Chelmsford YHA Group
Useful Information for Members
CHELMSFORD & DISTRICT Y.H.A. LOCAL GROUP
GROUP CONSTITUTION - OCTOBER 2007
The name of the Group is 'Chelmsford and District Y.H.A. Local Group'.
The object of the Group shall be to:
(a) organise a regular programme of hostelling, outdoor activities and social events.
(b) help all, but especially young people resident in Chelmsford and the surrounding area, without restriction as to sex, nationality, race, religion or politics, to a greater knowledge, use and love of the countryside and appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities.
(c) support the youth hostels movement and to promote a sense of co-operation and friendship among the members of youth hostel and kindred associations throughout the world
(d) co-operate with organisations which exist to promote a greater knowledge, use and love of the countryside, and access thereto.
In furtherance of these objects it may:
(i) rent or acquire by gift, purchase or otherwise, premises for the purpose of providing club facilities and the organising of socials, meetings, lectures, dances and all similar events
(ii) organise rambles, cycle runs, hostel visits, working parties, socials, lectures, dances and generally enable contacts and friendships to be made between members of youth hostel and kindred organisations throughout the world
(iii) affiliate to YHA (England & Wales) and participate in the democratic processes of the YHA.
(iv) procure special facilities for members and protect and further their interests generally
(a) Membership of the Group shall be open to all who are interested in the activities and purpose of the Group.
(b) Every member must undertake to abide by the current Group rules and must pay the relevant fees. In the event of arrears, membership will cease after a time period determined from time to time by the committee.
(c) Membership shall entitle a person to participate in all Group Activities and to take advantage of any special facilities procured for members, unless, exceptionally, the committee considers it unwise.
(d) The Committee shall have the right to refuse, expel or suspend any person from membership of the Group at any time without stating a reason. Any such person shall have the right of appeal to the Group at an Extraordinary General Meeting called in accordance with clause 6.
(a) The control of the Group shall be vested in a Committee as follows:
and at least two other members, with or without specific duties, as deemed necessary by General Meetings.
(b) The members of the Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting by ballot.
(c) The Committee shall meet within three weeks after the Annual General Meeting, and thereafter at periods of not more than six weeks.
(d) The Committee shall be responsible for the management of the Group, its rules and its finances.
(e) A Group Activity is one agreed by a quorum of the Committee. Group funds or Group accounts may not be used in connection with activities which are not Group Activities. The Group newsletter may not be used to publicise non-group activities unless they are explicitly described as such.
(f) The Committee shall have the power to co-opt for special purposes up to three persons; these persons to have voting powers as the Committee decides.
(g) In the event of an equality of votes at any Committee meeting, the chairman of the meeting shall be entitled to a casting vote.
(h) At least seven clear days notice of Committee meetings shall be given to all Committee members.
(i) A quorum of a Committee meeting shall be three members.
(j) Minutes shall be prepared for all business transacted at Annual General Meetings, Extraordinary General Meetings, Committee Meetings and Sub Committee Meetings and shall be available to the Committee within twenty one days.
(k) The position of any member of the Committee shall be vacated:
(i) if he/she ceases to be a member of the Group
(ii) if by notice in writing to the Committee he/she resigns his/her position
(iii) if he/she is found to be failing in his/her duty by two thirds of the Committee
(iv) if he/she is absent from three consecutive Committee Meetings without due cause.
(l) (i) Members of the Committee shall retire at each Annual General Meeting but shall be eligible for re-election.
(ii) No person shall serve as Chairman of the Group for a consecutive period of more than three years, except in exceptional circumstances.
(m) Any vacancy occurring in the Committee, other than the Chairman, may be filled by the Committee. If the position of Chairman becomes vacant it shall be filled by the Group at an Extraordinary General Meeting.
(n) A special meeting of the Committee shall be called to decide upon specific matters at the request (in writing) of any three Group members. The meeting shall be held within three weeks of the lodging of the request with the Secretary.
(o) (i) The Committee may appoint up to three sub-committees to deal with special aspects of the Group and it may delegate any of its duties to such sub-committees.
(ii) Sub-committees shall keep minutes in accordance with the constitution and report back to the general Committee at each meeting.
(p) The Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer shall have the power to act in matters of emergency and shall report their action to the Committee at the meeting next following.
