Our Constitution

Our constitution was updated at a Special General Meeting on the 29th of January 2003, and was accepted at the following Annual General Meeting on the 16th of May 2003.

Our constitution may also be downloaded in PDF Format, 20K and Microsoft Word Format, 44K.


Non-charitable constitution of The West Yorkshire National Trust Volunteers (a National Trust volunteer group)

1. Name
   
  This unincorporated association is a group of National Trust volunteers, known as The West Yorkshire National Trust Volunteers (‘the Group’).
   
2. Objects
   
  The Group’s objects (‘the Objects’) are:
   
2.1 to undertake practical work for the National Trust 
2.2 to promote social activities to make volunteering for the National Trust more enjoyable.
   
3. Powers
   
  To further the Objects, the Group may if it wishes:
   
3.1 organise or enlist voluntary support and assistance
3.2 arrange meetings, courses and other events, and produce newsletters and publicity in any media
3.3 do all other lawful things as may further the achievements of the Objects.
   
4. Membership
   
4.1 Anyone over the age of 16 may be a member of the Group (‘Member’) if they:
 
(a) are interested in furthering the Objects
(b) are accepted by the Group’s Committee (‘Committee’) and
(c) pay any subscription within 60 days of it falling due from the 1st of January each year.
4.2 The Committee may decline to accept any person as a Member by a two-thirds majority of all Committee members. The Committee need not give reasons for doing so but should make decisions objectively and fairly.
4.3 All Members are entitled to attend and vote at AGMs and EGMs (Clauses 9 and 10) and are eligible to serve on the Committee.
4.4 Any Member’s membership may be terminated for a fair and proper reason by a two-thirds majority of all Committee members. However, the Member must be told the reason and be given the right to be heard by the Committee, accompanied by a Member friend, before a final decision can be made. The decision can be appealed at an EGM if the Member concerned so requests in writing to the Chairman or Secretary within fourteen days.
4.5 The Committee recommends categories and levels of any annual membership subscription. If a subscription is not paid within 60 days of it falling due, the Committee may in its discretion terminate the relevant Member’s membership. If membership is terminated or resigned for any reason, no part of any subscription previously paid is reimbursable.
   
5. Committee
   
5.1 The Group is organised and managed by the Committee in accordance with this Constitution. The Committee consists of:
 
(a) six officers (the Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Task Organiser and Newsletter Editor)
(b) at least four other Committee members (which may include a website manager), the maximum number and titles of posts being decided by the Committee.
5.2 Committee members are elected at the AGM from those Members nominated. Nominations for the Committee must be made by a Member in writing, including the nominee’s consent, and received by the Secretary, preferably at least 28 days before the AGM. In the absence of written nominations, verbal nominations can be accepted from the floor. If nominations exceed vacancies, election is by ballot. One person can hold more than one post, but not more than two.
5.3 Committee members hold office for a year from the end of the AGM when they are elected until the end of the next AGM at which time they are eligible for re-election.
5.4 The Committee may fill a vacancy or temporary absence on the Committee by co-option from among the Members. Co-opted Committee members hold office until the end of the AGM following appointment unless specifically appointed for a different period. They can be reco-opted or elected.
5.5 A Committee member must cease to hold office if she/he:
 
(a) is absent without the Committee’s approval from all its meetings for twelve months or more and the Committee then resolves that the office be vacated
(b) resigns by notice in writing to the Chairman or Secretary
(c) ceases to be a Member
(d) has Committee membership terminated for a fair and proper reason, following the same procedure as Clause 4.4
   
6. Procedure at Committee Meetings
   
6.1 The Committee regulates its own affairs and determines the activities of the Group, but must abide by this Constitution and ensure that the Objects are met.
6.2 The Committee holds at least three meetings a year. The Chairman or any two Committee members can call additional meetings by giving notice to the Secretary.
6.3 The Chairman chairs the Committee meetings. If the Chairman is absent, the Committee members present choose one of their number to chair the relevant meeting.
6.4 The quorum for Committee meetings is four Committee members, including at least one Officer.
6.5 Except where this constitution states differently, every matter considered by the Committee is decided by a majority of votes (taken by a show of hands) of Committee members present and voting. If votes are equal, the chairman of the meeting has a casting vote.
6.6 The Committee can appoint and dissolve sub-committee(s) of suitable members (with a Committee member as chairman) for any function it considers appropriate. Proceedings should be fully and promptly reported to the main Committee and it must pre-approve any expenditure incurred or obligation entered into on behalf of the Group.
   
7. Income and Expenditure
   
7.1 All Group subscriptions, donations and other income must be paid within a reasonable time of receipt into a bank or building society in the Group’s name chosen and operated by the Committee. Cheques drawn on the account must be signed by two Committee members (including at least one Officer), as approved by the bank or building society.
7.2 The Committee must ensure that Group funds are disbursed according to this Constitution. The Group’s funds can only be applied in furthering the Objects and must not be paid for the benefit of any Member (except to reimburse reasonable and proper Group expenses).
   
8. Accounts
   
8.1 The Financial year of the Group runs from the 1st of April to the 31st of March. The Treasurer is responsible for keeping full and accurate accounting records showing all Group receipts and payments for each Financial year.
8.2 The Group must keep accounting records, prepare annual accounts and arrange at their discretion independent examination as proper, reasonable and sufficient to show and explain the Group’s transactions.
9. Annual General Meeting (AGM)
   
9.1 An AGM of Members is called by the Committee not later than three months after the end of each Financial Year to:
(a)  elect the Committee members until the end of the next AGM
(b) receive the Committee’s report and approve the accounts for the last Financial year.
(c) Confirm the annual subscriptions recommended by the Committee until the next AGM
(d) Consider any other business.
9.2 The Secretary gives at least 21 days’ notice of the AGM to all Members and circulates a written agenda.
   
10. Extraordinary General Meetings (‘EGMs’)
   
  The Committee may call an EGM of Members on 21 days’ notice, enclosing an agenda. Alternatively, at least ten Members or one quarter of the total membership (whichever is smaller) may call an EGM by writing to the Secretary stating the business to be considered. Within 28 days the Secretary then calls an EGM by giving 21 days’ notice, including an agenda.
   
11. Procedure at AGMs and EGMs
   
11.1 The quorum for AGMs and EGMs is ten Members.
11.2 The Chairman acts as chair. In the absence of the Chairman, the Members elect another Committee member or, if none are there, one of the Members present to chair the relevant meeting. The Secretary keeps minutes of proceedings to be approved at the next AGM, signed by its chairman and available for inspection.
11.3 Voting is by show of hands, unless a Member requests a ballot or nominations exceed vacancies for election of the Committee. If votes are equal, the chairman has a casting vote.
   
12. Alterations to this Constitution
   
  This Constitution can only be amended by a resolution passed by at least two thirds of Members present and voting at an AGM or EGM which included the proposed alteration in the notice.
   
13. Dissolution
   
  If the Committee decides it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Group, it must call an AGM or EGM on at least 21 days’ notice stating the proposed resolution. If the resolution is passed by a two-thirds majority of Members present and voting, the Committee will then realise any assets held by or on behalf of the Group. Assets remaining after paying any proper debts and liabilities will then promptly be given to a property or department of the National Trust of the Groups choice.
   
This constitution was adopted by the Group on 16th May 2003, as witnessed by the Officers:

Signed:

Chairman

Print name: PETER HINE


Secretary

Print name: DAVID BLACKBURN


Treasurer

Print name: FIONA FOXTON