Wells Evening Society

Constitution


WELLS EVENING SOCIETY
CONSTITUTION and RULES
(As passed at the Annual General Meeting of WES on 1st March 2007)

1
TITLE
The Society shall be called WELLS EVENING SOCIETY (WES).

2.  OBJECTS AND POWERS
WES is a friendly, not-for-profit organisation that welcomes anyone and everyone to membership.  Its aim is to promote the study of, and a lively and active interest in, cultural heritage.  Its principal activity is the presentation of lectures – normally at monthly intervals (excluding the summer months).  The opportunity for members to meet before the lectures helps to foster our community spirit.

Other activities ? according to interest among members and available resources ? may, for example, include arranging group events and the formation of study groups on subjects of specific interest.  In addition, activities of wider benefit to the community are envisaged, such as the holding of exhibitions and encouraging the study, appreciation and practice of the arts in the young.

The choice of venue in central Wells allows ease of access from the city and surrounding areas.  By arranging evening lectures, the Society hopes to attract membership from those who would find it difficult or impossible to participate during the day.

3.  MEMBERSHIP

a.  Subject to the limitation on number ? as decided by the committee ?membership shall be open to any person who applies in writing to the Membership Secretary.

b.
  Should the number of applicants exceed the seating capacity of the meeting place, a waiting list shall be kept and applications dealt with in the order in which they are received.

c.
  The committee shall have discretion to collaborate with other organisations and to admit persons or bodies of persons, incorporated or unincorporated, to Associate Membership.

d.
  If it be resolved by the committee that the conduct or action of any member has been injurious to the interests of WES, including the non-payment of subscription by a specified date, the committee may terminate such membership.

4.   SUBSCRIPTIONS
a.  The subscription for membership shall be decided from time to time by the committee and, unless otherwise determined, shall be due and payable on the first day of April in every year.

b.
  At the discretion of the committee, members joining after the season has begun may be eligible for a reduced subscription.

c.
  Refunds of the annual subscription or any part thereof shall not be made on resignation or termination of membership, unless by the discretion of the committee.

5.  MANAGEMENT
a.  The affairs of WES shall be managed and its funds administered by the committee which shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting.

b.
  The committee shall comprise the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, the Honorary Treasurer and the Honorary Secretary together with not more than eight further members whose functions will be agreed by the committee.

c. 
Neither the Chairman nor the Vice Chairman may hold office for more than three consecutive years.  The Treasurer and Secretary shall not normally hold office for more than three years but the committee may extend this up to four years to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities.  More generally, no member of the committee shall be elected for more than four consecutive years, excluding any years which such member shall have served or be serving as Chairman, Vice Chairman, Honorary Secretary or Honorary Treasurer.  Excluding these four offices, exceptionally, the committee may extend the four year limit if no suitable replacement can be found.

d
.  Nominations for election to the committee shall be made with the consent of the  nominee who shall be proposed and seconded by any members of WES.  Such  nominations shall be sent to the Honorary Secretary in writing signed by the proposer and seconder and the nominee and received at least THIRTY DAYS prior to the date of the Annual General Meeting.  If there is more than one nomination for any office, a vote will be taken amongst those members present.

e
.  The committee shall have power to co-opt not more than three additional members for specific purposes who shall serve only until the next Annual General Meeting.  No co-opted member shall serve for longer than two years in total and co-opted  members will not be eligible to vote.

f
.  The quorum of the committee shall be one more than half the members entitled to vote and shall include at least two from the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer.  If necessary, the Chairman shall have a casting vote.

g.
  The committee may appoint sub-committees.  No member other than the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, the Honorary Treasurer and the Honorary Secretary may serve on more than two sub-committees.

h.
The committee shall be entitled to be reimbursed for reasonable expenses directly incurred in the course of their duties; such expenses will not include the cost of travel to and from meetings of the committee.

6.  GENERAL MEETINGS
i – PROCEDURE
An Annual General Meeting of WES shall be held between the 1st November and the 31st March at such time and place as shall be determined by the committee.  The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be:

·            To receive the Chairman's report.
·            To receive the Treasurer's report and approve the certified accounts of WES.
·            To elect the officers and committee of WES for the ensuing year.
·            To consider proposed resolutions of which due notice has been given.
·            To appoint an independent honorary financial ‘overseer’.
·            To conduct such other business as the Chairman shall decide.

The Agenda of the Annual General Meeting shall be circulated to members at least FOURTEEN days beforehand.  This shall include the names of the officers for the ensuing year nominated by the committee and a list of candidates to fill the vacancies on the committee who have been duly proposed and seconded.  If the said vacancies are uncontested, the election of officers and members of the committee shall be by show of hands.  If there are more candidates for election than there are vacancies, the election will be by majority vote amongst the members present.  Decisions on business under these heads shall be made by a simple majority vote.  If necessary, the Chairman shall have a casting vote.

ii - RESOLUTIONS
a.  Members wishing to put forward any resolutions shall give notice in writing to the Honorary Secretary at least THIRTY days prior to the Annual General Meeting. Such resolutions shall have been seconded and may be set out in the agenda together with the names of the proposer and seconder.

b.
  A resolution shall be carried by a two-thirds majority of members present and voting.

c.
  The Constitution and Rules may only be amended by a resolution duly passed at a General Meeting.

iii - SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING
A Special General Meeting of WES may be called to conduct such business as the committee shall decide by giving to the members not less than THIRTY days' notice in writing following:

·           
A Resolution of the committee passed by a simple majority or
·            Delivery to the Chairman or to the Honorary Secretary of a requisition signed    by not less than fifteen members.

7.  FINANCE
a.  The financial year of WES shall end on the 31st December.

b.
 The bank account for WES is lodged with the National Westminster Bank, Wells.  In the future it may be lodged with such other Bank or Branch as the committee shall resolve.

c.
  Expenditure will normally be authorised by the Honorary Treasurer who in cases of doubt or conflict shall refer the matter to the Chairman, whose decision will be final.

d.
  Cheques shall be signed by any two of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, Hon. Secretary or Hon Treasurer.

e. 
The committee shall be authorised to carry forward a prudent financial reserve.

f.  Any funds in excess of the reserve shall be applied to the benevolent objectives of WES.  These might include increasing the number and quality of events and improving services to members and the community.

8.  VISITORS
Visitors may be admitted to any meeting except the Annual General Meeting if space permits and on payment of a fee to be specified by the committee.  They may also attend other activities at the discretion of the committee.

9.  WINDING UP
If at a General Meeting a resolution to wind up the affairs of WES shall have been proposed and passed, as much of the assets of WES shall be realised as may be required to discharge all liabilities.  Any remaining assets shall be made over to one or more institutions (or other associations having charitable and benevolent objectives similar to those of WES), as the meeting shall decide.

1st March, 2007