Model District Constitution

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This is an model of District Constitution approved by General Council.

The General Council will issue model constitutions for all Groups, Districts and Regions on the 15th October 2012.

These constitutions have two parts "Section A" and "Section B".

If you wish to adopt the model constitution without changes you need to do nothing and your Group, District or Region Constitution will automatically be updated at Head Office and sent to you.

If you wish to make adjustments to "Section A" which outlines the powers, objects, members and other administrative affairs of your relevant Branch you will need to seek permission from General Council prior to 1st January 2013. (This may take up to three to four weeks and require negotiations)

If you wish to make amendments to "Section B" which outlines the officers, how committees work, Annual Meeting and other operational affairs of the branch then you may make amendments at any time of your choosing and inform General Council. Any amendments to Section B are not valid until General Council has received a copy of the amended rules and their delegated committee (FGP) has ratified them. (Usually this takes one to two weeks)

You can either read it here or download a Word version by clicking on the link below.


Rules as delegated by the General Council of the Woodcraft Folk incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee Company number: 8133727

Charity number in England and Wales: 1148195 and in Scotland: SC039791



Rules of Procedure of __________________________ District Woodcraft Folk

(Insert name of location)

Referred to as the “District”



Last amended and adopted by the District __ __ / __ __ / __ __ __ __


Approved by the Chair of General Council (signature) ________________________

__ __ / __ __ / __ __ __ __

Table of Contents

Section A4


1.1.Interpretation and limitation4

1.2.Name and area covered4

1.3.Registered address4


1.5.Powers of the organisation4


2.1.Becoming an Individual Member5

2.2.Becoming an Group Member6

2.3.Membership rights6

2.4.Termination of Membership6

3.Administrative Arrangements and Other Clauses6

3.1.Conflict of Interest6




3.5.Amending the Rules of Procedure7

Section B8

4.General Meetings8

4.1.Annual General Meeting8

4.2.General meetings8

4.3.Length of notice8

4.4.Notice and final agenda.8


4.6.Chairing General Meetings9

4.7.Attendance, speaking and voting9

4.8.Errors and disputes9

5.The Committee9

5.1.Appointment of District Committee and District Officers9

5.2.Replacement of committee members9

5.3.Disqualification, Resignation and Removal of the committee10



Rules of procedure for branches that are districts

Section A

Section A can only be amended with the prior approval of General Council. It outlines the powers, provisions, membership and administrative affairs of the Region/Nation, which the Woodcraft Folk General Council has delegated.

1.                Provisions

1.1.             Interpretation and limitation

1.1.1.        In these rules of procedure any defined terms used are set out in the Articles of the Woodcraft Folk: Article 49 (Defined terms). If any dispute arises in relation to the interpretation of these of these rules, the Standing Orders Committee shall resolve it.

1.1.2.        If there is any inconstancy between these Rules and:

(a)         regulations laid down by the General Council,

(b)         policies laid down by the Annual Gathering,

(c)         the Aims Principles and Programme of the Woodcraft Folk, or

(d)         the Articles of the Woodcraft Folk,

the latter shall always take precedent over the former.

1.1.3.        For the avoidance of doubt, this District is a constituent part of the Woodcraft Folk and powers are delegated by the General Council under the Articles and may be revoked or amended at any time by a simple majority of the General Council under the Articles.

1.2.             Name and area covered

The name of the District is ___________________________ District Woodcraft Folk In these Articles it is called “the District”. It shall cover the following area ________________________

1.3.             Registered address

The District shall register an address within the United Kingdom with the Woodcraft Folk’s General Council for the purpose of communications.

1.4.             Objects

The objects of the District shall be to further the objects of the Woodcraft Folk as outlined in the Articles of Association. Specifically the District shall fulfil the advancement of education and the empowerment of children and young people for the public benefit by:

1.4.1.        co-ordinating and supervising all the activities of the Woodcraft Folk in its geographical area of operation as determined by the committee;

1.4.2.        initiating joint activities between Woodcraft Folk Groups in its area and work with other groups, districts, areas and regions as appropriate;

1.4.3.        initiating and promote Woodcraft Folk leadership training;

1.4.4.        ensuring that only suitable individual members of the Woodcraft folk are entrusted with responsibilities’ of Group leaders and other offices of the District;

1.4.5.        ensuring that all activities are consistent with the Aims and Objectives of the Woodcraft Folk

1.4.6.        regularly reporting its activities and finances to the General Council;

1.4.7.        ensuring the return of accounts to the General Council of all groups in its area;

1.4.8.        maintaining a list of all under 16 members and ensuring that all over 16 year old members are registered with the General Council;

1.4.9.        implementing any regulations of the General Council and policy of the Annual Gathering, in particular in regards to Child Protection and Safeguarding.

