Constitution & Governance Practice and Policies
The Ramsgate Society Constitution
The name of The Society shall be The Ramsgate Society.
Registered Charity No. 1138809
The purpose of the Society shall be to promote and encourage the following objects by charitable means but not otherwise:
2.1 To benefit the current and future citizens of Ramsgate by
* Protecting and improving their quality of life, including their economic and social well-being;
* Encouraging high standards of architecture and planning in Ramsgate;
* Protecting and enhancing the quality of the built and natural environment, and the public realm;
* Promoting the history and heritage of the town;
* Encouraging civic pride and active citizenship.
To pursue these objectives by means of campaigns, meetings, exhibitions, lectures, publications, other forms of instruction and publicity and the promotion of projects of a charitable nature.
2.2 The Society shall seek to maximise the benefit of its activities to citizens and organisations of the town by working in partnership with relevant statutory and voluntary organisations and groups.
2.3 The Society is committed to acting, and being seen to act, as an independent organisation. The Society is a Registered Charity and it shall undertake its activities exclusively by charitable means: it works on a not-for-profit basis, and any surplus income is ploughed back into the Society. Whilst the Society will necessarily engage in activities which have a “political” character and which may be the subject of local party political debate, it is committed to acting, and being seen to act, as an independent organisation, working in a strictly non-party political manner, as required by its charitable status. This may include, for example, acting as an “honest broker” by organising and chairing political “hustings” during local election campaigns.
2.4 The Society shall be open to all citizens with an interest in Ramsgate, whether or not they currently live in the town, and shall be democratically accountable to the membership, with annual elections and subject to the detailed regulations set out below in the Constitution.
2.5 The Officers and Executive Committee of the Society, and the volunteers who come into contact with the public, are all expected to have the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and personal behaviour. The Society is committed to:
* Open, transparent, accountable and democratic governance;
* Equality of treatment, and preventing any form of discrimination, in respect of race and gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion or belief;
* Treating other people with respect and having a zero-tolerance policy towards abusive and bullying behaviour;
* Having a Safeguarding Policy for working with children and vulnerable adults.
Membership shall be open to all who are interested in the aims of the Society. Membership shall lapse if the subscription shall remain unpaid six months after it is due.
Annual Renewals – The annual subscription amount shall be determined annually by the Executive Committee. Any proposed changes are to be approved by the membership (to whom due prior notice of the change has been given) in a General Meeting. Renewal subscriptions become due from 1 April.
* New Members – The subscriptions of new members joining in January shall be deemed to start from 1st April following;
* Joint Membership – An amount equivalent to approximately one and a half times the annual subscription rate shall apply;
* Junior Members (normally up to the age of 18) pay a reduced annual subscription. Only Junior Members above the age of 15 years shall have the right to vote;
* Corporate bodies, including partnerships, societies, companies, education and other similar institutions and organisations may become members; each such body may appoint three nominees each of whom shall have full membership rights.
The financial year of the Society shall end on 31 December and an Annual General Meeting(AGM) shall be held in any month following the end of the financial year but before 31 May. Twenty eight days’ notice shall be given in writing to members of the date of an AGM. An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called at any point provided twenty eight days’ notice is given in writing to member of the date of an EGM and its purpose.
- Honorary Officers
The Honorary Officers of the Executive Committee shall consist of:
Additional honorary appointments may be made by the Committee according to need.
- Executive Committee
The Executive Committee members are trustees and shall be responsible for administering the affairs of The Society and make any decisions on its behalf. A quorum for meetings of the Executive Committee shall consist of half its members. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers and not more than eight elected members, all of whom shall relinquish office annually and shall be eligible for re-election at the Annual General Meeting.
The Executive Committee shall have the power to co-opt members, including holders of additional honorary appointments, who shall be full members of the Executive Committee. Other co-opted members may attend in an advisory and non-voting capacity.
The Executive Committee shall have the power to appoint sub-committees as shall be deemed necessary. All sub-committees and holders of additional honorary appointments shall be responsible to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee, or any sub-committee which may be appointed, shall have the power to invite persons who may have specialised knowledge to attend any meeting of the Executive Committee of sub-committee in an advisory capacity.
The Executive Committee shall have the power to remove a member of the Committee or sub Committee in the event of misconduct, non-attendance, or poor performance in carrying out their duties, provided that due regard is paid to the Society’s policy on Equality and Safeguarding Policy.
All elections shall normally be by ballot. Members unable to attend the Annual General Meeting may make arrangements to vote by post on a form provided by the Honorary Secretary. A President or Vice-President may also be elected at a General Meeting of the Society for periods to be decided at such a meeting.
Nominations shall be sent to the Honorary Secretary twenty-eight days before the Annual General Meeting on a form signed by the proposer and seconder, and signifying that the consent of the nominee has been obtained. Each member shall be entitled to send in nominations for the Honorary Officers and for the Executive Committee up to the number of places to be filled.
An attendance register shall be kept at all Executive Committee meetings.
The Executive Committee shall have the power to make appeals, solicit donations and canvass for monies for carrying out the objects of the Society.
- Expenses of Administration
The Executive Committee shall, out of monies received by the Society, pay all proper expenses of administration and management of the Society and shall use the residue of such monies as it thinks fit for, or towards, the objects of the Society.
All monies at any time belonging to the Society and not required for immediate application for its objects shall be invested by the Executive Committee upon such investments, securities or property as it may think fit, but so that monies subject or representing property subject to the jurisdiction of the Charity Commissioners or of the Secretary of State for Education shall be invested in such securities as may for the time being be prescribed in law.
The Executive Committee may borrow for the objects of the Society such monies at such a rate of interest and in such a manner as it may think fit.
- Declaration of Interest
It shall be the duty of every member who is in any way directly or indirectly interested financially or professionally in any item discussed at any meeting or the Society (including any meeting of any committee or sub-committee) at which he or she may be present to declare such interest and he or she shall not discuss any item (except by invitation of the Chairman) or vote thereon.
The Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of members present at an Annual or Special General Meeting, provided that ten days’ notice of the proposed amendment has been sent to all members, and providing that nothing contained therein shall authorise any amendment permitting the expenditure of the funds of the Society on any object which is not of a charitable nature.
- Winding Up
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 objects similar to those herein declared as may be chosen by the Executive Committee and approved by the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales.