Branch Bye-Laws – Record of Approval


The Royal British Legion Y Services (Garats Hay) Branch: BR3502

As authorised by the Membership Council


National Branches District Chairman …………………………………………


Date: ……………………………………


  1. The following Branch Bye-Laws are supplementary to the 2003 Royal Charter of Incorporation and Schedules of the Royal British Legion hereafter known as “the Royal Charter” and procedures as laid down in the Membership Handbook.  They shall be binding on the Officers and Members of the Y Services (Garats Hay) Branch (hereinafter referred to as Y Services Branch).
  2. All proposed alterations and amendments to these Bye-Laws shall, after being passed by a two-thirds majority of those members participating, qualified to vote and voting on the appropriate motion at the Annual General Meeting of the Branch, whether by attending the AGM in person or voting on-line (using the NBD’s approved e-Voting process), be submitted to the National Branches District Committee for approval and shall not come into force until they have received the latter’s approval.
  3. All matters not mentioned herein shall be settled by reference to the Royal Charter and the Membership Handbook.  Branch officers should be aware that the Membership Handbook is regularly updated, so the current version (available online, through the Membership Administration Portal on O365 should be consulted prior to any query being raised.  In any question of interpretation, the matter should be referred to the Director General through the Secretary to the Membership Council, as should any question to which these Bye-Laws do not apply.

Bye-Laws of Y Services (Garats Hay) Branch of the National Branches District (NBD)

Date of National Branches District Approval…………………


Branch name and number


The Royal British Legion Y Services (Garats Hay) Branch: BR3502.


Branch meeting place, frequency and timings of meetings

2.1. As a National Branch it is not practical, nor indeed affordable, to hold meetings of the frequency expected within a local Branch.  Therefore, alternative methods of retaining Branch member interest and involvement in both the Branch and the Royal British Legion are necessary.  The Y Services Branch will utilise regular Newsletters and a frequently updated website, supplemented by email and telephone/video conferencing in lieu of frequent meetings.  E-Voting should be employed to maximise membership participation in Branch decision making and elections.  The essential meetings are those required to deliver Legion governance and may be constrained to a minimum of 4 Branch committee meetings and an Annual General Meeting (AGM).  Nevertheless, all NBD branches are encouraged to consider modern, internet-based alternative ways of achieving overall Legion governance requirements.  

2.1. The intended dates and locations of Y Services Branch meetings are promulgated alongside the minutes of the previous year’s AGM.  The Branch AGM is normally held on the Saturday of Remembrance Weekend


Use of Office 365


3.1. It is NBD policy that Branch Officers and Committees utilise O365 for all email Branch-related correspondence and for document filing.  This is to ensure an effective record of Branch activity is maintained.  However, not all Committee members can have full access to all O365 facilities.  Therefore, to enable effective use of the full range of O365 email addresses available, the Y Services Branch will create an Office 365 Group, titled ‘Y Services Ctte’ for use by all who are allocated O365 email addresses.

3.2 A list of O365 email addresses authorised for use by the Y Services Branch is at Enclosure 1 to these Bye-Laws.  The National Branches Membership Support Officer (MSO-NB) is the point of contact for activation of accounts and changing of passwords.

3.3. As part of The Royal British Legion’s (TRBL) ongoing commitment to making the Office 365 system a valuable portal for branches and counties, an O365 Code of Conduct has been published and is available through MAP . By using O365, it is expected that members will abide by this Code. Adherence to the Code of Conduct when using all communication services will help to ensure a positive experience for all our system users. These facilities include emails, chat areas, groups, forums, communities, and/or other message or communication facilities (including any contents of any of these services or facilities).

3.4. TRBL’s Data Protection and Information Security policies also govern all activity on this system.  These can be obtained from the MSO-NB.


Branch Committee by function and appointments


4.1. The Y Services Branch Committee should comprise:


Vice Chairman



Membership Secretary

Branch Community Support/Welfare Representative

Royal Navy Representative

Army Representative

Royal Air Force Representative

Up to 2 further Committee members as required

4.2. The general roles and responsibilities of the above posts are described in the RBL Membership Handbook, which should always be referred to as the source document for any discussion on Branch Committee responsibilities.  Across the NBD, elections to Branch Committee posts should be for a maximum of 3 years, or any lesser period specified by the Branch’s AGM at the time of election.  The election and voting processes, both electronic and traditional, are described fully in the NBD’s Bye-Laws, but indicative details are included are included at Para 13 of these Bye-Laws.  

