Our Constitution

The name of the Society shall be Harrogate and District Family History Society (HGTE&DFHS).

Objects:

  1. The objects of the Society shall be to promote and encourage the public study of family history and local history mainly with reference to persons living in or associated with the district of Harrogate in the County of North Yorkshire.
  2. To promote the preservation, security and accessibility of archive material.

Powers:

In furtherance of the above objects, but not further or otherwise, the Society shall have the following powers

  1. To hold lectures and discussions and organise visits for Society members and interested members of the general public.
  2. To hold and maintain a library of printed and other works for the use of Society members and, where practical, to extend this to the general public.
  3. To preserve source material and transcribe and publish such materials including documents and monumental inscriptions.
  4. To pursue collaborative actions with supportive bodies.
  5. To promote and engage in educational activities including the regular issue of a journal and the publication and sale of other appropriate material.

Affiliation:

  1. The Society shall seek to become a member of the Federation of Family History Societies and shall have the power to guarantee its debts in the event of its insolvency up to the sum of £1. The society may also affiliate with other charitable organisations whose objects are deemed compatible and mutually supportive.

Membership:

  1. Membership of the Society shall be open to all persons showing a genuine interest in the support of the Society’s objectives. Application for membership will be on a prescribed form.
  2. Subscriptions will be payable at the time and at the rate determined by the members at a General meeting.
  3. Fully paid up members named on the membership list, will have full voting rights.
  4. The Executive Committee of the Society may by unanimous vote and for good and sufficient reason suspend or recommend the termination of membership of any member. That suspension to become termination or set aside membership at the next Annual General or Extraordinary Meeting. Provided that such member will have the right to be heard (accompanied by a friend) by the Executive Committee before a final decision is taken by the Executive Committee.

Administration:

  1. The Society shall be administered by an Executive Committee consisting of not less than 3 Honorary officers which will include Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer and at least 5 other people, all of whom must be full members of the Society. A quorum of the Executive shall consist of two thirds of the Committee and must include at least 2 officers.
  2. The members of the Executive shall be elected annually by the membership at an Annual General Meeting. Nominations must be submitted in writing not less than 14 days before the day of the Annual General Meeting. The Chairman of the meeting has the discretion to take nominations from the floor.
  3. The Executive Committee shall have the powers to co-opt members up to the next Annual General Meeting who may or may not have voting rights.
  4. All Executive members shall be eligible for re-election upon completion of their annual term of office, but no member shall normally serve on Committee for any longer than 5 successive years, and no member should hold more than one office at any one time.
  5. Should the Society become a registered charity the trustees shall comply with the accounting requirements of the Charities Act 1993, relevant to the income-expenditure level of the Society

General Meetings:

  1. An Annual General Meeting shall be held during the month of March when the officers shall present their reports. Notice in writing of this meeting and the agenda shall be given to members entitled to attend and vote, at least 28 days prior to the event.
  2. An Extraordinary General Meeting may be convened either at the request of the Executive Committee or at the request of 10% of the members with prior written notice given to members atleast 28 days before the meeting. A quorum at such a meeting shall consist of at least 3 officers and not less than 30 voting members.

Changes to The Constitution:

  1. The Constitution may be altered only at an Annual General Meeting or at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society for which proper notice has been given. Such notice shall include the Resolution setting out the terms of the proposed alteration. The Resolution must be passed by not less than two thirds of the voting membership. Those unable to attend meetings shall have the right to a postal vote.
  2. Should the Society become a Registered Charity, no alteration may be made which would have the effect of making the Society cease to be a Charity at law.

Finance:

  1. All income and property of the Society shall be applied solely towards the promotion and execution of the objects of the Society as defined in Clause 2. No portion shall be paid to any member. Out of pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the Society can be reimbursed and the payment of approved fees to a speaker may be made.
  2. The Executive Committee shall ensure proper books of account are kept with respect to all income and expenditure.
  3. The Society’s financial year shall commence on January 1st and accounts shall be prepared (in relation to each calendar year) annually.
  4. A copy of the accounts shall be made available to members and presented for approval at the Annual General Meeting.
  5. Should the Society become a Registered Charity the Executive Committee will appoint the following officers to administer the charity until the first Annual General Meeting: Wendy A Symington, Christine Wealleans, David A Strover, Ann Crouch and Janice Chatten.

Dissolution:

  1. The Society may be dissolved by a Resolution passed by not less than two thirds of the membership with voting rights either at an Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting called by the Executive Committee and for which 21 days prior notice is given in writing. Such a resolution shall include instruction for the disposal of assets held by the Society, that they be transferred to another (charitable) organisation having objectives similar to those of the Society.

Indemnity:

  1. The members of the Executive shall each be indemnified by the Society against any liability claims or demands arising from any action done in good faith by them on behalf of the Society or its members in the administration of the Society and its activities.