Banbury Historical Society – Constitution and Rules

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1. Name and status

1.1.The Society shall be called ‘The Banbury Historical Society’.

1.2. The Society shall be registered as a charity with educational objectives (Currently registered charity No 269581).

2. Objectives

2.1. The objectives of the Society are:

To promote and foster the study of all aspects of history, and particularly the history of the town of Banbury and its hinterland in Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire.

2.2. The Society will further this objective:

2.2.1. .By organising lectures, discussion meetings and other social gatherings, and visits to places of historic interest.

2.2.2. By publishing, in print or online, journals, records volumes and occasional books and pamphlets.

2.2.3. By participating in or encouraging documentary research and historical fieldwork, including archaeological excavations and the recording of standing buildings.

2.2.4. By encouraging the preservation, transcription and, where appropriate, the publication of historical documents of all kinds.

2.2.5.. By advocating, in collaboration with other bodies, the protection and preservation of historic buildings in the Banbury region and of images and artefacts relating to the region’s history.

2.2.6. By providing advice and support (including financial support)  to other bodies and to individuals concerned with the study of the history of Banbury and its hinterland in Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire, and in particular to Banbury Museum (& Gallery).

2.2.7.. By maintenance of a website (currently detailing the Society’s activities, and on it making available where possible the Society’s publications and other historical data.

2.2.8. By depositing with Banbury Museum (& Gallery) or with any other appropriate institution, any documents, books or artefacts that come into the Society’s possession,  subject to appropriate Memoranda of Agreement.

2.2.9. By any other lawful means.

3. Membership

The Society shall consist of ordinary, corporate and honorary members.

3.1. Membership shall normally be open to any applicant on receipt by the Treasurer of an annual subscription covering a calendar year. The Treasurer or Secretary may, however, withhold membership until the next committee meeting. Subscription rates for the various classes of members shall be those from time to time determined by the committee and ratified by an annual general meeting or extraordinary general meeting before coming into force. The committee shall have the power to offer membership at discounted rates to a spouse or partner living at the same address as a member, and to charge higher rates to members located overseas. At the discretion of the Secretary or Treasurer subscriptions for new members joining during the final four months of any year may be reduced or waived. If any member’s subscription for year has not been paid on 30 June of that year he or she shall cease to be a member.

3.2. An ordinary member is entitled to vote at general meetings of the Society, and to attend other meetings and events, and to receive copies of the Society’s publications, under such conditions as may be determined from time to time by the committee.

3.3. A corporate or institutional member is entitled to receive copies of the Society’s publications, and to send a representative able to cast one vote at the Society’s general meetings.

3.4. The committee may elect anyone as an honorary member who is distinguished as an historian or archaeologist, or who has done valuable work for the Society.

3.5. Life membership is not currently offered, although commitments to those who subscribed to life membership before 18 June 1977 will be duly honoured.

4. Officers

4.1. At each annual general meeting of the Society the members shall elect from among themselves a Secretary and Treasurer and other executive committee members, and appoint an auditor.

4.2. The president and vice-presidents shall be elected at a general meeting, normally for life, or until the holders indicate that they wish to relinquish their posts. They shall not require annual re-election.

4.3. The duties of the Secretary will be: to call the annual general meeting, to ensure that meetings of the committee are duly minuted, to ensure the maintenance of an up-to-date membership list, to ensure the maintenance of the Society’s website, and to be responsible for the society archive which should consist of the minutes of committee meetings, a complete file of all society publications, including journals, records series volumes and occasional pamphlets, all annual financial statements (those for 1959 to date are included in issues of Cake & Cockhorse) and ephemera (press cuttings, photographs, posters &c)  relating to society activities.

From time to time the Secretary may issue to every member a copy of the rules and a list of officers, committee members, the auditor, and honorary members, and such other information as the committee or Chair may consider desirable. Lists of members with addresses will not be placed in the public domain.

4.4. The Treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining the Society’s financial records, according to standards set by the Charities Commission, and for ensuring that expenditure is in line with the Society’s objectives.