4.3. For the guidance of Branch members who do not have routine access to the membership Handbook, the key responsibilities of the Y Services Branch Officers are included in these Bye-Laws.


Key responsibilities of Branch Officers and Committee Members





5.1.1. To be fully conversant with and adhere to the contents of the Royal Charter as well as other Legion policies and procedures.

5.1.2. Where possible, to undergo appropriate induction and training courses in a period of time as determined by the Training Advisory Group and attend regular update training to ensure they remain conversant with changes in Legion policies and procedures.

5.1.3. To direct all Branch activities.

5.1.4. To chair and manage meetings effectively ensuring that they are planned accordingly to content and time, avoiding the imposition of personal ideas on the meeting but encouraging participation from members.

5.1.5. To delegate duties to the Committee members and to ensure that these duties are performed effectively and in accordance with Legion policies and procedures.

5.1.6. To ensure that proper handovers take place between newly elected Branch

Officers, elected Committee Members and their predecessors. This includes ensuring that all minute books, correspondence, Legion publications, Branch papers and keys are handed over.  Appropriate electronic copies of correspondence and associated emails should also be transferred to the new officers.

5.1.7. To ensure the Treasurer has a correct audit/examination undertaken and is agreed by both the outgoing and incoming Officers and that both are satisfied with the security of cash and cheque books.

5.1.8. To set an example as an active member of the Legion and to be available for advising both the Committee and Branch members when necessary.

5.1.9. To ensure that sub-Committees, individual Officers and members for specialist functions are appointed where necessary.

5.1.10. To ensure that all Branch Committee Members are aware of their duties and responsibilities and encourage them to undergo training.

5.1.11. To ensure all new Members receive an induction to the Legion.

5.1.12. Ensure that no merchandising is undertaken in the name of the Royal British Legion without prior approval of the Board of Trustees.  To do otherwise may compromise the Legion’s charitable status.


Vice Chairman


5.2.1. To undergo initial appropriate training courses in a period of time as determined by the Training Advisory Group and attend regular update training to ensure they remain conversant with changes in Legion policies.

5.2.2. To deputise for the Branch Chairman in his absence.

5.2.3. To attend all Branch meetings so that he can be conversant with on-going issues, and changes taking place within the Legion, in particular at Branch level.

5.2.4. To deal with any specific tasks given to him by the Chairman, such as the organisation of a Branch event or chairing of a sub-Committee.

5.2.5. To ensure all new Members receive an induction to the Legion.

5.2.6 Support the Branch Secretary by encouraging effective use of the Branch electronic filing system, to maintain an accurate record of Branch management and activity.




5.3.1. To attend the Legion Branch Treasurers’ course prior to or within six months of taking post, or the earliest course thereafter.

5.3.2. To attend refresher training in accordance with Legion policy.

5.3.3. To be responsible to the Branch Committee for all the financial affairs of the Branch, including the annual accounts, the welfare account, Branch bank accounts, membership subscriptions, insurance premium payments etc.

5.3.4. To attend and produce a report for the General and Committee Meetings of the Branch at least quarterly in order to advise the Branch Committee and, when necessary, the Branch members on the financial affairs of the Branch.

5.3.5. To control all monetary transactions, ensuring that they meet with guidelines contained within the ‘Use of Legion Funds Policy’ and record these in the Branch receipt and payment ledger, retaining all receipts and supporting documents on behalf of the Branch Committee.

5.3.6. To receive from the Branch Secretary or Membership Secretary all membership subscriptions and to ensure that all monies received are banked at the earliest opportunity, entered in the ledger/cashbook and that supporting documents are filed and safeguarded.

5.3.7. To ensure that the Branch accounts are examined/audited as required by the Royal Charter and Rules, and to submit the Branch account return, with supporting documentation to the MSO-NB by 30 September annually.

