Constitution of the Redditch University of the Third Age (U3A)
A member of the Third Age Trust as an un-Incorporated Association.
1. NAME - To identify the Redditch Branch the name shall be the Redditch U3A and where the symbols U3A appear in this document they shall refer to the Redditch branch unless otherwise stated.
2. OBJECTS - the objectives of the U3A are
a) to advance the education of the public and in particular the education of middle-aged and older people who are not in full time gainful employment in Redditch and its surrounding locality.
b) The provision of facilities for leisure and recreational activities with the object of improving the conditions of life for the above persons in the interests of their social welfare.
3. POWERS -
a) In furtherance of the above, the U3A may purchase, take on lease or in exchange, hire and otherwise acquire and sell or dispose of real or personal property and any rights and privileges which the U3A may think necessary for the promotion of the Objects subject to such consents as may be required by law.
b) Publish books, pamphlets, reports, journals, films, video’s, Cd’s and instructional matter.
c) Found and carry on schools and training courses and run lectures, seminars, conferences and courses.
d) Encourage and assist in the formation and operation of area and regional groupings of other U3A groups.
e) Receive donations, endowments, sponsorship fees, subscriptions and legacies from persons desiring to promote the Objects of the U3A, or any of them and to hold funds in trust for the same.
f) Do all such other lawful things as may be necessary for the attainment of the above Objects or any of them.
a) All persons interested in supporting the Objects of the Third Age Trust shall be admitted to membership at the the approval of the Committee and annual payment of the National Affiliation Fee together with a subscription to the Redditch branch, provided that they agree to abide by the Constitution and any conditions properly imposed by the Committee.
b) Such fees to be submitted prior to the U3A Annual General Meeting.
c) The U3A Committee may terminate membership if -
i. Membership fees are not renewed within one month following the Annual General Meeting, provided always that the individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Committee before a decision is made.
ii. That the member acts in a way which is prejudicial to the U3A or brings it into disrepute PROVIDED that the individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Committee before a decision is made.
d) Membership fees for new members who join the U3A after an Annual General Meeting shall consist of the National Affiliation Fee plus a proportion of the annual subscription due until the following Annual General Meeting.
e) The number of members of U3A shall be controlled as it befits the accommodation available for General Meetings. When the maximum number is reached, the Membership Secretary may open a “waiting list’.
f) Membership can be extended to persons wishing to attend Interest Groups only; their subscription shall consist of the National Affiliation Fee plus an amount determined by the U3A Committee. This membership will not entitle such members to vote at the U3A Annual General Meeting nor attend General Meetings unless so invited by the Committee.
5. MANAGEMENT - The Management of the U3A shall be vested in a Committee consisting of the members whose duty it shall be to carry out its general policy and to provide for the administration, management and control of the affairs and property of the U3A.
a) A minimum of 21 days in writing shall be given to members prior to the U3A Annual General Meeting.
b) The Committee shall consist of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary and two Programme and Organising Secretaries. The remainder of the Committee shall comprise of no less than two and no more than eight ordinary members except that the Committee shall have the power to extend the number of eight ordinary members provided the number is in realistic proportion to the membership of the U3A.
c) The Chairman who shall be elected annually will not exceed three consecutive terms in office.
d) In order to achieve a continuity it is desirable for Programme and Organising Officers (whose duties are to secure speakers and arrange for them to attend the General Meetings), that they serve on the Committee for two years, one commencing on the even years, the other on the odd years.
e) If during a Committee’s term of office its membership is not to capacity then the Committee is empowered to fill such vacancies by co-option, (not more than two). Such co-opted members may offer themselves for re-election at the following Annual General Meeting.
f) Persons who are not members of the U3A but possessing special expertise may be invited to serve on the Committee; they shall not have voting rights and their term of service will expire at the following Annual General Meeting.
g) The election of members to the U3A Committee shall be held at the U3A Annual General Meeting.
h) Nominations to the Committee shall be in writing, proposed and seconded by two members, both in benefit, with signed agreement by the nominee, who shall have served at least twelve months as a member in benefit. Nominations to be delivered to the Secretary at least twenty-eight days prior to the Annual General Meeting.
i) The newly-elected committee shall take office at the end of the Annual General Meeting.
j) There shall be no less than four meetings of the Committee during its term of office.
k) Committee members will be required to give a minimum of twenty-one days notice in writing to the Secretary should they wish to resign.
l) Committee meeting matters shall be decided by a simple majority vote of Committee members present. In the case of an equality of votes the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.
m) To consider special issues the Committee may appoint sub-committees who will bring their deliberations and any conclusions to the main Committee for further discussion and/or ratification.
n) The Quorum for any Committee meeting shall be one half of its membership.
o) The proceedings of the Committee shall not be deemed invalidated by any defect in the appointment, election or co-option of any committee member or sub-committee member.
