SABRE Constitution (2018-2020)
Note: this Constitution was updated on 26 March 2020.
This is the third iteration of SABRE's constitution. Links to the previous versions are provided at the bottom of this page.
- 1 Title
- 2 Aims
- 3 Membership
- 4 Management of the Society
- 5 Conduct of elected and appointed officers
- 6 Elections
- 7 By-elections
- 8 Confidence votes
- 9 Notices of motion
- 10 Voting procedures
- 11 Annual General Meeting
- 12 Amendments to the Constitution
- 13 Supporting documentation
- 14 Previous versions
1. The name of the Society shall be the Society for all British and Irish Road Enthusiasts (SABRE)
2. The aims of the Society are to:
- i. Promote the study and appreciation of roads in the United Kingdom and Ireland, past present and future
- ii. Act as a forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions held by individuals
- iii. Be a hub through which information can be exchanged
- iv. Generate a better understanding of the British and Irish road networks
- v. Gain a good understanding of the history of our roads
3. In furtherance of these aims, the Society may:
- i. Operate an online presence with such discussion, research and education facilities as the Site Management Team considers fit
- ii. Organise or facilitate trips to places of roads interest
- iii. Organise meetings to discuss matters relating to roads
- iv. Share information held by the Society with other persons and organisations subject to the permission of the owner of the information
4. While it may work with other organisations in pursuance of the above aims, such relationships may not be allowed to develop in such a way as to compromise the Society's position as neither a pro-roads nor an anti-roads group.
5. Membership of the Society is open to any individual with an interest in roads within the United Kingdom and/or Ireland and who has not been banned from membership.
6. There shall be two categories of membership: Discussion Group Member and Voting Member.
7. Discussion Group Membership is achieved by registering for at least one of the Society’s online facilities, and is subject to compliance with this Constitution.
8. Discussion Group Members play no part in the running of the Society.
9. Voting Membership is open to any individual over the age of 16 who has been a Discussion Group Member for at least 30 days. The Committee may reject any applications for Voting Membership from Discussion Group Members who are not regular contributors to discussion of or research into roads in the Society's online facilities.
10. Voting Members are entitled to stand for office and participate in all votes and elections. They may also be appointed to particular roles in the support of the Society by the President.
11. Voting Membership is obtained by providing a real name and nearest postal town to the Secretary.
12. Applications for Voting Membership shall not be considered while any vote or election is under way.
13. The Committee may refuse to accept or cancel the Voting Membership of any Member on the grounds of their behaviour as a Discussion Group Member, a Voting Member, or in any elected or appointed role within the Society. If the Member should wish to appeal to the full Voting membership, they must write to the President.
14. Once a year, in the months of March and April, and before nominations open for the annual elections, all Voting Members shall be invited to renew their Voting Membership. Any Voting Member who does not renew their membership within two weeks of the invitation being issued or within any longer period notified in the invitation shall be deemed to have resigned as Voting Members and shall revert to being a Discussion Group Member.
15. A Voting Member may resign as a Voting Member and revert to being a Discussion Group Member at any time.
16. No Member in either category of membership may hold more than one user account on any online facility of the Society without the prior permission of the Site Management Team.
Suspension and termination of membership
17. Notwithstanding the following paragraphs, membership may be cancelled by the Site Management Team acting unanimously if a user is engaged in spamming or posting offensive material, or has compromised the security of any online Society facility.
18. The Site Management Team shall have discretion as to whether to cancel the membership of any individual with multiple user accounts on any online facility of the Society, or only to delete any duplicate accounts.
19. Membership of the Society may be suspended for a period of up to two weeks by agreement of not fewer than two Elected Officers of the Society, at least one of whom must be a member of the Site Management Team.
20. Membership of the Society may be suspended for up to six months by resolution of the Committee.
21. In an emergency, a member of the Site Management Team or the President may suspend a user for up to 48 hours pending agreement as to length of suspension as per the above paragraphs.
22. Membership of the Society may be suspended for any longer period, including indefinitely (ie terminated), by resolution of the Voting Members in a simple majority vote.
23. No Member may be subject to a vote for indefinite suspension unless the President (or the Site Manager if the subject of the proposal is the President) has received proposals for such a vote from at least 2% of Voting Members, subject to a minimum of five Voting Members, in the time since the previous Annual General Meeting.
24. For this purpose, the President may not accept proposals of indefinite suspension for any one user from more than two elected officers.
25. Any individual indefinitely suspended from the Society may apply to the President to rejoin the Society not less than two years after they were most recently suspended.
26. All such applications shall be considered by the Committee, who shall also consider whether any conditions of behaviour should be imposed on the individual’s return.
27. If the majority of Committee Members voting oppose the readmission of the individual, the application shall be refused.
28. If at least two thirds of Committee Members voting on such an application agree, and the individual agrees to any conditions imposed, then they shall be readmitted as a Discussion Group Member.
