Constitution

Constitution of The Woldingham Writers’ Group
1. Name

The name of the group shall be The Woldingham Writers’ Group.

2. Aims

The aims of The Woldingham Writers’ Group will be to provide: a forum and network for aspiring writers and those interested in writing; a supportive and encouraging environment for the discussion and sharing of members’ work; opportunities and events which enable members to develop their writing.

3. Membership

Membership is open to anyone who: is over 18 years of age; and supports the aims of The Woldingham Writers’ Group.
Membership will begin as soon as the membership form and first annual payment have been received.
There will be an annual membership fee which will be agreed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and will be payable by all members.
A list of all members will be kept.
Members may resign at any time in writing to the secretary.
Any member who has not paid their membership fee within one month of the commencement of the membership year will be deemed to have resigned.
Any offensive behaviour, including racist, sexist or inflammatory remarks, will not be permitted. Anyone behaving in an offensive way or breaking the equal opportunities policy may be asked not to attend further meetings or to resign from the group if an apology is not given or the behaviour is repeated. The individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the rest of the group, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made.

4. Equal Opportunities

The Woldingham Writers’ Group will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexuality, disability, religious or political belief, marital status or age.

5. Officers and committee

The business of the group will be carried out by the members of the group.
The officers’ roles are as follows:
Chair, who shall chair meetings
Secretary, who shall be responsible for the taking of minutes of matters of business conducted at meetings and the distribution of all papers
Treasurer who shall be responsible for maintaining accounts
In the event of an officer standing down during the year a replacement will be elected by the next meeting of members.

6. Meetings

6.1. Annual General Meetings

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held within fifteen months of the previous AGM. All members will be notified in writing at least 3 weeks before the date of the meeting, giving the venue, date and time.
Nominations for the officer positions may be made to the Secretary before the meeting, or at the meeting.
The quorum for the AGM will be 4 members.
At the AGM – The Chair will present a report of the activity of The Woldingham Writers’ Group over the year. The Treasurer will present the accounts of The Woldingham Writers’ Group for the previous year. The officers for the next year will be elected. Any proposals given to the Secretary at least 7 days in advance of the meeting will be discussed.

6.2 Special General Meetings

The Secretary will call a Special General Meeting at the request of the officers or at least four other members giving a written request to the Chair or Secretary stating the reason for their request. The meeting will take place within twenty-one days of the request.
All members will be given two weeks’ notice of such a meeting, giving the venue, date, time and agenda, and notice may be by telephone, email or post.
The quorum for the Special General Meeting will be 10% of the membership or 6 members, whichever is the greater number.

6.3 General Meetings

General Meetings are open to all members and will be held at least once every 3 months or more often if necessary.
All members will be given two weeks’ notice of such a meeting, giving the venue, date, time and agenda, and notice may be by telephone, email or post.
The quorum for a General Meeting shall be 4 members.

7. Rules of Procedure for meetings

All questions that arise at any meeting will be discussed openly and the meeting will seek to find general agreement that everyone present can agree to.
If a consensus cannot be reached a vote will be taken and a decision will be made by a simple majority of members present. If the number of votes cast on each side are equal, the chair of the meeting shall have an additional casting vote.

8. Finances

An account will be maintained on behalf of The Woldingham Writers’ Group at a bank agreed by the group. Three cheque signatories will be nominated by the group (one to be the Treasurer). Any two of these must sign every cheque. The signatories must not be related nor members of the same household. Records of income and expenditure will be maintained by the Treasurer and a financial statement given to a meeting every quarter.
All money raised by or on behalf of The Woldingham Writers’ Group is only to be used to further the aims of the group, as specified in item 2 of this constitution.

9. Amendments to the Constitution

Amendments to the constitution may only be made at the Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting. Any proposal to amend the constitution must be given to the Secretary in writing. The proposal must then be circulated with the notice of meeting.
Any proposal to amend the constitution will require a two thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote.

10. Dissolution

If a meeting, by simple majority, decides that it is necessary to close down the group it may call a Special General Meeting to do so. The sole business of this meeting will be to dissolve the group. If it is agreed to dissolve the group all remaining money and other assets, once outstanding debts have been paid, will be donated to a local charitable organisation. The organisation to be agreed at the meeting which agrees the dissolution.

This constitution was agreed at the Inaugural General Meeting of The Woldingham Writers’ Group on 9th June 2015

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