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The Northumberland & Durham Caledonian Society Constitution


1 Name                                                               7  The Committee
2 Aims                                                                8 Finance
3 Area of benefit                                                   9 Changing the constitution
4 Powers                                                           10 Closing the society
5 Membership                                                    11 Adopting the constitution
6 General meetings (of all members)

1.  Name

 The name of the society is The Northumberland & Durham Caledonian Society

2.  Aims

The aims of the society are to:

2.1 Encourage and maintain Scottish culture, traditions and customs

2.2 Celebrate Scottish National Anniversaries and promote social intercourse and welfare amongst Scots and those in sympathy with the society’s aims

2.3 Maintain a Benevolent Fund

The society is committed to equality for everyone and all members are expected to behave in a way that is consistent with this commitment

3.  Area of benefit

 The area of benefit is the Northumberland, Durham and Tyne & Wear

4.  Powers

To achieve its aims the society has the power to:

4.1  Raise funds by any lawful means

4.2  Apply funds to carry out the society’s work

4.3 Accept donations for a specific purpose connected to the aims

4.4  Invest funds to maintain and increase its value to produce a financial return

4.5 Hire or lease premises for society activities

4.6  Buy equipment for society activities

4.7  Do anything else within the law that is necessary in carrying out its aims

5. Membership

5.1  Membership is open to anyone who supports the aims

5.2  Each member has one vote at general meetings. Only fully paid-up members have voting rights

5.3  Only members who are aged 18 and over can be on the committee

5.4  All members excluding Honorary, must pay the annual membership fee set by the management committee, and this amount can be zero. Any membership fee must be set at a level that does not deter membership. All membership fees are due on 1st Jan each year

5.5  A member can resign their membership at any time. A member who is three months behind with their membership fee is assumed to have resigned but can re-join if they bring their membership fee up to date

5.6  The management committee has the right to end someone’s membership if they believe it is in the best interests of the society. The member has the right to be heard by the management committee before the final decision is made

5.7  The management committee must keep an up to date list of members of the society

 5.8 Lifetime Honorary membership may be bestowed upon members who have given exceptional service to the society. Lifetime Honorary membership fee is zero. Lifetime Honorary members who are musicians at society events are also granted free entry and a meal at events where they give live performances. Lifetime Honorary members are ineligible as office bearers or committee members

6.  General meetings

6.1  The management committee must give 14 days’ notice of any general meetings, and 21 days for the annual general meeting (AGM), to all members telling them what is on the agenda. Individual notices may be sent to all members by email or post, or a notice may be displayed in a public place

6.2  A general meeting can be held at any time if the management committee calls one or if at least 10% of members write to the committee asking them to call one. The letter to the committee must state the reason they wish the meeting to be called

6.3  The quorum for any general meeting is 10% members. If at least 10% of the members are not present then the meeting can be adjourned for at least 14 days. At the re-convened meeting, decisions based on a majority vote can be made as long as there are at least three members (including any committee members) present

6.4  Every question at any general meeting is decided by a majority of votes cast by those entitled to vote. If the vote is tied, the chairperson of the meeting has a second or casting vote

6.5  Minutes must be kept for all general meetings, including the AGM

6.6  An annual general meeting (AGM) must be held in each calendar year to deal with the following business:

6.6.1 Receive the management committee’s report and accounts for the previous year

6.6.2  Elect the officers, committee members and Honorary members for the following year

6.6.3  Deal with other matters which the committee or members wish to raise and the chairperson is prepared to accept as legitimate business for the AGM

7.  The management committee and its procedures

7.1  The management committee is responsible for the management of the society. It will be made up of office bearers (a President; Vice-President; immediate Past President; Trustee(s); Secretary; Treasurer) and maximum of 8 elected members. Only fully paid-up members may be part of the management committee

7.2  It will meet when needed but not less than 2 meetings per year. At least 6 members, 2 of whom should be officers, must be at the meetings to be able to take decisions

7.3  Every issue at a management committee meeting is decided by a majority of votes cast by those committee members present. If the vote is tied, the chairperson of the meeting has a second or casting vote

7.4  Committee members are elected for 2 years at the AGM, staying on the management committee until the end of the year 2 AGM. Committee members can be then re-elected. To maintain continuity half should be elected in year one and the other half in year two. Office bearers are elected annually at the AGM

7.5  Any member who wishes to stand for election to the management committee must inform the secretary at least 7 full days before the AGM

7.6  If there is a vacancy on the management committee or if anyone resigns during their term of office the committee has the power to co-opt another member to the vacancy. This co-opted member has full voting powers and will stay on the committee until the next AGM

7.7  A management committee member may be removed if all the other committee members agree that it is in the best interest of the society. The committee member has the right to be heard by the management committee before a decision is made and can bring a friend with them to the meeting

7.8  The management committee must keep minutes of its meetings and keep safe all records relating to the society

7.9 If the committee members have a conflict of interest they must declare it and leave the meeting while this matter is being discussed or decided

7.10 The management committee members may make reasonable additional rules, policies and procedures to help run the society. These must not conflict with this constitution or the law

8.  Finance

8.1  All funds belonging to or raised by the society must only be used for the society’s aims

8.2 The society will set up one or more bank or building society accounts in the name of the society. All money received by the society must be paid into the account

8.3  The society will set up one or more investment accounts in the name of the society, for the purpose of investing society money to maintain or increase its value to produce a financial return

8.4  All cheques must be signed by at least 2 signatories, who have been authorised by the management committee, and not related in any way

8.5  No member of the management committee can be employed by the society or receive any payment or other benefit from its funds, except to refund reasonable out of pocket expenses

9.  Changing the constitution

This constitution can only be changed at a general meeting or AGM. For the constitution to be changed a majority of the members at the meeting must vote in favour of the change. The following clauses must not be rewritten in a way that would change the original meaning

9.1  Clause 2 (The aims)

9.2  Clause 9 (This clause)

9.3  Clause 10 (Closing the society)

10. Closing the society

10.1 If the management committee decides that it is necessary to close the society it must call a general meeting of all members and recommend closure to them

10.2 If two thirds of the members at the meeting vote in favour of closing the society the management committee has the authority to do so

10.3  Any assets remaining after all debts and liabilities have been paid must be given to one or more voluntary and community groups, charities or social enterprises with similar aims to the society

11. Adopting the constitution

This constitution was adopted on 22/4/2016 by the people whose signatures appear below. These people will be management committee members until the AGM, which must be held within one year of this date


               David  A Stones               Melvyn McCrostie              Sandra Seymour

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