1.5.             Powers of the organisation

To further its objects, the District may on behalf of General Council and according to the policies of the Annual Gathering and regulations of the General Council:

1.5.1.        provide services and facilities for Members within the geographical area of operation;

1.5.2.        establish, support, promote, coordinate and operate groups for Members in the geographical area of operation;

1.5.3.        raise funds and invite and receive contributions from any person provided that the District shall not carry out any taxable trading activities in raising funds;

1.5.4.        purchase, lease, hire or receive property of any kind including land, buildings and equipment and maintain and equip it for use;

1.5.5.        sell, manage, lease, mortgage, exchange, dispose of or deal with all or any of its property within the guidelines set out by General Council;

1.5.6.        to employ staff only with the express permission of General Council

1.5.7.        make grants or loans of money and give guarantees;

1.5.8.        set aside funds for special purposes or as reserves against future expenditure;

1.5.9.        co-operate with other charities and bodies and exchange information and advice with them;

1.5.10.     support fundraising activities carried out by its Members for charitable and social causes, including the provision of administrative support, banking facilities and acting as a holding trustee of any funds raised;

1.5.11.     establish, co-ordinate, promote and operate camps, seminars, events, festivals trips and other activities for the development of its members;

1.5.12.     alone or with other organisations:

(a)         carry out campaigning activities;

(b)         seek to influence public opinion;

(c)         make representations to and seek to influence governmental bodies and other bodies and institutions

(d)         develop, reform and implement appropriate policies, legislation and regulations, provided that all such activities shall be confined to the activities which a charity may properly undertake and provided that the organisation complies with any guidance published by the Charity Commission;

1.5.13.     open and operate banking accounts and other facilities for banking and draw, accept, endorse, negotiate, discount, issue or execute negotiable instruments such as promissory notes or bills of exchange according to the regulations set out by General Council providing that:

(a)         funds raised shall only be paid into accounts which have been notified and approved by the General Council; and

(b)         all expenditure shall be approved by either the General Council or two committee members; and

(c)         shall be applied only in furthering the objects.

2.                Members

2.1.             Becoming an Individual Member

2.1.1.        Individual Members of the District shall be as follows:

(a)         a person who reside in the geographical area of operation of the District or have indicated that they are associated with the particular District and who has paid the annual subscription laid down from time to time by the Annual Conference of the Woodcraft Folk and signed up to the Aims Principles and Programme of the Woodcraft Folk; or

(b)         any person, under the age of 16, who regularly (as outlined in clause 2.1.2) attends a Woodcraft Folk group in the area of the District’s operation which has paid it’s annual subscription and that persons details having been sent to the Woodcraft Folk office.

2.1.2.        For the purposes of this document, “regularly” is attending or planning to attend more than 4 sessions in any year or attending an overnight stay.

2.2.             Becoming an Group Member

2.2.1.        Group Members of the District shall be as follows:

(a)         any person, under the age of 16, who regularly (as outlined in Article 2.1.2) attends a registered and paid up Woodcraft Folk group in the area of the District’s operation and that persons details having been recorded by the registered group.

2.2.2.        The names of the Group Members of the District shall be recorded locally and entered in a register of Members held by the registered group contact which shall be made available to the General Council on request.

2.3.             Membership rights

2.3.1.        Members of the District organisation shall be entitled to the benefits set out in the Aims, Principles and Programme.

2.3.2.        All members of the District must support the Aims, Principles and Programme of the Woodcraft Folk.

2.3.3.        All members, that are required to do so, shall have completed a full child protection and safeguarding produces as laid out by General Council’s regulations.

2.4.             Termination of Membership

Membership shall not be transferable and shall cease on death. A Member shall cease to be a Member of the organisation if:

2.4.1.        they are a member in Clause 2.1.1(b) or 2.2.1(a) and:

(a)         they cease to be under 16; or

(b)         they cease to attend regularly

2.4.2.        they are a member in Clause 2.1.1(a) and:

(a)         they resign their membership in writing; or

(b)         their membership is terminated according to the Woodcraft Folk’s Article 2.6 and associated regulations set out by the General Council.

3.                Administrative Arrangements and Other Clauses

3.1.             Conflict of Interest

3.1.1.        Whenever a matter is to be discussed at a meeting or decided and a Committee member has a Conflict of Interest in respect of that matter then they must:

(a)         withdraw from the debate and only remain for such part of the meeting as in the view of the other committee members is necessary to inform the debate;

(b)         not be counted in the quorum for that part of the meeting or decision-making process; and

(c)         withdraw during the vote and have no vote on the matter.

3.1.2.        All member of the Committee shall abide by the Conflict of Interest Policy as laid down from time to time by the General Council.