5.3.8. To ensure that all cheques for payment are made out correctly and that they bear the registered Charity number and the statement that the Legion is a registered charity. Also to ensure that all cheques are signed by at least two (2) of the authorised signatories, one of whom should be the Treasurer, and that they are clearly endorsed ‘A/C Payee only’. No signatory is to sign a blank cheque.

5.3.9. To ensure that the Branch Committee authorise annually the limit the Treasurer may expend on a single item without reference to the Committee, and that this authority is minuted.

5.3.10. To ensure that all expenditure, other than petty cash, is by cheque or through the Legion Branch Funds Initiative (BFI) and that the details of all expenditure are reported to the Branch Committee at their regular meetings for their approval.  All such reports are to be minuted.  Also, to ensure that if a petty cash system is in use that it is authorised by the Branch Committee and that it operates as an imprest system.  The petty cash book is to be checked monthly by the Treasurer and at least one other Branch Officer and should be countersigned by these individuals as being correct.  The petty cash limit should be no more than £50.

5.3.11. The Branch Treasurer must be sufficiently computer literate to enable him/her to use the Legion On-line Membership Accounting System (LOMAS) to administer the Branch accounts.




5.4.1. To attend recommended training courses to familiarise themselves with and comply with the Royal Charter, Membership Handbook and Legion policies.

5.4.2. To act as point of contact for receipt of correspondence issued by the District Committee, staff, the Membership Council and Board of Trustees, and to ensure all correspondence received is communicated to the Branch Committee for appropriate action.

5.4.3. To liaise with the Branch Chairman in the preparation of the agendas for all Branch meetings, ensuring that all the Branch Committee members are provided with the relevant details.

5.4.4. To attend and record minutes of all General and Committee Meetings and safeguard all papers and documents of the Branch, especially legal documents such as title deeds and insurance policies.

5.4.5. In the absence of a Branch Membership Secretary, carry out the duties pertaining to this role as outlined in the job description of the Membership Secretary.

5.4.6. To be able to access all Legion reference handbooks, publications and guides electronically.

5.4.7. To forward without delay any information required by or on behalf of the Board of Trustees, Membership Council or Executive Board.

5.4.8. To ensure all returns are fully completed, signed and dated and submitted within the Legion mandated timescale.

5.4.9. To enable e-Voting to take place within the Branch, provide appropriate Branch information (as indicated in Para 13) to the MSO-NB for publication on the e-Voting system.  The timelines for provision of this information are in Paras 13 and 14 of these Bye-Laws.


Membership Secretary


5.5.1. To receive all paper applications for membership; to monitor eligibility for membership by personally checking documents and to send to the District staff the appropriate forms for action.

5.5.2. To hold an up-to-date copy of the computerised Branch membership data list, as issued by Head Office, through O365, and to advise District staff without delay of all changes thereto e.g. deaths, resignations, members’ change of address and the transfer of members to/from another Branch.

5.5.3. To inform members through the Branch website and/or by email of any matter affecting the membership.


Branch Committee Members


5.6.1. To aid the Branch Committee, District Committee, Membership Council and Board of Trustees to carry out the work of the Legion and in particular promote the objects at local level.

5.6.2. To attend all Branch meetings.

5.6.3. To attend any training required, as directed by the Branch Chairman, or in accordance with Legion policies.

5.6.4. To assist with the Poppy Appeal and other benevolent fundraising activities within the Branch.

5.6.5. To provide the District Committee, the Membership Council or the Board of Trustees with any information they may require in the interest of the Legion.

5.6.6. To assist in approving Bye-Laws for the governance of the Branch in accordance with the terms of the Royal Charter and Membership Handbook.

5.6.7. To assist in appointing any necessary sub-Committees.

5.6.8 To assist in making individual appointments for any special duty or position.


Branch Community Support (BCS)


5.7.1. The NBD policy is that individual National Branches should not sign-up to the BCS programme, as that could cut across the operating areas of the Legion’s local branches.  However, the Membership Handbook requires each Branch to appoint a Community Support Committee or Representative to support welfare work.  Therefore, at the Committee Meeting immediately following the AGM, a Community Support Committee or Representative should be appointed.

