The story of CHAIN 1977 -2012

by Ron Rowlands


Agreeing an initial Constitution for CHAIN was not too difficult but it took some time to get approval.

After discussion by the Steering Committee in October 1978, assistance was sought from Sue Burnell of solicitors, Charles Lucas & Marshall.  Eventually, in 1980, a Constitution was approved.  This Constitution was quite specific on membership and stipulated a maximum on the management committee of eight with a possible two co-options.  It also stipulated a maximum period of three years for anyone to hold office although there was eligibility to rejoin after a year’s absence.

Disagreements arose soon after the 1980 Constitution had been agreed and various amendments were made, some fairly major ones in 1994/5.  However it was not until the early 1990s that, with the help of David Small of Charles Lucas Marshall, a revised Constitution was agreed that seemed flexible enough to allow efficient management of the organisation.

The revised Constitution was eventually agreed at the 1997 AGM.  It embraces ‘advice and guidance to people willing to undertake voluntary service.  More specifically it provides for :-
A management committee of not fewer than eight or more than fifteen, including three honorary officers plus two nominated officers (the Links Coordinator and the Handybus Organiser).  There is no limit on the term that anyone can serve although all have to be re-elected annually. There is scope for appointment of up to five co-opted members and the management committee has power to appoint sub- committees.

The 1997 Constitution, still in force in 2012, has allowed the management committee to operate comfortably with sufficient flexibility.  Copies of both the 1980 constitution and the 1997 one are held by the Secretary and are also held in the Town archives.