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Midsomer Norton Society

Researching and appreciating our history

Influencing the present and future development of our town

Constitution

Version 2: 18 June 2008

Name and Aim

1:   The name shall be “The Midsomer Norton Society”.

2:   The boundary shall be that of the wards of Midsomer Norton North and Redfield.

3:   The aims of the Society shall be to: i) research and appreciate our history, and ii) to      influence the present and future development of our town.

 

Policy

4:   The Society shall exist to further these aims by legal means which are non-political and non-sectarian.

5:   It may seek members, carry out fund-raising and other relevant activities, make representations to other bodies and join other organisations with similar aims.

 

Members

6:   Membership shall be open to all and is secured by payment of the annual subscription per head, as agreed at the Annual General Meeting.

7:   Membership will secure individual voting rights at meetings.

 

Annual General Meeting

9:   The Annual General Meeting shall be held in June, when the officers and committee shall be elected; the audited accounts shall be presented and a report of the previous year’s activities made.

 

Special General Meeting

10:  A Special General Meeting may be called at any time by the committee or at the request of 10 (ten) members.

11:  Members shall have at least two weeks’ written notice of the Annual General or a Special General Meeting, with a list of the business to be carried out in the form of a written agenda.

12:  No decision may be taken at an Annual General or Special General Meeting unless fifteen voting members are present. There must be a two-thirds majority except for the election of officers and committee as Clause 15 below.

 

Society Meetings

13: The Society shall call at least one meeting of members per year in addition to the Annual General Meeting, when Society business shall be discussed, with decisions taken on the basis of Clause 12.

 

Committee

14:  The Society shall be managed by a committee of at least 7 (seven) but not more than 12 (twelve) members, excluding officers. In accordance with Clause 4, elected political representatives at either a local, regional or national level shall not be eligible to serve on the Committee.

15: The officers of the Society - president, chairperson, secretary and treasurer - shall be elected by simple majority at the Annual General Meeting; nominees not elected are automatically nominated for election to the committee.  Committee members shall be elected by simple majority to bring the total up to the maximum of 12 (twelve).

16: The committee may co-opt up to two other persons annually to fill vacancies that may arise; these may vote at committee meetings, provided that the maximum of 12 (twelve) committee members in total is not exceeded.

17: The committee may appoint and dissolve sub-committees, which shall report their decisions and actions to the main committee, and keep minutes and file them with the secretary.

18: The secretary shall keep minutes of all committee meetings and hold for reference those received from sub-committees.

19: The committee shall meet at least 4 (four) times a year, at least one week’s notice being given, together with an agenda.

20: Five committee members shall be a quorum.

21: The officers of the Society shall be the “executive”, who may make emergency decisions pending consultation with the committee.

22: The committee will try to consult members on matters of policy and programme whenever possible.

 

Nominations

23: Nominations by members, with proposer and seconder, for the officers and committee shall be received by the secretary 14 (fourteen) days before the Annual General Meeting.

 

Finance

24: The financial year shall start on 1 May.

25: The treasurer shall keep accounts and present them, audited, at the Annual General Meeting.

26: The honorary auditor shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting if possible.

27: The financial records shall be available at any time with reasonable notice.

28: The subscription rate shall be agreed by members at the Annual General Meeting.

29. The officers and committee shall be empowered to authorise any legitimate expenditure in pursuance of the Society’s declared aims and policies, subject to a simple majority vote in favour by at least a quorum of its members.

 

Equal Opportunities Policy

30:     The Society is committed to being an equal opportunities organisation, both in terms of its membership and in its work in and for the community.  We believe that everyone should have an equal chance to learn, work and live free from discrimination, harassment and prejudice.

31:     We are committed to acting without discrimination in relation to race, ethnic origin, religious belief, class, gender, sexuality, marital status, disability or age. We acknowledge that we have a responsibility to put this into practice and will ensure that all our members are aware of this Equal Opportunities Policy.

32:     We will review this policy on an annual basis and ensure that all our policies, practices and procedures comply with our Equal Opportunities Policy.

 

33:  The health, safety and well-being of all children are of paramount importance to the adults who belong to the Society. Children have the right to protection, regardless of age, gender, race, culture or disability. They have a right to be safe when taking part in activities organised by the Society.

 

34:  The atmosphere we seek to maintain within the Society is one that encourages all children to become involved. We provide opportunities that enable children to take and make decisions for themselves.

 

35:  The Society will maintain a Child Protection Policy, part of which will include a named person in our society who Child Protection Coordinator. The coordinator will be in charge of ensuring that the child protection policy and procedure are adhered to and will be guided by two principles; i) in accordance with the Children Act, the welfare of the child is always paramount and; ii) confidentiality should be respected as far as possible.
 

Child Protection Policy

 

36:   This policy should also be read in conjunction with the society’s Equal Opportunities Policy.

37:   This policy will be regularly monitored by the Officers and Committee of the Society and will be subject to annual review.

 

Alteration and Dissolution

38: Alteration of these rules may take place only at an Annual General or Special General Meeting with notice as above (Clause 11), and with a two-thirds majority of members attending.

39: The rules for dissolution of the Society are as for alteration (Clause 38).  Any money remaining after debts have been paid shall be donated to one or more Registered Charities as agreed by the dissolution meeting.

 The Midsomer Norton Society Child Protection Policy

1     Introduction

 

1.1      The health, safety and well-being of all children are of paramount importance to the adults who belong to The Midsomer Norton Society (MSNS). Children have the right to protection, regardless of age, gender, race, culture or disability. They have a right to be safe when taking part in activities organised by our society.

 

1.2      In our society we respect children. The atmosphere within The Society is one that encourages all children to become involved. We provide opportunities that enable children to take and make decisions for themselves.

 

1.3      This policy is based on DfES Circular 10/95 – Protecting Children from Abuse: The Role of the Education Service. Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 introduced a new duty requiring governing bodies and LEAs to have appropriate child protection procedures in place. In 2003 the Government announced new proposals in the Green Paper Every Child Counts (2003).

 

2          Aims

 

2.1      The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all our committee members and ordinary members are clear about the actions necessary with regard to a child protection issue. Our aims are:

 

·         to raise the awareness of all members;

·         to ensure effective communication between all members on child protection issues.

·         to set down a clear escalation procedure for those who encounter a child protection issue.

 

3         Procedures

 

3.1      There is a named person in our society who is the Child Protection Coordinator. The coordinator is guided by two principles:

 

·         In accordance with the Children Act, the welfare of the child is always paramount.

·         Confidentiality should be respected as far as possible.

 

A key role of the coordinator is to ensure that the society takes action to support any child who may be at risk. The coordinator must also make sure that all are aware of their responsibilities in relation to child protection.

 

3.2      If any member of the Society suspects that a child may be a victim of abuse, they should not try to investigate, but should immediately inform the named person (see 3.1) about their concerns. Abuse can be of a physical, sexual or emotional nature. It can also be the result of neglect. Members must not keep to themselves any information about abuse which a child gives them; they are required by law to pass this information on.

 

3.3      There may be times when adults in our society, in the course of their duty, use physical intervention to restrain children. The Society requires the adult involved in any such incident to report this to the Committee immediately.

 

3.4      All the adults in our Society share responsibility for keeping our children safe.

 

4         Monitoring and review

 

4.1      The Midsomer Norton Society will review this policy annually at the General Meeting.

 

18 June 2008