3.1.3.        No member of the Committee may be employed or otherwise personally benefit from any transaction of the Woodcraft Folk without prior approval of the General Council.

3.2.             Minutes

3.2.1.        The secretary shall keep minutes of:

(a)         of all appointments of officers made by the District;

(b)         of all resolutions of the District and of the committee; and

(c)         of all proceedings at meetings of the organisation and of the committee, including the names of the General Council present at each such meeting

3.2.2.        The minutes of General Meetings and Committee meetings must be kept for at least ten years from the date of the meeting, resolution or decision.

3.2.3.        The minutes of the meetings shall normally be considered open and shall be available to the Members on the organisation’s website, except where those minutes relate to any reserved or confidential matters, including without limitation staff-related or disciplinary matters. The General Council may request all minutes, including those regarding confidential matters.

3.3.             Finances

5.2.1      The Treasurer shall maintain accounting records and report on finances to each Committee meeting.

5.2.2      All expenditure shall be made only against agreed budgets set annually or for each event/activity

5.2.3      Procedures required by the General Council shall be followed including ensuring that all payments are signed by two signatories who are not related parties

5.2.4      Expenditure using restricted funds received will be accounted for clearly separate from that of other payments.

5.2.5      The Treasurer shall be responsible for preparing annual accounts (Income and Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet) on a calendar year basis and submitting them within the time required by the General Council for consolidation as part of the charity as a whole

5.2.6      The Treasurer shall provide the person appointed to inspect or audit the accounts with the accounts, working papers, and all assistance that may be needed

3.4.             Dissolution

3.4.1.        If the committee decides that it is necessary or advisable that the District shall be dissolved, it shall call a General Meeting of the District by giving 7 days' notice in writing to each member and the General Council stating the terms of any resolution to be proposed.

3.4.2.         If it is decided at the General Meeting by a simple majority of those present and voting that the District shall be dissolved, the Committee shall wind up the District’s affairs informing General Council of the resolution.

3.4.3.        Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be given or transferred to The Woodcraft Folk, for development of work in the local area in which the funds were raised. In the case of any restrictions of monies or assets held by the local District the General Council shall determine who any funds should be distributed to in the fulfilment of the respective restrictions.

3.4.4.        A copy of the statement of accounts, or account and statement, for the final accounting period of the District should be sent to the Woodcraft Folk’s registered office.

3.5.             Amending the Rules of Procedure

3.5.1.        A General Meeting may amend the provisions of this deed, provided that:

(a)         no amendment may be made which limits of alters any powers or provisions relating to the General Council or Annual Conference of the Woodcraft Folk; and

(b)         no amendment may be made to clause 1 (Provisions), clause 2 (Members), or this clause 5 (Administrative arrangements and other clauses) without the prior consent in writing of the General Council of the Woodcraft Folk; and

(c)         no amendment may be made whose effect breaks the Aims, Principles and Programme of the Woodcraft Folk, Policies of the Annual Conference or regulations of the General Council.

3.5.2.        The committee must send to the General Council a certified copy of the Rules of Procedure noting any amendment made under this clause within two months of it being made for ratification by the Chair of General Council.

Section B

Section B maybe amended by the section’s membership according to the provision outlined in Section A. Any amended copy must be made available to the General Council who shall ratify any amendments

4.                General Meetings

4.1.             Annual General Meeting

The District shall hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) as soon after December 31st of each year as may be practicable, but no later than 3 months after the end of the financial year. Any meeting will be held according to the regulations laid out by the General Council and any other by-laws that the District wishes to, from time to time, lay down so long as they conform to clause 1.1.2.

4.1.1.        The AGM shall be called in accordance with the Clauses governing General Meetings and the Standing Orders for Annual Conference. 

4.1.2.        The AGM shall include:

(a)         ratification of minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting;

(b)         receiving the report of the District committee on the organisation’s activities since the previous Annual General Meeting;

(c)         receiving the accounts of the District for the previous financial year;

(d)         appointment of District officers and of any vacant seats on the District Committee.

(e)         appointment of a person or persons to inspect or audit the accounts for the ensuing year

(f)          Any other matters which those present deem appropriate.

4.2.             General meetings

4.2.1.        The District committee may call a General Meeting at any time. The District committee must call a General Meeting if:

(a)         requested to do so by the Members, provided such request is signed by at least 10% of members;

(b)         requested to do so by the General Council; or

(c)         requested to do so by the 40% of registered groups

4.3.             Length of notice

All General Meetings shall be called by issuing an “Agenda ” as notice at least 7 clear days before the meeting.

4.4.             Notice and final agenda.

4.4.1.        Every notice calling a meeting shall specify the place, day and time of the meeting, whether it is a General Meeting or an Annual General Meeting, and the general nature of the business to be transacted.

