BEDFORDSHIRE LOCAL HISTORY ASSOCIATION CONSTITUTION
1. The name of the Association shall be the Bedfordshire Local History Association (hereinafter called “the Association”).
2. The objects of the Association shall be:-
- (i) To promote the advancement of education in the study of local history in and around the County of Bedford (hereinafter called “the area of benefit”);
- (ii) To provide a forum for discussion and co-operation between interested groups and individuals.
(b) In furtherance of the above objects the Association with the approval of the Executive Committee may:-
- (i) Promote and organise co-operation in the objects of the Association within the area of benefit;
- (ii) Assist any charitable body financially or otherwise;
- (iii) Affiliate or become affiliated to or become a member of any other body with similar aims or any body having charitable purposes;
- (iv) Obtain, collect and receive money and funds by way of legacies, contributions, donations, affiliation fees, subscriptions, grants and any other lawful method, and accept and receive any gifts of property of any description (whether subject to any special trusts or not);
- (v) Procure and provide information;
- (vi) Procure to be written and print, publish, issue and circulate gratuitously or otherwise any reports or periodicals, books, pamphlets, leaflets or other documents;
- (vii) Arrange and provide for or join in arranging and providing for the holding of exhibitions, courses, meetings, lectures and classes;
- (viii) Take such other lawful action as shall further the above objects.
3. (a) Any society, local history group, statutory authority, or body corporate interested in furthering the objects set out in clause 2. may become a member of the Association (hereinafter called “affiliated groups”) and all members of affiliated groups shall be members of the Association.
(b) Whether a member of an affiliated group or not any individual interested in furthering the objects set out in clause 2. may become an individual member of the Association (hereinafter called “individual member”).
(c) Affiliated groups and individual members shall pay such subscriptions as are recommended by the Executive Committee and as may be decided from time to time at the annual general meeting.
4. (a) The Officers of the Association shall, as a minimum, consist of:-
- (i) A Chairman;
- (ii) An Honorary Secretary;
- (iii) An Honorary Treasurer;
(Hereinafter called “the Officers”) and shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.
(b) At its discretion the Executive Committee may add to the number of Officers and appoint persons to such office who shall serve until the next Annual Meeting of the Association.
(c) The Association may appoint a President and one or more Vice Presidents who shall have no executive powers or voting rights.
(d) Any member of the Association whether as an individual member or through membership of an affiliated group shall be eligible for election as an Officer, provided that members of an affiliated group shall have been nominated by the affiliated group of which they are a member.
(e) No member shall hold more than one office at any time.
(f) Any Officer of the Association may request his resignation from office to be accepted by the Executive Committee at any time but in the case of Chairman, Honorary Secretary or Honorary Treasurer shall not normally leave office until a replacement is appointed by the Executive Committee.
(g) If an Officer of the Association resigns then the Executive Committee may appoint a replacement to serve in that office until the next Annual Meeting.
(h) No Officer shall serve more than five consecutive years unless co-opted by the majority of the committee on an annual basis.
5. (a) The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers and not less than four nor more than twelve other persons.
(b) All individual members and all representatives of affiliated groups shall be eligible for election to the Executive Committee.
c) The Executive Committee shall be elected at the Annual Meeting to serve for the following year. A nomination shall be required for each candidate, to be signed by a proposer and a seconder. All members of the committee shall retire at the end of each year but shall be eligible for re-election.
(d) The Executive Committee shall be responsible for all administrative matters of the Association. All transactions involving commitment or expenditure of Association funds shall require signatures from two of three designated signatories authorised by the Committee.
(e) The Executive Committee shall have the power to co-opt members to fill any vacancies which exist between Annual General Meetings.
(f) The Executive Committee may invite any person to attend the Meetings as an observer, but without power to vote.
(g) The Executive Committee shall meet not less than three times per year.
(h) The proceedings of the Executive Committee shall not be invalidated by any failure to appoint or any defect in appointment.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
6. Nomination from members for either Officers or members of the Executive Committee must be in writing and must be in the hands of the Honorary Secretary at least seven days before the Annual General Meeting. Should nominations exceed vacancies, election shall be by ballot at the Annual General Meeting. In the event of sufficient nominations not being received by the given date (and only in that event), the Chairman may request additional nominations from the members present.
