SOUTH HAMS SOCIETY CONSTITUTION 

1. Name
The name of the Society shall be SOUTH HAMS SOCIETY hereinafter called “the Society”.

2. Purposes
The Society is established for the public benefit in the area comprising the South Hams of Devon for the following purposes:

a)  To promote public interest in, and care for, the beauty, history and character of the South Hams and, in particular, the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

b)  To promote and encourage high standards of planning and architecture, which are in keeping with the landscape and local building traditions, meet local housing and employment needs, and promote environmental sustainability.

c)  To promote the protection and enhancement of the landscape, including agricultural land, woodland, hedgerows, rivers, estuaries and coastline, in addition to features of historic interest and public amenity.

d)  To promote and encourage the conservation and enhancement of the biodiversity of the South Hams.

The Society shall pursue these purposes by means of meetings, correspondence, exhibitions, talks, films, events and other activities, and by lobbying local authorities and others with influence and holding them to account.

3. Membership
Membership shall be open to all who support the Purposes of the Society. It shall lapse if the subscription is unpaid three months after it becomes due.

4. Committee

a)  The Committee shall be responsible for running the day-to-day affairs of the Society. It shall consist of the Officers (Trustees) and no more than six other members to cover key roles. The Officers are: Chair; Vice-Chair; Treasurer; Secretary

Other key roles are: Planning; External Relations; Communications; Membership & Events

b)  Five members shall be a quorum of whom three must be Trustees. The Chair shall have a second (or casting) vote.

c)  The Committee shall aim to meet not less than once a quarter.

d)  Minutes of all meetings of the Committee shall be recorded and subsequently agreed.

e)  Wherever possible, meetings will be held face-to-face. If this is not possible, online meetings may be held.

5. Trustees

a)  The Society shall appoint a minimum of three Trustees as required by law. Trustees are elected at the AGM or may be co-opted by existing Trustees as necessary during the year.

b)  The Trustees have the power to co-opt not more than three additional Committee members, if required, to serve until the next AGM.

c)  Trustees must sign a declaration confirming they are eligible to stand, and observe guidelines published by the Charity Commission. They must undertake training where necessary.

d)  In order to take an effective and active part in the activities of the Society, trustees must be resident in the South Hams.

6. Authority
No person other than authorised Officers of the Society shall use the name or purport to act on behalf of or to represent the Society unless granted such authority.

7. General (members) Meetings and Elections

a)  The Annual General Meeting shall be held not later than the 1st May of each year. The business shall include: Chair’s Report; Submission of Statement of Account; Election of Officers (Trustees) and members of the Committee. Each paid-up member shall have one vote at any General Meeting.

b)  The Committee shall decide when general meetings of the Society shall be held and shall give at least fourteen days’ notice of all general meetings to all members.

c)  Officers (Trustees) and the Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting and shall hold office until the next such Meeting when they shall retire but shall be eligible for re-election.

d)  Any two members of the Society may nominate (first and second) a member to hold office or serve on the Committee. Nominations shall be sent to the Secretary fourteen days before the AGM and after the consent of the nominee has been obtained.

e)  A President may be elected at an AGM. The President is a figurehead without voting powers.

f)  An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society shall be held at the request of twenty-five or more members.

g)  Twenty members shall be a quorum of the Society.

h)  Voting at a General Meeting shall be by ballot or show of hands. The Chair shall have a second (or casting) vote.

i)  Minutes of meetings must be recorded and subsequently agreed.

j)  Wherever possible, meetings will be held face-to-face. If this is not possible, online meetings may be held.

8. Finance
The financial year shall run from 1st January to 31st December. Accounts shall be presented at the AGM. All monies collected by the Society shall be paid into a Bank Account opened for that purpose.

9. Subscriptions
Subscriptions shall be due on 1st January annually. The amount of the subscription shall be considered from time to time by the Committee and shall be determined at the Annual General Meeting.

10. Appeals
The Committee shall have the power to make appeals, to solicit donations and to canvas for monies carrying out the Purposes of the Society.

11. Expenses of administration and application of funds
The Committee shall pay out of the monies received by the Society all the proper expenses for the administration and management of the Society, and shall use the residue of such monies as it thinks fit, for or towards the Purposes of the Society.

12. Investment
All monies at any time belonging to the Society and not required for immediate application for its Purposes, may be invested by the Committee in such investments, securities or property as it may think fit, but such monies representing property shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Charity Commissioners or other authority having charitable jurisdiction and shall only be invested in such securities as may for the time being be prescribed by law.

13. Amendments to the Constitution
This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of members at any Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting, provided that ten days’ notice of the proposed amendment has been sent to all members, and providing that nothing therein contained shall change the charitable nature of theSociety.

14. Winding up
The Society may be wound up by a resolution passed at an AGM or EGM. In the event of the winding up of the Society, the available funds of the Society shall be transferred to such one or more charitable bodies having Purposes similar, or reasonably similar, to those hereinbefore declared as may be chosen by the Committee and approved by the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales.

8 October 2020

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