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The East of London Family History Society Registered Charity 1094419
This Constitution was approved by the Charity Commission, February 2011 Publishing date 08/03/2011
8 Executive Committee
9 Finance and Subscriptions 10 Annual General Meeting
11 Special General Meeting
12 Constitutional Amendment 13 Expulsion of Members
1.1.The Name of the Society shall be “The East of London Family History Society”,
hereinafter referred to as the Society.
2.1.The objects of the Society shall be:-
2.1.1.To promote and encourage the public and private study of family history, genealogy, cultural heritage, heraldry and local history with particular reference to the eastern area of Greater London.
2.1.2.To promote the preservation, security and accessibility of archival material.
3.1.In furtherance of the above objects of the Society it shall have the following powers:
3.1.1.To promote and engage in educational activities including the issue of a regular journal and the publication and sale of other appropriate material.
3.1.2.To support the activities of the Federation of Family History Societies in its pursuit of these objectives.
3.1.3.To hold lectures and discussions and organise educational and research visits for Society members and interested members of the general public.
3.1.4.To preserve and transcribe or publish original source materials including documents and monumental inscriptions.
3.1.5.To engage in collaborative actions with similar societies and with established supportive bodies such as churches, libraries, record offices and educational institutions and organisations.
4.1.This Society shall be a member of the Federation of Family History Societies and shall have the power to affiliate with other organisations whose objectives are deemed compatible and mutually supportive of the objectives of the Society.
5.1.Membership shall be open to all persons showing genuine interest in the support of the
5.2.There shall be two categories of membership.
5.3.Membership entitles one or more related persons per household to attend all meetings and to take part in all other activities of the Society. Each household shall receive one copy of the journal, issued by the Society and be entitled to a single vote at all meetings of the Society, and its Branches.
5.4.Honorary Life Membership will be conferred upon those members who in the opinion of the Executive Committee have rendered exceptional service to the Society. Recommendations for such membership will be made to the Annual General Meeting of the Society.
5.5.Classes of membership shall be determined by the Executive Committee and may include such other categories as they may consider appropriate.
6.1.The Society’s Executive Committee shall have the power to establish or authorise branches, for
the furtherance of the Society’s objectives.
6.2.Every member of the Society shall be deemed a member of every branch.
6.3.Each branch so established shall comply with and be subject to the following regulations:
6.3.1.The branch shall act solely in pursuit of the said objectives and of the policy of the Society and shall be subject to any conditions as may be from time to time laid down by the Society Executive Committee.
6.3.2.The branch shall be deemed to have adopted and approved the Standing Orders for branches as prescribed from time to time by the Society Executive Committee, subject to any variation agreed with the Society Executive Committee.
6.3.3.All monies raised by the branches shall be deemed to be monies of the Society, although they may be collected through branch officers.
6.3.4.The Executive Committee shall provide funds to a Branch as deemed appropriate by that Committee.
6.3.5.A branch may, with the prior agreement of the Society Executive Committee open a bank account, which shall be run in accordance with the policy laid down by the Society. All such monies shall remain at all times the monies of the Society as a whole. The branch account must be kept in such form as may from time to time be determined by the Society Executive Committee and shall be subject to annual audit/examination for inclusion in the Society annual accounts.
6.3.6.All printed material, microfilm and other assets, however acquired, held by the branch shall be the assets of the Society.
6.3.7.A branch may be suspended at any time by a resolution of the Society Executive Committee and upon suspension shall cease all operations and any assets under its day-to-day administration shall be frozen until a resolution has been approved at the next AGM dissolving the branch or otherwise.
7.1.The principal officers of the Society shall consist of a Chairman, General Secretary and Treasurer who shall be elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. They shall serve for one year, taking office on the first day of the month following the AGM. The maximum period that an individual can hold office is four years unless by special resolution at the AGM.
7.2.The Executive Committee will consist of the Principal Officers together with the Membership Secretary and the Projects Co-ordinator and 3 members, all elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting, to serve for one year.
7.3.Nominations should be submitted in writing not less than 28 days before the meeting. If insufficient nominations have been received to fill the vacancies, the chairman of the meeting may, at his discretion, take nominations from the floor. In the event of a vacancy during the year the Executive Committee shall have the power to fill the vacancy.
7.4.In addition the Society may, at the Annual General Meeting, elect a President and one or more Vice-Presidents who may or may not be members of the Society. The President but not the Vice- Presidents shall be deemed to be an ex-officio (by virtue of one’s office) member of the Society Executive Committee.
8.1.The Society shall be administered by an Executive Committee, deemed to be Trustees of the Society, consisting of the Principal Officers together with the Membership Secretary and the Projects Co-ordinator who shall serve as ex officio and 3 members elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting, to serve for one year.
8.2.In addition, each branch shall at its Branch General Meeting elect one representative to serve on the Society Executive Committee for the year. The branch may also elect one substitute in the event of its elected representative being unable to attend.
8.3.The Society Executive Committee shall have the power to co-opt up to 4 members to serve during the current year.
8.4.The Society Executive shall have the power to appoint sub-committees to deal with particular matters. Members shall be appointed by the Society Executive Committee but need not necessarily be members of the Executive Committee. The principal officers shall be ex-officio members of all committees. All sub-committees shall be automatically disbanded at each Annual General Meeting.
8.5.The Executive Committee shall, at its first meeting, elect a Vice-Chairman from amongst its members.
8.6.The committee quorum shall be five, to include at least one Principal Officer.
