Constitution

 Constitution of the Luton and District Astronomical Society
(2014)

1. Name
The name of the Society shall be the Luton Astronomical Society
(” the Society ” ).

2. Aims and Objects
The aims and objects of the Society shall be:
(i) To further the cause of amateur Astronomy.
(ii) To instruct, inform and encourage all those interested and particularly beginners in all aspects of Astronomy.
(iii) To provide such facilities as may be desirable and necessary for the benefit of the members of the Society and for the furtherance of the aims and objectives herein contained to the extent that the funds of the Society will permit.
(iv) To seek contact with other Societies having like interests.
(v) To further these aims and objects by meetings and discussions and in particular to hold at least twelve meetings in each year, such meetings to be held each month on a day as the committee may decide.

3. Membership
3A (i) Membership of the Society is open to any person interested in any
aspect of Astronomy.
(ii) The Committee reserves the right:
(a) To decline an application for membership.
(b) To refuse to admit any person to any function of the Society.
(c) To withdraw, suspend or expel the membership of any person whom it considers has acted in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the Society.
(iii) The Committee shall have the sole discretion as to whether applications for affiliated membership to the Society shall be accepted or declined. Only recognized Astronomical Societies shall be accepted for affiliation..
3B Guests and visitors may attend up to two ordinary meetings of the Society.
If after two such meetings the guest or visitor wishes to attend further meetings, they will be required to apply for membership of the Society. Exemptions to this include guest speakers
3C (i) The annual subscription to the Society shall be determined at each Annual General Meeting.
(ii) The classes of membership shall be as follows namely: –
(1) Full; (2) Family; (3) Concessionary (which consist of a) Over 18 – pursuing full time course of education , b) Pensioners, c) Under 18 and (4) Affiliated . Each class of member will be required to pay the subscription determined for that
class by the Committee.
(iii) The Committee may charge admission to each meeting of the Society at its absolute discretion.
(iv) Subscriptions are payable on acceptance of membership and are renewable in January in each year.
(v) New members joining between January 1st and 30th April shall pay the full subscription for their class of membership. New members joining between May 1st and September 30th shall pay half the subscription for their class of membership. New members joining from October 1st onwards to the end of the year shall pay the full subscription but be exempt from paying a subscription for the following calendar year.
(vi) A membership card will be issued on payment of the appropriate subscription) and must be produced if requested at Society events.
(vii) In the event of a member resigning his or her membership the fee paid for that year will be retained in full by the Society.
(viii) Persons having held membership during the previous year shall be obliged to pay the full amount for the applicable membership rate.
3D A membership list and an electoral list of paid up members shall be maintained by the officers of the Society.

4 Committee and Officers.
(i) The Society shall elect a President and or a Chairman, a Secretary and a Treasurer. No one person shall hold more than one of these offices at any one time.
(ii) The Society shall be managed on behalf of the membership by an elected committee of at least four members (which number will constitute a quorum) and shall include the offices of Secretary and Treasurer. Subject to the provision of sub clause (ix) of this clause, the number of committee shall not exceed nine. Members of the Committee shall be over the age of eighteen years.
(iii) Nominations for officers and for membership of the Committee shall be forwarded to the Secretary at any time during the year prior to the Annual General Meeting. Officers and Committee members shall be elected at the
Annual General Meeting by the Society. No member of the Society may nominate him/herself as an officer or for membership of the Committee; all nominations for officers and Committee members must be seconded by a member of the Society.
(iv) In the event of the Society failing to elect a Secretary and a Treasurer the Society shall be terminated and the provisions of Clause 8 hereof shall then apply.
(v) The Treasurer shall maintain a true and accurate record of all monies received and expended by the Society and shall keep properly written books of accounts which shall be produced on demand to any member of the Committee. The Treasurer shall report to the Committee at each Committee Meeting.
(vi) The Committee shall appoint an honorary auditor at the first Committee meeting held after each Annual General Meeting in each year.
(vii) All external business correspondence on behalf of and in the name of the Society shall be handled by the Secretary assisted by appointed members within committee who shall report to the Committee at each Committee Meeting.
(viii) A reasonable record of the Society’s proceedings and of the Committee’s proceedings shall be kept by the Secretary at all times and a minute book shall be kept for that purpose. The minutes of the last Committee Meeting shall be read at the next Committee Meeting.
(ix) The Committee may co-opt additional members to the committee in excess of nine notwithstanding the provisions of (ii) of this clause.
(x) Voting at Committee Meetings shall be by simple majority and in person.

5 Meetings
5A General Meetings
In accordance with the aims and objects of the Society contained in clause 2 hereafter the Society shall hold at least twelve meetings in each year. Such meetings shall be held monthly on a day as decided by Committee.
5B Extraordinary General Meetings
An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called by committee or by at least 15% of current paid up members (on the electoral list) of the Society and supported by a written proposal signed by all the applicants. Such request for an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be in writing and made through the Secretary. At the next ordinary meeting of the Society the Secretary will announce that an Extraordinary General Meeting has been requested and propose the date of the Extraordinary General Meeting. The date shall be agreed by members and be within three months following the ordinary general meeting at which the Extraordinary General Meeting is announced.
5C Committee Meetings.
The Committee of the Society shall meet at least six times each year at a time and place decided at the previous Committee Meeting

6 Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting shall be held during the month of April in each year. The Secretary shall notify the membership of the agenda, date and time of the Annual General Meeting at least four weeks before the proposed date.

7 Voting
Full, Family and Concessionary membership (over 16 years of age) as per clause 3C have one vote per membership as recorded in the Society electoral list of paid up members. The electoral list will be available during voting. Affiliated membership have no voting. Voting at any meeting except Committee Meetings can be in person or by proxy. Any member unable to attend may vote by proxy providing the member submits a form of proxy in writing , signed and dated submitted to the Secretary prior to the commencement of the meeting at which such proxy is to be used. Any vote shall be decided by simple majority subject to the proviso that no vote shall be valid unless there is at least twenty five percent of the electoral list present.
The minimum age of voting shall be 16 years of age for a paid up member.

8 Termination of the Society.
If, for any reason the Society is terminated, full accounts shall be drawn up and any monies owed to the Society shall be collected on behalf of the Society and any monies owing by the Society shall be paid to such creditors. Any assets shall be disposed of and the remaining capital standing to the credit of the Society thereafter given to the British Astronomical Association. The market value of assets held by the society shall be ascertained by consultation with independent specialists / retailers and once known, the value of these assets be realized.

9 Change of Constitution
The Constitution of the Society may only be changed at the Annual General Meeting or at an Extraordinary General Meeting specifically called for that purpose.
It is the duty of the committee to periodically review the constitution.

10 An Inventory of the Society`s assets will be maintained by the Officers of the society. A listing will be available to membership at the Annual General Meeting.

11 The Society will have Public Liability Insurance and will comply with the necessary requirements for Health and Safety, Data Protection policy and a Child Protection policy as defined by FAS guidelines.

Annex A
Amendment record to 1977 draft of the Constitution *
1/ Clause 3 C (viii) added 29/4/1983
2/ Clause 6 amended 29/4/1983
3/ Clause 8 added 30/4/1982
4/ Clause 10 deleted – Re Patron of the Society (Patrick Moore O.B.E. )
5/ Document re-typed June 1996 – Annex A added (*)
6/ Document re-written, clause 10 and 11 added version dated (2014)
Date of last revision 13/05/2014

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