5.7.2. Branch Community Support Representative To be aware of the Legion’s Branch Community Support policies and encourage individual members to participate in their home area, with their local County. To seek to inform Branch members of significant fundraising events being planned by local branches, which could be supported by members of National Branches.


Additional representatives and/or sub-committee responsibilities.

The Branch Committee may appoint the following representatives from within or outside the Committee.  If the representatives are not elected to the Committee they shall have no voting rights in the Committee.  All representatives shall comply with the published Legion Brand guidelines and seek advice from the Branch Secretary where appropriate.  Key responsibilities are listed for each appointment.

6.2. Webmaster.

6.2.1. To manage and update the Branch website as directed by the Branch Chairman and Branch Secretary on behalf of the Committee.

6.2.2. To comply with the Data Protection Act.

6.2.3. To advise the Branch committee, through the Branch Secretary, on best practice on the use of the website as an information tool for Members and Site Visitors.

6.3. Standard Bearer.

6.3.1. To represent the Branch when and where requested by the Branch Chairman in accordance with Legion regulations and advice obtained through the Branch Secretary.

6.3.2. To retain and maintain the Branch Standard during the period of appointment


6.4 Poppy Appeal Organiser (PAO Code SBC10).


6.4.1. To advise and assist the Branch Committee on Branch Poppy Appeal fundraising initiatives and ensure timely banking of Poppy Appeal income and to comply with the Poppy Appeal Organiser’s handbook.

6.4.2. To manage the Branch Poppy Appeal Code SBC10 account and submit written reports to the Branch secretary for all Branch General and Committee Meetings.

6.4.3. To advise the Branch on Direct Giving and Gift Aid.


6.5 Social Media Coordinator.


6.5.1. To promote and publish Branch events, news, and fundraising activities to supporters and friends of the Branch through relevant social media groups.

6.6. Newsletter Editor

6.6.1 To produce an occasional Newsletter by collating contributions from Branch Officers, committee members and members as well as documents and appropriate policy statements or announcements from Haig House in order to keep all Branch members up to date and informed.

6.6.2.  The Webmaster and any Publicity and Recruiting/Retention representatives should be made aware of the requirements of the published Legion Brand Guidelines, whenever generating publicity and/or recruiting material.


Branch Committee Elections, Voting and Branch Appointments


7.1 Elections

7.1.1. Elections may be achieved by either a traditional ‘show of hands’, at a formal meeting, or through a National Branches District approved e-Voting process.  A combination of e-Voting and formal meeting is also acceptable.  Irrespective of how the election is undertaken, the principles described in detail in the NBD Bye-Laws are to be implemented.  While the detail provided in the NBD Bye-Laws refer specifically to AGM, they are equally applicable to other votes or elections that the Y SERVICES BRANCH Branch may be required to undertake.  Whenever e-Voting is utilised, the MSO-NB should publish and moderate the vote on behalf of the Branch.  

7.1.2. When a combination of e-Voting and formal meeting is being utilised, the e-Vote should close at least 2 days before the date of the formal meeting.  The MSO-NB, who should moderate the e-Vote, will provide the results of the e-Vote to the Branch Chairman before the formal meeting. The election for Branch Officers will take place prior to the election of Committee Members.  The Branch President (or Vice Chairman) will take the chair during the election of the Branch Chairman.  

7.1.3. In the event of a vacancy arising amongst the elected officers or Committee members following the AGM, the vacancy should be filled for the remaining period of the Branch’s electoral year until the end of the original term, by co-option of the Branch Committee, which will be subject to confirmation by election at the next Branch Annual General Meeting.  Co-opted members may propose, second and vote.  Alternatively, the Branch may consider holding an extra-ordinary general meeting (by e-Vote) to fill the vacant post.  The procedures for such an extra-ordinary meeting will be the same as for the AGM.

