Ashtead Residents' Association Constitution and Rules
1. The name of the Association shall be "Ashtead Residents' Association".
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
2. The objects of the Association shall be:
a) to preserve the existing village character of Ashtead;
b) to improve the amenities of the area for the general benefit of the residents of Ashtead;
c) to seek to ensure that the income raised by and the expenditure incurred by the District Council and/or the Surrey County Council is relevant to the needs and generally serves the best interests of the residents Ashtead;
d) to organise such activities and events as would appear to the Committee to be the general wish of members;
e) to have no affiliation with any national political party and remain independent of national party ties.
3. Any person whose name is currently on the Register of Electors for Ashtead or any other resident of Ashtead aged 18 years or over may, on payment of the appropriate annual subscription, become an ordinary member. Upon a recommendation of the Committee, honorary membership of the Association may be granted to any other person by decision of the ordinary members in general meeting, but such honorary membership shall not include entitlement to vote at general meetings or eligibility for Committee membership.
4. In order to assist in achieving the above-mentioned objects, the Association shall, subject to the ensuing rules, elect a Committee who shall:
a) maintain a careful watch upon all matters affecting the district, particularly those concerning planning and development;
b) seek and make known to the appropriate authorities or persons the views of members concerning any proposed or actual alterations to the amenities and general character of the neighbourhood;
c) have no affiliation with any national political party but support and encourage individuals who are prepared to stand as candidates for the District Council and the Surrey County Council, who agree to be independent of national political party ties;
d) continue to support by considered suggestion and constructive criticism the efforts of elected independent councillors without prejudice to their independence of the Association;
e) keep members generally informed of relevant matters by means of meetings, notices or circulars and by publishing from time to time a magazine to be known as The Ashtead Resident;
f) ensure that satisfactory financial and membership records are kept;
g) act in combination with or affiliate to other organisations as may be considered appropriate.
5. Nothing in these Rules shall permit the use of the Association’s funds in providing financial support to candidates for election or to councillors.
6. The general management of the affairs of the Association shall be vested in the Committee, which shall consist of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary, together with not more than twelve other members of the Association. These officers and in rotation one third but not more than one third of the other members of the Committee shall retire every year but shall be eligible for re-election. The election of officers and Committee members shall take place at the Annual General Meeting and nominations, signed by the proposer and seconder, shall be sent in writing to the Honorary Secretary to reach him at least seven days before the meeting.
7. A President and up to four Vice-Presidents who shall be members or honorary members may also be elected at an Annual General Meeting but they shall be subject to re-election every third year. They may attend Committee Meetings, if invited, but shall not vote thereat. From their number the Committee may select one to preside at general meetings of the Association. Nominations shall be put forward as provided in Rule 6.
8. The Committee shall have power to co-opt up to four members from the Association and any such person thus co-opted shall serve only until the next Annual General Meeting. Co- opted members shall not be included in those retiring by rotation as mentioned in Rule 6.
9. No person who is a member or co-opted member or official of the District Council or the Surrey County Council shall be a President or Vice-President or hold office in the Association or be a member of the Committee but such persons shall be eligible for ordinary membership of the Association, subject to the provisions of Rule 3, and may attend Committee meetings, if invited, but shall not vote thereat.
10. The Committee shall meet once a month or as otherwise resolved by them. Five shall form a quorum. They shall have the power to require any officer of the Association to produce for their inspection all or any books, papers, accounts and other property belonging to the Association in his or her custody or control and in the case of failure to do so the Committee shall have power to take such action as seems appropriate.
11. If any member of the Committee shall in the opinion of the other Committee members have absented himself or herself without good reason from six consecutive Committee meetings, the Committee may declare such person's seat vacant.
FINANCE AND ACCOUNTS
12. The minimum annual subscription, due on 1st January each year, shall be such sum or sums as may be decided at any general meeting of the Association. If any member's subscription remains unpaid after 30th September, after having been duly requested, the Committee shall be at liberty to remove the member's name from the membership register. Persons joining the Association on or after 1st October in any year shall be entitled to treat their subscription as covering the current and subsequent year.