29. In any other case, Voting Members shall be asked to vote whether the individual should be readmitted, and whether, if readmitted, they should be subject to the conditions the Committee has proposed.
30. If such a vote of the Voting Members takes place, Voting Members shall be asked to express their preference order between Readmission, Refusal, and, where applicable, Readmission with the conditions specified. Such a vote shall be decided by Instant Run-Off.
31. Any indefinitely suspended individual who has their application for readmission refused must wait a further two years before applying again.
32. For the purposes of leave to rejoin the Society, an indefinitely suspended individual who registers as a new user without the permission of the Committee or the Society shall be deemed to have been suspended on the day that their registration under the new name is ended.
33. Any Member may ask for their membership to be terminated at any time.
Management of the Society
34. The Society is managed by the Elected Officers: the President, the Site Management Team, and the Treasurer.
35. Voting Members may be appointed to other roles as below.
36. The Committee shall be the governing body of the Society.
37. The Society shall elect a President to take office until the next AGM.
38. The President acts as chair of the Society, and also chair of the Society’s Committee.
39. The President is required to maintain neutrality, and other than at the specific request of the Site Manager should not exercise any functions belonging to the Site Management Team.
40. The President is also responsible for arranging any elections or votes required to take place from time to time.
41. The President may delegate the running of any election or vote to the Secretary, a Committee Member, or another Voting Member, in which case all references in this Constitution to the President for the purposes of the election or vote should be read as referring to the person to whom the running of the vote or election has been delegated.
42. The President must delegate the running of any election or vote in which he is either involved as a candidate or the subject of a vote of Confidence or vote for indefinite suspension.
43. The President may not hold any other elected office in the Society while they are in office, and must therefore resign as soon as they are elected to any other office. In addition, they may not act as Secretary.
Site Management Team
44. The Society shall elect a Site Manager and three Assistant Site Managers to serve until the next Annual General Meeting, and they shall constitute the Site Management Team.
45. The Site Management Team shall be responsible for the moderation of content on the Society’s online facilities, the nature and format of those facilities (subject to consultation with Members of the Society), and the approval of Discussion Group Membership.
46. In the event of the resignation of the Site Manager, the President shall appoint an Assistant Site Manager to act as Site Manager until the next Annual General Meeting.
47. The Society shall elect a Treasurer to manage funds received by the Society and ensure all liabilities accruing to the Society from its authorised activities are met.
48. The Treasurer shall have been a Voting Member for not less than one year, and must have attended at least one official SABRE meeting.
49. The Treasurer is elected for an indefinite term.
50. The President may invite nominations from time to time to the role of Secretary and any other such roles as they consider are required to be filled by Voting Members to support the running of the Society, including but not limited to software developers.
51. The role of the Secretary is to act as deputy to the President, and to maintain the register of Voting Members.
52. In determining the roles, responsibilities and authority of any proposed Appointed Officers, the President shall consult with the Site Manager about what powers of the Site Management Team may be delegated to relevant Appointed Officers.
53. Voting Members shall be invited to nominate themselves to these roles. A period of not less than a week must be allowed for the receipt of nominations.
54. After the close of nominations, the President shall announce whose nominations have been accepted, and their appointments shall be deemed ratified seven days later unless two or more objections to any appointment are received from Voting Members, in which case their appointment shall be subject to an affirmative vote by Voting Members.
55. Appointed Officers are appointed personally by the President, and their continued appointments are therefore subject to the President’s personal confidence.
56. When a new President is elected, the appointments of existing Appointed Officers shall continue for three weeks after that election or until appointments of new Appointed Officers have been ratified, whichever comes first.
57. The Committee shall consist of:
- i. The President
- ii. The Site Management Team
- iii. The Treasurer
- iv. The Secretary
- v. Any person who retired as President, Site Manager or Assistant Site Manager at the previous AGM
- vi. The previous Treasurer, if in office immediately before the previous AGM
- vii. Three Voting Members elected to serve on the Committee until the next Annual General Meeting
- viii. All appointed officers not already members of the Committee by virtue of the above provisions
58. Provided that if that if after any annual general meeting there are fewer than five retired Elected Officers on the Committee, the vacant seats shall be filled by a maximum of four additional elected Voting Members.
59. The President may also, at their discretion, invite any person who has resigned as an elected or appointed officer since the last AGM to remain on the Committee until the next AGM.
60. The Committee shall:
- i. Act as a point of reference for Elected and Appointed officers
- ii. Provide a forum of discussion of sensitive items that should not be posted to a public forum
- iii. Ask any elected officer to provide an explanation for an action taken by them that appears to be outside the powers provided for in this Constitution or any agreed Procedural documents as may be agreed from time to time.
- iv. Consider appeals and if appropriate, overturn the decision of an elected officer
61. The Committee is chaired by the President, who shall act as a point of contact between the Committee and all other Members.