4.5. Members of the committee may be assigned specific tasks to which job titles may be attached (editor, membership secretary &c), but they are liable for re-election only as committee members and not as holders of offices.

5. Government

5.1. The business of the Society shall be conducted by a committee composed of the Secretary and Treasurer, ex officio, together with not more than ten other members who shall be elected at the annual general meeting.

5.2. The committee shall meet at least once a quarter at such times and places as may be deemed desirable.  Three members shall constitute a quorum, and no business may be transacted with a lesser number.

5.3. Any member of the committee who shall fail to attend at least one committee meeting in a year, unless through illness or other unavoidable cause, shall not be eligible for re-election to the committee for the following year.

6. Powers and duties of the Chair and Vice-chair

The committee shall elect annually a Chair who shall not hold the office for more than three consecutive years. The committee may also elect a Vice-chair, and in the absence from a meeting of both Chair and Vice-chair one of the members present should be appointed to preside over proceedings.

The Chair shall be responsible for summoning committee meetings and for drafting the annual report.

7. Powers and duties of the committee

The committee shall have the following powers:

7.1. To dispose of the Society’s funds or property as may be thought expedient with a view to the promotion of the Society and its objectives.

7.2. To support or aid any charitable body or society whose objectives are in line with those of the Society, and in particular to provide support for Banbury Museum (& Gallery).

7.3. The committee shall make its own rules and arrangements as to summoning and conducting meetings, with the proviso that meetings should be held at least at quarterly intervals.

7.4. The Chair or Secretary may convene a meeting of the committee at any time and shall also convene such a meeting at the written request of not less than three members of the committee addressed to the Chair.

7.5. The committee shall require and receive up-to-date reports at quarterly intervals from the Secretary and Treasurer.

7.6. The committee may, in cases of expediency, exclude from membership of the Society any member, or refuse to accept an application for membership, without assigning any reason for so doing.

7.7. Should a vacancy arise on the committee between annual general meetings members may fill it until the next annual general meeting when the new member may come up for election.

7.8. The committee may co-opt not more than two additional members to serve until the next annual general meeting after their co-option.

7.9. Members of the committee should not comment in the name of the Society on matters of public policy (e.g. on the conservation of historic buildings) unless the committee has resolved to take a particular view on the issue in question. A member may, of course, comment in his or her individual capacity.

7.10. The society shall not make any dividend, division or bonus in money to members of the committee or to other members.

8. General Meetings

8.1. A general meeting may be convened at any time by the committee, and must be summoned by the Chair at the written request of any ten subscribing members, specifying their reasons and business.

8.2. The annual general meeting of the Society shall be held on a date and at a place fixed by the committee. At least ten days’ notice of the same shall be sent to each subscribing member, together with an agenda of the business to be transacted at the meeting, and copies of the annual report and of the audited financial statements for the previous year, and any other information the committee may consider advisable. The meeting shall require and receive reports of the affairs of the Society from the Secretary, the Treasurer and other appropriate office holders, and should consider and if appropriate approve the annual report and annual financial statements. The annual general meeting shall also elect the Secretary, Treasurer and members of the committee for the ensuing year.

8.3. Ten members shall form a quorum, or, should the total membership on the books of the Society be less than 100, then one tenth of the total membership.

8.4. At general meetings the chair shall normally be taken by the President, but if he or she is unavailable, by a Vice-President or the Chair. In the absence of all of these a chair shall be elected from those members present.

9. Alteration of the Rules

No new rule shall be passed and no alteration shall be made to any existing rule unless notice of the proposed new rule shall have been sent in writing to the Secretary at least three weeks before a general meeting of the Society, and the same inserted in the agenda. Such new rule shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting.

10. Disposal of Funds and Property

In the event of the winding-up of the Society, the whole of the funds and assets of the Society shall be placed at the disposal of a committee made up of one representative each from the British Records Society, the Council for British Archaeology, the Oxfordshire Record Society and Banbury Museum (& Gallery).