Constitution of the Sawrey Institute and Reading Room

1) Name.

The name is the Sawrey Institute and Reading Room.

2) Purpose and Objectives

The purpose is the advancement of citizenship and community development; the objectives are to afford the means of social intercourse, mental and moral improvement and rational relaxation.

3) Powers

In order to achieve its objectives the Institute may:

a) Raise money

b) Open bank accounts

c) Acquire and run buildings

d) Take out insurance

e) Employ staff

f) Organise courses and events

g) Work with similar groups and exchange information and advice with them

h) Do anything that is lawful which will help it to fulfil its aim.

4) Membership

a) Membership of the Institute is open to any individual over eighteen (Junior Members may join following their thirteenth birthday) without regards to disability, political or religious affiliation, race, sex or sexual orientation who is:

interested in helping the Institute to achieve its aim

willing to abide by the Rules of the Institute and

willing to pay the subscription agreed by the Management Committee.

b) The membership of any member may be terminated for good reason by the Management Committee: Provided that the member concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Management Committee, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made.

5) Trustees

The Trustees are the members of the Management Committee whose election takes place annually at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

6) Management Committee

a) The Institute is administered by a Management Committee of not less than three nor more than ten individuals elected at the Institute’s AGM.

b) The Officers of the Management Committee are:

the Chairperson,

the Treasurer and

the Secretary.

c) It may co-opt onto the Committee, up to three individuals, in an advisory and non-voting capacity in order to help to fulfil the aims of the Institute.

d) It shall meet at least twice a year.

e) At least four Committee members must be present for a meeting to take place.

f) Voting at meetings shall be by a show of hands. If there is a tied vote then the Chairperson shall have a second vote.

g) It shall have the power to remove any member of the Committee for good and proper reason.

h) It may appoint any other member of the Institute as a Committee member to fill a vacancy, provided that the maximum prescribed is not exceeded.

i) It shall set the subscription rate for the following financial year.

j) It shall keep the Rules up-to-date and propose amendments to the Constitution.

k) It shall appoint the trustees (up to 4 people) of its land and building.

l) It is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Institute.

7) The Duties of the Officers

a) The duties of the Chairperson are to:

chair meetings of the Management Committee and other principal meetings of the Institute  (eg AGM, SGM);

represent the Institute at functions/meetings that the Institute has been invited to; and

act as the spokesperson of the Institute.

b) The duties of the Secretary are to:

keep a membership list;

prepare in consultation with the Chairperson the agenda for meetings of the Management Committee and and other principal meetings of the Institute  (eg AGM, SGM);

circulate information about meetings to the relevant members;

take and keep minutes of all meetings;

keep the information required by the Land Registry up-to-date; and

collect and circulate relevant information within the Institute.

c) The duties of the Treasurer are to:

attend to the financial affairs of the Institute;

keep proper accounts that show all monies received and paid out by the Institute; and

lodge the Institute’s annual accounts with the Charity Commission.

8) Finance

a) All monies received by or on behalf of the Institute shall be applied to further the purpose and objectives of the Institute.

b) Bank accounts opened for the Institute shall be in the name of the Sawrey Institute and Reading Room.

c) Cheques issued shall be signed by the Treasurer and one other nominated member of the Management Committee.

d) The Institute shall ensure that its accounts are audited or independently examined every year.

e) The Institute may pay reasonable out of pocket expenses to members acting on its behalf, as authorised by the Management Committee.

9) Annual General Meeting

a) The Institute shall hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November.

b) All members shall be given at least fourteen days notice of the AGM and shall be entitled to attend and vote.

c) The business of the AGM shall include:

a report from the Chairperson on the Institute’s activities over the year;

a report from the Treasurer on the finances of the Institute;

election/relection of the members of the Management Committee; and

consideration any other matter as may be decided.

d) At least 6 members must be present for the Annual General Meeting and any other General Meeting that takes place.

e) Voting at meetings shall be by a show of hands. If there is a tied vote then the Chairperson shall have a second vote.

10) Special General Meeting

a) A Special General Meeting (SGM) may be called by

the Management Committee or

40 per cent of the membership, who must first discuss the matter with the Management Committee,

to discuss any urgent matter.

b) The Secretary shall give all members at least fourteen days notice of the Special General Meeting together with notice of the business to be discussed.

c) For a resolution to be binding it shall require a two-thirds majority of those present and voting.

11) Alterations to the Constitution

Any changes to this Constitution must be agreed by at least two-thirds of those members present and voting at the Annual General Meeting.

12) Dissolution

Should the Institute not have been used at all for a continuous period of at least nine months it may be wound up if agreed by two-thirds of those members present and voting at the General Meeting. In the event of a winding up any assets remaining after all debts have been paid shall be given to another charitable organisation with a similar aim.

13) Adoption of the Constitution

This Constitution was adopted by members attending the Annual General Meeting on  [date]

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The Sawrey Institute, Sawrey, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 0LQ
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