Constitution of the Association of Countryside Volunteers

(revised October 2009)

NAME
1. The name of the Association shall be the Association of Countryside Volunteers.

OBJECTS

2. a) To provide a means whereby volunteers in the countryside may come together for discussion of matters of mutual interest.

b) To promote the efficient operation volunteers in the countryside and to promote good relations between them and the general public.

c) To cooperate with the various authorities with which they may work.

d) To provide information of relevance to volunteers.

e) To present publicly the views of the volunteers.

 

MEMBERSHIP

3. a) Membership of the Association shall be open to all individuals who are currently serving as volunteers within the United Kingdom as a whole and who support the objects of the the Association. Members shall have the right to participate in all the activities of the Association.

b) Associate Membership shall be open to other individuals or organisations. Associate Members shall have the same rights as Members except that they shall not have the right to vote at the Annual General or Special General Meetings .

c) The Association shall have the right to exclude from Membership or Associate Membership individuals or organisations deemed unfit.

d) The candidates for Membership or Associate Membership shall apply in writing to the Treasurer of the Association and, after due entry has been made in the minutes of the Association, shall be notified of their acceptance.

e) Individuals eligible for Membership shall have attained eighteen years of age at the date of application, and for Associate Membership shall have attained the age of sixteen years at the date of application.

 

SUBSCRIPTION

4. The annual subscription for Members and Associate Members shall be as fixed from time to time by the Annual General Meeting of the Association and shall be payable in advance on January 1st each year. The financial year shall end on December 31st each year.

5. Members or Associate Members whose annual subscription has not been received by the Treasurer by 31st May shall not be entitled to any of the rights and privileges of Membership or Associate Membership.

6. Any person who has rendered service to the Association, or is distinguished for the pursuit of the objects of the Association, may be proposed by the Committee for election as Honorary Member at the Annual General Meeting. The number of Honorary Members shall not exceed ten at any one time.

 

MANAGEMENT

7. a) The management of the Association shall be vested in the Committee of the Association.

b) Members of the Association serving as volunteers in each organisation shall be entitled to elect one of their number to the Committee of the Association (provided that a Member serving in more than one organisation shall have one vote only in the organisation of their choice)

c) The Committee shall be empowered to co-opt such persons as may be able to provide guidance on such matters as the Committee may consider necessary.

d) The Committee may, at such time as it may deem appropriate, submit to the Annual General Meeting a proposal to institute Regions within the Association together with Rules attendant to the management of such Regions. Such proposal shall be exempt from para.16 of this Constitution and shall require a simple majority only to be accepted.

8. a) The Annual General Meeting shall elect a Chairman. The Chairman's period of office shall not exceed three years in total, after which the Chairman must stand down for a minimum period of one year. The Annual General Meeting may also elect up to four Vice-Chairmen of the Association.

b) Immediately following the Annual General Meeting the Committee shall elect from among the members of the Association a Secretary, a Treasurer, and may also designate from time to time other Committee Members to carry specific tasks who shall, together with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman be the Officers of the Association.

9. Election to the Committee shall be for one year terminating at the closure of the Annual General Meeting. Those retiring shall be eligible for re-election.

10. Each year the Committee may nominate an annual Honorary President and may also nominate not more than four annual Honorary Vice-Presidents, to be elected at the Annual General Meeting all to be members of the Committee ex-officio.

11. The Committee, of whom four of the current membership shall form a quorum, shall meet during the four months prior to the Annual General Meeting and at other times when summoned by any officer of the Association.

 

TREASURER

12. The Treasurer shall receive and keep accounts of all funds of the Association, and shall produce accounts and vouchers whenever required by the Committee and shall also present accounts annually. All proper accounts relating to the Association shall, in each year, be prepared under the supervision of the Committee and shall be audited by an auditor appointed by the Annual General Meeting. These accounts shall be transmitted to the Annual General Meeting. The property of the Association, including all its incomes, shall be paid or applied solely for the aforesaid objects of the Association and no part thereof shall be distributed to any Member or Associate Member of the Association by way of profit, provided that nothing in this clause shall prevent the remuneration of any person or persons for any services rendered or work done to or for the Association whether or not such person or persons are Members or Associate Members of the Association.

 

 

SECRETARY

13. The Secretary shall, as directed by the Committee, make arrangements for the conduct and organisation of all meetings. The Secretary shall take minutes of General, Special and Annual General Meetings of the Association and of the Committee and enter them regularly as minutes. He shall conduct the correspondence of the Association and shall report to the Committee all that related to the business of the Association. The Committee may delegate such of the duties of the Secretary to an Assistant Secretary or other identified person as they deem fit.

 

VOLUNTARY STATUS

14. The Committee shall review the voluntary status of a Member if requested to do so by an officer of the Association or by any three Members and may request a Member to establish their voluntary status and shall be empowered to declare them unfit for Membership if they deem their voluntary status not to be satisfactorily established or if this is not done within reasonable time.

 

MEETINGS

15. a) There shall be an Annual General Meeting. Other meetings of the Association shall be held as directed by the Committee. Not less than twentyone days' notice shall be given to Members by the Secretary and the objects of the meeting shall be stated therewith.

b) A Special Meeting shall be called if requested by one-third of the Membership of the Association.

 

ALTERATION OF THE CONSTITUTION

16. This Constitution shall not be altered except at an Annual General Meeting or at a Special General Meeting for which twentyone days' notice shall be given and the full text of the proposed alterations shall be announced in the circular to call the meeting. Any alteration shall require a two-thirds majority of those Members present and voting.

 

RULES

17. a) Matters appended to this Constitution in interpretation of this Constitution shall be known as the "Rules" of the Association.

b) The Rules shall be reviewed annually by the Committee. c) Alteration of the Rules shall be by simple majority of those present and voting at an Annual or Special Meeting of the Association on the proposal of the Committee.

 

DISSOLUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION

18. The Association shall not be dissolved except at a Special Meeting called for that purpose. One month's notice shall be given to all Members by Recorded Delivery Post and the Resolution of the Dissolution shall require a majority of two-thirds of the Members present and voting, together with those who have communicated their views to the officers of the Association in writing. Any property of the Association whatsoever which remains after satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall be sold as directed by the Committee and the monies realised thereby transferred to such organisation as the Committee shall decide, provided that the organisation shall be competent to receive those monies and shall undertake to use those monies for purposes connected with the enjoyment or conservation of the countryside

 

RULES

1. The word “volunteer” shall be deemed to describe all those who are currently acting as Volunteers in the countryside, deemed to be acceptable by the Committee of the Association, and who receive no regular remuneration for their services.

b) Payment for special and irregular duties shall not be regarded as removing voluntary status.

2. Membership subscription shall be £10 per annum: Associate Membership subscription shall be £10 per annum. Concessionary Membership shall be £6 per annum.