Constitution - Fagus Gardening

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   The title of the Society shall be FAGUS.
   The aims of the Society shall be to further the interest of its members in all aspects of gardening and directly associated activities.
       An application for membership must be signed by the applicant who, on payment or renewal of the first subscription shall be deemed to be a Member of the Society and to have to abide by this constitution.
       The Executive Committee shall have the power to expel any member whose conduct in the opinion of the Executive Committee renders that person unfit to be a member of the Society. No member shall be expelled without first having been  given the opportunity to appear before the Executive Committee.
       The Executive Committee may elect any person as an Honorary Member for such period and subject to conditions as they think fit.
       A Member shall be deemed to have resigned from the Society if the subscription is more than 2 months overdue.
       The Executive Committee shall have the power to waive or reduce subscriptions  in special circumstances for a period not exceeding one year at a time.
       The annual rates of subscription shall be determined by the Executive Committee and ratified at the Annual General Meeting of the Society.
       The financial year shall run from 1st January to 31st December;  the membership year shall run from 1st March to the end of February and the annual subscription shall be due at the beginning of the membership year.
       An attendance charge shall be payable in respect of each meeting attended. This charge shall be determined by the Executive Committee and ratified at the Annual General Meeting of the Society.
       For special or guest speakers a higher attendance charge might be required.
       Two members resident at the same address shall be eligible for a joint rate of subscription.
       All monies payable to the Society shall be received by the Treasurer or such other officer as shall be appointed to receive the same. All funds belonging to the Society shall be deposited in the Bank and/or Building Society account in the name of the Society and nothing shall be drawn from this account except by a cheque signed by two such persons as the Executive Committee may direct.
       Audited accounts of the Society funds shall be presented at the Annual General Meeting.
       The Committee may appoint distinguished individuals to the honorary positions of President and Vice President.  The President and Vice President may sit on the Society's committee and may vote.
       The management and administration of the affairs of the Society shall be vested in
        an Executive Committee consisting of:-
           The President
           The Vice President
           Three principal officers to be elected at the Annual General Meeting, namely the Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer
           Nine elected members
       Nominations for Officers and Members of the Executive Committee must be seconded and received by the Secretary in writing not less than 28 days before the date of the Annual General Meeting.  Prior permission of any person being nominated must be obtained.
       Elected committee members shall serve a term of no more than 3 years, except in the case of principal Officers of the Society, the Membership Secretary and the Speaker Secretary.  These five members shall stand down each year but shall be eligible for re- election each year, subject to serving normally a maximum of 3 years, but extendable to a maximum of 5 consecutive years.
       Elected committee members and co-opted members standing down from the committee shall not be eligible to stand for election or to be co-opted for a period of 12 months.
       The Executive Committee may fill, by co-opting, any vacancy which may occur. The person filling the vacancy shall retire at the next Annual General Meeting following their co-option and shall be eligible for election.
       The Executive Committee may co-opt not more than 3 additional non-voting members for a period of up to 12 months.  These co-opted members to stand down at the next AGM.
       The committee shall appoint one of its number as Vice Chairman.
       A quorum of the Executive Committee shall consist of five persons to include not less than one officer.
       The Executive Committee may appoint the Editor of the Newsletter in an ex-officio position, which will be ratified annually by the committee.
       The Executive Committee may appoint sub-committees for carrying out specific work or duties connected with the Society. Members of such sub-committees need not necessarily be members of the Executive Committee but at least one member of the sub-committee must be a member of the Executive Committee.  Unless otherwise decided by the Executive Committee, all sub-committees shall elect their own Chair and have power to co-opt not more than 3 members.
       The Executive Committee may alter the membership of any sub-committee at any time, and no sub-committee shall have power to act on behalf of the Society unless expressly authorised to do so by the minutes of the Executive Committee. No sub-committee may spend any money on behalf of the Society or enter into any obligations on behalf of the Society, unless expressly authorised to do so by a minute in writing of the Executive Committee.
       An Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held each year at a date, time and place to be decided by the Executive Committee. Written notice of the Annual General Meeting, together with particulars of the business to be transacted thereat, shall be sent by the Secretary to each member of the Society at least 42 days before the meeting.
       Items to be raised by members under Any Other Business must be notified to the Secretary in writing not less than 14 days before the Annual General Meeting.
       The Annual General Meeting meets to:-
           Receive and if approved to adopt the annual report and an audited statement of the accounts to the end of the last preceding financial year.
           Elect the officers and other members of the Executive Committee
           Deal with any special matter the Executive Committee desires to bring before the members and to receive and consider suggestions from the members for consideration by the Executive Committee.
       Should more nominations be received than there are committee vacancies a secret ballot will be held with the members present at the AGM being eligible to vote.
       An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be convened by direction of the Executive Committee or on request in writing signed by not less than 25 members of the  Society stating the purpose for which the meeting is desired.
       Notice of the day, time and place of an Extraordinary General Meeting and full particulars of the business to be transacted thereat shall be given not less than 21 days before the meeting.
       No other business may be transacted at an Extraordinary General Meeting.
       This Constitution shall not be added to, amended or rescinded except at an Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary general Meeting of the Society and then only with the consent of not less than 2/3rds of members present at the meeting and not less than 25 members.
       A decision to wind-up the Society shall only be taken at an Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting that is attended by a minimum of half of the total membership. There must be a majority vote in favour of the proposal to wind-up the society by those attending the meeting. In the event that the decision to wind-up the Society is agreed, the meeting shall then go on to appoint a Committee of not fewer than three and no more than seven individuals to oversee the disposal of the Society's assets. The meeting shall give a clear indication to that Committee as to how any remaining funds should be used.  The Committee appointed at this meeting shall abide as closely as possible to the wishes expressed.

December 2008
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