The visitor shall remain the responsibility of the inviting member, and that responsibility
shall include the provision of any personal protective equipment required
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The visitor shall receive and comply by the pre-shoot safety brief

Under no circumstances whatsoever shall a member or beater pass beyond the limits of the land
over which the Syndicate has permission to shoot, except to recover game shot over such land, and
then only with the previous consent of the adjoining occupier, and in such case the members gun
shall be left within the boundaries of the land over which The Syndicate has shooting rights.

Members must only gain access to land where shooting rights are held, through official access
points, as indicated on the map issued and maintained by the Syndicate secretary. No unauthorised
access points are to be used or created.

Vehicle access to land over which shooting rights are held is permitted only under the direction of
the gun and/or beaters captain, or with the land owners express permission. Vehicle drivers shall
ensure they do not drive over set aside land, damage any crops beyond access tracks or disturb any
livestock.

All members and beaters dogs shall be kept under close control at all times. Members and beaters
are requested to keep their dogs on leads in the vicinity of livestock, and around rearing pens
during the rearing season. Members and beaters shall not allow their dogs to trespass onto
adjoining land. Members and beaters shall accept the instructions of the gun and beaters captains
at all times with regard to dog control.

The gun captain and the beaters captain, or their appointed deputies, have the authority to refuse
permission to shoot, and to expel from the ground on which shooting rights are held any member,
beater or guest whose conduct he/she considers to be unsafe or who is using any firearm or
equipment which he/she considers to be unsafe and/or unsuitable. The committee may take
further action, as it deems appropriate.

The gun captain and the beaters captain, or their appointed deputies, have the authority to refuse
permission to shoot and to expel from the ground on which shooting rights are held any member,
beater or guest whose conduct is in any way in breach of the constitution, or is likely, in his or her
view, to bring The Syndicate into disrepute. The committee may take further action, as it deems
appropriate.

In the event that any gun is unable to attend a calendar shoot date, they shall inform the gun
captain as soon as possible.
Half guns shall swap or offer such days in the first instance to their half gun pair, and if that half gun
paired member is also unable to attend, to then inform the gun captain as soon as possible.
Any member may also propose a suitably certificated, insured and experienced guest to the gun
captain, to take their place.

It is at the discretion of the gun captain to offer vacant places to proposed guests, or land owners
and/or tenant farmers, or suitably certified, insured and experienced beaters, or other half guns.
Should the gun captain decide to invite another gun replacement for any member unable to attend a
shoot date, this should be done in a fair and equitable manner, with the aim of a fair days shooting
for all syndicate members being paramount.

Proposed guests who take the place of a member who is unable to shoot on that date may be
requested to make a voluntary contribution towards the running of the shoot.
For all other non-member guests, The Syndicate reserves the right to charge the guest such fees as
previously agreed at the AGM. All such voluntary donations and fees shall be properly receipted
and entered into the shoot accounts.
Under no circumstances will any member offer their shoot days for sale to other members or
beaters in return for monetary or any other benefit.
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Policy in the event of attempted sabotage
In the event that any of The Syndicates shoots become the object of saboteurs attention it is The
Syndicates policy to stop the shoot, unload and encase all guns and secure them in vehicles.
Regardless of provocation however aggressive or disgusting members and beaters must not
retaliate either physically or verbally.
If possible photographs of the saboteurs should be taken. All members present should try to
remember any distinctive features regarding the saboteurs and take notes of any assaults or
vandalism and of any vehicles that the saboteurs use.
The local Police incident room telephone 101 - must be informed about the situation as soon as
possible.

Pest species control
Instructions to Syndicate member guns on shoot days regarding pest species and ground game
shooting will be given by the gun captain in the pre-shoot briefing.

Permission to gain access to ground over which The Syndicate has permission to shoot, for the
purposes of rough shooting and/or pest species control shall be gained from the Land
Owner/Tenant Farmer for each and every visit.
Where more than one Syndicate member is present only one person shall contact the Land
Owner/Tenant Farmer and they shall advise that more than one Syndicate member is present.