4.4.2.        If a resolution is to be proposed, the notice shall include the proposed resolution and specify that it is proposed.

4.4.3.        Notice of General Meetings shall be given to every Individual Member of the District and a copy shall be sent to the General Council for information.

4.5.             Quorum

4.5.1.        No business shall be transacted at any General Meeting unless a quorum of voting members are present.

4.5.2.        The quorum of any General Meeting shall be 10% of the District individual membership, or the number of registered groups and office holders combined, which ever is the lesser.

4.5.3.        If a quorum is not present within an hour and a half from the time appointed for the meeting, the meeting shall stand adjourned to 14 clear days later at the time and place as the District committee may determine. In this case all individual members must be informed in writing of this occurrence and of the new time and place.

4.6.             Chairing General Meetings

The chairperson of the meeting shall be the Co-ordinator/Chairperson of the District committee or in their absence someone who is elected from among the members attending the General Meeting.

4.7.             Attendance, speaking and voting

Any member registered to that District may attend, vote and speak at any general meeting.

Any member of the Woodcraft Folk may attend and speak at any general meeting.

4.7.1.        No other members may vote at a General Meeting.

4.7.2.        Members may not vote by proxy.

4.7.3.        On a show of hands or a secret ballot every person present and entitled to vote shall have a maximum of one vote.

4.7.4.        The chair of the meeting may permit other persons who are not Members of the organisation to attend and speak at any General Meeting.

4.8.             Errors and disputes

4.8.1.        No objection may be raised to the qualification of any person voting at a General Meeting except at the meeting or adjourned meeting at which the vote objected to is tendered, and every vote not disallowed at the meeting is valid.

4.8.2.        Any such objection must be referred to the chair of the meeting whose decision is final.

4.8.3.        The chair may be challenged by three members and a subsequent vote passed by two-thirds majority of those present.

5.                The Committee

Powers and duties of the district committee shall be outlined in the regulations laid down by the General Council and the General Meeting of the District, but may not exceed any powers of the District itself.

5.1.             Appointment of District Committee and District Officers

5.1.1.        Elections for District committee shall be by secret ballot held at the Annual General Meeting it shall be conducted in a manner outlined by the Standing Orders of the organisation.

5.1.2.        A member of District committee must be a Member of the District at the time of their election.

5.1.3.        All elected members of the committee shall serve one year, but maybe re-elected.

5.1.4.        The District committee shall consist of the following elected officers:

(a)         a co-ordinator/chairperson;

(b)         a treasurer;

(c)         a secretary;

(d)         a safeguarding officer or officers to be responsible for applying the safeguarding policies and procedures of Woodcraft Folk in the District

(e)         a membership secretary or officers to be responsible for administering membership applications and relevant safeguarding applications for members

(f)          other officers that the General Meeting may determine;

and the following appointed members:

(g)         a representative from each group within the district who shall be nominated by each group

(h)         people invited by the committee without voting rights

5.2.             Replacement of committee members

5.2.1.        If any vacancies arise on committee they shall be filled by a Woodcraft Folk member chosen by the committee who fulfils the requirements of the vacancy, until the next General Meeting;

5.3.             Disqualification, Resignation and Removal of the committee

5.3.1.        The office of a committee member shall be vacated if:

(a)         they cease to be a member of the organisation; or

(b)         a meeting of the General Council resolves, with a two-thirds majority, after allowing the individual to present their case, that the person be relieved of their office. Such a resolution may be overturned by simple majority of the subsequent Annual Conference; or

(c)         they resigns by notice to the District; or

(d)         they fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the committee and the committee resolve that he or she be removed for this reason; or

(e)         at General Meeting or Annual General Meeting of the District, a special resolution is passed that they be removed from office, provided the meeting has invited the views of the Member concerned and considered the matter in the light of such views.

5.4.             Committee Meetings

5.4.1.        The District committees may establish any sub-committee as it sees fit.

5.4.2.        The committee shall hold a minimum of three meetings in any year.

5.4.3.        The Co-ordinator/Chairperson shall call meetings.

5.4.4.        The Co-ordinator/Chairperson shall convene a meeting at the request of one third of the members of the Committee

5.4.5.        the committee meeting shall be called by at least seven clear days’ notice unless either:

(a)         all the committee members agree; or

(b)         the chairperson determines urgent circumstances require shorter notice.

5.4.6.        Any member may attend and speak at any meeting, unless the committee resolves the matters confidential.

5.4.7.        There shall be a quorum when at least one half of the number of elected members of the District committee are present at a meeting.

5.4.8.        Questions arising at a committee meeting shall be decided by a majority of votes. In the case of an equality of votes, the chair of the meeting shall be entitled to a casting vote in addition to any other vote they may have.

Model Branch Rule for District (2013).doc80 KB