SPECIAL OR STANDING SUB COMMITTEES
7. The Executive Committee may appoint such special or standing subcommittees as may be deemed necessary, and may determine their terms of reference, powers, duration and composition. All acts and proceedings of such special or standing sub-committees shall be reported back to the Executive Committee as soon as possible.
8. (a) The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held as soon as possible after the end of the Association year; but not later than 31st July. At least twenty- eight clear days notice shall be given in writing by the Honorary Secretary to the individual members and an Officer of each affiliated group.
(b) At the Annual General Meeting the business shall include: –
- (i) Annual Report of Officers and Executive Committee;
- (ii) Annual Report of Treasurer;
- (iii) Election of Chairman;
- (iv) Election of Honorary Secretary;
- (v) Election of Honorary Treasurer;
- (vi) Election of Executive Committee;
- (vii) Appointment of Auditors.
(c) In addition to items set out in sub-clause (b) hereof, further items may be added by the Chairman or by the Executive Committee or by a written request made at least twenty-eight days prior to the meeting specifying the business to be transacted or motions to be discussed signed by not less than ten individual members or by not less than three representatives of different affiliated groups.
(d) At General Meetings of the Association each affiliated group may send two representatives. Each representative and individual member present at the Meeting shall be entitled to one vote. Any other member of an affiliated group may attend as an observer.
(e) An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Association may be called at fourteen days notice in writing upon the written demand of ten members or by the Chairman, or by the President (if any) or by the Executive Committee or representatives of three different affiliated groups.
(f) The proceedings of the Association shall not be invalidated by any failure to appoint or by any defect in the appointment, election or qualification of any member.
9. The quorum at a General Meeting of the Association shall be fifteen voting members and at a meeting of the Executive Committee, five members.
10. The income and property of the Association whencesoever derived shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the objects of the Association as set forth in this Constitution and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly, by way of dividend, bonus or otherwise howsoever by way of profit to any member of the Association. Provided that nothing herein shall prevent the payment in good faith of reasonable and proper remuneration to any servant of the Association or the repayment of out of pocket expenses.
YEAR END AUDIT
11. The Association year shall run from 1st April to 31st March. The accounts of the Association shall be audited annually for presentation to and formal approval of the Annual General Meeting.
12. The Association may at any time be dissolved by a resolution supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of those present and voting at a General Meeting of the Association of which at least twenty-one clear days notice in writing shall have been sent to all individual members and an officer of each affiliated group of the Association. Such resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Association provided that if any property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, such property shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Association but shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institutions or institution having objects similar to some or all of the objects of the Association as the Association may, with the approval of the Charity Commissioners or other authority having charitable jurisdiction determine. Except that artefacts and historical records may be passed for safe keeping to an appropriate affiliated group.
ALTERATIONS TO THE CONSTITUTION
13. (a) Alterations to the Constitution shall receive the assent of not less than two-thirds of the Association present and voting at a meeting of the Association. A resolution for the alteration of the Constitution shall be received by the Honorary Secretary of the Association at least twenty-eight days before the Meeting at which the resolution is to be brought forward. At least fourteen clear days notice in writing of such a Meeting shall be given by the Honorary Secretary to all individual members and an officer of each affiliated group and shall include notice of the alterations proposed.
(b) If and when the Association has charitable status, alterations to clause 2 shall not be made without the approval of the Court or the Charity Commissioners or other authority having charitable jurisdiction. No alterations shall be made which would have the effect of causing the Association to cease to be a charity at law.
BLHA Secretary’s note: This Constitution was adopted at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the BLHA on 14 June 2003. The paragraphs that were changed are 4(h) and 9.
BLHA Secretary’s note: This Constitution was adopted at the Annual General Meeting of the BLHA on 18 June 2016. The paragraph that was changed is 4(h).
BLHA Constitution.doc Printed 25 April 2022