Bearsden Writers Constitution

Bearsden Writers Constitution

1. Name of the Organisation

1.1. The organisation shall be named ‘Bearsden Writers.’

2. Aims of the Organisation

2.1. The main aim of the organisation shall be to develop and support the literary activities of its members.

2.2. Subsidiary aims shall be:

a. To increase awareness of the organisation in the local community;

b. To engage with relevant national organisations aimed at fostering literary activity;

c. To increase awareness of literary activity in the local community.

3. Activities of the Organisation

3.1. In order to achieve the aims set out above, the organisation may carry out the following activities:

a. Hold regular face-to-face and/or online meetings of members;

b. Maintain an online members’ forum;

c. Maintain a website and social media presence;

d. Hold face-to-face or online writing-related events to which non-members are admitted;

e. Engage with media to publicise the organisation’s activities;

f. Any other activity judged by the committee to be relevant.

4. Membership

4.1. Membership shall be open, upon payment of the subscription, to any persons over the age of eighteen residing in or near the Bearsden and Milngavie areas.

4.2. Persons outwith these areas may be admitted to membership, at the discretion of the committee, up to a limit of 20% of the total membership.

4.3. Members are required to:

a. Subscribe to the aims of the organisation;

b. Pay the appropriate annual subscription;

c. Participate in the activities of the organisation;

d. Assist with the implementation of the organisation’s activities.

4.4. A person’s membership may be cancelled, on the decision of the committee, for:

a. Failure to meet any of the requirements of membership, as set out in 4.3. above;

b. Bringing the organisation into disrepute.

5. General Meetings

5.1. The supreme governing body of the organisation shall be the General Meeting of Members.

5.1.1. A General Meeting may be either an Annual General Meeting (AGM) or an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).

5.1.2. A General Meeting may be face-to-face or online.

5.1.3. The quorum for a General Meeting shall be 50% of the total membership.

5.1.4. At least two weeks’ notice will be given to all members by the secretary, by email, of a forthcoming General Meeting.

5.1.5. A General Meeting shall be chaired by either the Chair or Vice-chair of the organisation, except when the chair is passed to another member for consideration of a matter requiring such action.

5.1.6. At a General Meeting, each member present shall have a vote.

5.1.7. A member present at a General Meeting may cast a proxy vote for a member who is absent, only if the secretary has received written or digital notice from the absent member at least two days prior to the meeting, indicating clearly that another named member may cast their vote at that particular meeting.

5.2. An Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place once a year towards the end of the programme of regular activities.

5.2.1. The AGM will be called by the committee, who shall set the date, time and manner (face-to-face or online) of the meeting.

5.2.2. At the AGM:

a. the committee shall be elected;

b. the financial accounts of the organisation will be presented by the treasurer;

c. annual reports will be presented by the chair and the secretary;

d. matters of general concern to the membership will be discussed.

5.3. An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be held to discuss an issue of particular importance to members or to the organisation.

5.3.1. An EGM may be called by a petition to the committee of at least 25% of the total membership, or by a decision of the committee.

5.3.2. The members’ petition or committee decision shall indicate the specific issue which is required to be discussed at an EGM, and explain why an EGM is required.

6. The Committee

6.1. Between general meetings, the organisation will be governed by the committee.

6.2. The committee shall consist of between five and eight members, including the officers of the organisation, as defined in para. 7 below.

6.3. All officers and other committee members shall be elected, or re-elected, annually, by the membership, at the AGM.

6.4. Changes to the committee’s membership may also be made at an EGM.

6.5. Between general meetings, up to four additional members of the organisation may be co-opted to the committee by invitation of the committee, to achieve a reasonable number, to add useful skills, or to replace committee members who have resigned. Co-opted members will be subject to election at the next general meeting.

6.6. Each member of the committee shall accept specific responsibilities, including those suggested in Appendix 2, and shall report on these at the AGM.

6.7. An Events Sub-Committee (ESC) will be responsible for preparation for and organisation of particular events run by Bearsden Writers, outwith the regular programme of meetings.

6.7.1. The ESC will operate within the general policy guidance of the Bearsden Writers Committee, and its decisions and actions will be subject to the approval the Committee.

6.7.2. The Chair of the ESC will be a member of the Bearsden Writers Committee, and be appointed by them. The chair will liaise between the ESC and the Bearsden Writers Committee.

6.7.3. Apart from the Chair, the ESC will be filled by nomination by members, including self-nomination, or by co-option by the ESC Chair.

6.7.4. Members may step down and be replaced, or additional members nominated or co-opted at any time.

6.7.5. Each member of the ESC shall accept specific responsibilities.

6.8. Further sub-committees of the Bearsden Writers may be set up by majority decision of a general meeting of Bearsden Writers. All sub-committees will be subject to the rules set out for the Events Sub-Committee in para. 6.7. above.