7.1.4. Where a Branch Officer or Committee Member is co-opted during the Legion year the following agreement as under Section 4 of the Legion Form MS1 (Sep 17) must be read, agreed and minuted at the first meeting of the new appointee:

I acknowledge my responsibility as Branch Officer/Committee Member and agree to follow in every respect the duties and responsibilities as contained in the Royal Charter and the Membership Handbook and as required by the Board of Trustees, the Membership Council and the Charities Act. I also agree to my contact details being published in the District Directory or Handbook (hard copy and digitally). I will be vigilant to serve the interests of the Royal British Legion at all times.”

7.2. Voting

7.2.1. At any formal meeting, those standing for office or position will be asked to stand and identify themselves.  Voting is to be by ballot unless the position is unopposed in which case the person is elected automatically.  The ballot for all nominations should consist of the total votes cast, through both e-Voting and formal meeting.  When e-Voting is used to supplement a formal meeting, the Branch is to ensure that members are not permitted to vote twice.  The e-Vote moderator will be able to provide details of members who have already voted (but not how they voted).

7.3. Branch Appointments

7.3.1. Members can be appointed to fulfil particular duties as required by the Y Services Branch Committee.  The Y Services Branch Committee, at their first meeting following the AGM, will make further specialist appointments to the Committee. These appointees are appointed by function (Standard Bearer, Welfare Representative, etc.) and have no voting rights on the Committee, unless they were also elected as Committee Members at the AGM.

7.3.2. No member of the Branch Committee should be elected or appointed to more than one (1) office or position on the Branch Committee, but this should not exclude an Officer or member from undertaking one (1) additional specialist function on behalf of the Branch Committee.

7.3.3. Close family members (i.e. spouses, partners, children, parents and siblings as well as spouses and partners of siblings) should not hold positions in which they approve each other’s expenses or oversee and check on the work of another. This includes election/appointment of spouses in the Chairman’s and Treasurer’s position and the election/appointment of spouses in the Secretary’s and Treasurer’s positions.  Close family members must not approve each other’s expenses.

7.4.4. Close family members should not sign each other’s nominations for Legion Awards.


General Provisions


8.1 All matters not mentioned herein should be settled by reference to the Royal Charter and Membership Handbook. In any question of interpretation, the matter should be referred to the Director General through the Secretary to the Membership Council, as should any question to which these Bye-Laws do not apply.




  1. Allocation of O365 Licences for Y Services Branch.
  2. Indicative E-Voting Timelines – for National Branches.

Enclosure 1 to Y Services Bye-Laws

Allocation of O365 Licences for Y Services Branch


Committee Position Email Remarks
Vice Chairman
Committee 1
Committee 2
Committee 3
Standard Bearer
Deputy Standard Bearer
Community Support/Welfare Representative
Armed Forces Representative
Overseas Members Representative  
Events/Social Representative
National Branches Cttee Delegate
Branch President

Enclosure 2 to Y Services Bye-Laws

Indicative E-Voting Timelines – for National Branches

-42 Days -30 Days -20 Days -10 Days -5 Days -2 Days Day of AGM
Nomination form circulated on Branch website or through Mi-Voice Individuals to submit nominations to Branch Secretary by 28 days before AGM Branch Committee to agree nominations and Secretary to create ‘Master List’ by -21 Days Voting reminders sent by Mi-Voice Voting reminders sent by Mi-Voice Closing date for e-Vote
Nominations to be seconded Master List to be forwarded to NBD Secretary for publishing on Mi-Voice at    -20 Days Summary of e-Vote to be passed to Branch Chairman by NBD Secretary
Nominees to submit 2-page CVs by -25 days Voting Tokens issued by email to eligible members, by NDB Secretary
AGM Agenda published on Branch Website AGM Agenda and resolutions to be voted on published on Mi-Voice Voting reminders sent by Mi-Voice Voting reminders sent by Mi-Voice Closing date for e-Vote
Voting tokens issued by email to eligible members by NDB Secretary Summary of e-Vote to be passed to Branch Chairman by NBD Secretary
Proposed Bye-Laws published on Mi-Voice – by Section Voting reminders sent by Mi-Voice Voting reminders sent by Mi-Voice Closing date for e-Vote
Voting Tokens issued by email to eligible members by NDB Secretary Summary of e-Vote to be passed to Branch Chairman by NBD Secretary