Hawridge and Cholesbury Commons Preservation Society

CONSTITUTION

1. Name:

1.1 The name of the Society shall be Hawridge and Cholesbury Commons Preservation Society.

2. Aims:

2.1 To protect the Commons, keep the footpaths and permissive rides clear and enhance the Commons’ ecological value*.

2.2 To preserve the Commons as a natural sanctuary for wildlife and, noting their special status as a Local Wildlife Site, to enhance their biodiversity**.

2.3 To develop and implement the plan for management of the Commons.

2.4 To keep the Commons clear of rubbish.

2.5 To keep a watching brief on matters related to legislation which may affect the Commons.

2.6 To give the Society’s views to the appropriate person or body on any development which might affect the natural beauty of the area.

2.7 To hold an annual Social Occasion to enable members and others who live locally to get to know each other.

*ecological value: A measure of the significance or interest of an area of land as a habitat supporting species of flora and fauna.

**biological diversity: ‘the variety of life forms, the ecological roles they perform and the genetic diversity they contain”.

3. Membership:

3.1 Subject to paying the annual subscription, those eligible for membership of the Society shall be:-

a) all residents whose usual postal address includes Hawridge, Cholesbury, Heath End or Braziers End

and

b) such other persons who the Committee is satisfied support the Aims of the Commons Preservation Society.

 3.2 The Committee’s decision as to eligibility of any person for membership of the Society shall be final.

4.  Committee:

4.1 The management of the activities of the Society shall be conducted by a Committee elected at an Annual General Meeting.

4.2 Only Members of the Society may serve on the Committee. At least two thirds of them must have one of the villages of Hawridge, Cholesbury, Heath End or Braziers End in their usual postal address.

4.3 The Annual General Meeting in each year shall elect a Committee comprising a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and not more than seven Committee Members. If there is more than one nomination for any of the posts of Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer then an election shall be held to determine the successful nominee for each position. Likewise, if there are more than seven nominations for other Committee vacancies, then there shall be an election to determine the successful nominees.

4.4 The Committee may co-opt additional or replacement members at its discretion within the above two thirds rule.

4.5 The committee may delegate any of its powers to sub-committees of the Members of the Committee and may co-opt on to a sub-committee any Member of the Society who is not a Member of the Committee.

4.6 The Chairman shall not hold office for more than three consecutive years.

5.  Finance:

5.1 The Society shall maintain one or more bank accounts. Cheques shall be countersigned by the Treasurer and by one or more Committee Members, previously designated to have cheque-signing facilities.

5.2 The Society shall at every Annual General Meeting appoint an Auditor. If more than one person is nominated for the position an election shall be held to determine who shall be Auditor. The Auditor need not be a Member of the Society but may attend and speak at any General Meeting of the Society

5.3 At every Annual General Meeting the Treasurer shall present a statement of accounts for the Society made up annually from 1st November to 31st October. These shall have first been examined and signed by the Auditor.

5.4 Each member shall pay an annual subscription, the amount to be determined at the Annual General Meeting. The meeting may, if the Committee so recommends, confirm the payment of different rates of subscription according to certain Members’ individual circumstances (eg family membership).

5.5 The resources of the Society may only be used in pursuit of the Society’s Aims.

6. General Meetings:

6.1 The Annual General Meeting shall be held within two months of the financial year’s end.

6.2 An Extraordinary General Meeting may be convened at any time by the Committee. If the Chairman receives a request in writing from at least 10 Members of the Society, specifying the business which the meeting is to consider, an Extraordinary General Meeting must be convened within 6 weeks.

6.3 The Chairman can be contacted at his/her personal address; by personal email or by emailing hccps@hawridgeandcholesburycommons.org.

6.4 Prior to any General Meeting, Members shall be given one month’s written or electronic notification. Such notice will identify the business of the meeting.

6.5 The accidental omission to give notice to, or the non-receipt of a notice by, any person entitled to receive that notice shall not invalidate the proceedings of the meeting.

6.6 Only Members of the Society may vote at a General Meeting.

6.7 Members who are unable to attend a General Meeting may appoint any other Member to be their proxy to speak and vote on their behalf by sending a notice to this effect in writing to the Chairman, prior to the meeting. Any Member holding a proxy vote for another Member shall have an additional vote for each Member for whom he/she holds a proxy.

6.8 Decisions reached at any General Meeting require a quorum of 20 Members to be present and must be agreed by a majority of those Members present (in person or by proxy) and voting.

6.9 If there is an equality of votes the Chairman of the meeting shall have a casting vote.

7. Committee Meetings:

7.1 A quorum of at least three Committee Members must be present at any Committee Meeting to take valid decisions.

7.2 Decisions of the Committee shall be taken by a simple majority of those present and voting. If there is an equality of votes the Chairman of the meeting shall have a casting vote.

8. The Lord of the Manors:

8.1 The Lord of the Manors of Hawridge and Cholesbury shall be an honorary member of the Society and may attend and speak at any General Meeting.

8.2 The Lord of the Manors of Hawridge and Cholesbury may attend any Committee Meetings in an ex-officio capacity.

9. Notices:

9.1 Any notice required to be given to a Member may be given in writing or electronically by the following means:  Personal notices in hard copy either a) by post or by hand to the postal address for the Member or b) by email to the address held by the Society in its records. 

9.2 Informal notices may be posted on Noticeboards; in Hilltop News Magazine; on email notices via New Grapevine; and on the Society’s website www.hawridgeandcholesburycommons.org.

10. Changes to the Constitution

10.1 Amendments to the Constitution of the Society may only be made at a General Meeting after all members have been given one month’s written or electronic notification of the proposed changes.

11.  Dissolution:

11.1 A resolution to dissolve the Society may only be proposed at a duly convened General Meeting and any such resolution shall only be passed if passed by a two-thirds majority of Members present (in person or by proxy) and voting at that Meeting.

11.2 On the passing of such a resolution for dissolution, the Committee shall (subject to any terms set out in the resolution) do all such things as it may consider necessary to give effect to the resolution.

11.3 Unless the resolution for dissolution specifies that those assets be transferred to another society or group with aims similar to those of the Society, the assets of the Society remaining after the discharge of all its debts shall be returned to the original donors, with any residue to be divided equally among those persons who were Members at the time that the resolution to dissolve was passed.

11.4 On ompletion of the transfer or division referred to in paragraph 10.3, the Society shall be dissolved.