Emsworth

Constitution

There was an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on 21 September 2018 at St James' Hall, which adopted some minor alterations to our previous 2006 Constitution.

     NOTES ABOUT THE UPDATED EMSWORTH U3A CONSTITUTION      

Following changes to the Third Age Trust (TAT) model constitution for U3A’s, the Committee had decided that the existing constitution, which was now more than ten years old, should be replaced with a new constitution based on the current TAT model constitution  

The contents of both our former and new constitutions are similar, with most of the differences being minor, reflecting up to date legislation, recommended practices, technology or arrangements with the Charity Commission. The new constitution has been approved by TAT and where necessary by the Charity Commission.

The full new constitution (with minutes of the EGM that approved it) can be viewed by following the link. The main practical differences are summarised as follows:

Clause 3 Charitable Purposes: (Objects in our existing constitution): The new wording has arisen from lengthy discussions between TAT and the Charity Commission in 2017, and which have already been adopted at our Annual General Meeting on 16 February 2018.

Clause 7 Executive Committee and Officers: This represents the most significant area of change.

Our former constitution provided for the membership to elect the Committee, and for the Committee to appoint the Officers (Chair, Vice Chair(s), Secretary and Treasurer). The new constitution provides for officers to be specifically nominated and elected annually at an Annual General Meeting. The Committee believes the new version is more transparent and appropriate for sound governance.

The former constitution requires the committee to be between five and ten members. The new constitution proposes between six and twelve members.

The new constitution also limits the number of years an individual can serve on the Committee which our existing one does not. Clause 7 is designed to balance the need for regular “new blood” in specific Committee roles with reasonable continuity. In brief, a non-officer can only serve a maximum of three consecutive years in non-officer roles, but can move on to serve as an officer. Generally officers can only occupy a role for three years, but can take on a second three year term in a different role. A Treasurer, however, can serve up to six years.

Clause 18. Dissolution. If for any reason a decision is made to dissolve our U3A, any surplus funds can, under the new constitution, only be distributed to another local U3A or to TAT, and not to a local charity with similar objects to ours. This alteration required the permission of the Charity Commission, which has been obtained.

General points. Procedural issues such as notice periods, quorums, majority requirements and the subscription payment grace period all remain unchanged.