13. In addition to paying the normal operating expenses of the Association, the Honorary Treasurer shall effect such other payments as the Committee may direct.
14. The accounts of the Association shall be closed on the last day of December each year and shall then be examined by an independent examiner elected at the previous Annual General Meeting. The examined accounts shall be presented for adoption at the next Annual General Meeting, together with the Honorary Secretary's and Honorary Treasurer's reports.
15. The Annual General Meeting, at which the formal business of the Association shall be conducted, shall be held before the end of April in each year at such place and time as may
be decided by the Committee. At least one other ordinary general meeting of the Association shall be held, but extra meetings may be held if the Committee deem it necessary. At least twenty-eight days' notice shall be given of all ordinary meetings.
16. The business to be transacted at any ordinary general meeting shall be in accordance with the agenda which shall be published with notice of the meeting as provided in Rule 15. Unless urgency is claimed and the chairman of the meeting for the time being agrees that urgency exists, no motion shall be considered at any ordinary general meeting unless notice of it has been received by the Honorary Secretary in writing at least fourteen days before that meeting; the decision of the chairman of the meeting as to whether a matter is urgent shall be final. Motions arising directly from the agenda of the District Council, which are under discussion at any meeting of the Association, shall be excepted from the operation of this Rule.
17. Applicants proposed by the Committee for support by the Association at a Council election or by-election shall normally be presented to the members at an ordinary general meeting of the Association. Where the election or by-election is arranged giving in the opinion of the Committee insufficient time before nomination day for the applicant to be presented, or the applicant is unable to attend the ordinary general meeting, the Committee shall have discretion to accord to the applicant the Association's full support at that election or by- election.
18. A Special General Meeting may be called at any time by the Committee, or shall be called by the Honorary Secretary upon receipt of a requisition signed by not less than one per cent of the members registered at 31st December immediately preceding, stating the object for which the meeting is to be convened. At least fourteen days' notice shall be given to members of such meetings. The notice shall state the object of the meeting and no other business shall be transacted thereat. The meeting shall be held within a reasonable time from the date of receipt of the requisition by the Honorary Secretary.
19. The President or a Vice President being chairman of any general meeting may invite the Chairman of the Association, an officer or a member of the Committee, as deemed appropriate, to respond to questions asked by members present concerning the current business of the Association.
20. The chairman of any general meeting shall take due account of the views expressed by members present and shall decide when any agenda item or any part thereof has received sufficient discussion and when any vote shall be taken. Voting at general meetings shall be by show of hands and the chairman's decision shall be final.
21. The introduction or discussion of any questions, which are not related to the objects of the Association shall be prohibited at any meeting of the Association or the Committee.
22. The winding up of the Association shall be agreed only at a Special General Meeting called under Rule 18; at least ten per cent of the members registered at 31st December immediately preceding must be present and the motion must be agreed by the votes of not less than two thirds of those members present. The meeting shall appoint one or more persons to conduct the winding up of the Association's affairs and after all liabilities of the Association have been met, any remaining assets of the Association shall be disposed of as agreed at the meeting or any subsequent similar meeting. The decisions taken shall be binding on all members.
ALTERATIONS TO THE RULES
23. Amendments to these Rules shall be made only at an Annual General Meeting. Notice of any proposed amendment must reach the Honorary Secretary at least fourteen days before such meeting and at least seven days’ notice of the proposed amendment shall be given to all members. Any such amendment must be carried by not less than two thirds of the members present and voting and shall then become immediately effective, unless otherwise stated in the resolution.
24. Where a Rule requires notice to be given to members, the Rule shall be deemed to have been complied with if notice has been published in the local Press or the Association’s magazine, The Ashtead Resident.
25. In the event of a dispute, the Chairman's interpretation of any of the foregoing Rules shall be final and binding.