62. In the absence of a member of the Site Management Team, the President may appoint a Committee Member to fulfil the duties of that person subject to the provisions above for the ratification of Appointed Officers.
Conduct of elected and appointed officers
63. Elected and Appointed Officers, including Committee Members, are in the public view, and are expected to set an example of behaviour to other Members.
64. In the event of unacceptable behaviour by an Elected or Appointed Officer, the President may suspend them from their role for a period of up to two weeks.
65. In addition, the President may dismiss an Appointed Officer whom they appointed.
66. If any Elected, Appointed Officer or Elected Committee Member should be engaged in spamming, posting of offensive material, compromising the security of any online Society facility, or other actions incompatible with their positions, they may be dismissed by the President with the approval of a majority of the Committee.
67. Elections shall be held for the roles of President, Site Manager, Assistant Site Manager and Elected Committee Member in April of each year.
68. If the Treasurer should give notice of their intention to resign at the Annual General Meeting, an election shall also be held for this role, otherwise a replacement shall be elected at a suitable by-election.
69. In the event of the resignation or dismissal of any Elected Officer or Elected Committee Member, a by-election shall be held.
70. Provided that in the event of the resignation of the Site Manager, the President shall appoint an Assistant Site Manager to act as Site Manager until the next Annual General Meeting, and the by-election shall be for the role thus vacated by that Assistant Site Manager
71. Provided also that if the President, an Assistant Site Manager or an Elected Committee Member resigns between 1 February and the Annual General Meeting, a by election need not be held and the Secretary, the remaining members of the Site Management Team, or the remaining Committee Members as the case may be may cover the absence until the Annual General Meeting.
72. All elected officers, appointed officers and other Committee Members may be subject to votes of No Confidence by Voting Members.
73. Proposals of a Confidence motion must be sent to the President (The Site Manager if the President is the subject of the Confidence motion)
74. No resolutions of No Confidence shall be considered unless proposals are received between the time of their election or appointment and the following AGM from at least 2% of Voting Members, subject to a minimum of five Voting Members.
75. For this purpose, the President (or Site Manager as the case may be) may not accept proposals of a Confidence motion for any Committee Member from more than two elected officers.
Notices of motion
76. Any group of not less than five Voting Members may propose a motion concerning any matter of SABRE policy that does not require an amendment to this Constitution.
77. The President shall normally follow the procedure laid down under Voting Procedures, but shall have discretion to consider such a motion at either the Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting convened for that purpose. Four weeks notice must be given of such an Extraordinary General Meeting.
78. Except as provided elsewhere in this Constitution, all elections and proposals of motions to be decided by the Voting Members must be discussed and decided online.
79. The President shall arrange for a place on the Society's website for all Voting Members to be able to discuss the motion. Not less than seven days shall be provided for discussion and voting.
80. All elections shall be carried out by Instant Run-Off (Single Transferable Vote or Alternative Vote according to how many persons are to be elected to the particular post.)
81. When elections for multiple roles are held together, counting of votes for each role shall be carried out in the following order:-
- i. President
- ii. Treasurer
- iii. Site Manager
- iv. Assistant Site Managers
- v. Committee Members
82. All Constitutional Amendments shall require not less than 2/3 of all Voting Members voting to vote in favour of the amendment.
83. All other motions to be decided by Voting Members shall be decided by simple majority of Voting Members voting.
Annual General Meeting
84. The Annual General Meeting of the Society shall take place in April of each year.
85. Before the Annual General Meeting, elections shall be held for the roles of President, Site Management Team, Committee Members and such other elected posts as are vacant at the time.
86. The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be to review the work of the Society over the last year, to discuss future plans, to receive notice of the results of the associated elections, and other such relevant business.
Amendments to the Constitution
87. This Constitution may only be amended by formal vote of the Voting Membership.
88. Any Voting Member may propose an amendment to the Constitution, but the President is not required to put it to the membership for consideration unless such an amendment is supported by at least ten Voting Members.
89. If a proposal for Constitutional Amendment is received and accepted for consideration of the membership by the President, they shall have details posted on the Society’s main website, and invite discussion and proposed amendments to the proposal.
90. Not less than two weeks shall be permitted for discussion and consideration of further amendments.
91. At the end of the discussion period, the original proposer shall indicate what, if any amendments they are shalling to have adopted as part of their proposal.
92. This proposal (as amended if required under the above paragraph) shall be put to the Voting Members.
93. If the Constitutional Amendment fails to receive the support of two thirds of all Voting Members voting, it shall fall.
94. If the Constitutional Amendment falls, the President shall proceed with votes on any remaining amendments proposed in the order they are received.
SABRE has developed a series of statements of general practice, which have been gathered onto a single page.
In view of the introduction of GDPR, SABRE has also developed a Privacy Statement and Subject Access Request policy.