7. Officers of the Organisation

7.1. The following are the officers of the organisation:

a. Chair

b. Vice-Chair

c. Secretary

d. Treasurer

7.2. In exceptional circumstances, and if agreed by a General Meeting, one individual may hold two of the posts of Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. This arrangement may not continue beyond one year, and the two posts must then be held by separate persons.

7.3. Responsibilities of the officers are set out in Appendix 1 to this constitution.

7.4. Additional roles may be held, or partially held, by members of the committee. Additional roles are set out in Appendix 2 to this constitution.

8. Finances

8.1. The organisation shall be funded by an annual subscription payable by all members.

8.2. The level of subscription shall be proposed by the committee and agreed or changed at the AGM.

8.3. The organisation may accept donations from named individuals or organisations.

8.4. The organisation may apply for, and receive, grants for specific purposes.

8.5. Finances shall be managed by the Treasurer, whose responsibilities are set out in Appendix 1, part 4.

8.6. The accounts of the organisation shall be examined and verified each year by an appropriate person who will be neither a member of the committee nor a relative of such.

8.7. Each year, the Treasurer shall prepare a Financial Report, setting out in detail the financial activities and situation of the organisation.

8.8. The Financial Report and will be presented at the AGM, along with a statement from the independent examiner regarding the accounts.

8.9. All monies paid to the organisation must pass through a bank account controlled by the Treasurer, and be thus recorded.

9. Data Protection

9.1. All data held by the organisation is subject to the General Data Protection Regulations.

9.2. Any new member, on joining the organisation, shall sign a form giving appropriate permissions for the use of his/her data by the oprganisation.

10. Amending the Constitution

10.1. Amendments to the constitution may be presented to a General Meeting of the organisation.

10.2. To be accepted, amendments to the constitution must be agreed by at least two thirds of those present at the general meeting.


Appendix 1. Roles and Responsibilities of Officers

In general, the committee is a team and everyone is expected to participate, so some cross-over in and sharing of tasks would be expected. The responsibilities indicated below are therefore indicative rather than definitive.

The Chair:

a. Supervises the group’s activities.

b. Chairs committee meetings and some regular business meetings.

c. Ensures a quorum is present before the committee or general meeting starts.

d. Sends Zoom invites, where required, prior to committee or general meetings.

e. Ensures the constitution is upheld.

f. Is one of three office bearers of the committee authorised to draw out money.

g. Represents the group at external meetings or events.

The Vice Chair:

a. Assumes the role and responsibilities of the chairperson in their absence or in the event of a vacancy for Chair.

b. Provides advice and support to the Chair.

c. Shares tasks with the Chair, e.g. attending external meetings.

d. Meets periodically with the Chair to review group progress.

e. Should be one of three office bearers of the committee authorised to draw out money.

The Secretary:

a. Maintains a file of approved minutes and correspondence.

b. Prepares agendas for committee and general meetings.

c. Prepares and circulates minutes of committee and general meetings.

d. Deals with correspondence and distributes information to members.

e. Issues notice of committee meetings, agenda and unapproved minutes to committee members, at least one week in advance.

f. Issues notice of general meetings (AGM or EGM), agenda and unapproved minutes to all members, at least two weeks in advance.

g. Posts approved minutes to the Pro-boards Forum

h. Records votes where necessary.

The Treasurer:

a. Keeps the finances up-to date, keeping track of receipts and bank statements.

b. Maintains a bank account on behalf of the organisation.

c. Has a clear and accurate book-keeping system that records all income and expenditure.

d. Compiles financial reports.

e. Prepares annual financial accounts that must be checked by an independent person prior to the AGM.

f. Presents a balance sheet and financial statement to the AGM.

g. Presents a financial report at each committee meeting.

h. Monitors the payment of subscriptions.

i. Ensures all approved bills are settled.

j. Provides financial advice and information to committee or general meetings.

k. Should be one of three office bearers of the committee authorised to draw out money.


Appendix 2. Additional Roles for Committee Members

These roles are indicative rather than definitive.

The Meetings and Events Co-ordinator:

a. Arranges and books a suitable venue for group meetings and events.

b. Maintains a diary of forthcoming events.

c. Prepares an annual fundraising and events plan.

d. Organises particular events, as agreed by the committee, and with assistance from other committee or group members.

e. Publicises events.

f. Sends invitations to group meetings and events as appropriate.

The IT Co-ordinator:

a. Maintains the group’s website and forum pages, including upgrades and archiving where required.

b. Maintains and monitors the group’s presence on social media.

c. Ensures the smooth running of all IT platforms used by the group.

The SAW Representative:

a. Attends SAW meetings on behalf of the group, and reports back to the committee and the membership.

b. Provides relevant SAW information to the committee and the membership.

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