1 PURPOSE OF THE CONSTITUTION.

The purpose of this Constitution is to outline and clarify the aims, structures, administration, conventions and authorities by which the activities and membership of the “NORTON COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY GROUP” (the Group) are run.

2 SCOPE OF THE COMMUNITY

The Community is defined as the residents of Letchworth Garden City with an SG6 postcode.

3 MISSION STATEMENT OF THE GROUP

The mission of the Group is to encourage the Community to explore and investigate the historic civil Parish of Norton, Hertfordshire and its surroundings in order to further the knowledge of the area, both historical and archaeological, through education, research and excavations. The overall aim has no timescale. Ongoing projects will emerge as the Committee or Members see fit. It is intended we:-

  • Maintain and implement a programme of tasks and activities.
  • Produce interim newsletters/reports on activities and publish them.
  • Produce regular publications of interest for the community and academic publications.
  • Produce public displays of historical and archaeological finds.
  • Involve the community through communication with schools and other local groups.

The Group is non-profit making, with surpluses used for Group activities. No surplus will be distributed.

The Group’s web-site shall be the primary mechanism for communication.

4 MEMBERSHIP

The Group has 2 categories of membership:-

  • Member: Open to individuals resident within Letchworth Garden City with an SG6 postcode.
  • Associate: Open to individuals resident outside Letchworth Garden City.

Member and Associate membership is open to applicants regardless of race, colour, creed, sex, age or ability on payment of the current annual subscription fee if levied, registering as a Member or Associate or annual notification of renewal. Membership commences once the Member or Associate is notified of a membership number by the Secretary or nominee. The Group reserves the right exceptionally to refuse or terminate membership, without explanation, where the Committee considers this action to be in the interests of the Group.

Any proposed change in membership fees will be recommended by the Committee, for consideration by Members at an AGM or EGM, normally to take effect from the beginning of the following financial year. Members and Associates must pay their annual subscription and/or confirm renewal of membership promptly at the start of the financial year (1st July – 30th June). Any subscription not paid or renewal not confirmed by the end of July will cause membership to lapse, subject to the discretion of the Secretary.

By joining, or renewing membership, a Member or Associate undertakes to comply with the Group’s rules as determined by the Committee and published from time to time. No Member or Associate of “the Group”, by reason of membership of the Group, shall be under any financial liability except for payment of their annual subscription if appropriate.

5 ANNUAL & EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETINGS

The AGM shall be held no later than the end of November each year. An EGM may be called by the Committee, and must be called by the Secretary if requested in writing by ten Members (not Associates) of the Group. The Secretary shall, at least fourteen days before each AGM/EGM:-

  • Notify all the Members of the proposed meeting, giving details of the time, place and agenda.
  • Issue a ballot paper, for optional use prior to the meeting, covering any elections and other formal proposals.

Any AGM or EGM will be quorate if at least 4 Committee Members including the Chairman or Secretary are present.

Each Member aged 16 or over has one vote; Associate and Facilitator (see section 8) are non-voting roles. To cast a vote, the Member must be present at the AGM or EGM or have registered their vote previously with the Secretary using the ballot form provided. In the event of no majority the Chairman has the casting vote.

6 CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION

Any changes to this Constitution must be approved at an AGM or EGM by a majority vote. The Secretary will advise Members of the nature of any proposed change when calling the meeting. Changes must be recorded in the Constitution by reference to the minutes of the relevant meeting when the changes were approved by Members.

This edition of the constitution incorporates the following approved changes:

  • Updated Constitution from EGM 17th January 2008 @ 7.30pm; St Nicholas School; Norton.
  • Propositions 1,2,3,4,5, & 7 from EGM; 1st July 2008 @ 7.30pm; St Nicholas School; Norton.
  • Updated Constitution from AGM 9th October 2008 @ 7.30pm; Norton Bowls Club.
  • Updated Constitution from AGM 7th October 2009 @ 7.30 pm; Stables behind 3 Horseshoes.
  • Updated Constitution from EGM 9th December 2009 @ 7.30 pm; Stables behind 3 Horseshoes.

7 PURPOSE OF THE COMMITTEE

The purpose of the Committee is to act as the decision-making body on all issues not reserved to AGM/EGMs, to give leadership, clarity, direction and support to Members. It will consider proposals from Members and make recommendations to the AGM or EGM. In the planning and resourcing of the activities of the Group the Committee or their delegated organiser(s) shall have the discretion to give priority to Members.

8 FUNCTIONING OF THE COMMITTEE

The Committee shall have a maximum of 10 Members, comprising the Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Officer and up to 6 Committee Members. Associate members, as well as SG6 Members, may hold any Committee members position.

The election of the Chairman and Treasurer will alternate with the Secretary and Publicity Officer, each for a rolling 2-year period. They will be elected or re-elected by the Members at an AGM or EGM and recorded in the minutes.

The Committee shall, by a majority vote, appoint to the Committee an Archaeological Projects Officer and a History Section Leader and also may appoint up to a further 4 other Committee Members at its discretion. It may also appoint Facilitators, whose roles are not Committee positions and are open to Members, Associates and others.

The Committee will meet as necessary as advised by the Secretary. The Committee needs any 4 Committee Members present to be quorate. Where a written proposal has been circulated before a meeting, a member unable to attend that meeting may lodge his/her vote with the Secretary.

The Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary are authorised to sign cheques to the value of £600. Sums greater than £600 require the agreement of the Committee which shall be minuted. A minimum of any two of the Chairman, Treasurer or Secretary’s signatures are required on all cheques. The Treasurer shall keep correct accounts and books, and prepare annual accounts which shall be made up to the end of June and independently reviewed before presentation at the AGM.

In order to advance the purpose, mission and objectives of the Group the Committee may cooperate or form associations with other groups, societies, authorities or organisations and seek funding including grants, donations or benefits in kind.

9 HEALTH & SAFETY

The Committee will maintain and publish appropriate rules for the health and safety of participants in the Group’s activities.

10 DISSOLUTION

The Group may be dissolved by a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast at an Extraordinary General Meeting convened for the purpose, of which 21 days notice shall be given to Members.

On dissolution any nett property/assets will be donated to the North Hertfordshire District Council Museums Service and the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation Museum, as the Committee may decide.

Signed:_(Original signed by Chris Hobbs)_____________Chairman. Dated: 22nd December 2009

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