Bridgend Writers’ Circle

Constitution

1. Object


The object of the Circle shall be to promote a practical interest, especially but not exclusively in the local area, in creative writing in all its forms. In furtherance of this object, but not otherwise, the Circle has the following powers:


a) to conduct meetings, seminars, social, and other activities;


b) to liaise and collaborate with other bodies aiming to promote an interest in literature (e.g. other circles, Academi, SAMWAW, The Welsh Books Council);


c) to publish occasionally a volume of members' works, and to produce other publications as agreed by the Committee;


d) to do all such other things that are considered necessary for attainment of the object.


2. The affairs of the Circle shall be managed by the Committee and the Officers.


3. Officers


(a) The Senior Officers shall be a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson, an Honorary Secretary, and an Honorary Treasurer. These shall be members of the Circle, elected by a majority of members of the circle, present and voting at the Annual General Meeting, on the nomination of two members. The Senior officers shall hold office until the next Annual General Meeting. They shall be eligible for re-election at each Annual General Meeting. The expected term of office is three years, but nothing shall prevent a Senior Officer from standing, or deciding not to stand, for re-election at any Annual General Meeting.


(b) Other Officers (for example an Almoner and Publicity Officer) shall be elected in the same manner as the Senior Officers and according to needs determined by the Annual General Meeting. The Honorary Auditor is an office required by this constitution and shall be elected each year in all cases.


(c) The President of the Circle shall be elected by the Annual General Meeting. The President shall not hold any other office, shall not have voting powers, and is exempt the membership subscription.


(d) The Chairperson, failing whom the Vice-Chairperson, failing whom any other member of the Committee in the capacity of the Acting Chairperson, shall preside over meetings of the Circle.


4. Committee


(a) The Committee shall consist of the Senior Officers, Life Vice-presidents, and three other members of the circle. These three members of the Committee shall be elected by a majority of the members present and voting at the Annual General Meeting. Nothing shall prevent an Officer or Life Vice-president, but not a Senior Officer, from being one of the three additional elected members of the Committee.


(b) Committee Members shall hold office until the next Annual General Meeting, and shall be eligible for re-election.


(c) All members of the Circle are encouraged to attend any meeting of the Committee and to express their views, but any matter falling to be determined by vote shall be decided by the elected members of the Committee (the four Senior Officers and the three additional elected members) and the Life Vice-presidents.


(d) The quorum of meetings of the Committee shall be four voting members. Meetings shall be arranged by the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson, and at least seven days oral notice shall be given at a normal monthly meeting, or otherwise in writing to all members of the Circle.


5. Life Vice-presidents


A member of the Circle who has given long, devoted, and meritorious service to the Circle, shall be elected to the post of Life Vice-president at an Annual or Special General Meeting, on the nomination of two members, and a majority vote of the members present and voting. There shall be a maximum of four Life Vice-presidents at any one time.


6. Trustees


The Trustees will meet the requirements of the Charities' Commission. The Committee will act in the capacity of the Circle's Trustees.


7. General Meeting


(a) An Annual General Meeting shall be held each calendar year, as part of the normal September meeting on the second Friday of the month unless otherwise agreed by the Committee. It shall receive the oral or written reports of the Honorary Secretary and the Honorary Treasurer, and the accounts of the Honorary Treasurer. These accounts shall have been previously audited by the Honorary Auditor. No notice shall be given of an Annual General Meeting that takes place on the normal September date, but at least fourteen days' written notice of the time and place shall otherwise be sent to all members of the circle. The quorum at the Annual General Meeting shall be the lesser of one half of all members or seven members.


(b) A Special General Meeting shall be called by the Chairperson or if necessary the Vice-Chairperson, on the requisition of the lesser of five members and one half of all members. At least seven days' notice of the time and place of the Special General Meeting should be given. Such notice should be in writing, unless it is given orally at the monthly meeting preceding the next normal monthly meeting at which the SGM is to take place. The quorum for a Special General Meeting shall be the lesser of ten members and one half of all members.


(c) At a General Meeting, the members present shall vote upon any resolution that is proposed and seconded by members and the resolution shall, unless provided otherwise in this Constitution, be passed by a simple majority of members present and voting.


(d) In the event that a vote is tied, the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson or Acting Chairperson of the meeting shall have the casting vote.


8. Finance


The Honorary Treasurer shall keep full and accurate records of account. Bank account(s) shall be opened in the Circle's name, and shall be operated by two signatories. These shall normally be senior officers, and one of them shall normally be the Honorary Treasurer. The financial year shall run from 1 September to 31 August.


9. Membership and Subscription.


(a) Membership of the Circle shall be open to any person who has an interest in its object and who pays the annual subscription.


(b) Except in the special case of the President [see 3(c) above] membership shall be in two categories:


[i ] Country - Members electing to attend less than three meetings per year.


[ii] Ordinary - All other members, except the President.


(c) The rate of ordinary subscription shall be fixed by members at the General Meeting. Country member subscriptions shall be one half of the ordinary rate.


(d) A member shall be defined as a person whose subscription for the current financial year has been received. This requirement shall be waived at the September Annual General Meeting, when he or she shall be qualified by virtue of having paid subscriptions for the previous year. Each member contributing to a publication shall be entitled to receive a copy of that publication. New members joining on or after July of each year shall pay one half of the ordinary rate. Any new member shall not pay at his or her first meeting.


10. Sales


Sales of all publications will be made on terms agreed by the Committee. Money so raised will remain the property of the Circle and shall be entered into the accounts.


11. Amendment to the Constitution Amendment to this constitution shall be made only by the votes of two-thirds of members present and voting at a General Meeting. No alteration shall be made to this constitution that would cause the Circle to cease to be a charity at law.


12. Dissolution


In the event of the Circle being wound up, any assets remaining on dissolution, after payment of proper debts and liabilities, shall be transferred to a charitable institution having objects similar to those of the Circle.



Adopted at Annual General Meeting September 2003

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