Constitution of the West Didsbury Astronomical Society

Revised July 2020 

President: John Thomson
Chairman: Phil Brocklebank
Secretary: Susie Busby
Treasurer: Phil Brocklebank

The name of the society shall be the ‘West Didsbury Astronomical Society.’

The objects of the society shall be to encourage and support the study of astronomical, cosmological and like subjects by means of meetings, visits, publications, liaisons with other concerns etc.

West Didsbury Astronomical Society shall be run as an unincorporated association, on a not-for-profit basis.  Any excess of income over expenditure shall be used collectively for the benefit of the members or to promote and support astronomy and science in the local community.  Examples include the purchase of astronomy equipment and the financial support of local schools and colleges in matters relating to science and astronomy.

Membership shall be to all persons who have paid the required subscription and who are no more than three months in arrears. The membership year shall run from September to August inclusive.

There shall be an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of members within the months to be decided.

An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) shall be called within six weeks upon the written request to the Hon. Secretary signed by at least five fully paid up members and detailing the business proposed for discussion the venue of which shall be decided by the Chairman.

The required subscription(s) for membership, the membership year and the financial year shall be fixed by the AGM or an EGM.

Each member shall receive at least two weeks’ notice of the date of any EGM, and of the principal business proposed for discussion. Each member shall receive reasonable notice of all ordinary meetings and events.

The AGM shall appoint one or more Hon Auditors who shall have full access to the financial records and balances of the society at any time upon reasonable notice.

The business at the AGM shall include the following: 

Approval of the minutes of the previous AGM,
Presentation of the annual report on activities,
Presentation of the annual report on finances,
Audited income and expenditure account and balance sheet for the past year
Election of the committee for the coming year,
Appointment of Hon. Auditors,
Other business of which notice has been given under these rules.

A quorum for AGMs and EGMs shall be 15% of the paid up membership. 

A simple majority shall be sufficient for the adoption of any motion except changes to this constitution.

This constitution shall be changed only by a vote in favour of two thirds of the paid up members present at an AGM or EGM.

The management of the society shall be vested in the committee comprising: President Chairman Hon. Secretary Hon. Treasurer and not more than two other co-opted members.

The committee shall appoint the President by invitation to a person of eminence in matters related to the objects. All members of the committee must be members of the society.

The electable members of the committee shall be elected by a show of hands or, if agreed, by paper ballot of the members of the AGM. Casual vacancies may also be filled similarly at an EGM.

The Hon. Treasurer shall handle and account for all monies of the society and shall establish and maintain a current bank account of the society through which shall pass all but petty cash sums. The Hon. Treasurer may establish one or more other accounts earning interest on deposit. The Hon. Treasurer shall keep adequate and up to date written records of financial business.

The signatures required for payments of sums exceeding £50 shall be any two of the officers – Chairman, Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer.

The Hon. Treasurer shall maintain a register of subscribing members.

The committee shall meet at least four times a year. Written minutes of each meeting shall be kept and presented for confirmation at the successor meeting. The quorum for a committee meeting shall be three.

The committee may establish and dissolve subcommittees for dealing with aspects of the society’s business and shall specify their constitution and responsibilities. The Chairman and Hon. Secretary shall be ex-officio members of all subcommittees.

The committee may suspend the membership of any member acting in a manner detrimental to the interests of the society. An AGM or EGM may terminate the membership forthwith in such circumstances. A member so suspended or terminated shall have the right to appeal in writing to a General Meeting.

Upon a successful motion for dissolution of the society at an AGM or EGM, the committee and members to a body or bodies having similar objects shall assign the assets of the society.

Last Updated (Monday, 30 June 2020)