West Surrey Family History Society Constitution
- Name The name of the Society shall be The West Surrey Family History Society.
- Address The recognised address of the Society shall be that of the Secretary.
- Objectives The objectives of the Society shall be:
- to collect, index, co-ordinate, publish and make accessible in the interests of genealogy any documents or records, with particular reference to documents or records relating to the ancient County of Surrey;
- to promote the preservation of such documents and records,
- to encourage the study of genealogy;
- to assist educationally by lectures or otherwise in record research
- Membership Membership shall be open to any person, family, institution or organisation desirous of sharing the objectives of the Society. Members under the age of 18 shall not be entitled to vote at General Meetings.
- Full membership: which shall entitle the member to one vote at General Meetings of the Society.
- Family membership: for two or more related persons at the same address, all of whom may attend meetings, but who shall share the same copy of the Society's journal and who shall be entitled to not more than two votes per membership at General Meetings of the Society.
- Subscriptions All subscriptions shall be payable from 1st April and membership shall be deemed to have lapsed if the subscription remains unpaid at the end of May.
- The Committee
- The Society shall be administered by a Committee the members of which shall be elected for one year only at the Annual General Meeting and shall hold office from the conclusion of that Meeting
- All Committee members shall be eligible to stand for re-election.
- The Committee shall consist of not more than twelve members, of whom the following shall be designated “Officers” Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary.
- The Chairman shall not hold office for more than five years.
- The Committee may, when necessary, co-opt: a member to fill a vacancy on the Committee, or for a specific purpose.
- At Committee meetings a quorum shall consist of five members, of whom at least one must be an Officer.
- A simple majority shall suffice to pass any motion. In the event of an equal number of votes being cast for and against the motion the Chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
- The Committee shall have full power to authorise expenditure and, in an emergency, like power shall rest in the Chairman with the concurrence of and in consultation with either the Secretary or Treasurer.
- The setting up of local meeting Centres must be approved by the Committee.
- The Committee may at its discretion appoint sub-committees.
- Centres and sub-committees shall not have the power to incur any expense beyond amounts voted to them by the Committee, and shall keep a regular account of receipts and payments in a manner approved by the Treasurer.
- The Society's property shall be under the control of the Committee. All assets, financial or in kind, held on behalf of the Society at a Centre or by an individual member, belong to the Society. No Officer or member of the Society can lay claim to the assets, and must on request relinquish any such items to the Committee.
- The Committee may from time to time make and alter rules for the day-to-day management of the Society, including the conduct of their business, the summoning and conduct of their meetings and the custody of documents. No rule may be made which is inconsistent with this constitution.
- President and Vice-presidents The Society may at an Annual General Meeting elect a President and Vice-presidents whose names together with the reasons for their nomination shall have been submitted by the Committee or any two members. These persons shall hold office for a period of five years and shall be eligible for re-election. They may attend Committee meetings but shall not be entitled to vote at such meetings unless elected to the Committee pursuant to Clause 6.
- General Meetings
- There shall be an Annual General Meeting of the Society which shall be held in the months of July or August in each year or as soon as practicable thereafter.
The Secretary shall give at least 21 days’ notice of the Annual General Meeting to all members in accordance with Clause 13.
All members whose membership is current and fully paid shall be entitled to attend and vote at the meeting or submit a completed voting form by postal or electronic means.
The business of the meeting shall be:
- to confirm the minutes of the last Annual General Meeting;
- to receive the report on the activities of the last year;
- to receive and approve the accounts of the Society examined by an independent person or persons;
- to elect a President and/or Vice-presidents, if appropriate;
- to elect the Officers and other members of the Committee;
- to confirm the appointment of a person or persons to act as independent examiner(s);
- to discuss and take decisions on any submitted motions;
- any other business.
- A Special General Meeting may be called by the Committee, or when requested in writing by not fewer than 20 members, stating the business to be transacted. The Secretary shall give at least 21 days’ notice of the Special General Meeting and of the business to be transacted to all members in accordance with Clause 13. All members whose membership is current and fully paid shall be entitled to attend and vote at the meeting or, if applicable as defined in Item 8 clause 3 of this constitution, submit a completed voting form by postal or electronic means. The meeting shall be held not later than 2 months following the receipt of such request.