8.7.Any full paid up member of the Society, unless disqualified by Charity Law to be a Trustee, shall be eligible for election to the Executive Committee.
8.8.Individual members of the Executive Committee shall declare any personal or financial interest in any matter under discussion and shall not vote on the matter in question.
9.Finance and Subscription
9.1.The financial year shall run from 1st September to 31st August.
9.2.Subscriptions shall be payable at the time and at the rate determined by the Executive Committee, subject to the approval of members at a General Meeting. Any member not having renewed the subscription within 6 months of the due date shall be deemed to have resigned from the Society.
9.3.The Society Executive Committee shall decide at the beginning of each financial year that
portion of the Society income that shall be allocated to each branch and shall retain the discretion to allocate additional funds as the need may arise.
9.4.Any funds raised by a Branch shall be deemed to be funds of the Society as a whole. Branches must provide annual accounts to the Society Executive Committee who has final responsibility for all financial matters.
9.5.All monies held on behalf of the Society shall be held in bank accounts in the name of the Society. The number and location of such accounts shall be decided by the Executive Committee. All Society cheques, other than branch accounts, must be signed by two of the three elected principal officers (i.e. Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer). Branch cheques must be signed by any two of the branch Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, prior consent to vary the signatories must be obtained from the Executive Committee.
9.6.The Society’s accounts shall be audited or independently examined annually in accordance with Charity Law, the auditors/examiners having been appointed by the previous Annual General Meeting. A copy of the Annual Accounts & Trustees Annual Report shall be presented to members at the AGM and subsequently published on the Society’s website. The Treasurer shall forward copies of all inspected accounts and reports each year to the Charity Commission, as required by Law.
9.7.All income and property of the Society shall be applied solely towards the promotion and execution of the objectives of the Society as defined in Clause 2 above and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly in any manner by way of profit to any member of the Executive committee or the Society providing that nothing herein shall prevent re-imbursement of reasonable and proper expenses incurred on behalf of the Society or the payment of an approved fee when engaged as a speaker.
10.Annual General Meeting
10.1. An Annual General Meeting shall be held not later than the 31st January each Society year.
10.2. Notice of the meeting and the agenda of items to be considered shall be given not less than 28 days prior to the meeting.
10.3. The business of the meeting must include:
10.3.1. A report by the Chairman or Secretary on the activities of the Society during the year;
10.3.2. A report by the Treasurer which shall include the audited/examined accounts of the Society. These accounts having been made available to members prior to the meeting;
10.3.3. The election of officers and members of the Executive Committee of the Society; 10.3.4. Any other resolution or business of which at least 100 days notice has been given;
10.3.5. Any other urgent business at the discretion of the Chairman with the agreement of the meeting.
10.3.6. The appointment of the Auditor or Independent Examiner.
10.4. Except as provided in clauses 12.2 (Constitutional Amendment) and 14.2 (Dissolution) below, motions may be passed by a simple majority of those present and eligible to vote. In the event of an equal number of votes being cast for and against any motion the Chair of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
11.Special General Meeting
11.1. The Society Executive Committee shall have the power to call a Special General Meeting.
11.2. The Society Executive Committee must also convene such a meeting at the request in writing of at least 10% of the current membership or 60 members having voting rights (whichever is the lesser) within 70 days of receiving such a notice.
11.3. All members shall be sent notice of such meetings not less than 28 days prior to the meeting setting out the business to be discussed. Only such matters as set out in this notice can be discussed at the Special General Meeting.
11.4. A quorum for such a meeting shall be 60 members who are fully paid up and eligible to vote .If a quorum is not present the meeting shall be abandoned.
11.5. Except as provided in clauses 12.2 (Constitutional Amendment) and 14.2 (Dissolution) below, decisions at such a meeting shall be by a simple majority of those present and eligible to vote. In the event of an equal number of votes being cast for and against any motion the Chair of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
12.1.Subject to the following provisions of this clause, the constitution may only be amended or
altered at an AGM or SGM of the Society called in accordance with sections 10 and 11.
12.2.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.
12.3.All such proposals must be submitted by or through The Society Executive Committee at least 100 days prior to the date of the meeting. This is to enable notice of the resolution to be given in the agenda in the Society journal prior to the AGM.
12.4.No such alteration may be made which would have the effect of making the Society cease to be
a charity at law.
12.5.No amendment may be made to clause 1 (Name Clause), clause 2 (Objects Clause), cause 14 (Dissolution Clause) or this clause or add or amend clauses providing benefits to trustees or members without prior consent in writing of the Charity Commission.
12.6.A copy of any resolution amending this Constitution shall be sent to the Charity Commission within twenty-one days of it being passed.
13.Expulsion of Members
13.1.The Executive Committee of the Society has the power to suspend any member whose activities are deemed, in their opinion, to be prejudicial to the Society. Such a proposal shall be a formal agenda item, and the member shall be notified in advance and have the right to make representation.
13.2.Such members shall have the right to appeal to the Annual General Meeting, or to a Special General Meeting outlined in Section 11.
13.3.The suspension, if upheld after the appeals procedure, shall lead to automatic expulsion.
14.1.The Society may be dissolved by a resolution passed at an Annual or Special General Meeting convened in accordance with the procedure of Section 11.
14.2.Such resolution must be passed by not less than three-quarters of those members present and eligible to vote.
14.3.Such resolution may direct how the assets of the Society shall be disposed, after all debts and liabilities have been discharged, provided such direction is in accordance with the objectives of the Society and the requirements of the Charity Commission.
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