Syndicate members may not permit or take non-syndicate members onto land over which The
Syndicate has permission to shoot, for the purposes of any shooting activity and/or pest species
control without the knowledge and permission of the Syndicate committee and Land
Owner/Tenant Farmer.

Shotguns are not to be used for vermin/pest control in the vicinity of the rearing pens during the
rearing season (defined as from the day of poult delivery until the 1
st
of October).
Moderated firearms or air weapons having a caliber equal or less than .22 may be used in the
vicinity of the release pen for vermin/pest control during the rearing season.

The Syndicate committee and Land Owner/Tenant Farmer may request and authorise the
placement and use of legal pest species trapping methods by Syndicate members. These shall be
placed, maintained and checked in accordance with current legislation. No other unauthorised
Syndicate members or beaters shall interfere with such traps, at any time.

Working parties
The continuation and success of The Syndicate requires that all members shall donate time outside
shoot events, either in:
1) Maintenance of the land over which the Syndicate had permission to shoot and its property and
facilities
2) Syndicate administration and management
3) Care, feeding and watering of reared game species
4) Dogging in
5) Pest and vermin species control

The Syndicate secretary shall propose a working party calendar for the coming season at the AGM,
subject to agreement by the quorum. Working parties will usually be held on, but are not restricted
to, the Saturdays indicated on the calendar.

Full guns shall support a minimum of 4 working party events or donate the equivalent time to
Syndicate administrative support. Half guns shall support a minimum of 2 working party events or
donate the equivalent time to Syndicate administrative support.
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All physically able members, who reside within 10 miles of the land over which the Syndicate has
permission to shoot, are expected to support in the reared game species care rota, or in regular
dogging in, or in regular pest and vermin species control control.
The Syndicate committee may excuse those Syndicate members living further afield.

At the time of payment of the annual subscription, all members are requested to indicate which
working party events they are able to support. This indication is not binding, but will help the
committee to organise work lists for working parties. Members can swap between working party
dates at any time, but are requested to inform the Syndicate secretary as soon as possible.

If any member is unable to support any working parties, due to work or other commitments then
that member shall contact the Syndicate secretary to agree working party tasks that they are able to
complete in their own time, at their own convenience.

Members are requested to arrive at working parties at the agreed start time, or to indicate to the
Syndicate secretary in advance if they will be arriving later.
The Syndicate secretary shall maintain a register of working party attendance.

The Syndicate committee reserves the right to consider failure to support any working parties, or
Syndicate administration and management, as good and sufficient reason to propose to the member
quorum the termination of membership and shall communicate this intention to all members in
writing stating the grounds upon which it proposes to act. The committee, subject to the decision of
the quorum, may offer that member the opportunity to resign from The Syndicate and the member
in question has the right to be heard by the committee before a final decision is taken. If the
member does not attend or does not resign if called upon so to do, the committee may terminate
the membership in question.

The Syndicate committee reserves the right to excuse any member from working party and/or
administrative commitments in the event of illness, disability or on other compassionate grounds.

The committee may also request, at short notice, additional emergency working parties, for
instance to deal with storm damage, vandalism, pest species damage etc. These instances shall not
be considered as a formal and scheduled working party and attendance is entirely voluntary.

Exclusions from liability
Every person, whether a Syndicate member, beater or guest, taking part in any event organised by
The Syndicate (including but not restricted to, formal shooting events (game or clay), informal
rough shooting, vermin control, working parties and social events), or any visitor at such an event,
or in any other such event in which any member of The Syndicate takes part, does so at her or his
own risk. He or she or his or her personal legal representatives or assigns or dependants has no
right of claim or right of action against The Syndicate or any member thereof in respect of damages,
loss, injury or death sustained; notwithstanding any negligence by any member of the Committee or
any member of the body of members of The Syndicate.

Every person whether a Syndicate member, beater or Guest, taking part in any event organised by
The Syndicate whether or not a Member, uses his or her firearms and ammunition at his or her own
risk. He or she, or his or her personal legal representatives or assigns or dependants, has no right of
claim or right of action against The Syndicate or any Syndicate Committee member thereof in
respect of damages, loss, injury or death sustained; notwithstanding any negligence by any member
of the Committee or any member of the body of members of The Syndicate.