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The Friends of Chelmsford Museums

Registered Charity No. 1106243

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The name of the association shall be THE FRIENDS OF CHELMSFORD MUSEUMS or such other name as the Association may from time to time decide with the approval of the Charity Commissioners. It is hereafter referred to as the ' Association '.


1 The object of the Association shall be the education of the public by promotion, support, assistance and improvement of the Chelmsford Museums Service through the activities of a group of Friends.


2 In furtherance of its object, but not further or otherwise, the Association shall have power to:
 a) raise funds and to invite and receive contributions.
 b) encourage, promote and assist the formation and development of a group of Friends of the Chelmsford Museums.
 c) generally, further the charitable purposes of the Chelmsford Museums Service and encourage the development of the facilities which it affords.
 d) appoint delegates and representatives to any other bodies with whom the Friends of Chelmsford Museums may be concerned.
 e) engage in, support and co-ordinate research, publishing, education, advertising and other charitable work for the furtherance of the above-mentioned objects.
 f) engage in any other lawful activities to promote the said object.
 g) take out public liability and personal accident insurance to cover its activities.

3 The Association shall:
 a) not engage in any other permanent trading activities in raising funds for its charitable objects.
 b) be non-party political and non-sectarian.

4 There shall be three classes of membership
 a) Individual - one (1) vote
 b) Family - one (1) vote per adult (maximum two (2) votes)
 c) Corporate - one (1) vote

5 Individual membership shall be open to any person over the age of eighteen (18) years. Where any of the following provisions of the Constitution refers to a member, in relation to Family membership, the reference means each such parent.

6 Family membership shall be open to any family of one or two parents and any number of children under the age of eighteen (18). Where any of the following provisions of the Constitution refers to a member, in relation to Family membership, the reference means each such parent.

7 Corporate membership shall be open to any formally constituted organisation, society, school or college ( whether or not a body corporate ) Where any of the following provisions of this Constitution refers to a member, in relation to corporate membership, the reference means a person nominated by a corporate member to act on its behalf.

8 All applications for membership shall be made to the committee of the Association or its appointed Membership Secretary.

9 The committee shall consist of the following officers and other members.
 a) Chairman;
 b) Vice Chairman
 c) Secretary
 d) Treasurer
 e) Editor of Newsletter
 f) A maximum of eight ( 8 ) ordinary members.
10 Every member of the committee shall be a paid up member of the Association and elected annually at the Annual General Meeting. Any member of the committee shall be eligible for re-election, except that a Chairman who has held that office continuously for three (3) years shall not be re-elected as Chairman until after an interval of one (1) year.
11 The committee shall have the power to co-opt up to four (4) additional persons as observer members of the committee, but they shall have no vote in the committee.
12 All members of the committee shall be responsible for the general management and direction of the funds and affairs of the Association.
13 The Museums Manager or his representative of the Chelmsford Museums Service shall be, ex-officio, a voting member of the committee, without the necessity of election under clause 10.

14 The committee may:
 a) nominate any member of the Association to serve as their representative on any other body.
 b) pay the whole or part of reasonable and proper expenses of any member of the committee of the Association in or about the execution of any function or duty on behalf of the Association.
 c) make, and from time to time vary rules of the Association provided that any such rules are not inconsistent with this Constitution.
 d) fill casual vacancies in its membership by additional co-options which may not extend beyond the next occuring Annual General Meeting.
 e) appoint a President or Vice President(s) annually.

15 The committee shall have the power:
 a) to suspend any Officer or committee member who fails to attend three (3) consecutive meetings of the committee.
 b) to terminate the membership of any individual for good reason, provided that the individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the committee, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made.

16 The rates of annual subscriptions for the different classes of membership shall be such sums as may be set by vote at the Annual General Meeting.

17 Annual subscriptions shall become due on the first day of March each year. Members whose subscriptions are not paid by the start of the Annual General Meeting shall forfeit their right to vote and receive the newsletter. Members whose subscriptions are twelve (12) months in arrears shall be automatically excluded from membership.

18 The financial year shall commence on the first day of March.

19 All funds and assets in the possession of the Association shall be held paid out and applied as the committee may direct in furtherance of the objects of the Association. Pending such direction, all funds shall be held in a separate bank account ( or accounts ) in the name of the Association with such bankers as the committee may from time to time direct.

20 All cheques drawn on such bankers shall be signed by any two of the Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer. All documents requiring endorsement shall be sufficiently endorsed if signed by any one of them.

21 The committee shall have the power to invest such funds as are not required to be immediately available for meeting the Association's liabilities. Such investments may be on deposit with a bank or building society or in gilt-edged securities.

22 An independent person who need not be a member of the Association, shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting to scrutinise the annual accounts.

23 Annual General Meeting
 a) The AGM of the Association, of which not less than thirty (30) days notice shall be given to all members, by the Secretary, shall be held during the month of September each  year.
 b) The business of the AGM shall be:
 bi) to receive reports from the Chairman and Officers;
 bii) to receive and approve the annual accounts and to appoint a scrutineer;
 biii) to elect the Officers and Ordinary members of the committee;
 biv) to consider any matter or proposal of which due notice has been given in writing to the Chairman or Secretary, not less than ten (10) days before the date of  the meeting.

c) The committee may at any time, and shall within twenty eight (28) days of receiving a request in writing, of any ten (10) members , convene a Special General Meeting. Not less than fourteen (14) days notice be given by the Secretary to each member, specifying the business to be transacted.

d) Committee meetings shall be held not less frequently than once in each quarter.

e) Resolutions shall be passed by simple majority of members present at annual general meeting, general and committee meetings except for the dissolution meeting or amendment resolutions. In the event of an equal vote, the Chairman shall have the casting vote.

f) A quorum shall consist :
 i) at a General Meeting of at least one tenth of the membership;
 ii) at a Committee Meeting of six (6) members.
g) In the absence of the Chairman or Vice Chairman, those attending shall elect a Chairman for the meeting from among their number.

h) Notice to members shall be deemed sufficiently served if sent by ordinary pre-paid post or hand delivered by an authorised member of the Association, to the address of the member registered in the records of the Association.

24 On the dissolution of the Friends of Chelmsford Museums, the committee shall pay the surplus of funds of the Association to such other charitable institution or institutions as the committee shall, with the approval of the Charity Commission for England and Wales, determine. The Association may be dissolved by a resolution passed by a two thirds majority of those members present and voting at a Special General Meeting held in accordance with the above provisions of this constitution.

25 No alteration may be made to this Constitution except by, and with the authority of a resolution passed by a two thirds majority of those members present and voting in a General Meeting. Any proposal for an amendment must be made in writing to the Secretary in sufficient time to allow details of the proposal to be circulated to members with the notice of the meeting, and must be so circulated.
26 No alteration shall be made to the Constitution which would cause the Association to cease to be a charity in law.

Issued October 1998.


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