(5) GENERAL MEETING
(a) An Annual General Meeting of the Group shall be held each calendar year (in October). At least 21 days notice of the date, time and place of the meeting shall be given to the Group by the Committee.
(b) The Annual General Meeting shall:
(i) Receive the Statement of Accounts
(ii) Elect a Committee to hold office during the period up to the end of the next Annual General Meeting
(iii) Appoint Auditors
(iv) Approve minutes of the last Annual General Meeting and any Extraordinary General Meetings
(v) Receive the annual report of the Secretary
(vi) Receive the Chairman's summary of the last year
(vii) Discuss motions received in writing
(viii) Discuss any other business connected with the affairs of the Group.
(c) The Secretary shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting within one calendar month of the receipt of a written request signed by at least one third of the membership of the Committee or one quarter of the individual membership, specifying the objects of the meeting. The Committee may, whenever it sees fit, convene an Extraordinary General Meeting. In either case, the Committee shall give at least twenty one days notice of the date, time and place of such a meeting.
(d) The Chairman of the Committee shall preside as chairman at every General Meeting of the Group. If there is no such Chairman, or if at any meeting he is not present within fifteen minutes after the appointed time for holding the meeting, or is unwilling to act as chairman, the members present shall choose one of their members to act as chairman.
(e) Business shall not be transacted at any General Meeting without a quorum of twelve or fifty percent of current members, whichever is the smallest, being present unless the members decide that the business is urgent. Business which is this urgent shall be so indicated in the notice. In the event of a quorum not being present and the business not being urgent, the meeting shall be postponed until such a date as the members present shall decide, which shall not be more than twenty-eight days from the original date of the meeting.
(f) Only persons who are current members of the Group are entitled to vote at a General Meeting, and each is entitled to one vote.
(g) The meeting may be adjourned to a different time or place but no business shall be transacted at any adjourned meeting other than the business left unfinished. When a meeting is adjourned for fifteen days or more, notice of the adjourned meeting shall be sent to all members.
(h) At any General Meeting a resolution put to the vote of the meeting shall be decided by a show of hands, unless a ballot is demanded (before or on the declaration of the result of the show of hands) by at least five members present.
(i) in the case of an equality of votes, whether on a show of hands or on a ballot, the chairman of the meeting shall be entitled to a casting vote.
(j) A vote demanded on the election of a chairman or on a question of adjournment shall be taken forthwith. A vote demanded on any other question shall be taken at such time as the chairman of the meeting directs.
(k) Members unable to attend may vote in advance in writing to the Secretary, or by proxy with their written authority.
(a) The financial year of the Group shall be 1st October to 30th September.
(b) The Treasurer shall keep proper books and shall inspect the books of any other members handling Group funds every three months.
(c) The funds of the Group shall be held only in the name of the Group.
(d) The funds of the Group shall be derived from such sources as determined from time to time by the Group at a General Meeting. Allocations shall be made from such funds on such bases as may be approved from time to time by the Group.
(e) Banking arrangements shall be agreed by the Committee.
(f) It Is deemed to be a term of every contract entered into that the funds of the Group are liable only for debts, obligations or engagements incurred or entered into by approval of the Group. Allocations from the funds of the Group up to such limits as agreed by a General Meeting from time to time shall be approved by the Committee or any member of the Committee or by a General Meeting.
(g) A proper record of income and expenditure shall be maintained by the Committee. These accounts shall be audited each financial year by the Auditors appointed by the Annual General Meeting. The audited accounts and report shall be available to the committee not more than six months from the end of the financial year and shall be presented at the next General Meeting.
(h) The Treasurer shall prepare a full statement of accounts which shall be presented to the Group at the Annual General Meeting along with a full report.
(7) AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION
The Constitution may be varied or amended only by resolution of a General Meeting, and then only if:
(i) draft proposals are supplied with the notice of the meeting
and (ii) amendments have the support of at least half of the membership.
(8) DISSOLUTION OF THE GROUP
(a) The Group may be dissolved by a resolution of not less than three quarters of the members of the Group present and voting at a General Meeting of the Group called for that purpose.
(b) In the event of the dissolution of the Group, any assets remaining after all liabilities have been met shall be passed to a registered charity or charities agreed by those members attending and voting at the dissolution meeting.
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