- Ballots for contested elections of Officers and other members of the Committee and alterations to the Constitution in accordance with item 11 and decisions on submitted motions shall be by postal or electronic means. Ballots for the elections of Officers, and decisions on submitted motions shall be decided by a majority vote of those returning properly completed ballot papers before or at the commencement of the Annual or Special General Meeting. In the event of an equal number of votes for nominees for a remaining or single vacancy of the Executive the nominees concerned shall cut for that vacancy.
- Procedure at General Meetings Notification of the date and place of the Annual General Meeting and of the closing date for receipt by the Secretary of nominations and motions shall be given to members in the Spring issue of the Society's journal.
- Indemnity to Committee The Society shall indemnify the Committee of the Society from and against all claims, liabilities and demands, and in any respect of all acts done or purported to be done in good faith on behalf of the Society provided that nothing in this clause shall indemnify them for any acts of fraud or negligence or similar acts.
- Alterations Alterations to this Constitution shall receive the assent of two-thirds of the members voting at an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting. A resolution for the alteration of the Constitution must be received by the Secretary of the Society at least 21 days before the meeting at which the resolution is to be brought forward. At least 14 days notice of such a meeting must be given by the Secretary to the membership and must include notice of the alteration proposed. No alteration to clauses 3 (Objectives), 12 (Dissolution) or this clause shall take effect until the approval in writing of the Charity Commissioners or other authority having charitable jurisdiction shall have been obtained. No other alteration shall be made which would have the effect of causing the Society to cease to be a charity at law.
- Dissolution In the event of a resolution by the members to dissolve the Society, the Treasurer shall realise all its assets and discharge all its liabilities. A further General Meeting shall then be called, and the Treasurer shall submit his examined accounts. Any balance remaining shall then be distributed to such charitable organisation or organisations having similar aims and objectives, as the meeting may direct. The Treasurer shall then make such distribution as directed and submit his final accounts to the independent examiner(s). The Society shall then stand dissolved.
- Any notice required by this constitution to be given to or by any person must be in writing; or given using electronic communications.
- Notice may be given to a member either: personally; or by sending it by post in a prepaid envelope addressed to the member at his or her address; or by leaving it at the address of the member; or by giving it using electronic communications to the member's address.
- A member who does not register an electronic address with the Society or who registers only a postal address that is not within the United Kingdom shall not be entitled to receive any notice from the Society other than those published in the Society’s journal.
- A member present in person at any meeting of the Society shall be deemed to have received notice of the meeting and of the purposes for which it was called.
- Proof that an envelope containing a notice was properly addressed, prepaid and posted shall be conclusive evidence that the notice was given.
- Proof that a notice contained in an electronic communication was properly addressed and sent shall be conclusive evidence that the notice was given.
- A notice shall be deemed to be given 48 hours after the envelope containing it was posted or, in the case of an electronic communication, 48 hours after it was sent.
There shall be two types of membership:
The subscriptions shall be fixed at a General Meeting of the Society and shall remain in force until amended by resolution at another General Meeting.
The General Meeting if it thinks fit may fix different subscriptions for members in different categories (for example, for students or senior citizens).
Motions for submission to the Annual General Meeting shall be signed by the proposer and seconder and shall be in the hands of the Secretary by a date to be decided by the Committee. Nominations for Officers and other members of the Committee must be accompanied by a brief curriculum vitae and proposed seconded and signed by the proposer seconder and nominee.
The Secretary shall give at least 21 days notice to all members in accordance with Clause 13 of nominations for Officers and other Committee members and of any business, including motions. Where there is a requirement for a ballot in accordance with Clause 8(c) above this notice must be accompanied by the appropriate number of ballot papers containing clear instructions for completion. Completed ballot papers must be sent to or handed to and received by the Secretary before or at the commencement of the Annual or Special General Meeting. The counting of votes shall be undertaken by independent persons not members of the Society or related to any of the nominees. The decision of the tellers shall be final.
A two-thirds majority of votes cast by those present and voting and those submitting properly completed ballot forms by postal or electronic means shall be necessary to pass any amendment to the Constitution pursuant to clause 11. Other motions may be passed by a simple majority of votes cast by those present and voting at the Meeting.
In the event of an exactly equal number of votes being cast for and against any motion then the Chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
Although a vote may be taken on matters not specified in the agenda for a General Meeting as an expression of opinion, such a vote shall not have the force of the resolution nor shall it be binding upon the Committee.
A quorum of 20 is necessary to constitute a General Meeting.