6. ANNUAL AND SPECIAL GENERAL MEETINGS
a) The Annual General Meeting shall be held once in each year and not later than fifteen months after the preceding Annual General Meeting. At least 21 days notice shall be given in writing to all members. A quorum shall be twenty percent of the paid up members. The business of the meeting shall include:
i. receiving and approving the Annual Report.
ii. receiving and approving the Annual Accounts
iii. electing a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, two Programme and organising Secretaries and members of the Committee.
iv. appointing an examiner for the Accounts
v. considering proposals to alter the Constitution subject to the requirements of clause 9.
vi. considering any other business which has been published in the Agenda.
b) A Special Meeting of the U3A may be convened at any time by a resolution of the Committee or upon a requisition signed by one fifth or more members stating the object of the Meeting: a meeting held by such a requisition shall be called by the Secretary of the U3A giving the members fourteen days notice of such Meeting. There shall be a quorum when twenty percent of members are present. If within half an hour from the time appointed for the meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting, if convened at the request of the members, shall be dissolved. In any other case, it shall be adjourned to another day and time as the Executive Committee may direct provided twenty-one days notice is given to members. If at the adjourned meeting a quorum is not present within half an hour of the time appointed for the meeting, the members present shall be a quorum.
c) The Chairman of the U3A shall be Chairman of any Committee or General Meeting at which he/she is present. In absence, the Vice Chairman will preside, otherwise, the Committee shall elect a Chairman for the meeting. The Chairman of the Meeting shall have a casting vote.
d) Accidental omission to give notice to any member shall not invalidate the proceedings of any General Meeting or Annual General Meeting.
e) Notices of meetings, documents and other communications from the U3A to a member may be sent by electronic communication provided the U3A wishes to do so and the relevant member wishes to receive them in this way and provides an appropriate electronic address to the U3A. It is the responsibility of that member to notify the U3A of any change to that address and to comply with any security and other procedures determined by the Executive Committee for such communications. A member may opt to return to hard copy communications at any time.
a) All income and property of the U3A shall be applied solely towards the Objects of the said U3A and none of it shall be paid or transferred in any way to its Committee members provided that nothing herein shall prevent payment in good faith of reasonable and proper remuneration to any Officer or Servant of the said U3A (other than a Committee Member) and repayment of reasonable and proper out of pocket expenses to members or committee members incurred in the course of the work of the U3A.
b) A Bank or Building Society account shall be opened in the name of “The Redditch U3A’ and withdrawals shall be made on the signature of two Committee Members, one of whom is a principal officer.
c) The U3A shall have power to collect and accept donations and to issue appeals for donations and to raise money by bequest and otherwise. Any money raised or received may be retained by the U3A and be used at the discretion of the Committee.No form of permanent trading shall be undertaken in raising the funds.
d) The financial year of the U3A shall end on the 31st of March in each year and not more than eight weeks later the Annual General Meeting shall be convened for the purpose of receiving reports by the Chairman and Treasurer; then electing a new Committee.
e) The Committee may appoint employees either permanently or on a fixed term contract who are not members of the Committee, as may from time to time be necessary for carrying out the work of the U3A and may fix their terms and conditions of employment. For purposes of Employment law the Committee shall be the Employer.
f) All proper costs, charges and expenses incidental to the management of the U3A and membership of the Third Age Trust may be defrayed from the funds of the U3A.
g) The Treasurer shall keep accounts of all monies received and expended on behalf of the U3A and shall prepare and publish such annual accounts at Annual General Meeting: all monetary transactions shall be made through properly authorised accounts in accordance with he Committee’s directives.
h) It is a requirement that the U3A accounts are examined annually prior to the Annual General Meeting by an independent person qualified to do so or, a member of the U3A Committee with a member of the U3A who is not currently serving on the Committee.
i) No Committee member shall be chargeable or responsible for loss caused by any thing or act done or omitted by him/her or any agent employed by him/her or by any other Committee member provided reasonable supervision be exercised over such agent or by reason of any mistake or omission made in good faith by any other Committee member or by reason of any other matter or thing other than wilful and individual fraud or wrongdoing or wrongful omission on the part of the Committee member who is sought to be made liable.
j) The funds belonging to the U3A shall be applied only in furthering the charitable purposes.
8. POWERS OF THE COMMITTEE - All matters not provided for in this Constitution relating to the U3A and not involving an amendment to this Constitution shall be dealt with by the Committee.
9. PROPERTY - Any property of the U3A shall be vested in trustees appointed for this purpose or where the appointment of trustees is not appropriate shall be deemed to be held jointly by all members of the Committee.
10. ALTERATION TO THE CONSTITUTION - The provisions of this Constitution other than clauses 2 and 10 and this clause may be amended with the assent of not less than two-thirds of the members of the U3A present and voting at a General Meeting of the U3A. Twenty-one clear days notice shall be given to the members stating an intention to put forward such a resolution.
N.B. no amendment shall be made which would cause U3A to cease to be a charity.
11. DISSOLUTION - The U3A may at any time be dissolved by a resolution passed by three-quarters majority of those present and voting at any meeting of the said U3A, of which twenty-one clear days notice shall be given stating an intention to put forward such a dissolution and shall have been sent to all members of the U3A. If any assets remain after the satisfaction of all debts and other liabilities, such assets held by or in the name of the U3A shall be transferred to such charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to the U3A as the U3A shall decided.